Famous 6.16 Carat Farnese Blue Diamond To Be Sold At Auction

Farnese Blue diamondThis spring, the Farnese Blue, a diamond with an incredible historic pedigree, will be offered by Sotheby’s—marking the first time the gem has ever been brought to auction. Originally given to Queen of Spain Elisabeth Farnese by the Philippines to celebrate her marriage to King Philip in 1714, the gem was later owned by a descendant of France’s last queen, Marie Antoinette. Over the next 300 years, it was furtively passed down through four European royal families. The 6.16-carat, pear-shaped dark gray-blue diamond was hidden in a casket as it traveled through Spain, France, Italy, and Austria.

“With its incredible pedigree, the Farnese Blue ranks among the most important historic diamonds in the world,” said Dr. Philipp Herzog von Württemberg, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe and managing director of Germany, in a statement from the auction house. “From the first minute I saw the stone, I could not resist its magic, and as such, it is a huge privilege to have been entrusted with this sale.”

Blue has often been identified as the color of kings and in the 17th and 18th centuries, blue diamonds were viewed as the ultimate royal gift. Like the famous Hope and Wittelsbach diamonds, the Farnese Blue was certainly found in the famed Golconda mines of India, which was the sole source of diamonds until the discoveries in Brazil in the 1720s.

“It is difficult to put into words the excitement of holding between thumb and forefinger a gem discovered centuries ago, knowing it originated in the legendary Golconda diamond mines of India,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division and co-chair of Sotheby’s Switzerland. “This stone has witnessed 300 years of European history and in color is reminiscent of historic Golconda blue gems such as the Hope Diamond.”

The legendary diamond will be offered at Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale in Geneva on May 15. Its estimated value is between $3.7 million and $5.3 million.

Learn more about the historic Farnese Blue Diamond


Princess Eugenie's Engagement Ring

Princess Eugenie coupleThe Royal Family is known for their beautiful colored gemstones and Princess Eugenie (daughter of Sarah, Duchess of York) is the latest to make news with her ring. Boyfriend Jack Brooksbank proposed with a rare sapphire and diamond engagement ring.

Princess Eugenie engagement ringThe center stone is an oval-shaped pinkish orange padparadscha gemstone, which is one of the rarest of all sapphires and typically originate in Sri Lanka but are also found in Madagascar and Tanzania. The sapphire is surrounded by a halo of small diamonds and the mounting is a vintage-style design in yellow and white gold.

Padparadscha is a derived from a Sinhalese word for “aquatic lotus blossom” with a beautiful salmon color. The color for the padparadscha sapphire can range from a salmon color with a pinkish hue to an orange hue. It is difficult to find a padparadscha over two carats in weight. When one is found it is considered exceptional and extremely rare.

Padparadscha gemstonesPadparadscha sapphires from Madagascar are at times heat treated to intensify their pink coloration. They are heat treated at very low heat temperatures, whereas padparadscha stones from Sri Lanka will be heat-treated at higher heat temperatures when heat-treated. The heat-treated padparadscha stones from Madagascar are often recommended over the ones from Sri Lanka because of the temperature they are treated at.

 


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We recently reduced the price of one of the rings listed in the Special Offers section of our website.  These are beautiful high quality diamonds and jewelry items at special low prices.

AS 1.51 ct 0.28 AD-11smDiamond Ring with a 1.51-carat square emerald (Asscher) cut diamond graded E color, VS2 clarity, depth 69.7%, table 57%, Excellent polish, Excellent symmetry, No fluorescence, measuring 6.45 x 6.21 x 4.33 mm with a ratio of 1.03 (ref: GIA 16938804, dated 03/31/2008) set in a split-prong custom platinum mounting (Stamped “PLAT”) with a total of 18 pave-set round diamonds (0.28 total carat weight) going half way down the top of the 2.1 mm wide shank.

AS 1.51 ct 0.28 AD-18sm

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White Metal for Engagement Rings

Clients often ask us what type of white metal is best for engagement rings. The traditional choices are 14-karat white-gold (58.5% gold), 18-karat white-gold (75% gold), and platinum (95% platinum).

To produce the white color, white gold contains alloys such as silver, manganese, palladium, rhodium and nickel. When nickel is used in the alloy mix, it can cause allergic reactions in some people.

