Sunday 31 July 2016

Mong Hsu Rubies

In central Myanmar, the area of Mong Hsu began producing rubies on a large scale starting in 1991. Through the 1990s it rapidly became the world's main ruby mining area.

The most recently found ruby deposit in Myanmar is in Namya (Namyazeik) located in the northern state of Kachin.
The new deposit has affected the world capital of the ruby business: Thailand. Many of the ruby traders and cutters from Chanthaburi and Bo Rai have moved to Mae Sai in Thailand.

In Tachilek in Myanmar, across the border from Mae Sai, a flourishing trade in Mong Hsu ruby has transformed a village into a prosperous town. Most Mong Hsu ruby is cut and marketed in Thailand.
Thailand is the world's most important ruby trading center with about 80 percent of the world's ruby going through Thailand at some point in the trading cycle.

The largest ruby cutting factories are in the Chanthaburi area of Thailand. Bangkok is generally where the world's buyers come to purchase ruby.
Advances in treatment processes have flooded the gem markets with heat treated ruby. In 2002 labs discovered another Thai method, one that involved treating rubies with beryllium. Stones have been treated with chemicals and infused with lead glass.

US jewellery retailer Zales was exposed when an undercover investigation by Inside Edition caught it selling rubies filled with lead glass to unknowing customers, who were told the stones were genuine.

Chanthaburi Prison inmates cut and polish sapphires.

Monday 18 July 2016

California Gold Quartz Canes

The art of fashioning gold quartz into objects is unique to the western United States, primarily California. Gold quartz canes appeared at the time of the California Gold Rush.

Most gold quartz canes were presentation pieces. Never mass produced, gold quartz canes were created as an expression of pride by individuals of status.

This California Gold Quartz cane presented by Carleton E. Watkins to his father, J.M. Watkins, in 1869 sold for $6,545 in 2011.

One of the most famous coins to come out of this era is the Horseman (Vacquero) design by Baldwin and Company of San Francisco.

Genuine, original Baldwin Horsemen are valuable. A recent example in uncirculated condition realized $195,000 at a Goldberg Auction.

Sunday 17 July 2016

Oregon Sunstone

Sunstone is a plagioclase feldspar, which when viewed from certain directions exhibits a brilliant spangled appearance; this has led to its use as a gemstone. It has been found in Southern Norway, and in the U.S. It is the official gemstone of Oregon.

Oregon sunstone is found in Harney County, Oregon and in eastern Lake County north of Plush. Oregon sunstone contains inclusions of copper crystals. The copper leads to variant color within some stones, where turning one stone will result in manifold hues: the more copper within the stone, the darker the complexion.
Feldspars are silicate minerals that contain variable amounts of sodium (Na), potassium (K), and calcium (Ca). Labradorite belongs to the plagioclase feldspar series, which forms a solid solution between anorthite (CaAl2Si2O8) and albite (NaAlSi3O8). Oregon sunstone, which contains substantially more calcium than sodium, has a composition of about 70% anorthite and 30% albite.
Controversy surrounding treated copper-bearing feldspar has hurt Oregon Sunstone mining. In the early 2000s, Asian treaters perfected a method of diffusing copper into pale feldspar, flooding the market with low-priced, attractive red and green gems—which destabilized the market for Oregon sunstone.

Promoted as “andesine” and purportedly from mines in Congo or Tibet, this material was subsequently found to be treated, but the resulting furor hindered the public’s trust in natural copper-bearing feldspar.

Saturday 16 July 2016

Christie's scientific books and memorabilia auction

Einstein's leather jacket doubled it's auction estimate of £40,000 to £60,000, selling for USD$145,974.
The Einstein highlight turned out to be his pocket watch, which fetched more than ten times its estimate. Hammer price was £220,000
The 400 year-old Hortus Eystettensis by Basilius Besler attracted interest as one of just 15 complete copies of the "most famous flower book in the world." It made £1,930,500 ($2,550,247)

A copy of De Libris Revolutionum Eruditissimi Viridoctoris fetched £1,818,500 ($2,402,292). When published in 1540, this book provided the momentum needed for Copernicus to finally have his landmark De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium published in 1543.
Sidereus Nuncius $415,464, is one of the landmark scientific publications in history. Written by Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642), the book introduced the world to his astronomical discoveries made using his home-made telescope.

Le operazioni del compasso geometrico by Galileo Galilei. $320,350. First edition of Galileo's first printed work and the first published work on an analogue calculator, which Galileo had begun manufacturing in 1597. As a calculating device, Galileo's compass remained unsurpassed until the advent of the slide rule in the mid-19th-century.
Aequatorium Astronomicum by Johannes Schöner $383,759. One of only 5 copies, it is the first book to contain printed equatoria, and the first book to contain printed instruments which predict the position of the planets.

Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica by Isaac Newton. $352,054. Principia and Newton's subsequent Opticks both became cornerstones of scientific thought, effectively ushering in the era of modern science and modern physics with its mathematical explanations for gravity and motion.

Thursday 14 July 2016

Top Jewelry Designs From Baselworld 2016

Alessio Boschi Cedar necklace

Antonini Fez ring

Qayten Museo ring

Boucheron Nuri Clip On Earrings


Pasquale Bruni

Lydia Courteille