Sunday, 15 May 2022

Top Investment Gemstones

Investing in gemstones is not for everybody. Rare gems do have an excellent record of increasing in value over time. When other assets are declining and currency is losing value, gemstones tend to be a reliable store of value. They are compact, portable and private.
While gemstones are not as liquid as other investments, a high quality gem will retain its value. In general the global demand for fine gemstones exceeds supply, and gemstone prices mainly move upward over time.
Fine ruby is the rarest of all colored gems, and Burmese ruby has long been the premier investment gem. Fine unheated Burmese rubies in larger sizes draw large prices. Vivid red, known as pigeon's blood, is the most valuable. Rubies tend to have inclusions, so intensity of color is more important than clarity.

Burma rubies are by far the most valuable, but fine unheated rubies from other locations such as Madagascar, Mozambique and Tanzania are increasing in value.
Blue sapphire is the second most popular colored stone for investment. The rarest and most valuable sapphires are from Kashmir, but no new material has been mined there in more than a century. Next most valuable is Burma sapphire, followed by stones from Ceylon and Madagascar. Fancy color sapphires, yellow, pink and padpardascha are popular.
The emerald market has seen turmoil as a result of treatments with artificial resins, but fine, untreated emeralds continue to be reliable investments. Colombian emeralds, especially in larger sizes, continue to be the most valuable, followed by the best Brazilian emeralds. High quality emeralds are also being mined in Zambia.

Investment grade emeralds must be untreated.
Spinel is a relative newcomer as an investment gem. The most valuable spinel colors are red, hot pink and flame orange. Red Burmese spinels and the neon pink-red spinels from Mahenge, Tanzania have the best investment potential.

Spinel is completely untreated and prices on fine pieces have risen significantly in the last 5 years.
Tsavorite Garnet is a rare gem that has begun to challenge emerald as the finest of the green gemstones. Unlike emerald, tsavorite is always untreated. It has more brilliance than emerald due to its higher refractive index.

Tsavorite garnets over 2 carats are very rare, and fine stones over 4 carats are exceptionally rare. Colors range from mint green to a deep chrome green.
Spessartite Garnet is a bright orange garnet colored by manganese. The finest examples, referred to as Mandarin Garnet, are a pure orange that is one of the most vivid colors in the gemstone world.

Pure orange specimens are very rare. They come mainly from Nigeria and Namibia. Large, clean stones are valuable and display a remarkable brilliance.
Alexandrite is a rare chrysoberyl that is popular with collectors for its striking color change and excellent hardness (8.5 on the Mohs scale). Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia. High quality alexandrite comes from Brazil, with medium grade material from Tanzania.
Fine translucent emerald-green jadeite is known as Imperial Jade. This rare gem is found mainly in Burma (Myanmar) and is coveted by collectors around the world, especially in Asia.

Type A jadeite is untreated natural Burmese jadeite where the color is 100% natural. Only certified jadeite of this quality is deemed worthy of investment.
The rarest topaz known is called Imperial topaz and its sole source is the Ouro Prêto area in Minas Gerais, Brazil. This topaz is golden-orange to orange to pink, pinkish-red or violet in color.

The color must be completely natural, with no enhancement by heat or other methods. Stones with a hint of pink or red are the most valuable, with a pure red natural topaz counting as extraordinary.
Paraiba tourmaline is a rare copper-bearing variety of tourmaline with a distinctive neon-like glow. It was first discovered in the Brazilian state of Paraiba in 1989. Since then small deposits have been found in Nigeria and Mozambique.

The Brazilian paraiba remains the most valuable, but color and clarity are more important than origin for these rare gems. Clean paraiba tourmalines with vivid color are the most valuable.
When buying gemstones for investment, it is critical to buy top grade gems. Low quality commercial grade stones are worthless to the investor. Fine gemstones are distinguished by vivid, intense color, outstanding clarity, and excellent cut. Buy the absolute best and ignore the rest, it is money invested, not spent.

