Wednesday, 15 January 2020

The Red Wonder Cross

The Red Wonder Cross was designed by Oren Seren, Master Diamond Cutter of Seren Diamonds, and features 11 fancy red diamonds (0.42-0.93 carats), as well as colorless and blue diamonds, set in white gold.

The 11 red diamonds in the Red Wonder Cross were all cut and polished by Seren. The cross was completed on December 18, 2008. Red diamonds are so rare that GIA records show that over a 30 year period from 1957 to 1987 there was no mention of a GIA lab report issued for a diamond with “red” as the only descriptive term.

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Western Australia, which is estimated to produce 90 per cent of the world’s supply of gem-quality pink and red diamonds, is set to close at the end of 2020.

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Genuine alexandrite

Many people who have either inherited or bought a ring that is purported to be an alexandrite OR a Russian alexandrite end up disappointed. They usually have synthetic corundum laced with vanadium to produce the colour changing properties. From the turn of the century synthetic corundum was used in place of genuine gems. The science of imitating alexandrite has advanced and flux grown alexandrite is common. Only 2,000 kg of rough were mined in the Urals in the 1800s. Much of this was lost in faceting, leaving few genuine gems. Since the original find in Russia, other sources of alexandrite have been found in Brazil, India, Madagascar, Tanzania, Australia and Myanmar. None of these finds have been long lived. In 1987 in Brazil there was a find at Minas Gerais that lasted 4 months.

55.88ct synthetic alexandrite
Synthetic alexandrite, synthetic amethyst, synthetic tanzanite, synthetic diamond.
The value of alexandrite is the strength of color change, the size, and the clarity. Location (unless verified Russian) doesn’t play a part.

Fine alexandrite will always fetch top dollar and that’s the main reason why the gem is often misrepresented.

Monday, 13 January 2020

Emerald, Ruby and Sapphire from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Backes & Strauss

Backes & Strauss, the Piccadilly Princess Royal Emerald Green. It is set with 245 Zambian emeralds totaling 31.91 carats in 10 different cuts. $2.27 million

Cartier Tourbillon Mysterieux Azure features a 26 carat Ceylon sapphire which forms the detachable pendant to the body of the timepiece. € 1.2 million

Ruby bangle watch by Van Cleef & Arpels features 115 Mozambique rubies weighing a total of 151.25 carats. $ 1m+

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Fabulous Faberge

The House of Fabergé was founded in 1842 in St. Petersburg by Gustav Faberge. In 1885, the House of Fabergé was bestowed with the coveted title "Goldsmith by special appointment to the Imperial Crown", beginning an association with the Russian tsars. Gustav was followed by his son Peter Carl Fabergé, until the firm was nationalized by the Bolsheviks in 1918.
In 1885, Tsar Alexander III commissioned the House of Fabergé to make an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna. The House of Fabergé completed 50 Imperial eggs, of these, 43 are known to have survived. Following the end of the Soviet Union and the rise of the oligarchs, Russian collectors sought to repatriate Fabergé's works and auction prices reached record highs.

On 27 November 2007, the Rothschild Fabergé Egg was auctioned at Christie's for £8.98 million. The Rothschild egg became the record price for a piece of Fabergé as well as the highest price ever paid for a Russian object and the most expensive price for a timepiece.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé workshop, Saint Petersburg, Carl Fabergé (workmaster). Scarab Brooch, about 1900. Garnet, gold, diamonds, rubies, enamel, silver.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé firm, St. Petersburg, Julius Rappoport (workmaster), Bratina, about 1900. Silver gilt, enamel, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, garnets, blue topaz, pearls.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé workshop, Mikhail Perkhin (workmaster). Miniature Easter Egg Pendant, about 1900. Chalcedony, gold, white gold, diamonds.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé firm, St. Petersburg, Erik Kollin (workmaster), Terrestrial Globe, before 1899, rock crystal, gold, compass.

Crown Brooch, 1890–1910, silver gilt, sapphires, rubies, diamonds.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé workshop, Miniature Easter Egg Pendants, about 1900, gold, enamel, silver, pearls, diamonds, rubies, emerald.

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé workshop, Fantasy Fish Server or Centrepiece, 1896–1908, silver

Carl Fabergé (1846–1920), Fabergé firm, Moscow, Rabbit Pitcher, before 1899, silver, gold, garnets

Monday, 6 January 2020

King Tut's jewels made of desert glass

In 1922 Howard Carter was searching the tomb of Tutankhamun and found a large breastplate, decorated with gold, silver, various precious jewels and a strange gemstone. Carter identified it as chalcedony, a common variety of quartz.

Ten years later pieces of glass were found in the Libyan Desert along the border of modern Egypt. The pale yellow and translucent material was identical to that found in Tutankhamun's tomb.
Libyan Desert glass (LDG), is an impactite with fragments found over areas of tens of square kilometers.
Tektites are natural glass formed from terrestrial debris ejected high into Earth's atmosphere during meteorite impacts. LDG is almost pure silicon-dioxide, like quartz, but its crystal structure is different. It also contains in traces an unusual combination of elements, like iron, nickel, chromium, cobalt and iridium.
It's thought LDG formed 28 to 26 million years ago when an impact melted the quartz-rich sands of the desert.

Sunday, 5 January 2020

Dior à Versailles, Côté Jardins – High Jewellery

Dior à Versailles, Côté Jardins is the second high jewellery collection by Victoire de Castellane, a line that was inspired by the private estate of Queen Marie-Antoinette.
The collection was inspired by the unique architectural layout of the gardens for which Versailles is famous.

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Star Ruby - Star Sapphire

Other gemstones that may display asterism are rose quartz, garnet, diopside, moonstone, spinel and opal.
Star rubies and star sapphires display a six-ray star that seems to glide across the surface of the gem. This six-ray star is caused due to a phenomena known as "asterism".

The term is derived from the Greek word "aster", which means star. Fine star rubies and sapphire come mainly from Mogok and Sri Lanka. The best stones will have just enough silk to create the star effect, but not so much as to harm the transparency and color.
Black Star Sapphires with golden stars are one of the most fascinating forms of sapphire. The most valuable of the golden-star black stars come from Chanthaburi, Thailand.

Black star sapphires differ from other colours of star sapphires because the star is formed not due to rutile silk but due to hematite plates.
The Delong Star Ruby resides in the Natural History Museum in New York. Weighing 100.32 carats, it is a deep purplish red, from Burma, it has an extremely sharp 6-rayed star effect.

The Rosser Reeves Star Ruby; a fine-quality star ruby of 138.70 carats from Sri Lanka.
Star of Asia A round six-ray star sapphire weighing 329.7 carats. The stone's origin is Burma, and it's also part of the Smithsonian Museum's collection.

Weighing 27.62 carats, the Star of Bharany Ruby is one of the world’s finest star rubies.
A star ruby is considered potent protection against magic. Star rubies were worn by knights in battle to protect themselves from the enemy. Tales in Karnataka (India) say that if it is worn as a visible pendant or as a headgear then anyone who faces you as an enemy loses half their valour.

The power of star ruby is said to be the highest during full moon.