Posts tagged jewelry news

Shirley Temple's 9.54-Carat Blue Diamond Ring Comes Up Short at Sotheby's New York

Shirley Temple's 9.54-carat blue diamond ring was billed as the star of Sotheby's New York auction on Tuesday, but went unsold when the bidding stalled at $22 million, short of the reserve price and well below the high estimate of $35 million.

"The Shirley Temple Blue Diamond is an exceptional stone in quality, rarity and provenance. It has been an honor to share its story with collectors, connoisseurs and Temple's loyal fans over the past few months," Sotheby's noted a statement. "Unfortunately, tonight wasn't its night in the salesroom, but we remain fully confident that it will find a buyer."

Temple was nearly 12 years old and had just wrapped up her new film, The Blue Bird, when her father, George Francis, surprised the box office phenomenon with a cushion-cut fancy deep blue diamond in an Art Deco-inspired platinum setting. George Francis paid $7,210 for the ring 76 years ago, which is equivalent to about $122,000 today. The diamond had earned a grade of VVS2 and was presented at the auction in its original platinum setting.

As an adult, Shirley Temple Black became a diplomat, serving as a United Nations delegate, U.S. Ambassador to Ghana and later as the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia. She reported wore her blue diamond ring throughout her life. She died in February of 2014 at that age of 85.

The poor showing for Temple's blue diamond came only two weeks after the slightly larger and internally flawless 10.10-carat “De Beers Millennium Jewel 4” set an Asian auction record at Sotheby’s Hong Kong when it sold for $32 million. The pre-sale estimate for the fancy vivid blue gem had been $30 to $36 million.

On May 18 at Christie’s Geneva, the 14.62-carat rectangular-cut “Oppenheimer Blue” has a chance to set a new record for the highest price ever paid for a diamond of any color. The current record of $48.5 million is held by the 12.03-carat cushion-shaped internally flawless “Blue Moon” (now called “Blue Moon of Josephine”). The Oppenheimer Blue boasts a VVS1 clarity and is the largest fancy vivid blue diamond ever offered at auction.

Images courtesy of Sotheby’s. Shirley Temple promo shot ©20thCentFox/Courtesy Everett Collection.

Platinum Jewelry Illuminates the Red Carpet at Sunday Night's 88th Academy Awards

Well before Spotlight won for Best Picture and Leonardo DiCaprio scooped up his first-ever Best Actor award for The Revenant, a bevy of Hollywood beauties — all donning stunning platinum baubles — illuminated the Red Carpet at the 88th Academy Awards. The jewelry mirrored the star-studded festivities — exciting, dramatic and frequently over-the-top.

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday night...

• Cate Blanchett, a Best Actress nominee for Carol, wore platinum by Tiffany & Co. Her ensemble included drop earrings with marquise and round diamonds ($125,000), a starfish cuff with round diamonds and a ring with a 2.30-carat round center diamond surrounded by a swirl of round diamonds ($110,000).

• Charlize Theron turned heads in a show-stopping 48.8-carat Secret Cluster Diamond Necklace by Harry Winston. The long platinum necklace was complemented by diamond cluster earrings (15.49 carats), cushion-cut diamond ring with micropavé (8.78 carats), micropavé diamond band and Queen ring with diamonds (7.44 carats). The platinum grouping was valued at $3.7 million.

• Reese Witherspoon wore an impressive suite of platinum jewelry by Tiffany & Co., which included a pair of earrings, three platinum bracelets and one platinum ring. The $1 million grouping included a ring featuring an emerald-cut 7.49-carat tsavorite with diamond accents.

• Jennifer Garner was decked out in a platinum ensemble by Neil Lane. She wore four platinum-and-diamond bracelets (150-carats, priced at $2.5 million), swirl drop earrings with diamonds and emeralds (10 carats), emerald-cut diamond ring (10 carats) and two additional platinum-and-diamond rings.

• Presenter Priyanka Chopra wore a beautiful pair of diamond drops set in platinum by Lorraine Schwartz. The earrings boasted a total weight of 50 carats and were valued at $3.2 million. She also wore three platinum rings with the following total weights and values: 22 carats ($3.4 million), 10 carats ($850,000) and 8 carats ($300,000).

• Lady Gaga, who performed the Oscar-nominated song “Til It Happens to You,” wore more than $8 million worth of platinum jewelry, including emerald-cut diamond drop earrings from designer Schwartz.

Celebrities photos courtesy of Platinum Guild International. Photo credits: Getty Images. Cate Blanchett jewelry. Photo credit: Tiffany & Co.

Face-Contouring Jewelry Generates Instagram Buzz During New York Fashion Week

One of the most Instagrammed looks of New York Fashion Week had nothing to do with loose silhouettes or the subtle play of sheer and opaque textures. No, the look that set Instagram on fire was the futuristic face contouring jewelry crafted by Sydney-based Sarah & Sebastian.

Making its debut at Dion Lee's runway show, the karat gold or silver wire jewelry tightly defined each model's profile.

Jewelry designer Sarah Gittoes (the Sarah half of Sarah & Sebastian), told Refiner29 that each piece of rose gold or sterling silver wire was custom-molded to fit each model. Surprisingly, the jewelry is not affixed to the face in any way. It's held in place by facial tension.

