Saturday, 22 April 2017


Amber is fossilized tree resin. It is organic not mineral. The oldest amber dates to the Upper Carboniferous Period, about 320 million years ago.

An ant inside Baltic amber
Scientists and collectors treasure amber that contains suspended animal or plant fragments. These fossilized parts of once-living things were trapped in the hardening amber, creating a time capsule.

Amber's warm luster is featured in beads, carvings, pendants, cabochons, as well as decorative items.

Transparent amber is more valuable than cloudy. A plant or animal inclusion adds greatly to the value of an amber specimen.
Peter the Great’s Amber Room near St Petersburg was made from six tons of amber. A Prussian gift in 1716, It was lost during WW II, but recreated in 2003.

The word amber means brownish yellow, but the gem can be yellow, golden, white, orange to reddish brown, or even bluish or greenish.
Cutting and polishing amber for jewelry makes it more susceptible to oxidation by removing or thinning the harder exterior surface. Fine translucent yellow or orange amber can gradually darken to reddish brown and eventually black.

Friday, 21 April 2017


Citrine is one of the most popular gemstones available today. It belongs to the very large family of quartz (SiO2) gemstones. It is the yellow to golden-orange variety of gemstone-quality macrocrystalline quartz (silicon dioxide).

The name 'citrine' was derived from 'citron', a French word meaning 'lemon'.
Natural citrine is rare and more valuable than most other varieties of quartz. Much of the citrine today is heat-treated to obtain its golden color. Almost all heated citrine will exhibit reddish tints.

Citrine is very closely related to violet-purple amethyst, another variety of macrocrystalline quartz. The only difference between citrine and amethyst is the oxidation level of iron ions (Fe3) present in colorless quartz crystal. When quartz is heated, iron impurities are reduced, resulting in less violet-purple color and more golden to orange colors.
Citrine is known to occur with excellent transparency. Eye-clean specimens are quite common leaving no reason to buy citrine stones with inclusions. Citrine has a vitreous luster when cut and polished.

Citrine is almost always faceted. Round brilliants and ovals are most common.

Bonham's New York

Cartier circa 1935
On April 24th, Bonhams in New York will offer 133 jewelry lots featuring colored diamonds; signed pieces from the likes of Cartier, Verdura, and René Boivin; and a curated collection of art deco, Sixties, and Seventies-era designs.
Harry Winston

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Right Hand Rings

Margot Mckinney Opal Ring
Simply, right hand rings are any rings that are worn on the right hand. Often the term is used for cocktail rings – big statement rings that are set with bold, colourful gemstones.
Lydia Courteille

Usually these are rings that women have bought for themselves. Wearing them on the right hand is a way of ensuring that they are not confused with an engagement ring or wedding band. While the term ‘right hand ring’ is a relatively new one, the idea of wearing a ring on the right hand to signify a woman’s economic independence has its roots in the original cocktail rings of the 1920s.

Traditionally, each finger had its own symbolism, with the index finger reserved for membership rings, and a thumb ring being seen as a sign of wealth and power. A ring worn on the right pinkie can indicate professional status.

Lorenz Baumer Rubellite Ring

Carla Amorim Dandelion ring
Instead of wearing wedding bands on their left hands, gay and lesbian couples often choose to wear rings on their right hands instead. Within their communities, these right-handed rings have become instantly recognisable indicators of relationship or marital status.

The tradition of wearing engagement rings and wedding bands on the left ring finger is not the same all over the world. There are many variations across the globe. In China the bride wears the wedding ring on the right hand, the so-called ‘working hand’, to signify that she is in charge of the household, while the groom wears his on the left hand.

Bvlgari cocktail ring

Argyle production way down in 2016

Rio Tinto’s Argyle mine in Australia yielded a sharply reduced volume and lower grade of ore in 2016. Argyle’s production was down 11% to 3.016 million carats. Argyle’s operations shifted underground in 2013, helping extend the life of mine to 2021.
The miner said in a statement that estimated mineral resources dropped sharply last year. It reduced the estimate by 66 percent to 15 million tonnes in 2016. The company processed 5.1 million tonnes last year.

The decision to slash Argyle’s resources all but rules out any extension to existing operations beyond 2021, and even that end date could be brought forward. The Argyle mine produces more than 90 per cent of the world’s pink and red diamonds.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Wallace Chan

Wallace Chan is a Hong Kong-based jeweler known for his imaginative jewelry designs, groundbreaking gem sculpting techniques and the spectacular prices his creations bring.

In 1987, he devised a method of carving designs within a gemstone. The technique uses cameos and intaglios to create a lifelike image. That image is then reflected within the gem to create a three-dimensional effect. A modified dentist's drill is used to make small detailed changes on the stone.

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Bonhams Hong Kong

6.44 carat Burma ruby surrounded by smaller oval and circular-cut rubies. It has a pre-sale estimate of $350,000-390,000
Coloured gemstones from around the world are to be showcased at Bonhams Hong Kong as part of its forthcoming Rare Jewels and Jadeite auction. The best examples of coloured gemstones tend to have a limited production of fine material because the mines are finite and production will come to an end, therefore these natural wonders are extremely rare and highly sought after.

The sale, which will feature a total of 103 of lots, and take place at 3pm on 31st May 2017 at Bonhams Hong Kong Gallery, One Pacific Place.

10.06 carat step-cut ruby from Kenya. Set within a pavé-set circular-cut tsavorite garnets surround. It is estimated at US$190,000-260,000

Emeralds weighing 10.91 and 10.26 carats. Estimated at US$300,000 - 360,000

Padparadscha sapphire weighing 10.27 carats. It is estimated at US$80,000 - 86,000.

Cabochon emerald of 24.49 carats, est US$150,000-210,000.

Necklace composed of nine jadeite cabochons accented by pear and brilliant-cut diamonds. The suite has a pre-sale estimate of US$190,000-260,000

Emerald, Ruby and Diamond Necklace, Brooch and Earring Suite circa 1965. 27.20 carats of diamonds, approximately 36 carats of emeralds and approximately 105 carats of Burmese rubies. It has a pre-sale estimate of US$120,000-150,000

Australian Black Opal and Diamond Pendant Necklace. It is estimated at US$43,000-54,000.