Saturday, 25 June 2016

Picasso and Modigliani Lead Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Sale

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, 1909. £43.3 million. ($63.6 million)
Sotheby's opened the summer auctions with a 27-lot Impressionist and modern art sale. It had a pre-sale estimate of £81.25 to £101.4 million ($119 to $149 million).

At the end of the night, it had cleared the top hurdle with a £103.3 million ($151 million) total.
An 1890 still life by Paul Gauguin sold for £3.4 million ($5 million).

Amedeo Modigliani's 1919 portrait, Jeanne Hebuterne (au foulard). £38.5 million ($56.6 million)
Making up a large percentage of the estimated value of the sale was a life-size cast of Auguste Rodin's Eve, conceived in 1881 but cast sometime between 1925 and 1940. The estimate, at £8-12 million ($11.7 to 17.6 million), was the highest ever for a posthumously cast Rodin bronze. It failed to find a buyer.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Un Jardin à Sorrente (1881). £581,000 ($852,000).
Georg Scholz's Nachtlicher Larm (Nightly Noise), 1919, a nightmarish memory of the terror of the First World War brought £449,000 ($658,000).

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Black Diamonds

Natural black diamonds are essentially colored by dark inclusions or impurities, which are great in number and evenly distributed throughout the stones. Many black diamonds in the marketplace are treated for even coloration and durability.

Large natural black diamonds are very rare, but irradiated black diamonds are abundant and utilized in many jewelry styles.

To many rap music artists the latest must-have symbol of conspicuous consumption is jewelry made up of black diamonds.
Black diamonds are called Fancy Black with a notation of natural or treated color on laboratory reports.

GIA does not grade black diamonds as they fall outside of its normal clarity range, but the lab will issue a "Colored Diamond Identification and Origin Report (CDIOR) for identification purposes.
The 67.50 carat Black Orlov diamond is probably the most famous natural black diamond. Also known as the “The Eye of Brahma,” it is supposed to carry a curse that reportedly began when the original 195-carat diamond was removed from the eye (forehead) of the idol of Brahma at a shrine near Pondicherry, India.

The diamond is tied to the deaths of three former owners who apparently killed themselves. In an attempt to break the curse, the diamond was re-cut into three separate gems and since has been owned by a succession of private owners, all of whom seem to have escaped the curse.
The Spirit of de Grisogono at 312.24 carats is the world's largest cut black diamond, and the world's 5th largest diamond. In a white gold mounting, it is set with 702 white diamonds totalling 36.69 carats.

The man behind the stone is Swiss jeweler de Grisogono. He was the first major jeweler to create eye-catching collections of black diamond jewelry and watches. He is also responsible for cutting the Gruosi Diamond, the largest heart-shaped black diamond in the world.

Red Gold Three Stone Black Diamond Solitaire Engagement Ring

Friday, 17 June 2016

Christie’s Hong Kong 2016 spring auctions

Christie’s Hong Kong 2016 spring auctions marked the company’s 30th anniversary in Asia. Top lot was a magnificent large blue and white ‘dragon’ jar (1426-1435), which made US$ 20,447,642. Prince Kung’s ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ Tianhuang Seals achieved a world record price of US$11,024,686.
A pair of 18th-century imperial peach-colored dishes were sold to an Asian dealer for HK$46 million.

A mallow petal writing-brush washer from the Official Kilns of the Song Dynasty raised HK$ 38.2 million

Monday, 13 June 2016


Jadeite is a pyroxene mineral with composition NaAlSi2O6. It is monoclinic and has a Mohs hardness of about 6.5 to 7.0 depending on the composition.

The Latin version of the name, lapis nephriticus, is the origin of the term nephrite, another variety of jade. Jadeite is formed in metamorphic rocks under high pressure and relatively low temperature. In all well-documented occurrences, jadeitite appears to have formed from subduction zone fluids in association with serpentinite.