“We liked the idea that each model’s contour was unique,” Gittoes said. “However, there was also the strength of uniformity.”

Refinery29 said the minimal facial jewelry added an exclusive touch to the already-gorgeous collection. The New York Times said the face jewelry heightened the mood of opulent primitivism. And Fusion.net picked the look as one of the "9 Cool Things We Love From New York Fashion Week (so far)," explaining that the customized minimal metal “face separator” highlighting the bionic aspect inside the everyday woman.

One critic pointed out a potentially cumbersome design flaw... "While it's stunning, it's not quite meant to be worn in real life... unless you can get through the day without opening your mouth," she wrote.

Others were excited to give the look a thumbs-up on Instagram. "All about the face piece" and "Face contouring on point" were just two examples of the comments being shared from the runway in real time.

Images via Instagram.

Earring-Back Debate Is Put to Rest as Disk Inventor Emerges to Set the Record Straight

Let us breathe a collective sigh of relief because the Great Earring-Back Debate has been settled — thanks to the guy who invented the plastic disk-shaped thingamabob at the core of the controversy.

An amused Ira Carlin, the 65-year-old self proclaimed "Earring Doctor," told the Toronto Star that there is no grey area when it comes to the purpose of the clear plastic piece that consumers often find affixed to their metal earring backs.

“You actually leave it on. Period. Categorically, emphatically, from the expert's mouth, you leave it on,” Carlin said. "It’s not part of packaging. It’s part of functionality.”

The item even has a name. Carlin invented "Le Disc Plus™" in the mid-1980s as an easy and inexpensive way to solve his wife's problems related to heavy earrings and droopy earlobes. The invention became a commercial hit and Carlin has sold tens of millions of them.

According to his web site, "LeDisc Plus™" provides support and stability to earlobes, enhances earring presentation, provides extra comfort, prevents sagging earrings and eliminates back clasp irritation on the earlobe.

Carlin described the dynamics of how the earring backs really work...

“If you were to hang a painting on a curtain it would tilt forward," he told the Toronto Star, "but if you put a board behind a curtain and then hung a painting on it, it would stay stable,” he said. “And that’s exactly what took place with my first item.”

Last week, we reported on the Twitter-fueled national debate over whether the plastic backings should be removed and tossed away, or whether they served a useful purpose. The issue was lampooned on The Today Show, and NBC conducted an online poll, where viewers let their opinions be know. Viewers overwhelmingly agreed — 92% vs. 8% — that the plastic part should stay on.

The earring drama originated with an August 1 tweet by Chelsea Smith, who revealed she had spent her entire life wearing her earrings “wrong.”

The 19-year-old posted photos of two earring backs, one with the plastic disk intact, and the other with the disk removed. Her revelation: “After my nineteen years of living I have now realized that you are supposed to take the plastic part off.”

Carlin called the Twitter debate "a hoot" and said he first learned about it when stories emerged on his Google Alert, which he has programmed to delivery "earring" stories.

He is also enjoying his 15 minutes of fame. "I’m getting so much fun out of it,” he said.

Credits: Ira Carlin via Getty Images; LeDisc Plus via earringdoctor.com; Twitter/Chelsea Smith

Lada Gaga Reveals Secret Detail of Her Heart-Shaped Diamond Engagement Ring

Newly betrothed Lady Gaga revealed a secret design detail of her new heart-shaped diamond engagement ring — a sweet and sentimental element she calls “my favorite part" of the ring. That's saying a lot because the 8-carat center stone is magnificent.

When Gaga surprised her 5.7 million Instagram followers with the announcement of her Valentine’s Day engagement to actor Taylor Kinney, the photo accompanying the post was a view from the top, offering a detailed image of the heart-shaped diamond. The image also offered a glimpse of a thin diamond pavé band.

A couple days later, she posted a second photo, this time showing the beautifully crafted underside of the ring and a surprising detail.

Instead of adding an inscription, fiancé Kinney and celebrity jeweler Lorraine Schwartz collaborated on a neat enhancement to the band — “T [heart] S” spelled out in pavé diamonds. “S” is for Stefani, Gaga’s birth name.

Here’s how Gaga captioned her Instagram photo: “My favorite part of my engagement ring, Taylor and Lorraine designed “T [heart] S” in white diamonds on the band. He always called me by my birth name. Since our very first date. I'm such a happy bride-to-be! I can't stop smiling!!”

We think there’s good reason to believe that many future brides and grooms will be asking jewelers to add a similar detail to their engagement rings. More than 384,000 of Gaga's followers on Instagram liked the “T [heart] S” photo.

Although she would not divulge the actual cost of the ring, Schwartz told Brides.com that the center stone is actually more expensive than some of the estimates she had read. That would put the price in excess of a half million dollars.

Jewelry expert Shari Fabrikant of Robert Fabrikant Inc. had told HollywoodLife.com that the heart-shaped center stone appeared to be about 8 carats in size. “The setting is simple with a few round diamonds down the side,” she noted. “If the stone is an E color and VS1, it would run close to $500,000.”

Zaven Ghanimian, CEO of Simon G. Jewelry, had told E! News that he was confident the stone weighs in at about 6 carats. "I would estimate at least SI1 clarity or better, G color or better," he said. "For a stone of this size and quality, the price could be up to $400,000."

Images: Instagram/LadyGaga