Thursday, 31 August 2017

Taylor Swift - Look What You Made Me Do

Taylor Swift's diamond bath in the video for "Look What You Made Me Do" was filled with real jewels worth more than $10 million. Celebrity jeweller Neil Lane was featured: "I had to go to the vault for this one. They wanted an over-the-top, glamorous look so we gave them unprecendented access to my collection."

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Queen Victoria's Coronet

Official portrait of the young Queen Victoria, in 1842, by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, left
The Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired one of Queen Victoria’s most important jewels. The sapphire and diamond coronet designed by Prince Albert in 1840, the royal couple’s wedding year.

The day before their wedding on Feb. 10, 1840, Albert gifted Victoria a sapphire brooch. The couple then arranged Victoria’s collection of sapphires into a suite of jewels, of which the coronet became the centerpiece.
The coronet was inherited by King Edward VII and then by King George V and Queen Mary, who gifted it to their daughter, Princess Mary, on her marriage to Viscount Lascelles in 1922. It was then sold into private hands.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Black Opal

In the first century A.D. Pliny wrote of the opal, "for in them you shall see the living fire of the ruby, the glorious purple of the amethyst, the sea green of the emerald, all glittering together in an incredible mixture of light", and later Shakespeare was to describe it as the "Queen of Gems".

Due to its colour play the opal has been subjected to many superstitions and myth. Opal was said to ward off diseases and for this reason was worn in amulets. In Roman times it was included in the crown of the Holy Roman Emperor.
Opal, from the Greek, "Opallos", meaning 'to see a change (of colour)', is a formation of non-crystalline silica gel.

Millions of years ago, the gel seeped into crevices and cracks in the sedimentary strata. Through eons of time and through nature's heating and moulding processes, the gel hardened and can today be found in the form of opals.

As the sea regressed, a rare episode of acidic weather was taking place, exposing pyrite minerals and releasing sulphuric acid.
Black opal is the rarest and most valuable. It is generally found as a bar of various colours forming natural water horizontals in dark grey to black "potch nobbies" or "nodules". The unique patterns are as complex as an artist's imagination.

95% of the world's supply of this radiant, dark lustrous gem is mined at only two pinpoints on the globe - Lightning Ridge and Mintabie, Australia. Between 100 million and 97 million years ago, Australia’s vast inland sea began retreating.

The world famous black opal field of Lightning Ridge was discovered in 1903 and is still producing gems.

As the surface of the basin dried further and cracked, silica-rich gel became trapped in the veins of the rock. Over eons, the silica solidified to form opals. Coober Pedy is often called “The Opal Capital of the World.” The discovery of gem opals sparked a rush of mining activity that has generated top-quality gems for the past 100 years.
Coober Pedy, an Aboriginal name meaning "White man in a hole", adequately describes the mines and miners' dwellings - burrows dug into the scarp, in order to escape the soaring temperatures of the day and the freezing winds at night.
Billed as the “finest opal ever,” the Virgin Rainbow made its world debut at the South Australian Museum in Adelaide as the centerpiece of a larger exhibition to commemorate the centenary of opal mining in Australia.
Veteran miner John Dunstan is credited with discovering the Virgin Rainbow in the desert soil of Coober Pedy in South Australia in 2003.

Dustan has mined opals for 50 years, but the internal fire of the Virgin Rainbow is unlike anything he’s ever seen.

Gibber plain near Coober Pedy
Dustan explained that the Virgin Rainbow is a Belemnite pipe, which is essentially an opal that formed in the skeleton of an extinct ancestor of the common cuttlefish. As Dustan cleaned it off, he realized he made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery.

“I knew it was one of the best ever,” he said. “You’ll never see another piece like that one, it’s so special.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Taboo-busting jewellery exhibition at Paris' Museum of Modern Art

Reproduction of Salvador Dalí's Ruby Lips brooch
The worlds of jewellery and art are even more intertwined than those of art and fashion. From jewellers taking inspiration from artists to artists themselves turning their hands to goldsmithing, the two fields have a symbiotic relationship. Until now, no modern art museum has ever staged a significant jewellery exhibition. 'Medusa: Jewellery and Taboos' is featured at Paris’s Museum of Modern art.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Mayweather and McGregor to fight for 'Money Belt' - encrusted with 3,360 diamonds

The WBC has created a special 'Money' belt ahead of Floyd Mayweather and Conor Mcgregor's 'fight of the century' in Las Vegas. The belt, which will be claimed by the winner of Saturday's fight, contains 3,360 diamonds, 600 sapphires, 160 emeralds and approximately 3.3 pounds of 24-karat gold.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Diaspore a part of the National Gem Collection

In 2014 two large, rare color-changing diaspore gemstones were donated to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Gem Collection, thanks to Milenyum Mining Ltd.