White gold rings are usually rhodium plated. Rhodium is a very white, reflective, and hard metal so provides an excellent surface for engagement rings. As rhodium is a plating, it will wear off with usual wear over months or years depending on the wear. The rhodium can be reapplied at most jewelry repair shops for a relatively small fee.

Platinum is a very durable metal and does not cause allergic reactions. However, platinum is relatively soft so tends to get dull and scratched over time, even more than white gold. As a result, it requires regular polishing to keep it shiny.

Our favorite metal for engagement ring uses a special 18-karat white-gold that contains a palladium alloy so is whiter and more scratch and bend resistant than platinum. Since the 18-karat white-gold stays shinier and is stronger than platinum, this is what we recommend to our clients. For clients who like a more antique look, the duller patina look of platinum is the way to go.

 


1 of the Biggest Diamonds in History Has Just Been Discovered | Fortune

By Bloomberg
6:21 AM EST

One of the biggest diamonds in history has been discovered in the mountainous kingdom of Lesotho in southern Africa.

910 ct-diamondGem Diamonds (GMDMF, +10.20%) found the 910-carat stone, about the size of two golf balls, at its Letseng mine in the country. It’s a D color Type IIa diamond, which means it has very few or no nitrogen atoms and is one of the most expensive stones. The diamond is the fifth-biggest ever found.

The Letseng mine is famous for the size and quality of the diamonds it produces and has the highest average selling price in the world. Gem sold a 357-carat stone for $19.3 million in 2015 and in 2006 found the 603-carat Lesotho Promise.

Read: The 51-Carat Russian Diamond That Couldn’t Sell

 

“This exceptional top-quality diamond is the largest to be mined to date and highlights the unsurpassed quality of the Letseng mine,” Chief Executive Officer Clifford Elphick said in a statement.

Lesedi-la-Rona-(2)Gem did not say how it will sell the diamond or what it could be worth. Its value will be determined by the size and quality of the polished stones that can be cut from it. Lucara Diamond Corp. sold a 1,109-carat diamond for $53 million last year, but got a record $63 million for a smaller 813-carat stone it found at the same time in 2015.

“The pricing of diamonds is hugely variable and driven by a multitude of factors,” said Ben Davis, an analyst at Liberum Capital Markets. “But assuming that there are no large inclusions running through the diamond, we initially estimate a sale of $40 million.”

 

Read: De Beer’s Diamond Sales Have Taken a Major Hit Recently

Gem’s mega discovery follows news last week that it had found 117-carat and 110-carat stones. It will be another boost for the company that dropped to a record low last year after prices for its stones fell and it was forced to close a new mine in Botswana. Gem rose as much as 18%, the biggest intraday gain since 2010, and traded at 93 pence by 9:06 a.m. in London.

The three large discoveries will raise investor confidence that the company has overcome a shortage of large stones and that it can recover the biggest diamonds without breaking them. Gem found at least seven stones bigger than 100 carats in 2017 and five the year before. It recovered a dozen exceeding 100 carats in 2015.

 

Read: Here’s How Much It Costs to Buy a Diamond the Size of a Tennis Ball

Cullinan roughThe biggest diamond discovered is the 3,106-carat Cullinan, found near Pretoria, in South Africa, in 1905. It was cut to form the Great Star of Africa and the Lesser Star of Africa, which are set in the Crown Jewels of Britain. Lucara’s 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona is the second-biggest, with the 995-carat Excelsior and 969-carat Star of Sierra Leone the third- and fourth-largest.

via fortune.com


LA Museum Going Green with Diamonds This Winter

0.58 carat Fancy Vivid Green diamondLos Angeles--The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is going green in a big way.

On Saturday, the museum will open a new exhibition called “Green Diamonds: Natural Radiance,” adding eight cases of the green gems to its Gem and Mineral Hall.

The loose and set diamonds come as part of the Gamma Collection, which is on loan from Optimum Diamonds LLC and was assembled over a period of about 15 years. Gamma is comprised of more than 60 of the rarest and most prestigious natural colored diamonds in the world, according to the museum.  The 0.58 carat fancy vivid green diamond shown to the right is an example of the beauty to be seen.

The collection showcases a variety of shapes, cuts and shades of the color spectrum.

The highlight of the exhibition is “The Mantis,” the largest vivid yellowish-green diamond ever graded by the Gemological Institute of America at 4.17 carats, as well as “The Shangri-La,” a large vivid green diamond weighing 3.88 carats. Both are mounted in rings.

