Tuesday, September 23, 2014

$2 Million Dollar SHOES, Wallis Simpson & Roman Hoard Discovered!

 After the discovery of the "Cheapside Hoard" jewels locating anything like jewelry that can be hundreds of years old is a fabulous and an obvious newsworthy find.

The Roman finds~
Being a jeweler and a jewelry designer it gives us insight as to the style and techniques that the jewelers from hundreds of years ago had used. Techniques that we still use to this day!

 The newest discover occurred on September 8th at a location of a Williams & Griffin department store in the UK. An area planned for redevelopment was being excavated when a jewelry box (even in the 1st century women used them). Inside the box were “three gold armlets, a silver chain necklace, two silver bracelets, a substantial silver armlet, a small bag of coins, and a small jewellery box containing two sets of gold earrings and four gold finger-rings,” according to the Colchester Archaeological Trust, which discovered the hoard". It is the finest collection of jewelry ever excavated in the UK. The items are going to be donated to the Colchester & Ipswitch museum services.

  The grim news about the find is that there was wheat, peas, figs part of a human jawbone and a shin bone that could of been cut by a sword.The actual structure was a house that had burnt down and they had figured that the jewelry box was on a shelf when chaos happened.  These archaeologist are like an early version of CSI...

 I had written a little while back about Pablo Picasso and how Doyles of London was going to be auctioning off some items that had been found in his ex lovers Doras house in France in a box under her bed. ( can you imagine?) Dora became famous for the blue series that he painted of her. Picasso's simple yet reflective of his paintings. Simple, not to ornate. They sold for much higher than was originally anticipated.  Now there is a well known abstract painter, Russian painter and art theorist Wassily Kandinsky who's jewelry is going to be auctioned by Lucas Rarities in London. A selection of 14 pieces are making their debut since the first time they were created~ Quite historic in itself as no word as to how many pieces he might have created.

Kandisnky himself, dapper!

One of his notable paintings

The tiny gold balls called granulation are soldered on, incredible detail~

The only piece in the collection that features diamonds and emeralds

Interesting structure, gold discs and sterling and silver

Bezel set colored diamonds maybe? Interesting~
 He was known for his abstract art pieces.  As you can see from his jewelry his painting style can be recognized. From the looks of the jewelry it looks as if he had them created with a jeweler, not unless he had the ability to do that as well. Picasso's pieces were very simple, while Kandinsky jewelry is truly a reflection of his abstract painting style.

  Blue is one of the most beautiful of colors when it comes to diamonds.  A stunning blue internally flawless diamond is currently on loan and display at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. It originally was cut from a piece of rough that was 29.60 carats. The blue diamond affectionately called "The Blue Moon" was purchased for $25.6 Million dollars earlier this year or $864,865 per carat. The stone is on display from September 13 through January 6, 2015.

12.60carats Blue Moon Diamond

The 29.60cts rough blue diamond
Women have always had a love affair with shoes (don' judge us, that's just the way it is!) . But there is someone who might be taking over. Nick cannon currently the husband of Mariah Carey and the host of the show "Americas Got Talent" show that showcases unusual talents of people from across the nation.  On the hows finale on September 17th. He is known for having great personal style with his unusual color combinations and his fetish for great mens shoes.  What is being touted as the worlds most expensive pair of shoes at the staggering cost of $2 Million dollars , that's $1 Million per shoe! I think Carrie Bradshaw would be envious~

Nick Cannon had collaborated with Tom Ford ( his last collection was fabulous) and was created by jeweler Jason of Beverly Hills. Jason is a jeweler to the stars that has created numerous pieces of jewelery for Mariah Carey, Rhianna, P Diddy, Jennifer Lopez, Dwayne Wade. The list is quite extensive. You can see some of his work here, http://jasonofbh.com/

 These shoes took one full year to create, over 3,000 man hours and contain 14,000 full cut round diamonds that weigh 344 carats. And are set into white gold. The shoes are going on tour and will be auctioned of to raise money for a charity.  The next day on the "Today" show Host/Anchorman Matt Lauer was modeling hem and had said they were very heavy. Being crafted in white gold I could only imagine.

Nick Cannon on the set of the finale of "America's Got Talent"
 Lions tigers and bears oh my! At least tigers anyways... The Duchess of Windsor had one of the most famous of all jewelry collections.  And an even better life long world wind history changing romance that went along with it. Even Dame Elizabeth Taylor is a close second.  Two pieces that the Duke had purchased for her was a tiger bracelet adorned with emeralds , onyx and diamonds. Cartier created the Tiger Collection in 1928.The Duke had purchased the brooch and bracelet in 1958. After the Duchess had passed away in 1986 Christies held an auction of her jewelry in 1987. They had estimated lots, 306 of them were expected to fetch around $10 Million dollars.  They were surprised when all the items sold for $120 Million dollars. Elizabeth Taylor had purchased a feather  brooch that she was particularly fond of that Wallis would wear.  The two of them were friends and Elizabeth would often comment on how much she adored that piece.  She purchased the brooch for $800,000 and had said it was the first significant piece of jewelry she had purchased for herself. She said she felt obligated to purchase it.  The proceeds from the auction went to the Pasteur Institute for medical research. they are a French non profit foundation dedicated to the study of biology, microorganisms, diseases and vaccines. It was started by Louis Pasteur, who also introduced te world to pasteurization.