Jadeite from the Motagua Valley, Guatemala, was used by the Olmec and Maya, as well as the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica.

Typically, the most highly valued colors of jadeite are the most intensely green, translucent varieties, though traditionally white has been considered the most valuable of the jades by the Chinese.

Natural Icy Imperial Emerald Green Jadeite Dragon's Fang Pendant 16 carats.
Top-quality jadeite is very rare. Vivid, sleek, and translucent, magnificent jadeite commands some of the highest prices among gems in today’s international market. Jadeite’s three most important qualities, in order of their impact on its market value, are color, transparency, and texture.

The finest-quality jadeite is known as Imperial jade. The royal court of China once had a standing order for all available material of this kind, and it’s one of the world’s most expensive gems.

Jadeite and diamond pendant £180k
Jadeite’s transparency ranges from opaque to semitransparent. The best jadeite is semitransparent. The finest-quality jadeite is usually cut into cabochons.

A jadeite snuff bottle, 1780–1880. It sold for HK$ 1.5 million

A pair of jadeite and diamond ear pendants. Est HK$3,800,000-5,800,000 ($480,000-750,000)

A jadeite ring. Est ($3,500,000-4,800,000)

Art-deco jadeite, enamel, gem-set and diamond brooch from Cartier, circa 1927. HK$7,000,000-8,000,000

Jadite Bangle.($777,816 - $1,037,088)

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Diavik Foxfire - one of Canada's largest diamonds

Rio Tinto announced it had unearthed one of Canada’s largest-ever, gem-quality rough diamonds at its Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, a 187.7-carat stone called the Diavik Foxfire.

The gem, was showcased at Kensington Palace in London, and was later assessed at Rio Tinto’s diamond sales and marketing hub in Antwerp. Rio Tinto, which expects the stone to produce at least a 50 carat polished diamond, did not estimate the gem’s value.

Discovered in August 2015, the diamond is the second or third largest rough diamond mined in Canada and the largest ever for a Rio Tinto diamond mine.
The rough was first noticed in the processing plant, where it caught the attention of a very experienced operator who stopped the machines and pulled the rock out before it got crushed. The diamond is VVS clarity or better, with a tinge of yellow color.

The stone was sold at private tender.
Rio Tinto operates the mine and owns a 60 per cent share, with Dominion Diamond Corp holding the remainder. Late last year, Rio Tinto approved the $350 million expansion at Diavik, with production seen starting in late 2018.

The mine produces six to seven million carats annually of mainly large, white gem quality diamonds. Production is expected to continue until 2023.

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Friday, 10 June 2016

'Cullinan Dream' brings $ 25m

The “Cullinan Dream,” the largest fancy intense blue diamond ever offered at auction brought $ 25m at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale on June 9. The 24.18-carat cut-cornered rectangular mixed-cut gem had an estimate of $23 to $29 million.

The diamond is nearly 10 carats larger than the 14.62-carat “Oppenheimer Blue,” which sold for a world auction record of $57.5 million. The Cullinan Dream has a VS2 clarity grade (very slightly included with inclusions observed with effort under 10x magnification), two grades below flawless. The Cullinan Dream is the largest of four blue diamonds cut from a 122.52-carat rough diamond discovered in 2014 at the Cullinan mine, famous for the 530.20 Cullinan I, the largest polished white diamond known and part of the British Crown Jewels.

The Cullinan mine has been associated with many significant blue and pink diamonds to come to market, including the 10.1-carat “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4,” that sold for $31.8 million, and the 12.03-carat “Blue Moon” that sold for $48.4 million.

The 'Oppenheimer Blue'
The price is much lower than the $3.9m per carat achieved by the Oppenheimer Blue in May 2016, which set the mark as the most expensive diamond ever sold at auction, or the $4.02m per carat achieved by the Blue Moon of Josephine in November 2015.
De Beers Millennium Jewel 4 made $ 31.8m in April.
Blue Moon of Josephine

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