There also is “The Light of Erasmus,” an extremely rare 1.63-carat vivid greenish-blue diamond.

In addition to seeing the diamonds, the exhibition also will give museum visitors the opportunity to learn about the formation of diamonds and scientific origins of the green color, including the gamma radiation that inspired the name of the collection.

3.08 carat Fancy Dark Gray-Greenish diamondThe exhibition also will explore the unsolved mysteries behind “Chameleon” diamonds, which temporarily change color when exposed to light or heat. “Natural Radiance” will feature three of these stones, including a 3.08-carat dark gray greenish-yellow diamond.

The company will also exhibit two very rare diamonds Optimum Diamonds won at the 2017 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender: the Argyle Everglow and the Argyle Liberté.

The collection will be on view at the museum from Dec. 9 through April 1, 2018.

Coinciding with the launch of the exhibition, the Los Angeles GIA Alumni Association is hosting its second annual “Night Among Gems” event at the museum on Wednesday, Dec. 13 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Attendees will get to see the stones as well as mingle with Associate Curator of Mineral Sciences Aaron Celestian.

Tickets can be purchased online.

A 1.01-carat vivid yellowish-green diamond 1.01 carat Vivid Yellowish Green diamond

A 1.38-carat fancy vivid bluish-green diamond 1.38 carat Fancy Vivid Bluish Green diamond

 

A 0.54-carat fancy intense green-blue diamond 0.54 carat Fancy Intense Green-Blue diamond

Learn more about green diamonds from the GIA...

via www.nationaljeweler.com


One of World's Largest Diamonds Fetches $6.5M to Aid Sierra Leone

709 carat rough diamondOne of the world's largest diamonds was sold for $6.5 million by Sierra Leone on Monday to fund local development projects, dealing a blow to smugglers in the West African nation.

The egg-sized, 709-carat diamond found by a Christian pastor was bought at auction in New York by Laurence Graff, a British billionaire and jeweler, according to the Rapaport Group, an international diamond trading network that handled the sale.

Of the proceeds of the stone dubbed the "Peace Diamond," the government will get 59 percent or about $3.9 million in tax revenue to fund clean water, electricity, schools, health centers and roads, said Martin Rapaport of the Rapaport Group.

Peace-diamond-sierra-leone"As a government, particularly in Africa, it has always been the narration of corruption, and the mineral wealth is not benefiting the people," said Abdulai Bayraytay, a spokesman for Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma, at a news conference.

The auction marked the first time a diamond found in Sierra Leone was put up for public sale, and state officials said they hope it will be a step toward ending the illicit diamond trade.

Diamonds fueled civil war in Sierra Leone in the 1990s, when rebels forced civilians to mine the stones and bought weapons with the proceeds, leading to the term 'blood diamonds.'

The United Nations lifted a ban on diamond exports from Sierra Leone in 2003, but the multi-million dollar sector is still plagued by smuggling.

The balance of the proceeds will go to a local group overseeing the development projects, the pastor and other miners who found the gem and gave it to the government, Rapaport said.

"It will encourage all the diggers back home," Chief Paul Ngaba Saquee, head of Sierra Leone's eastern Kono district, where the diamond was found in March, told the news conference.

"Instead of being ripped off in some dark corners when they find their diamonds, that they will bring it and put it on the table in front of the government," he said in New York. "Maybe this is going to be the beginning of a new day in Sierra Leone."

A first effort to sell the diamond failed in May when Sierra Leone rejected the highest bid of $7.8 million.

This time, the stone was shown to some 70 potential buyers and seven bids were submitted, according to Rapaport.

So why didn't the peace diamond go for a higher price?

"The top end of the diamond market is not at its height," Kormind told CNNMoney by email, and the gem may not be as attractive as its sheer size suggests.

"The peace diamond is known to be a very complicated stone," he said. "Larger rough diamonds don't necessarily translate into large diamonds when they are cut and polished. It's all a question of the largest cleanest stone that can be gleaned from the rough. If you can't yield a single large diamond of very high quality, and instead have to make several stones out of the large stone, that decreases the value enormously."

