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Faberge, one of the world’s most recognized fine artist jewelers, have unveiled a new creation of their iconic Imperial Eggs. The lucky attendees of last week’s Doha Watch and Jewellery Exhibition in Qatar witnessed the first debut of the extraordinary masterpiece: the $2 million Pearl Egg.
Using a combination of white and yellow gold, the meticulously crafted egg features a total of 139 natural white pearls, gleams with a mother-of-pearl finish and adorned with over 3,300 diamonds and hand-carved rock quartz. The centerpiece is an incredibly rare, unique 12.17-carat natural grey pearl sourced from the Arabian Gulf. To reveal it, the outer egg shell is rotated on the base which allows the six sides to flower open simultaneously to reveal the treasure; reminiscent of how an oyster opens to reveal its’ cultured pearl.
The House of Faberge collaborated with the Al-Fardan family to create this egg in honor of the upcoming centenary marking the last Imperial Egg ever made. A renowned pearl collector and connouisseur, Hussain Ibrahim Al-Fardan personally hand-selected each pearl from his family’s collection to be used in making the Pearl Egg.
The Pearl Egg is the first imperial class egg made in almost a century – the last imperial class egg was created in 1917, under the supervision of Peter Carl Faberge himself. The Karelian Birch, also referred to as the “Birch Egg”, was commissioned by the last Tsar of Russia Nicholas II, intended as an Easter gift to his mother, the Empress Maria Feodorovna. The February Revolution began before the egg could be delivered, signalling the end of the imperial era of Russia and subsequently, Faberge’s eggs.
Tags: 18K, 18K gold, 24 karat gold, 24K, Birch Egg, carats, couture, cultured pearls, custom made, diamonds, Easter gifts, faberge eggs, freshwater pearls, hand made, haute couture, imperial, jewelry collector, Maria Feodorovna, natural pearl, objets d'art, Peter Carl Faberge, Russian revolution, Tsar Nicholas II
Last Sunday’s NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks and Green Bay Packers will probably go down as one of the most incredible comebacks in pro football history.
If you were also following the pre-game show on FOX Sports, you would have been shocked by the NFL’s threat to bench the Seahawks star running back, Marshawn Lynch, for his intention to wear his own 24 karat gold cleats.
The controversial pair in question is the $1100 Nike Vapor Speed Mid TD shoes customized by Soles by Sir. Reminiscent of the Greek messenger god Hermes’ golden footwear, the top is gilded over entirely by reflective 24 karat flake paint, with the sole and cleats also gold-plated. Bright green laces were the only contrast on the shoe, a nod to the Seahawks’ official colors of lime green and blue.
TMZ reported that the shoes were made especially for his return to the Super Bowl, but Lynch was so pleased with how they turned out that he decided to wear them to the NFC Championship game. Unfortunately for him, NFL officials were not so pleased. The league requires each player to wear officially sanctioned footwear – for the Seahawks, they are only allowed black, white, or the official colors of blue or green. Metallic gold does not qualify.
Just before game time, FOX reported the crisis averted – Lynch had reached a compromise with the NFL. He sported green and blue topped shoes, albeit with gold-plated soles and cleats.
Lynch and his gold-soled shoes carried the Seahawks to a showstopping victory that night. He would not be denied as he barreled down 155 yards on 25 carries for a touchdown. After being down 19-7 with only three minutes left in the game, the Seahawks led an unrelenting comeback – including a recovered onside kick and a successful two-point conversion – carrying them into overtime. Only a few minutes into the extra period, quarterback Russell Wilson completed a 35-yard pass to receiver Kearse in the endzone for the game winning touchdown. They ended the game at 28-22, earning them a ticket to the Superbowl and thus making themselves the first defending champions in over 10 years.
Tags: Championship, customized, football, gold cleats, gold flakes, gold plated, Green Bay Packers, jewelry, Marshawn Lynch, mens, New England Patriots, NFC, NFL, Nike Vapor, quarterback, Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks, Superbowl 2015
The Letseng mine in the small Kingdom of Lesotho, South Africa has just uncovered another massive diamond rough: a 198-carat stone, roughly the size of a large strawberry.
A diamond over 100 carats is rare enough – with only about 10 to 15 found each year worldwide – but a rough that is nearly 200 carats is an exceedingly rare find. A stone of this size is expected to yield a polished diamond around 100 carats, or half the weight of the rough it originated from.
Even though the stone’s size is impressive, it is not even close to being the largest ever uncovered from the Letseng mine. In fact, the Letseng mine is well-known for churning out large, quality rough over the years, and has the highest price per carat production of all the mines in the world. Some of the largest include the Lesotho Promise, the 15th largest diamond in the world at 603 carats; the Letseng Legacy at 493 carats, and the Leseli La Letseng at 478 carats which are 18th and 20th largest respectively.
What makes this rough even more valuable is its’ designation of Type IIa, which constitutes less than 2% of all natural diamonds. Type IIa diamonds have no measurable nitrogen impurities, making them chemically pure. This not only gives them exceptional optical transparency, but also a high likelihood of achieving a colorless (D-E-F) grade and a high clarity grade. Officials from Gem Diamonds Ltd, which own the majority stake in the Letseng mine, confirmed this after inspection of the stone noting it as “an exceptional white, high-quality diamond that displays no fluorescence”.
Martin Potts, a London-based mining analyst has estimated the 198 carat stone to fetch somewhere between $12 to $15 million.