The Dubai-based miner donated the stones, a 44.48-carat faceted oval-shaped diaspore and a 159.33-carat cat’s eye cabochon diaspore, at the American Gem Trade Association’s GemFair.
Diaspore is a naturally color-changing gem, and is mined at only one source, the Anatolia Mountains of Turkey. Milenyum is the only company that mines the gemstone.

Zultanite and Csarite are trade names.
Diaspore is a durable gemstone with a hardness of 6.5 – 7 on the MOHS scale. Since Diaspore has perfect cleavage in one direction it can be difficult to cut because parts of the stone will cleave off.

Typical loss cutting rough diaspore is 98 percent. This makes large gemstones extremely rare and valuable.
“To our knowledge, currently there are fewer than 20 faceted csarite gemstones in the world that have a weight of 40 carats and above. Given the rarity of this unusual gem, we feel the Smithsonian’s National Gem Collection is a fitting home for two of the few examples available in this size and quality,” said Milenyum Mining President Murat Akgun.

The National Gem Collection is housed at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Diamond Necklace with a beating heart

New York-based Paul Forrest Co. is bringing jewellery to life with a diamond-encrusted necklace that’s built with its very own beating heart. The action of the beating heart is controlled by a mechanical movement similar to that found in a watch.

The mainspring, which is wound by a tiny key, powers a chain of trains, levers and wheels that drive the beating halves in the pendant, slowly moving back and forth to create the illusion of a beating heart.
The movements are all made in Switzerland, with price points ranging from $19,000 to $45,000.

Customers can personalize their pendants with a selection of diamonds or gemstones.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

One 'Carrot' Diamond found after 13 years

An 84-year-old lost her diamond engagement ring in September 2004 while gardening. Despite searching the farm thoroughly, Mary Grams couldn’t find the ring, given to her in 1951. “I cried for I don’t know how many days,” she said. Grams eventually settled for a replacement ring -- a cheaper alternative -- and told no one but her son. She said her late husband never noticed the difference.

The band was eventually found by Mary's daughter-in-law, who now lives on the farm with her husband. She was pulling carrots when she saw one was encircled with the engagement ring.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Newly Discovered Gemstones generate millions for Ethiopia

Newly discovered sapphire and emerald gemstones from Ethiopia generated over $7.8m, reports Addis Fortune. The two gemstones were discovered in Tigray and Oromia regional states respectively. The exported sapphire is blue, and it was extracted from Tigray Regional State in two Weredas amounting to 31kg. Emerald was discovered in Guji Zone, Oromia Regional State. 2,000kg of the precious mineral was sold.

The gemstones were mainly exported to Switzerland, Australia and the US. They are currently extracted by artisanal miners who are organised in unions and cooperatives. Sapphire was discovered in November 2016, emerald at the beginning of 2017.
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2017 American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards

Mikola Kukharuk of Nomad’s with a pair of neon blue tourmalines (53.56 ctw.)
The AGTA Spectrum Awards is for jewelry designers and artists who create jewelry with colored gems. The AGTA Cutting Edge Awards is for skilled lapidary artists and technicians to show their skill at cutting, polishing and sculpting colored gems. Both competitions are sponsored by the American Gem Trade Association.

Allen Kleiman, platinum and 18k pink gold earrings with unheated pink sapphire
The AGTA Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards is the most prestigious colored gemstone competition in the world.

Brett Kosnar, - 24.26 ct. round, Portuguese-cut rhodochrosite.

Ardeshir Dabestani, necklace featuring a 436-carat citrine accented with aquamarines (44.50 ctw), yellow beryls (87.30 ctw) and diamonds (23.54ctw)

Christopher Wolfsbergwith a 32.75-carat specialty-cut quartz with chrysoprase and opal.

Joel Price with a 100.66-carat harlequin pattern black opal