Thursday 28 April 2016

15.99 Carat 'Jubilee Ruby' brings $ 14.1m at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Sale

The Jubilee Ruby, a 15.99 ct. Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Verdura, fetched more than $14.1 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale, making it the most expensive colored gemstone sold at auction in the U.S.

The gem is set in an 18k gold ring within a circular-cut diamond and polished gold ring. Top quality Burmese rubies of more than 15 carats are considered an absolute rarity in the world of colored gemstones.
A 10.07-carat Type IIa cushion modified brilliant-cut fancy intense purple-pink diamond and diamond ring, flanked on either side by a triangular-shaped diamonds mounted in platinum and gold sold for $8.8 million.

A 40.43-carat round brilliant-cut D color Flawless diamond sold for $7 million
A 54.62-carat round-cornered rectangular modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond made $2.4 million.

A 14.11-carat round brilliant-cut D color, Flawless clarity diamond sold for $1.9 million.

Wednesday 27 April 2016

Golden Guns of Saddam Hussien

Saddam Hussien and his sons built an extensive collection of golden weapons.

Monday 25 April 2016

Treasure from 1715 Flagship "Capitana"

Divers on the Treasure Coast have announced the discovery of treasure from the Royal flagship of the 1715 treasure fleet, the Capitana: 52 gold coins, 40 feet of gold chain, and 110 silver coins.

The find was made on June 17, 2015. The Florida family that made the discovery, led by Eric Schmitt, wanted to wait so their announcement would coincide with the 300-year anniversary of the fleet's sinking off the coast of Florida. The 11 ships were part of Spain's Tierra Firme and New Spain fleets, regular convoys of vessels that transported gold, silver, and other precious resources from Spanish colonies in the New World to Europe.
Captained by Don Juan Esteban de Ubilla, the Capitana carried an enormous fortune when it sank during a hurricane that hit them on July 30 and 31, 1715. The Schmitts are seasoned treasure hunters having first found gold in September 2013.

Schmitt and his family had been working the 1715 vessels under contract with 1715 Fleet-Queens Jewels LLC, a Florida company with exclusive rights to the wrecks, for several years.
> The Schmitt family found a rare 1715 "royal" intended for the king of Spain.

"To find a 1715 gold royal is incredible. There are only a handful known," said Ben Costello, a director of the Pennsylvania-based educational group the 1715 Fleet Society. The odds of finding one are long indeed."

Eric Schmitt, second from left, Lindsay Schmitt, his wife, stands at left and Brent Brisben, the owner of 1715 Fleet – Queens Jewels stands at right.
"People live all along this Treasure Coast, and they don't even know why it's called the Treasure Coast," Lindsay Schmitt said.

"They don't know that there's 11 ships out there, six of which are still missing."

Sunday 24 April 2016

Rare Collector Orchids good as Gold

According to detectives it was a professional job and the thieves, who left no trace, knew exactly what they were after. Bearing all the hallmarks of an audacious art gallery heist this was the scene at Kew Gardens in 2014 where a rare African water lily was snatched. It is now thought to have been sold to an unscrupulous private collector on the growing black market for stolen plants.
The legal plant trade amounts to £9 billion a year worldwide. Dr Richard Thomas says: “There is a kudos in owning anything rare. Although it’s impossible to give precise figures for plants there is a limited but thriving black market involving fanatical but unscrupulous private collectors. If someone wants a species badly enough they will pay vast amounts of money.”
Monkeyface orchid

Hochstetter Butterfly Orchid
Rare and new discoveries of wild plants are most prized sending collectors into a frenzy and it’s feared that some species are being driven to the brink of extinction by over-harvesting.

One of the world’s rarest orchids was re-discovered in 2014 by British botanists on a volcanic island in the Atlantic. There were only 250 plants of the unique species on the island of Sao Jorge in the Portuguese Azores, making it the rarest in Europe.

Bee Orchid

Lady's Slipper orchids

The albino form of the Vanda sanderiana or the Waling-waling is a rare and prized plant for orchid collectors and breeders.

Bulbophyllum kubahense

Phragmipedium kovachii was first found in 2001 and is referred to as one of the most important natural history discoveries of the last decade.

Cypripedium calceolus. It receives round-the-clock police surveillance where it grows on a Lancashire golf course.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum, an orchid that is on top of the endangered species list.

Paphiopedilum rothschildianum. Gold of Kinabalu Orchid. The flower is extremely expensive because it grows only in Malaysia’s Kinabalu National Park and it's flowers take years to develop. It was discovered in 1987, after which it was ravaged by orchid smugglers and became nearly extinct.

The contemporary orchid-breeding business in Taiwan and its main rival, the Netherlands, centers on the Phalaenopsis, or the moth orchid.

In Victorian Europe, orchid hunters, hired by wealthy collectors, sometimes killed each other in pursuit of new breeds.

Bornean slipper orchid
The Shenzhen Nongke orchid was developed in the lab by agricultural research corporation Shenzhen Nongke Group. The orchid took eight years to develop.

In 2005, it was sold for about $ 200,000.