Sunday, 8 December 2013

World's most expensive coins

1343 Edward III florin - The Edward III double florin, known as a double leopard and with a face value of six shillings, was circulated from December 1343 until July 1344. It is only the third known surviving coin, with two others found in the River Tyne in 1857.

The coin sold for nearly £460,000 in 2010.
1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle was a complicated design produced by Augustus Saint-Gaudens and proved too difficult for the U.S. Mint to make in commercial quantities, which led to the modification of the design.

Rather than remove anything of Saint-Gaudens’ design, Charles Barber, the Mint’s chief engraver, chose to strike the words “In God We Trust” from the coin. Congress exploded, and though the coin went through production, it’s now incredibly rare. 1907 Saint-Gaudens double eagle sold in 2002, for $6.6 million
The 1787 Brasher Doubloon. Ephraim Brasher was a talented goldsmith who petitioned New York State to mint a new set of coins in copper in 1787. But the state legislature didn’t want Brasher’s work, and didn’t want copper coins.

Brasher ignored the state’s decision and went ahead minting coins anyway, mostly in bronze—but a precious few in 22-carat gold. One of these was a doubloon bought by a Wall Street investment firm for $7.4 million in 2011.
The 1933 Double Eagle was pressed but never publicly released. Franklin D. Roosevelt barred anyone from owning gold in 1933 in an attempt to end the banking crisis wracking the U.S. at the time. At least twenty slipped through. The coins circulated among collectors for several years before the Secret Service became aware of their existence.

During the first year of the investigation seven coins were seized or voluntarily turned in to the Secret Service and were subsequently destroyed at the mint; an eighth coin was recovered the following year and met the same fate. A tenth coin was recovered and destroyed in 1952. After a legal challenge a coin was sold at auction for $7,590,020.00
The 1794/5 Flowing hair silver/copper dollar was the first dollar coin issued by the U.S. Federal Government. In 1794 and 1795 this 10 percent copper, 90 percent silver dollar was minted by the newly-founded U.S. Federal Mint, and its famous bust of Liberty with flowing tresses. In January 2013, a 1794 dollar was sold for $10 million.



Friday, 15 November 2013

The Marange diamond fields, Zimbabwe

The "Marange" is the name of a vast diamond field in eastern Zimbabwe. It is about the size of the German capital Berlin and in its depths huge deposits of diamonds lie waiting to be discovered. Many experts believe it to be the largest diamond field in the world. This year alone, the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) expects to extract diamonds weighing some 17 million carats.

In terms of carats produced, the Marange field is the largest diamond producing project in the world.
Now Zimbabwe can again sell its precious stones to buyers in Europe. In September the European Union (EU) lifted sanctions imposed on the ZMDC for its alleged involvement in acts contrary to to democracy in the southern African nation.

The embargo on Zimbabwe's national mining corporation was imposed by the EU in the wake of brutal attacks by security forces against members of the opposition after the 2008 presidential election.
Five years later, the EU's foreign ministers have now said the embargo can be lifted – even though election observers from the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expressed severe doubts about the credibility of parliamentary elections held in Zimbabwe in July this year.
The EU has also spoken of democratic deficits in Zimbabwe but the bloc's foreign policy spokesman Michael Mann says there have also been some small improvements.

The EU wants to encourage Zimbabwe to undertake economic reforms so that the population as a whole also benefits from the trade in diamonds. So far, ordinary Zimbabweans have seen little of the revenue. The country's economy is in a poor state and many people do not have enough to eat. The UN World Food Program estimates that 2.2 million Zimbabweans will rely on international food aid in the coming months.


http://www.dw.de/zimbabwean-diamonds-set-to-return-to-the-european-market/a-17198729
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Gemstones of Pagan Wiccan Witchcraft II

Chalcopyrite (Peacock Ore) - Enhances perception; strengthens contact with ancient cultures of the universe by acting as a connective agent. Considered a "stone of the mystic" ... bringing information relevant to the etheric energies; opens and activates the crown chakra. Excellent for use in "no-mind meditations"
Aragonite Cluster - promote a sense of balance while cleansing the surrounding energy. Said to fortify strength and confidence and to open new visions.
Rainbow Andalusite - Faery Cross Stone Andalusite tumbled and polished crystal, also known as The Faery Cross Stone. It is stunning in its fire (opalescence). In the center is a cross... a natural part of its crystalline structure and a symbol of protection and balance. Absolutely unique from any other gemstone in the crystal world. Used as a powerful protection stone, it also stimulates self enhancement, self realization and memory.

When used in channeling work, it magnifies past lives.
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Amber Copal - A fossilized tree resin - allows the body to heal itself by absorbing and transmuting negative energy into positive energy. It stimulates the intellect and opens the crown chakra. It also transmutes the energy of physical vitality toward the activation of unconditional love. It aligns the ethereal energies to the physical, mental, and emotional bodies, providing for an even flow of perfect order to the requirements of the Earth plane while balancing the electro-magnetics of the physical body.
Crocodile Jasper - said to sustain and support through times of stress, and bring tranquility and wholeness. Jasper provides protection and absorbs negative energy. It balances yin and yang. Jasper clears electromagnetic and environmental pollution. It supports during prolonged illness and re-energises the body.
Spirit Quartz is a crystal of harmony and alignment. It takes all the crystal energies of the main stone and amplifies them over and over again in all the tiny points, each reflecting light back and forth to one another so all can bathe in the combined radiance of the whole.

In the Book of Stones, Naisha Ahsian describes this crystal as "a hundred-voice choir singing in harmony." Its resonance is spiritually uplifting, radiating high-vibrational energy in all directions, and is a perfect ally in aligning the aura, chakras, meridians and the physical body, as well as carrying the gifts of Spirit out into the world.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Venezuelan Diamonds

PARKUPIK, Venezuela (Reuters) - Veteran gold and diamond buyers sit on a small metal boat gliding down a river in southern Venezuela that brushes the borders of Brazil and Guyana. Armed with weighing scales, magnifying glasses and rucksacks stuffed with cash, the Venezuelan traders stop at many of the myriad illegal mines that line the water and scar the jungle.

"I have diamonds in my blood!" mused one buyer while macaws patrolled the jungle canopy near the village of Parkupik.
The diamonds he and others purchase will likely end up in trading centers like Tel Aviv, Antwerp, London and New York after being smuggled into neighboring Guyana to obtain falsified papers. Numerous traders across Venezuela and Guyana confirmed the illegal business to Reuters, all asking not to be identified for fear of attracting authorities' attention.