The Tiger bracelet on left and brooch on right
Wallis wearing the tiger bracelet, and that incredible emerald engagement ring~
The composer Andre Lloyd Wright , writer of "Phantom of the Opera had purchased both pieces for his then wife Sarah Brightman to congratulate the success of Phantom in New York. The auction will be held on 11 November, at Christies magnificent Jewels Auction in Geneva. with a combined pre-sale estimate of US $1.8-2.5 million. Sarah Brightman plans to donate a portion of the sale to "The Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation".  The foundation was started in 1992 to support the arts, culture and heritage in the public sector. It also awards 30 performing arts scholarships every year to talented students with financial needs.

Sarah Brightman wearing the tiger brooch and bracelet
                                                   Keep sparkling until next time~

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pink & Red Diamonds & World Record Breakers!

 In the world of diamonds red and pink are the rarest of the colors that occur naturally. A much buzzed about fancy intense pink pear shaped diamond weighing 8.41ct is ready to be auctioned by Sothebys on October 7th in Hong Kong. This diamond auction will be part of the "Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite" auction.

The 8.41cts pink pear shaped diamond is one of the largest to be seen at auction. An oval pink diamond weighing 5.50cts was sold at Christies for $9.5 Million dollars. The absolute largest pink diamond to be auctioned was in 2010 when the fancy intense pink diamond aka "Graff Pink" diamond weighing 24.76cts was sold to Laurence Graff (of Graff Diamonds) for $46.1 Million dollars or roughly $2 Million per carat.

 With great stones come good stories. In November of 2013 the largest pink diamond weighing 59.60cts was set to be the record holder in the terms of stone color and sale. The stone was auctioned by Sothebys in Hong Kong. The diamond was originally mined in South Africa in 1999 as a 132.5-carat rough by De Beers. It was cut by the Steinmetz Diamond Company over a two-year period and was formerly known as the “Steinmetz Pink.” In 2003, it was shown publicly in Monaco and was displayed at the Smithsonian Institute as part of its “Splendor of Diamonds” exhibit. The Pink Star was sold privately in 2007,There was quite an interest in this stone for the simple fact of the large size and the intensity of the color. Stone cutter Isaac Wolf beat out two other bidders in a quick bid for the pricey pink diamond.  Isaac won the bid after 5 minutes, with the winning price being $83.2 Million dollars. A record for any stone sold at Auction, ever! But here's the interesting part, he defaulted on the sale! He did everything by the book, but pay for the stone. He had stated that he was purchasing this stone for a group of investors that were putting up the money for the sale.

  Since Sothebys had guaranteed the price of the diamond at $60 Million, Sothebys had to buy back the diamond from the seller! Ouch~ After the stone was valued at $72 Million they are still in talks with Issac regarding the stones future. My only question is is there some sort of trouble or something that Isaac Wolf and the investors will face because of the default?  Its crazy to think about~

I can only imagine the shade of pink in person

So when recently mined red/ orange diamonds were located at the Lesotho mines, jewelry buys and lovers the world over have been anxiously awaiting the day when they will make it to the market. 
Rio Tinto is an Austrailain mine that is holding an auction titled the 2014 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection which is going under the hammer which consists of 55 diamonds, including 51 pink and purplish red diamonds and four Fancy Red diamonds.

Only 13 Fancy Red diamonds have been included in the tender in the last 30 years.Who knew that Australia is the leader when it comes to producing red pink diamonds? Rio Tinto controls the market for pink diamonds from the Argyle mine in Australia. Around 65pc of the world's diamond supplies come from the Cullinan mine in South Africa.  Jean-Marc Lieberherr, Rio Tinto Diamonds managing director said: "Decades ago, no one would have believed that Australia held the secret of diamonds, let alone the world's entire source of rare pink and red diamonds.

"The pinnacle of the production from Rio Tinto's Argyle mine, the annual pink tender diamonds are now celebrated internationally as amongst the rarest and most valuable diamonds in the world. We have seen and continue to see sustained demand and price growth for Argyle pink diamonds." Red diamonds were actually discovered in 1979 by a group of gemologists in a an ant hill no less~  What a lovely sight that must of been..

a portion of the red diamonds mined by Rio Tinto, Australia  largest diamond mine
 With red diamonds being one of the rares in colors, its going to get gem lovers alike waiting for the sale.  Its a shame that in the US we dont hear to much about the colored diamond market that stretches past Europe. I'll be anxious to see the results~

   Large mined diamonds are in the news more so now with the recent find in the Lesotho and South African mines. But to see large record holding gems is another story. Called the "Ophir Collection" they have an astounding 9 record holding stones in their collection. Here are the nine world records in the collection~

the largest Faceted Sapphire

the largest Cut Brown Sapphire
the largest Cut Musgravite

the largest Cut Tanzanite
the largest cut Hibonite, the largest cut Neptunite, the largest Cut Painite, the largest Cut Serendibite, and finally the largest Cut Grandidierite. Pictures were not available for thoses tones

The largest, the blue sapphire weighing 31,308cts is the largest cut sapphire.  The real difference between the larger sized diamonds is that the quality of the diamonds is always uniform while the color and saturation of these stones is of different quality. I can only imagine how large the rough sapphire was prior to cutting, what a task that mist of been for the cutter!

                                                            Keep Sparkling until next time~