F & B News header

News

World's Rarest Diamonds

Worlds Rarest Diamonds

On Wednesday in New York, Rio Tinto unveiled its largest Fancy Red diamond yet to a select group of collectors, alongside other gemstones in its annual tender of pink diamonds. Known as the Argyle Everglow, the polished radiant cut diamond weighs 2.11 carats.

As the head of jewelry in Asia for British auction house Bonhams, Graeme Thompson is used to handling beautiful diamonds on a daily basis. Yet he's only ever held a red diamond once, about five years ago. "Red diamonds are the rarest of them all and whoever gets to hold one in his hand is very lucky indeed," he said.

Mining company Rio Tinto has been showcasing stones from its Argyle mine in Western Australia for the past 33 years -- and during that time, less than 20 carats of Fancy Red certified diamonds have been sold.

It represents "rarity within rarity, and will drive global demand from collectors and connoisseurs in search of the incomparable," said Argyle Pink Diamonds Manager Josephine Johnson.

The stone is "half the size of a one cent coin, but I expect it to sell for over $10 million," said Tobias Kormind, Managing Director of 77Diamonds.com, Europe's largest online diamond jeweler.

Thompson said he was not comfortable making a more definitive prediction on price without having seen the stone, but that the determining factors will be "the carat weight, the strength of the color, how red it is, and the clarity. The difference in value between a stone that is very clean and one that has inclusions is huge."

Sept 1, 2017 in News by Larry

The Most Expensive Gem Ever

record gem

"Spring 2017 Auction Updates: The Most Expensive Gem Ever”

The spring 2017 auction season saw two important price records fall and solid, if not rising, prices for top gems across the board

In April, the news was the Pink Star, the 59.60 carat (ct) GIA-graded Fancy Vivid pink diamond that sold for $71.2 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, setting the record for the most expensive gemstone ever sold at auction. The diamond is a record-holder in itself, being the largest-known Fancy Vivid pink diamond. Its appearance on the block set bloggers and reporters into action around the world.

The diamond was originally named the Steinmetz Pink, after the firm that purchased and cut the 132.5 ct rough. After it was unveiled in 2003, the stone was exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution with six other extraordinary fancy color diamonds.

The diamond was sent to Sotheby’s in the fall of 2013 where it achieved a top bid of $83 million from a New York diamond cutter. This was nearly double the previous record – a different pink diamond bought by London jeweler Laurence Graff in 2011. After several months, however, the buyer was unable to pay for it, so the diamond was returned to the auction house’s vault until this year.

Bidding on the pink gem was spirited until it approached the $70 million mark, when Hong Kong retail giant Chow Tai Fook called the winning amount and announced it was renaming it the Pink Star.

July 17, 2017 in News by Larry

Cameos: Timeless, Miniature Carvings

Cameo Jewelry

“Cameos: Timeless, Miniature Carvings for Jewelry Lovers”

Alexander the Great commissioned his portrait – in the likeness of a god – to be engraved in stone in the third century BCE, according to jewelry expert Anna M. Miller, author of “Cameos Old and New.” This was the first time a cameo – a three-dimensional figure carved out of stone – was seen in Egypt. It is perhaps the first known selfie!

Cameo portraits of rulers and nobility or scenes of historical events have been highly valued ever since. Prior to Alexander, carvings were cut below the surface – intaglio – and used as seals of identification. The seals usually depicted animals of strength, such as lions or bears, and figures from Greek or Roman mythology.

Cameos can be carved in low relief (barely standing out from the background) or in high relief (projecting prominently above the background). Quality factors in evaluating cameos include the type of medium used, as well as the setting, condition, detail of carving, subject matter and signature of the artist.

Shell became a popular medium in French and Italian cameos during the Renaissance. Cassis rufa, known as cornelian, is a common type of shell used for cameos and varies in color from very light to deep brown orange. Cassis madagascariensis, commonly known as emperor helmet shell or sardonyx shell, is a thick, dark brown shell. It is the largest mollusk shell and resembles banded agate when carved.

Cameos were popular in the Victorian era in England and Europe because Queen Victoria was fond of jewelry and favored them. Portraits of royalty and statesmen continued to be popular subjects, along with profiles of women dressed in finery, youthful maidens, religious icons and mythological gods and goddesses. Gem materials such as sapphire, garnet, jade, opal, coral and quartz gained favor for cameo carving in the Victorian era.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, Italian carvers Tommaso Saulini, his son Luigi Saulini, along with Giovanni Noto, were known to sign their work. The British royal family commissioned Tomasso Saulini to carve portraits of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and his work is housed at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The Italian Republic commissioned Noto to create official gifts, including a work for the wedding of Charles and Diana of England. Most works by these masters of cameo carving reside in museums and private collections.

The rich history and lore of cameos make them a fascinating avenue into the world of collecting for history, mythology and jewelry buffs.

June 23, 2017 in News by Larry

Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions

Yoda Pendant

This Yoda pendant listed by Heritage Auctions "features full-cut yellow and near colorless diamonds weighing a total of approximately 9.00 carats, set in 14k gold.

