Monday, July 29, 2013

Pink Panther Strikes Again $136 Million ~ Liz Taylors Finest!

The world will always be fascinated by Elizabeth Taylor, her life, he loves and especially her jewels. Her recording breaking auction at Chrsities in December 2010 ( the auction brought in $137 million dollars, higher than what was expected) sent hearts a flutter at the mere opportunity to own a piece of  history. I have always said if jewelry has a story people are much more inclined to purchase it. She was a force to reckoned with during her many years in Hollywood.

 She lived life to the grandest of proportions. If you've watched cable lately movies about her life seem to be popping up all over. The latest with Helena Bonham Carter. I myself have a hard time seeing her as Dame Elizabeth~ Her jewels, and goodness did she have quite the collection! When a movie finished production ( we're talking early 40's on)  it was customary for the stars and the production to exchange mementos. Everyone knew she had a love for gems, and that's how her collection started to grow. She had a passionate love affair with Richard Burton, marrying him twice out of her 8 marriages. She had once said she was " always in love with love". One of her first great loves was Mike Todd who tragically died in a plane crash that left her devastated. A famous reel of film shows her husband Mike giving her a ruby and diamond suite of jewelry in the sun by the pool. He gently puts the piece on her then she excitedly jumps in the pool! I think gorgeous jewelry has the same affect on all women. Without any makeup and jewels she looked stunning~

  This ruby and diamond set sold for a total of $5.4 million dollars. The breakdown is the necklace for $3,778,500, bracelet $842,500, earrings $782,500.

Her spellbinding 33.19cts diamond ring sold for $8.8 million dollars. So much history is associated with this ring , plus the diamond is out of this world. The original estimated to be from $2.5 - 3.5million
One of my favorites from the auction ( the catalog books are sold out!) is Elizabeth's and Richard Burtons wedding bands. I'm not sure the story on how she ended up with both of the rings but they are beautiful and signify so much. That explains the high bid of $1.0million dollars for both of them.

The symbol of both of their marriages set in 18k yellow gold with diamonds

There has been ethically mined diamonds available and becoming more popular since the 2006 movie featuring Leonardo DeCaprio "Blood Diamond". A riveting movie about the living conditions of the people that mine diamonds for a living n Africa. Ethically mined diamonds, which means that the miners have safe conditions to live in and basically don't live in squalor. Now there is a new item that is on the scene, fairmined gold.  This is being brought to the US by the Alliance for Responsible Mining. It is the largest and most well known fairmined company. How it affects the consumer is that it raises the prices about 10%, but the benefits are worth it knowing that you are helping to secure the good living conditions for artisans. Here is the link to the company They are in the process of getting their name off the ground in the US. Once they have a strong marketing campaign in place I'm sure we'll be hearing much more from them and that people will jump on the bandwagon.

  Pink Panther was a rather funny movies back in the 60's about a fumbling inspector by the name of Closeau. That name was take to new heights quite literally when a gang of about 40 people began stealing jewelry from wealthy homes and hotels since 1999.  It is estimated that they have stolen in excess of $396 million dollars. That s alot of gems and big bling I'm sure!  Two of the members of the gang escaped a prison in Orbe Switzerland with the help of two armed people. They inmates were exercising in the yard when a car rammed the fence and the two  accomplices using AK 47's whisked the two away with the use of ladders. The Switzerland guard had no guns. How do you have a prison with unarmed guards?? Anyways the two prisoners are Adrian Albrecht, 53, and Milan Poparic, 34, a Bosnian national. Now the interesting part is that Adrian Albrecht escaped from the SAME prison in 1992. According to prison officials the only visitors they had were from their lawyers. Orbe is a town in Switzerland's western Vaud canton, or state, is not far from the French border. With limitless resources and disguises they could be anywhere by now.. think Thomas Crown but with jewelry~

Orbe, Switzerland where the prison is located

Adrian Albrecht, 53      Milan Poparic, 34

While writing this blog entry it was reported this morning that a lone masked gunman stole jewels worth an estimated $53 million that occurred at the luxury hotel Carlton in Cannes. After doing an extensive inventory they estimated the loss to be at a heart stopping $136 Million!After the theft happened the gunman walked back into pedestrian traffic, with no one being the wiser! Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev was holding an exhibition for Leviev Diamond House, His jewels are amazing and you can see the value in them. It is the THIRD time that a major jewel heist has occurred in Cannes. A briefcase full of gems was taken along with a necklace worth $2.6million dollars. The Carlton hotel is the famous hotel where Cary Grant and Grace Kelly filmed Alfred Hitchcock "To Catch a Thief". Is it coincidence? Or did the newly sprung Pink Panther thieves have anything to do with it?? 

The Carlton Hotel after the theft

Tiffany & Co. is well known for their well heeled clients list and their dedicated sales people. One of their executives are in hot water. Her name is
Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun and she was the former vice president of product development. Ingrid had checked out 165 items of jewelery that cost $2.0 Million dollars. She would check out the items from the store to have them shown to potential manufacturers for cost production estimates. Tiffany conducts a daily inventory on items over $25,000. The items that Ingrid had checked out were under $10,000. She had left Tiffany in February of this year. When asked where the remaining items were she had said they were damaged or missing. She had sold the items to a jewelry reseller for $1.4 Million dollars. That would lead to quite a paper trail and suspicions I would think to as to the person she was selling them too~  She has plead guilty and will be sentenced on December 10th and can face up from 37 - 46 months in prison. No word if she has found new employment in the city.

Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun

Keep sparkling until the next time~

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