Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Patiala Necklace

De Beers produced a 428 carat light yellow octahedral diamond in March 1888. With a finished weight of 234.65 carats, the cushion cut "De Beers" is the seventh largest faceted diamond in the world.

The Maharaja, Bhupinder Singh, of Patiala in the Punjab region of India, bought the gemstone in 1889. In 1925, the Maharaja commissioned Cartier to set the De Beers diamond as the centerpiece of a ceremonial necklace that became known as the Patiala Necklace. In its original form, the necklace was 962 carats in 2,930 diamonds and other precious stones. It was completed in 1928 and is one of the most spectacular and expensive pieces of jewellery ever made.
The last sighting of the complete necklace was in 1946. Fifty two years later the necklace was discovered in a second-hand jewellery shop in London by a Cartier representative. All the big stones in the necklace, which included the De Beers diamond and the seven other big diamonds ranging from 18 to 73 carats, and the rubies had all been disposed of. The remnants of the Patiala Necklace was bought by Cartier. It took four years to restore the necklace to it's former glory.
In 1982 the 'De Beers' diamond came up for auction at Sotheby's in Geneva. The top bid of $3.16 million remained below the undisclosed reserve price.

The necklace was displayed by Cartier across the world to rave reviews. The New York Times wrote gushingly ...

“The crowds are lining up in front of Cartier on Fifth Avenue and 52nd Street, but they are not your average New York Christmas shoppers.

They are passers-by staring, aghast, at a fabulous piece of antique jewelry. It’s not even for sale. Nor was it made to satisfy a beautiful woman. It is an ornament made to adorn the chest of a man”.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Seaman Schepps

An immigrant’s son, Seaman Schepps rose to prominence in the 1930s with jewelry designs that challenged the status quo and defined a new style.

Today, some 50 years after his death, he continues to inspire modern jewelers. Schepps became known as “America’s Court Jeweler”.

Saturday, 28 July 2018

Scottish Agate

Agate is a form of chalcedony called cryptocrystalline. It typically filled cracks and gas cavities in ancient lava flows. Scotland's agates are from the Old Red Sandstone age. (about 400 million years old).

The nature of the formation of agates means that no two will ever be the same and though widely available, there are forms of agate exceedingly rare and expensive. Used for ornamentation and healing amulets, agate found favor in civilizations around the world throughout the ages.
Used on a small scale for the manufacture of jewellery for over two hundred years, agate is one of Scotland's best-known semi-precious stones. Cut into thin pieces it is nearly transparent and far less brittle than normal quartz.