Posts tagged jewelry news

100-Carat ‘Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond’ Could Fetch $25M at Sotheby’s New York in April

The 100.20-carat “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” could fetch as much as $25 million when it headlines Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels auction in New York on April 21.

The “Ultimate” — a remarkable D-color, internally flawless stone — joins an elite club of only five comparable-quality 100-plus-carat diamonds to have ever hit the auction block. It’s the only one of the group to feature the classic emerald cut.

The current owner spent more than one year studying, cutting and polishing the original 200-carat rough diamond, which was mined by De Beers in South Africa. It is not unusual for a cutter to forgo 50 percent of the diamond's carat weight to yield a "perfect" stone.

“This 100.20 carat diamond is the definition of perfection,” commented Gary Schuler, Head of Sotheby’s Jewelry Department in New York. “The color is whiter than white. It is free of any internal imperfections, and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water.”

Lisa Hubbard, Chairman of North & South America for Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division, called the 100-carat diamond the “rarest object of natural beauty on the market right now” and “the ultimate acquisition.”

“Simply put, it has everything you could ever want from a diamond,” she said. “The classic shape begs to be worn, while the quality puts it in an asset class of its own. The stone gives you so many options – admire it unmounted, wear it as a simple but stunning pendant, or mount it in a designed jewel.”

The per-carat selling price of upper-echelon stones has been on a steep ascent since Sotheby’s auctioned it first 100-carat "perfect" diamond in 1990. At that time, the price was $125,000 per carat. By 2013, the price had risen to $260,000 per carat. Sotheby’s low estimate of $19 million for “Ultimate Emerald-Cut Diamond” represents a valuation of $190,000 per carat.

April’s headliner will be promoted on a whirlwind month-long tour that will take the stone from Dubai in mid-March to New York in mid-April, with stops in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and Doha.

The five other 100-plus-carat “perfect” diamonds to be sold at auction are listed below:

• “The Mouawad Splendour” (101.84 carats) is a modified pear-shape diamond that was sold in 1990 at Sotheby’s Geneva for $12.7 million.

• “The Star of Happiness” (100.36 carats) is a rectangular modified brilliant-cut that sold at Sotheby’s Geneva for $11.9 million in 1993.

• “The Star of the Season” (100.10 carats) sports a pear shape and fetched $16.5 million at Sotheby’s Geneva in 1995.

• “The Winston Legacy” (101.73 carats) also has a pear shape and generated $26.7 million (a record $262,830 per carat) at Christie’s Geneva in 2013.

• “Spectacular Oval Diamond” (118.28 carats) is an oval brilliant-cut stone that scored a world auction record for a white diamond when it sold for $30.6 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2013.

(Photos courtesy of Sotheby’s.)

Favorite Jewels of Legendary Actress Lauren Bacall to Hit the Auction Block in March

With a career that spanned 70 years in film, television and stage, actress Lauren Bacall was a beauty with an attitude. She lit up the silver screen playing opposite the biggest names in Hollywood, including her first husband, Humphrey Bogart.

Bacall, who passed away in August of 2014 at age 89, had a sophisticated taste in art, collectibles, furnishings and fine jewelry. About 750 items from her estate, including 30 pieces of jewelry, will be auctioned by Bonhams New York on March 31 and April 1.

Among the treasures on the Bonhams' auction block will be branded items from Cartier, Chanel and Tiffany & Co., as well as several pieces by one of Bacall's favorite designers, Jean Schlumberger.

“Lauren Bacall loved this amethyst, turquoise and diamond ring,” noted Jon King, Bonhams’ vice president and director of business development. "Paris was her favorite city and while she was there, she would go to Hermès and Yves Saint Laurent and all the houses, including Schlumberger and buy from him directly." The coordinating gems on the Schlumberger earrings were designed to move with her as she moved, King explained.

The ring is estimated to sell in the range of $8,000 to $12,000, and the earrings are expected to fetch from $7,000 to $9,000.

A second Schlumberger piece was also favored by the actress. The 18-karat yellow gold bracelet is designed as a series of blue pailloné enamel panels, detailed with polished gold bars, leaves and cones. The bracelet is expected to sell from $20,000 and $30,000.

Bonhams’ auction notes reveal that 18-karat yellow gold rope bracelets were a fashion staple for Bacall, as she frequently wore multiples on the same wrist.

Bacall wore the bracelet (above) together with a similar, diamond-encrusted ropework bracelet "all the time," said King. "She liked layering and texture. That was part of her distinctive style." The bracelet is expected to fetch $5,000 to $7,000.

The actress also loved the camel brooch, above. Bonhams reported that British designer Elizabeth Gage was charged with turning an enamel camel Bacall owned into a brooch.

Items by designer Darlene de Selde will be featured, as well. These include a pair of 22-karat yellow gold and sapphire earrings, as well as a jadeite and 22-karat yellow gold ring (above).

Many of the items on sale are modestly priced, so here’s your chance to own a piece of Hollywood history.

In addition to the fine jewelry, the auction will feature bronze sculptures, decorative arts, tribal works of art, prints and paintings. Bonhams believes the entire collection will yield $3 million.

A tour of the Lauren Bacall Collection began in Hong Kong (Jan. 14 - 19) and is scheduled to head out to Paris (Jan. 29 – Feb. 5). Then the collection lands in London (Feb. 15 – 19), and moves onward to Los Angeles (Feb. 27 – Mar. 6). The final stop is New York, where the entire collection will be previewed from March 25 – 30, with the auction commencing the following day.

