Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Royal Spinel - Balas Ruby

Spinel is most famous for its deep red variety that closely resembles ruby. The two gemstones can be very difficult to distinguish. Until the late 19th century, there was no distinction made between ruby and red spinel, as they look identical and are found in the same localities. Many famous old "rubies" were discovered to be in fact spinel. Balas ruby is a historic name for red spinel.

Mining in Afghanistan has a history over 2,000 years as gold, silver and precious stones were routinely mined. Afghanistan's ruby/spinel mines were mentioned in the Arabic writings of many early travellers.
The Badakhshan mines were of great importance during the period from 1000–1900 AD. They were the source of many of the finest early red spinels in gem collections around the world, such as those in the crown jewels of Iran, the collection in Istanbul's Topkapi, Russia's Kremlin and Diamond Fund, and England's Tower of London.
During the Soviet occupation, mining of all Afghan gem and mineral deposits was controlled by the state. However, since many mines lay in inaccessible areas, such mining became an important source of income for the rebels.
In the late 1980s, large reddish spinels were reported from the Pamir mountains of what is now Tajikistan. One 532 carat rough yielded cut gems of 146.43 and 27.81 carats. Ruby was also reported in eastern Tajikistan, near the border with China, in the early 1980s.
Political difficulties and rugged terrain make Afghanistan a difficult country to explore, and Tajikistan is no better.

Fine "Balas Ruby" spinel is as sought after, and commands the same high prices, as ruby.





See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/12/spinel-of-mahenge-tanzania.html

See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/the-crown-jewels.html
See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/01/seven-stones-in-russian-diamond-fund.html


Sunday, 20 April 2014

Purple Diamonds

Purple diamonds are the result of plastic deformation of a diamond's crystal structure, the same condition that produces red diamonds.

Purple stones are as equally rare as red diamonds and command the same high prices when they (rarely) appear for sale.
Purple is the colour of royalty, of courage and honor. For hundreds of years, it was the colour of kings, as only royalty could wear purple. Purple heart medals are given to soldiers killed or wounded in action, as a recognition of their bravery and sacrifice.

Pure purple diamonds are nearly impossible to find. Most natural purple diamonds are lightly shaded with hints of pink, red, blue, gray or even brown, tinting the diamond slightly and lowering the overall perceived quality of the gem. Purple diamonds are most commonly found in Australian mines.
The Royal Purple Heart Diamond is the largest Fancy Vivid Purple diamond known to exist.

The stone, believed to have originated in Russia, weighs 7.34 carats, has a clarity of I-1, and was cut into its perfect heart shape by the Julius Klein Diamond Corporation. The diamond's current owners are unknown.
Even more mysterious is the Supreme Purple Heart. Despite its name, the diamond is a round brilliant cut. Its precise color grade is not known, nor is its clarity. Even its weight is a matter of conjecture, with estimates ranging from two to five carats.

Like the Royal Purple Heart Diamond, the Supreme Purple Heart's origins have not been confirmed, but most believe it was mined in the Amazon basin within the last 30 years. The diamond is remarkable in that its color changes – when viewed from one angle, it appears deep purple, and from another angle looks deep red.
Even celebrities have a hard time getting their hands on purple diamonds.

In 2003, Lakers star Kobe Bryant – who at the time was facing rape charges – appeased his wife, Vanessa, by buying her an eight-carat purple diamond ring worth about $4 million.



See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/red-diamonds.html

See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/blue-diamonds.html

See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/11/yellow-diamonds.html

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Tiffany & Co - The Blue Book

Tiffany & Co was founded by Charles Lewis Tiffany and John B. Young in New York City in 1837 as a "stationery and fancy goods emporium", the store initially sold a wide variety of stationery items, and operated as "Tiffany, Young and Ellis" in Lower Manhattan.

The name was shortened to Tiffany & Company in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the firm's emphasis on jewelry.
Tiffany & Co. operates jewelry and specialty retail stores and manufactures products. The Company operates retail stores and boutiques in the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. The Company’s principal product category is jewelry, which represented 90% of worldwide sales.

The Company also sells timepieces, leather goods, sterling silver goods, china, crystal, stationery, fragrances and accessories, which represented 8% of worldwide sales in 2012.
For over 175 years, Tiffany & Co. has produced world-renowned jewelry collections.

Tiffany’s celebrated Blue Book is an annual publication that showcases the latest and most spectacular jewels, and has been arriving in customers’ mail boxes since 1845. It is the first mail order catalogue in the U.S.

(Click to enlarge images)


See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/radiant-orchid-jewels-pantone-color-of.html
See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/12/famous-gemstones.html
See -----> http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/11/gems-of-smithsonian-i.html



Sunday, 6 April 2014

Ancient Gold Coins redux

Example of the most successful coin denomination in history; an antique fine gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their very high gold content (99.40%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.00
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, nimbate, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C. The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250.00
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.00
An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus, shown wearing an ornate cuirass and pearl diademed helmet, carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. The legend reading:

D[ominvs] N[oster] BASILICVS P[ater] P[atriae] AVG[vstvs]
"Our Lord Basiliscus, Father of the People, Augustus"

The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross and wearing loose drapery. $7,000.00