An avatar for all time, Yoda, the wise can be with you always. Instantly recognized as one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars narrative, this custom made pendant is whimsical and fun. It can be worn on a cord or chain or easily modified by a jeweler to wear as a brooch. Appropriately, Yoda is covered with diamonds, an ancient gemstone that can take billions of years to form. His robe is made of white and yellow diamonds totaling approximately 9.00cttw. A single round brilliant cut diamond held in Yoda’s outstretched hand has a known carat weight of 0.46ct.

Could this single diamond represent a kyber crystal? Or symbolize the Force? To quote Yoda, “Long ago in forgotten times, when the Sith and Jedi fought for control of the galaxy, weapons there were, of unimaginable power. Always at their heart, a kyber crystal was.” Gem quality diamonds are cut to exact proportions to accentuate their ability to reflect light. The dispersion of white light into spectral colors is diamonds’ primary gemological characteristic. Since Yoda lost his light saber in his legendary duel with Darth Sidious, and the lightsaber reflects the Force of the Jedi who holds it, a diamond is the perfect replacement.

There's a limit to the level of Star Wars fan obsession we can accept before we are forced to question whether or not you're missing a few midi-chlorians.

June 20, 2017 in News by Larry

Top 6 Jewellery Care Tips

232ct Diamond news

The Top 6 Jewellery Care Tips for Summer 2017

1. Pack with care. While traveling, it’s easy to throw everything together, right? However, a diamond can scratch a pearl (and other gems), so IGI recommends storing fine jewelry in individual soft cloth pouches or lined jewelry boxes to prevent scratching, dulling and tangling of chains. Running out the door for a quick one-night trip and can’t find a pouch or box? Keep bracelets and necklaces from tangling by threading them through a straw. You can also wrap each item in tissue for added protection.

2. Leave the sand castles to the kids. Abrasion from sand poses a risk to jewelry as it acts like coarse sandpaper on gems. When selecting jewelry for the day, consider your schedule of activities. Thinking through your plans may remind you to leave your jewelry items safely stored away.

3. Sunbathe sans sparklers. Sunscreen can coat a gemstone, reducing the refractive and reflective light, resulting in loss of the stone’s brilliance. It can also bleach certain materials. Also keep coloured gems out of the sun, as light and high temperatures can fade the colour over time, particularly those that have been treated.

4. Strip down before you swim. Beaches can be an easy place to lose jewelry. For example, hands can become cold in ocean waters causing fingers to shrink and rings to easily slip off, which you are likely to not notice right away, meaning the item will be gone for good. If going to the pool, remove any jewelry items before you take a dip, as swimming pools contain harsh chemicals such as chlorine that can harm your jewelry, specifically, causing the gemstone to erode and lose its polish and/or finish.

5. Protect your investment. Never leave fine jewelry unattended on a lounge chair or in a hotel room. If you are packing valuables make sure when selecting lodging that a safe deposit box will be available. Safeguarding your jewelry applies when cleaning as well. Cleanse items in a secure location away from the rim of a sink, where items can easily slip down the drain.

6. Evaluate then celebrate. If commemorating your holiday with a new fine jewelry purchase, insist on an independent appraisal. Along with providing an unbiased evaluation of the stone’s qualities, a report informs you if the stone is synthetic or has undergone any treatments, which can dramatically affect value. Further, if you plan to give the item to someone else later down the line, all gemstones should only change hands when accompanied by a certificate attesting to its quality.

May 30, 2017 in News by LARRY

World's Most Expensive Earrings

Most Expensive Earrings

World's Most Expensive Earrings Fetch $57.4 Million At Auction

A mismatched pair of fancy colored diamond earrings sold for more than $57.4 million—a world record for earrings sold at auction. Sold separately, they were the top two lots at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale Tuesday

Named Apollo and Artemis—after the twin brother and sister who are among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities—Sotheby's said they are world's most valuable pair of earrings ever offered at auction. No word if the same buyer purchased both lots.

Sotheby’s said later in the evening that both diamonds were purchased by the same person, who was not identified. “I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division and chairman of Switzerland, said following the sale.

The 14.54 carat, pear-shaped Apollo Blue was the big prize of the pair. It sold for more than $42.08 million (including buyers premium), within its estimate of $38 – $50 million.

It is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever to be offered at auction, Sotheby’s said. It was graded as a Type IIb diamond, which amounts to less than 1% of all diamonds. In recent years, the only mine to produce blue diamonds with any regularity is the Cullinan mine in South Africa. When in full production, less than 0.1% of diamonds sourced showed any evidence of blue color, according to the Gemological Institute of America, which graded both diamonds and issued reports on them. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue.

May 16, 2017 in News by Larry

close

Store Hours & Directions

Store Hours

Tuesday: 10:00 - 5:00

Wednesday 10:00 - 5:00

Thursday 10:00 - 6:00

Friday 10:00 - 6:00

Saturday 10:00 - 4:00

Closed

Sunday & Monday

Sacramento Custom Jeweler Location View larger map
3933 California Ave
Carmichael, CA 95608
(916) 944-1670