Jewelry images via Bonhams. Lauren Bacall publicity shots.

Israeli Company Prints Entire New Testament on Silicon Chip That's Smaller Than Your Pinky Nail

Using incredible nanotechnology, an Israeli company successfully printed the entire New Testament — all 27 books comprising 180,000 words — on a single silicon chip that’s smaller than your pinky nail.

The chip is easily mounted in a pendant, so devotees can wear the sacred scriptures close to their hearts. They also can be embedded in watches, charms and nearly any other kind of jewelry.

Developed in cooperation with Tel Aviv University’s Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology, each silicon chip measures 4.76mm square (about .2 inches) and is expected to be validated by Guinness World Records as the world’s smallest Bible.

According to a spokesman for Jerusalem Nano Bible, each letter measures 600 nano meters, which is so small that it requires an electron microscope in order to see it clearly. The company and its breakthrough product were profiled last week on CBS Evening News.

The nano Bibles are not produced individually. They are mass produced on eight-inch round wafers, each of which contains 1,210 complete copies of the New Testament.

“Our aim is to be able to mass produce it and cater to really every [budget]” said David Almog, head of Jerusalem Nano Bible’s marketing and sales department.

The biblical text of the current nano bible represents the Ancient Greek version of the New Testament. In the photo above, a representative size of a complete nano bible (black square) is compared to the Greek text of a traditionally printed version.

Jerusalem Nano Bible is planning to produce a nano version of the Old Testament (600,000+ words) in the near future.

Screen captures via YouTube/CBS Evening News

Drone Delivers Engagement Ring to Couple on Ipswich Beach While Capturing Spectacular Aerial Footage

Strolling hand-in-hand on scenic Crane Beach in Ipswich, Mass., Andrew and Sophie noticed a curious drone flying along the shore and heading in their direction. Hanging off the drone was a black bag containing a very special cargo, which Sophie would soon learn was a diamond engagement ring.

Andrew had conspired with a New England company specializing in aerial drone videography to assist him with an unforgettable, high-flying, surprise marriage proposal.

Not only was the drone making the ring delivery in a most unusual way, but also was capturing the momentous event in crystal clear 1080p high definition — from an amazing vantage point.

The company, Above Summit of Somerville, Mass., posted a video that combines footage generated by the drone-mounted cameras and others on the ground. The result is a masterful presentation that, in the arena of awesome marriage proposals, raises the bar for creativity and sheer beauty.

In the video, we see the drone slowly descending on the couple, and then hovering just above Andrew, who reaches up to remove the bag.

Now, with his grandmother’s heirloom engagement ring in hand, he proposes to Sophie, who says, “Yes.” The couple kisses and embraces.

Then, much like the final scene of a Hollywood romance film, the drone’s camera locks onto the couple as it takes off into the distance, creating an epic end shot.

Drones, which are sometimes called unmanned aerial vehicles, typically have multiple rotors and can fly safely within 10 feet of the subject matter, according to a Q&A published by Above Summit.

The units are flown by remote control and often have two operators — one flying the drone and the other controlling the camera. They are allowed to fly in “unregulated” airspace, generally staying under 400 feet in altitude and away from airports and other aerial activity.

Check out the beautifully shot video of the Ipswich marriage proposal below…

Ebola Nurse’s Engagement Ring Incinerated by Overzealous Cleanup Crew

The cleanup crew tasked with removing any trace of the Ebola virus from the home of infected nurse Amber Vinson might have been a bit overzealous when they incinerated many of her possessions, including her beautiful new engagement ring.

Showcasing a round center diamond in a cushion-shaped halo setting and accented by a double micro pavé diamond band, the ring was very similar in design to one shown below.

Infectious disease expert William Schaffner from Vanderbilt University School of Medicine told ABC News that burning the Ebola patient's engagement ring was unnecessary and "totally overboard." Schaffner said the engagement ring could have been easily disinfected.

"It sends the wrong public health message," he told ABC News, "as though the engagement ring could be vehicle for the Ebola virus."

Vinson was released recently from Atlanta's Emory University Hospital, where she was treated for the virus she contracted while tending the first U.S. Ebola patient, Thomas Eric Duncan, in Texas. She told CNN’s Don Lemon that she was shocked to learn many of her possessions were burned soon after she started treatment on October 14. The cleanup crew had been hired by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and is apparently not liable for replacing the destroyed jewelry.

"Your house was sterilized? They burned a lot of your things? They incinerated your engagement ring?" Lemon asked the newly engaged 29-year-old on CNN Tonight.

"Yes. I was crushed,” she said. “It's a thing, but it has sentimental value to me." Also burned was a binder that included all of Vinson’s wedding plans.

The upbeat Texas nurse remained positive about her future even though many of her possessions are gone.

"We've got to rebuild," she told CNN.

If you’re wondering if it’s even possible to burn an engagement ring, the answer is, “Yes.” Commercial incinerators burn at a temperature of 1,400 to 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit. Gold will melt at 1,948 degrees Fahrenheit and diamonds can burn or oxidize at 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the Merck index, a definitive reference guide used by scientists. Diamonds do have a melting point of 6,432 degrees Fahrenheit, but attaining that temperature is only possible in a vacuum.

Images: CNN.com screen captures; Facebook/HelpAmberVinson