Tags: carat, clarity, colorless, cut, diamonds, Gem Diamonds, Golconda, impurities, kimberlite, largest, Lesotho, Lesotho Promise, Letseng Legacy, Letseng mine, mining, pipes, polished, price per carat, raw diamond, rough diamond, sattelite, South Africa, Type II, Type IIa
After one month and 64 soccer matches played, and it is Germany who achieves the coveted title of FIFA 2014 World Champions. Coming into the tournament as #2 ranked in the world, they captured the World Cup Trophy after scoring 1-0 in overtime in the exciting final game with Argentina.
The trophy comes as the second redesign in all of FIFA’s history. The original trophy – named the Jules Rimet Cup after the former FIFA president – was a miniature statue of Nike, the Greek goddess of victory. The body was forged in sterling silver and plated over in pure 24K gold, which stood on a base of carved blue lapis lazuli. FIFA regulations at that time stipulated that any country that wins three times would be awarded the Cup permanently; just that happened in 1970, the year that Brazil won their 3rd championship and took the cup home. Unfortunately, in 1983 the cup was stolen in Rio de Janeiro and has never been seen again.
The current trophy has thus been used since 1974, but no longer carries the possibility of being owned by any one country as it remains the permanent possession of FIFA.
Silvio Gazzaniga, the Italian creator of the current trophy, describes the depiction as thus: “The lines spring out from the base, rising in spirals, stretching out to receive the world. From the remarkable dynamic tensions of the compact body of the sculpture rise the figures of two athletes at the stirring moment of victory.”
According to FIFA’s official website, the trophy stands at over 36cm tall and made of a whopping 6.175kg of 18 karat yellow gold, which is worth approximately $175,000. The German team will be taking home a gold-plated replica of the trophy, while the actual trophy will remain at FIFA headquarters to only be used at the official ceremonies.
Tags: 18K, 2014 FIFA, 24K, carved, custom made, football, Gazzaniga, Germany, goddess of victory, gold plated, Jules Rimet Cup, lapis lazuli, Nike, replica, soccer, sports trophies, sterling silver, yellow gold
christies green diamond
A 6.13-carat fancy intense green diamond set a new per-carat record when it sold at Christie’s on May 27 for a whopping $3.6 million, or $594,510 per carat. The square cushion cut diamond is the center of a rose gold halo style ring, accentuated by natural pink diamonds.
Next to red, green is the rarest of colors found in natural diamonds. For most colored diamonds, the color comes from trace amounts of mineral impurities or extreme pressure conditions while the diamond was forming. The tight chemical structure makes it very difficult for any impurities to enter, which is why colored diamonds are exceedingly rare. Small amounts of boron in the crystal lattice structure of a diamond, for example, will impart a blue hue; same goes with nitrogen for yellow, and hydrogen for violet. What gives a diamond a green hue however, is the presence of natural radiation over millions of years. Because the radiation exposure is an external force rather than internal force (such as mineral impurities and lattice defects), it acts on the surface only. As a result, green diamonds are not green all the way through; the color is concentrated on the outer layers and tends to be weakly saturated. That is why a fancy intense green diamond, especially one of a size like this one, is almost a once-in-a-lifetime find.
This spectacular diamond joins the ranks of other recently sold, record-breaking gems at Christie’s. At their Geneva auction just last month, there were three record-breakers alone. They include ‘The Blue’, a fancy vivid blue pear shaped diamond weighing over 13 carats, a 76.5 carat light pink square-cut diamond that sold for $10.2 million, and the ‘Ocean Dream’ – a 5.5 carat, vivid blue-green diamond that went for $8.8million.
Tags: Christie's Geneva, engagement ring, fancy deep, fancy intense, fancy light, fancy vivid, green diamond, Hong Kong, jewelry auction, natural diamonds, Ocean Dream, pink diamonds, rare, rose gold, The Blue, vancouver
March 20th marks Proposal Day, the day on which an estimated 50,000 couples will get engaged!
Is March 20th the day to pop the big question? Possibly, but this lesser known holiday was initially started for the purpose of giving a nudge to couples who have not yet taken the ultimate step of commitment. Interestingly enough, it was a man by the name of John Michael O’Laughlin who founded Proposal Day. After seeing his cousin being strung along for years by a boyfriend who wouldn’t commit, O’Laughlin decided enough was enough and decided to dedicate one day out of the year just for the act of proposing.
Proposal Day falls on the Vernal Equinox, one out of two days of the year on which the Earth’s North and South poles are both perpendicular to the Sun’s rays. This means that the Sun appears approximately an equal amount of time above and below the horizon at every location on Earth, so that day and night are equal lengths. O’Laughlin specifically chose the day of an equinox because he believed the equal day and night symbolized “the equal efforts of the two required to comprise a successful marriage.” The Autumnal Equinox falls about six months after March 20th, and is considered by some to be a second Proposal Day for that reason.
The holiday is an opportunity to start a conversation about the possibility of a future proposal, according to ProposalDay.com. Besides, nowadays couples wait longer before tying the knot; a recent poll found that roughly 27 per cent of women whose partners had popped the question dated their partner for three to five years. As an added benefit, talking to your partner about the proposal beforehand means that you can go engagement ring shopping together, which takes some pressure off of finding the perfect engagement ring!
Although it’s certainly not as widely recognized as Valentine’s Day, there are signs that Proposal Day is gaining traction. It has been creating a buzz in numerous social media outlets like Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter and has even been featured in the national news media.
Tags: 1 carat, 18K gold, amethyst, aquamarine, Autumnal Equinox, custom made, diamond ring, engagement ring, engagement traditions, gemologist, gemstone ring, perfect proposal, Pinterest rings, platinum, Proposal Day, sapphire, solitaire, Valentine's Day, vancouver, Vernal Equinox