Friday, 30 September 2016

Stolen Van Gogh paintings recovered

Italian police have found two Van Gogh paintings that were stolen from an Amsterdam museum in 2002 hidden in a farmhouse near an organized crime syndicate's Naples-area stronghold. The paintings, discovered without their frames, are in "relatively good condition," the Van Gogh Museum said in a statement on its website. It said the two paintings are the 1882 work "Seascape at Scheveningen" and a later work, "Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen."

The paintings, found covered in cotton cloth in the farmhouse near Castellammare di Stabia, are part of an investigation of whether gangsters from the Camorra crime syndicate were behind the theft.

"Congregation leaving the Reformed Church in Nuenen."
When renowned masterpieces are stolen, a theft commissioned by a private collector who has already agreed to buy them is usually suspected, since it would be virtually impossible to sell them in the legitimate art market. With "enormous profits" from drug trafficking, the Camorra are looking for new ways to invest their ill-gained wealth, which might include stolen artworks.

Investigators seized some 20 million euros ($22 million) worth of assets, including farmland, villas and apartments, which they say are linked to two Camorra drug kingpins, Mario Cerrone and Raffaele Imperiale.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Orange Diamonds

The largest fancy-vivid orange diamond known to exist sold for 32.6 million Swiss francs ($36 million) at Christie’s International in Geneva in late 2013.

The 14.82-carat pear-shaped stone’s price was about $2.4 million per carat, a per-carat record for any colored diamond at a public sale. The gem also set a record for an orange diamond of its type. The diamond shattered its high estimate of $21 million.

Natural fancy orange diamonds are an anomaly. It is extremely rare to find a pure orange diamond. To be classified as a “fancy orange”, there must be a complete absence of brown in the gemstone. Although the orange hue is not as rare in nature as some, the GIA rarely grades an orange diamond as “pure” orange. As a result, orange stones that receive this grade are even rarer than natural fancy red diamonds.

This 4.08-Carat Fancy Vivid Orange Diamond Ring blew past it's US$1.6 – 1.8 million estimate at Sotheby's Hong Kong auction in April 2016, bringing $ 2.3m

The 'Mandarin Orange' is a 4.19-Carat Fancy Vivid Orange Diamond. It sold for $2.9 million in 2011.

The majority of diamonds contain some nitrogen. In orange diamonds the nitrogen atoms have grouped themselves in a very specific way. Nitrogen arrangements absorb light in the blue and yellow region of the spectrum producing an orange color.

Orange Diamonds may contain a brown, yellow or pinkish modifying color. Diamonds with a pure vivid orange color are extremely rare and valuable.

The strength of colour is one of the most important factors in determining the value of a natural color diamond. The value increases exponentially with the intensity of the most prominent colour within the diamond.
The Pumpkin Diamond is 5.54 carats and rated as Fancy Vivid Orange by the GIA. Halle Berry wore the ring to the 2002 Oscars where she won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her role in Monster's Ball. The popularity of orange diamonds zoomed.

2.00-carat, fancy vivid orange, heart-shaped Lady Orquidea Diamond

The Mandarin Orange is a cushion shaped 4.19 ct. fancy vivid orange VVS1 diamond. It sold for $2,956,410 in 2011.

Fancy Vivid Orange Yellow & Fancy Brown Orange Pink IF Pear Shape Diamond TW 10.62cts.

1.00ct Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange SI2 Pear shape.

De Beers simple shank emerald-cut Fancy Vivid yellow orange diamond engagement ring in platinum.

0.79 carat, Fancy Vivid Orange, radiant shape, VS1 Clarity, GIA; $276,600

A rectangular modified round 7.67 carat fancy intense pinkish orange IF type IIa diamond. It brought $3,106,500 in 2010.

Fancy Vivid Yellow Orange, .41 ct, VS2, $27,390.00

Fancy Vivid Orange radiant cut 5.02 carats.

.77ct Fancy Vivid Orange Yellow. $13,195.00

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

8.4 carat purple pink diamond brings $17.8 million

In late 2014 a fancy vivid pink diamond set a new record. The pear-shaped, 8.41-carat stone had been expected to fetch $15.5 million, but ended up selling for $17.77 million in Hong Kong. The identity of the buyer wasn’t disclosed.

The combination of the pink diamond’s internally flawless clarity with its “fancy vivid” color grade, a category designating the diamond as having the highest concentration of color, made the stone rare and valuable.

Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman of Sotheby’s Asia, said that the diamond "attracted keen competition before fetching HK$137.88 million (US$17.77 million) and setting a world auction record for a fancy vivid pink diamond."

