Saturday, 29 August 2020

High jewel peacocks

The collective term for the birds is peafowl.

Gem-set and diamond peacock brooch, Gustave Baugrand, circa 1865
The males are peacocks and the females are peahens. The babies are called peachicks. When peacocks mate, they give out a loud copulatory call. But sometimes they are faking it. One-third of the calls were fake, and the birds that made them scored the most hookups.

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

2020 jewels shine

Dior. Diamond, sapphire, garnet and cultured pearl ring.

Dior. Diamonds, sapphire, garnets, emerald and cultured pearl

Dior. Diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, garnets, pearls.

Chopard Ginkgo earrings in emerald, sapphire and tsavorite.

Chopard Pansy earrings in sapphires, garnets, yellow-brown diamonds, amethysts and tsavorites

Chopard 10.03-carat pear-shaped diamond earrings

Van Cleef & Arpels Ruby and Diamond Bracelet

Van Cleef & Arpels Emerald and Diamond Necklace

Bvlgari tourmaline, turquoise, amethyst and diamond ring.




Monday, 17 August 2020

Gems from Space

A tiny fraction of meteorites on Earth contain strikingly beautiful, translucent, olive-green crystals embedded in an iron-nickel matrix.

Called pallasites, these "space gems" have fascinated scientists since they were first identified more than 200 years ago. Impactites are often colorful glasses that can be faceted, cut into cabochons, or carved into small sculptures.
The highest quality "as found" specimens are of greatest interest to scientists, meteorite collectors, and mineral collectors. The best gem-quality materials generally go to a small number of designer jewelers who use them to create unique pieces.
Smaller and lower quality items fall into the novelty gem and collectibles markets. The largest demand for extraterrestrial gem materials comes from people interested in alternative and complementary medicine.

They believe that these materials have special properties that are helpful in promoting wellness.
Pallasite Peridot. A faceted piece of gem quality olivine, known as peridot in the gem trade, that was removed from a pallasite meteorite. Extraterrestrial peridot is one of the rarest gem materials on Earth.
Moldavite (also called Bouteille Stone) is an amorphous glassy material, a mineraloid, that is usually olive green in color.

It is thought to have formed during an asteroid impact about 15 million years ago in central Europe. The impacting body hit with a high enough velocity to melt and splatter the target rock across a strewn field that includes portions of what is now the Czech Republic, Austria, and Germany.

A moldavite tektite

Tasmanian Darwin Glass Tektite
Libyan Desert Glass is a material that is thought to have formed during a meteorite impact in the Libyan desert about 26 million years ago near what is now the border between Egypt and Libya. One theory has the meteorite exploding in an air burst that flash-melted sand and other material on Earth's surface below. Many pieces of glass have shallow surface indentations, similar to meteorites, that suggest ablation as the glass moved rapidly through Earth's atmosphere. Like moldavite, desert glass is considered to be an impactite.
Over 3300 years ago, the ancient Egyptians knew about Libyan Desert Glass and held it in very high regard. The pendant shown was one of several buried with King Tutankhamun (King Tut) who ruled between 1332 and 1323 BC.

Tektites are fragments of ejecta produced when a large extraterrestrial object strikes the Earth. The heat of the impact flash melts rock in the impact area and ejects it in the molten state. These molten masses solidify in flight and fall to Earth in the area around the imact. The impact that produced the tektites of the Indochina strewn field occurred about 800,000 years ago.

Friday, 14 August 2020

Treasures from Atocha at auction

A gold chalice from the Margarita was the top selling lot, fetching $413,000.
A collection of shipwrecked 17th and 18th century Spanish treasure discovered off the coast of Florida sold in New York for about $2m.

US treasure hunter Mel Fisher was most famous for discovering the shipwrecked Spanish galleon Nuestra Senora de Atocha, which went down in a hurricane in 1622, laden with new world riches.

A gold crucifix with inlaid Colombian emerald jewels went for $119,000.
After searching for some 16 years, treasure hunter Mel Fisher unearthed the treasures of Atocha near the Florida Keys in 1985. 40 items from the impressive cache went up for auction in New York City on August 5, 2015.

A gold bar from the Atocha made $93,750.

The golden spoon was thought to be used by priests during Communion to convert South American natives. $62,000.

The haul includes two spectacular gold chains, one called a 'money chain'. Fisher wore it on the 'Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson' soon after the ship's discovery.

In the Colonial era, the Spanish king placed a 20 percent tariff on gold bullion called the Royal Fifth. But if the gold was turned into jewelry, the tax was forgiven. Each link of the 'money chain' is of equal size and weight and could be twisted off and used as formal currency.
Also up for auction was a Bezoar Stone, which was believed to remove poisons and toxins from liquids. The pendant, about the size of an egg, is encased in a gold mounting with four arms grasping the stone.
A magnificent emerald jewel from the lost Atocha. It made $ 410,000 in 2013

The Guernsey's sale offered about 100 silver coins from the Atocha sister ship, the Santa Margarita, ranging from $1,000 and up.