Thursday, 12 May 2022

228-carat Harrods Diamond up for grabs = $ 21.9m

The largest white diamond to come to auction will appear at Christie’s in Geneva on May 11. The 228-carat, pear-shaped diamond has an estimate of $20m to $30m. The stone was mined about 20 years ago in South Africa. The VS1, G color diamond was formerly known as the Harrods Diamond. After making its debut in Dubai, 'The Rock' will travel to Taipei, New York and Geneva, where it will be auctioned on May 11.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

The Mughal Empire in Gold and Gems

The Mughals were descendants of the Central Asian conqueror Timur (known in the West as Tamerlane) and the Mongol ruler, Genghis Khan. The Mughal Empire, which at its peak spanned modern-day India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was established by Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur, who invaded India in 1526.

The Mughals ruled for over three centuries before the arrival of the British in 1858.




The Timur ruby (also Khiraj-i-alam, "Tribute to the World") is an unfaceted, 361-carat polished red spinel gemstone set in a necklace in 1853

Crown of the Emperor Bahadur Shah II, the last Mughal emperor. 1850. Gold, turquoises, rubies, diamonds, pearls, emeralds.

Carved emerald circular box. Mughal India circa 1635.

Turban ornament. 1700-1750. Wearing plumes in a turban indicated royal status in Mughal India.
Treasures were encrusted with rubies, diamonds and emeralds and set in gold using the kundan technique, a typically Indian method of setting gemstones without the use of bezels and prongs.

Emerald is 217.80 carats and dates to 1695-1696. It is the largest inscribed Mughal emerald known.

Kundan set eagle pendant. Rubies, diamonds, pearls, enamel.

Mughal parrot finger ring (c.1600–1625) It is set with rubies, emeralds, diamonds and a single sapphire.

Bird Finger Ring (17th century). Gold, rubies, emeralds, turquoises.
The reign of Shah Jahan, the fifth emperor, was the golden age of Mughal architecture. He erected several large monuments, the most famous of which is the Taj Mahal at Agra, as well as the Moti Masjid, Agra, the Red Fort, the Jama Masjid, Delhi, and the Lahore Fort.

The Mughal Empire reached it's zenith during the reign of Aurangzeb.
Pendant in the form of an eagle, 18th century. Gold, cast and chased, set with foiled diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires in gold.

Gold and enamel belt buckle in two pieces with inlaid diamonds. Enamel decoration on reverse of tiger attacking a boar. Rectangular element with small round ring through which oblong ring fits. Hook is attached to this. Enamel tiger attacking a deer in foliage on reverse.

Gold, pearl, ruby, diamond and enamel squatting duck on a stand.
Gold and enamel figurine of an elephant with large natural baroque pearl forming its back and diamonds on its head.
A carved emerald flask with stopper, India, circa 18th century. The body of faceted hexagonal form, cut and carved on each face with a floral stem, the stopper carved with eight stylised leaves and a star design to the top.

Dress archery ring of Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan. Second quarter of the 17th century. Gold set with carved and polished uncut diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
An Imperial Mughal spinel necklace with eleven polished baroque spinels for a total weight of 1,131.59 carats. Three of the spinels are engraved. Two with the name of Emperor Jahangir (1569-1627), one with the three names of Emperor Jahangir, Emperor Shah Jahan and Emperor Alamgir, also known as Aurangzeb.

Portrait of Mumtaz Mahal (Arjumand Banu Begum). She was the favourite wife of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. She died shortly after giving birth to her fourteenth child in 1631. The following year the emperor began work on the mausoleum that would house her body. The result was the world-famous Taj Mahal.
A Mughal masterpiece. The necklace features five pendant Golconda diamonds with emerald drops. The central stone weighs 28 carats and is the largest table-cut diamond known. The five surrounding stones—weighing 96 carats, collectively—comprise the largest known matching set of table-cut diamonds. From the 17th century.

A rare Mughal pale green jadeite snuff bottle. 1800-1900. The translucent stone is of pale icy green tone. 2 in. (5 cm.) high, pink tourmaline stopper and bone spoon.