'Mountain Forms' - Lawren Harris of Group of Seven at Auction

Lawren S. Harris, 1928. Mountain Forms, oil on canvas
'Mountain Forms' is a striking painting of Mount Ishbel in the Sawback mountain range, near Lake Louise. Most Lawren S. Harris paintings like this are in art galleries or museums. But Mountain Forms is owned by Imperial Oil, and on Nov. 23, it will go up for sale at the Heffel Auction of Fine Canadian Art in Toronto.

The pre-auction estimate is $3 million to $5 million.
Heffel set the record for a Harris painting last fall when it sold the 1930 painting Mountain and Glacier for $4.6 million, the second highest price ever paid for a Canadian work of art at auction. It had been estimated at $1 million to $1.5 million.

The top Canadian artwork sold at auction is Paul Kane’s Scene in the Northwest: Portrait of John Henry Lefroy, which sold for $5.062 million at a Sotheby’s/Ritchie’s auction in 2002.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Ekati sells 186 carat stone - largest ever

A 186 carat gem quality diamond was sold for US$2.8 million by Dominion Diamond Corporation - DDC.t most recent sale in September.

The Company recovered the stone in early June during the processing of feed from the Pigeon kimberlite. The stone was the largest gem quality diamond ever recovered at the Ekati mine.

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Record Setting Sapphire

Richelieu Sapphire. Cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 26.66 and 20.88 carats. Auction record for sapphire jewels, a Kashmir sapphire and a record price per carat for a sapphire – $175,821 per carat. $8,358,520

Unmounted oval sapphire weighing 114.73 carats. A world auction record for a Burmese sapphire. $7,223,285

Cartier sapphire and emerald ring sold for $2.3 million, setting a new record sapphire price per carat of $193,975

A cushion-cut Burmese sapphire of 130.50 carats achieved a new world record price for a sapphire at auction in 2011 until it was broken last November.

Centering upon a cushion-shaped sapphire weighing 58.29 carats by Anna Hu. A world auction sales record for a contemporary jewelry artist; the highest auction price per carat for a Burmese sapphire – $78,396 per carat

A 28.18-carat Kashmir sapphire and diamond ring that sold for $5,093,000, or $180,731 per carat, at Sotheby’s New York in April 2014.

A 26.41-carat cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire and diamond brooch sold for $3,838,508 in November 2011.

A 47.15-carat Burmese Sapphire and Diamond Brooch, by Mellerio - $3,648,894

Sapphire and diamond ring set an auction record selling for $2.4 million. Set in an 18K gold ring, the unheated 10.33 ct Kashmir sapphire is surrounded by two rows of round brilliant cut diamonds.

The Star of Kashmir - $3,484,142. Set with a cushion-shaped sapphire, weighing approximately 19.88 carats, flanked on either side with cushion-shaped diamonds, weighing approximately 3.02 and 2.72 carats.

A 42.28-carat Kashmir Sapphire and Diamond Ring - $3,458,420.

The Kelly Sapphire, a 21.71 ct cushion-cut sapphire mounted in a platinum ring by Cartier. $4.2 million.

Saturday, 24 September 2016

The HMS Sussex

The HMS Sussex was an 80-gun ship of the English Royal Navy, lost in a severe storm on 1 March 1694 off Gibraltar.

Pride of the Royal Navy, the flagship of Admiral Sir Francis Wheler was built in April 1693 and sailed from Portsmouth on December 27, 1693, escorting a fleet of 48 warships and 166 merchant ships to the Mediterranean. On board were 10 tons of gold coins.
A violent storm hit the flotilla near the Strait of Gibraltar and in the early morning of March 1, 1694 the HMS Sussex sank, joining the fate of 12 other ships of the fleet. Only two survived of the 500 crew on board. Admiral Wheler's body was found on the eastern shore of the rock of Gibraltar two days later still clad in his night-shirt and 'much mangled'.

There were approximately 1,200 casualties in total, in what remains one of the worst disasters in the history of the Royal Navy.
The sinking of the Sussex was observed by several eye witnesses who later testified at a hearing held by the Royal Navy. Two vessels also witnessed her sinking and reported the loss in their logs.

Records suggest that a shipment of money equal to a million pounds sterling was destined for Savoy, shipped aboard HMS Sussex. The secret funds never reached Savoy. Compelling evidence suggests that the enormous payment went down with the ship.
Between 1998 and 2001, Odyssey Marine Exploration searched for the HMS Sussex and announced that it had located the shipwreck at a depth of 800 metres.

Due to various conflicted interests Odyessey has "postponed further work on the project to allow diplomatic issues to be resolved."

The ship’s cargo of gold make HMS Sussex one of the most valuable wrecks of all time.