 

via Voice of America


Diamonds.net - Blue Diamond Sells for $15M at Sotheby’s New York

Sothebys blue diamond saleSotheby’s sold $54 million worth of jewelry at its New York auction on Tuesday as several pieces containing rare blue diamonds and gemstones yielded higher-than-expected prices. 

An anonymous buyer spent $15.1 million, or $2.7 million per carat, on an emerald-cut, 5.69-carat, fancy vivid blue, VVS1-clarity diamond ring, beating its upper estimate of $15 million, the auctioneer said. Meanwhile, a pear-shaped, 2.05-carat, fancy intense blue, internally flawless diamond ring fetched $2.7 million, or $1.3 million per carat, in a sale to a member of the trade — well above its high estimate of $1.5 million. 

Sapphire jewelry also attracted strong prices. A Van Cleef & Arpels bracelet containing 193.73 carats of the blue stones went to a private collector for $3.1 million, having drawn an estimate of up to $1.5 million. A sapphire-and-diamond necklace-bracelet combination by Harry Winston — with seven emerald-cut sapphires weighing a combined 123.13 carats — fetched $1.9 million, beating the expected price of up to $1.5 million. 

“The market continues to show its strength in colored stones, with today’s results driven by intense competition for important colored diamonds, sapphires and emeralds in particular,” Sotheby’s jewelry-division chair Gary Schuler said.

A 110.92-carat, L-color, VS1-clarity diamond — the largest round diamond in auction history — appeared on Sotheby’s list of unsold lots. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment outside of New York working hours.
via www.diamonds.net

The Famed Donnersmarck Diamonds Could Fetch $14 Million At Sotheby's Geneva

Donnersmarck DiamondsThe Donnersmarck Diamonds, a pair of fancy intense yellow diamonds with aristocratic provenance is being offered as part of Sotheby’s Geneva auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels November 15 at the Mandarin Oriental, Geneva.

The diamonds, formerly in the collection of the von Donnersmarck family, consist of a 102.54-carat cushion-shaped diamond and an 82.47-carat pear-shaped diamond. They are being offered as a single lot with a pre-sale estimate of $9 - $14 million.

Sotheby’s said these diamonds are attached to one of the great love stories of the 19th Century.

“These stunning diamonds carry with them a fascinating story, full of romance and determination over adversity, which could have inspired some of the greatest novels and operas, from Manon Lescaut to La Traviata,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division.

Donnersmarck Diamonds-2The Donnersmarck Diamonds were part of the collection of La Païva, Countess Henckel von Donnersmarck (1819-1884), arguably the most famous of the 19th-century French courtesans, Sotheby’s said.

Born Esther Lachman, the Russian native of modest means arrived in Paris at the age of 18 and was introduced to the city’s cultural and artistic circles. She gained the friendship of many artists, including Richard Wagner, Hans von Bülow, Théophile Gautier and Emile de Girardin.

In the late 1840s, she met the Portuguese Marquis Albino Francisco de Araújo de Païva. They were married in 1851 but the marriage lasted only one day.

Now known as La Païva, It was around this time she met her future husband, German nobleman, Count Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck (1830-1916), one of Europe’s richest men. Their relationship was the talk of Paris high society and in 1871, the two were married.

Among the jewels von Donnersmarck gave to La Païva during the course of their marriage was the two yellow diamonds now known as the Donnersmarck Diamonds.

Following La Païva’s death in 1884, the count, who became prince in 1901, retained ownership of the diamonds. They remained in the Donnersmarck family for more than a century until they appeared at auction at Sotheby’s in 2007 where they sold for approximately $7.9 million. They will appear again in November after having been in a private collection for the past 10 years.

The Donnersmarck Diamonds come to the market at the same time that Sotheby’s is celebrating its 10th anniversary in sales dedicated to “noble jewels,” storied jewels of great provenance.

“Ten years ago, they were the star of the show when we launched our very first sale dedicated to Noble Jewels here in Geneva,” Bennett said. “I am delighted to mark a decade of success by presenting these exceptional diamonds once again. Jewels of royal and aristocratic provenance carry with them a special sense of history and these are no exception.”

In the same sale, Sotheby’s is offering “The Raj Pink,” the world’s largest known fancy intense pink diamond, weighing 37.30 carats with an estimate of $20 - $30 million.

Anthony DeMarco is a freelance writer and founder of Jewelry News Network. Please join me on Facebook, Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and Instagram @JewelryNewsNetwork.

via Forbes