Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Petra finds 'exceptional' 122-carat blue diamond

Diamond mining company Petra says it has found an "exceptional" 122.52-carat blue diamond. The "unique" stone was found at the Cullinan mine near Pretoria in South Africa, the company said.

The crystal is being analysed in order to gauge its value, and the company will not put it up for sale before its financial year runs out at the end of this month. Petra Diamonds shares jumped 6.5% after the announcement on Friday morning.

The highest price on record for a rough diamond is $35.3m

507.55-carat rough recovered from Cullinan in 2010 and sold for $ 35.3m

Monday, 28 July 2014

2014 Supercars

2014 Ferrari LaFerrari - Above sports cars, there are exotic sports cars. The LaFerrari is poised to be the king of all exotic sports cars. Its 789-hp V-12 gets a 161-hp boost from an electric motor.

MSRP $1,350,000

Porsche 918 is a plug-in hybrid. With a combined 887hp and 944 lb-ft of torque from its mid-mounted V-8 and electric motors—one at each axle—the 918 delivers acceleration, tenacious handling, and a 211-mph top end. MSRP $847,975

The McLaren P1 is a limited production plug-in hybrid sports car by British automotive manufacturer McLaren Automotive. The concept car debuted at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. The entire P1 production of 375 units was sold out by November 2013. MSRP $1,150,000

Pagani Huayra is powered by a 6.0-litre Mercedes V12, twice turbocharged to 730 horsepower. MSRP $1,444,120

Saturday, 26 July 2014

The Michael Banfield Collection

1913 Merryweather Fire Engine. Est 100k
A collection of vintage vehicles ranging from open top double-decker buses to a 1913 fire engine, and a 1935 London Taxi to a 1914 Rolls-Royce, will go under the auctioneer’s hammer on June 13 and 14 at Bonhams in Kent.
1904 Talbot CT4V-B 12/16-hp Brougham. Est.640,000 - 820,000.
In 1959, Michael Banfield bought his first classic car, a 1927 Bentley. Continuing with this passion, his collection grew, today amounting to over 1,000 items, from legendary classic cars, to buses, fire trucks, and an eclectic array of automotive memorabilia.

1904 Mors 24/32-hp Roi des Belges. $ 1m.

For the first time, this entire astonishing collection will be available at auction, with many cars coming into the public domain for the very first time.
A spokesman for Bonhams said: “For more than 50 years Michael dedicated himself to the preservation, promotion, and use of historic road transport as part of our national heritage.

Most of this work was undertaken on a voluntary basis as a true enthusiast.
1906 Minerva 40-hp Roi des Belges. $ 200,000 - 240,000
1910 Renault AX 8HP $ 40,000 - 46,000

1914 Rolls-Royce 40/50-hp Silver Ghost Landaulette. $ 640,000 - 910,000

1963 Jaguar E-Type Series 1 3.8-Litre. $ 73,000 - 91,000

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Friday, 25 July 2014

Christie’s London Spring Auction

(IDEX Online News) – An Important Jewels sale held by Christie’s in London raised $13.6 million.

The top lot was a rare enamel and diamond snake wristwatch, by Bulgari, circa 1965 which sold for a world record price for a Bulgari snake watch at auction of $1.11 million – twice its pre-sale estimate.

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Sunday, 20 July 2014

Canadian Government surplus auction site

Among surplus goods for sale is a commercial-sized potato peeler formerly located at the Kingston Penitentiary.
In the market for a slightly used RCMP vehicle? Or maybe you need a 2,300 kilogram-capacity forklift?

Perhaps an opal ring or a designer bag is something that would interest you? These items and more are featured on the Canadian government's surplus item auction site,

A mini-bus formerly used to transport senators and Senate staff around Parliament Hill is among the vehicles offered for sale on the federal government's surplus and seized goods auction site.
The government is also selling a 2009 white Ford Crown Victoria, referred to as a police interceptor.

"Rear doors do not open from the inside," the description of the ex-police car reads. "Vehicle starts with a boost and runs." The car, which is in Edmonton, also has a cracked windshield and a variety of other scrapes and scratches. The minimum bid is $900.

Allentown ventilated rodent housing for rats.

Monday, 14 July 2014

"Indiana Bones" revisted

In late 2013 a relic hunter dubbed 'Indiana Bones' lifted the lid on a macabre collection of 400-year-old jewel-encrusted skeletons unearthed in churches across Europe. Art historian Paul Koudounaris hunted down and photographed dozens of skeletons in some of the world's most secretive religious establishments.

The skeletons are said to be the remains of early Christian martyrs.
Thousands of skeletons were dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in towns around Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican.

They were sent to Catholic churches and religious houses to replace the relics destroyed in the wake of the Protestant Reformation in the 1500s.
After they were found in the Roman catacombs the Vatican authorities would sign certificates identifying them as martyrs then they put the bones in boxes and sent them northwards.

The skeletons would then be dressed and decorated in jewels, gold and silver, mostly by nuns. They had to be handled by those who had taken a sacred vow to the church - these were believed to be martyrs and they couldn't have just anyone handling them.