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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
For the second year in a row, Hearts on Fire has sponsored ELLE Magazine’s Women in Television celebratory dinner. Hosted by Editor-in-chief Robbie Myers, the star-studded event welcomed more than a hundred of the industry’s top talent and executives in an intimate setting, perfect for showcasing the brand’s sparkling diamonds.
The brand is no stranger to Hollywood. Many showstopping Hearts on Fire pieces have been spotted on the red carpet by actresses from several hit shows including Malin Ackerman (Trophy Wife), Emma Roberts (American Horror Story), Maria Menounos (Extra), and Sarah Rafferty (Suits). The most notable actress in attendance was perhaps Morena Baccarin, star of the Emmy award-winning Homeland. She is also the face of the newest Hearts on Fire campaign, the first ever celebrity collaboration. Of the brand she says, “I had the opportunity to wear Hearts On Fire jewelry on the red carpet and just loved the way their diamonds made me look and feel. The quality and sparkle of Hearts On Fire diamonds is truly unmatched, and I am really excited to represent the brand.”
The highlight of the event was over $15 million worth of Hearts on Fire perfectly cut diamonds spread out on the dinner tables, where more stars were able to try on and touch the jewelry pieces.
Hearts on Fire is The World’s Most Perfectly Cut Diamond™. Founded in 1996, the brand was built around one simple idea: to create the most beautiful diamonds ever seen. From start to finish, they have always focused on striving for perfection – from the selection of rough, to proprietary cutting and polishing processes. They have since become the fastest-growing diamond brand in the world, and have established a new industry standard for diamond cutting. Visit their website http://www.heartsonfire.com/ to get a peek into what they do and for a list of authorized retailers near you.
Tags: 4 C's, american gem society, diamond jewelry, diamonds, ELLE magazine, engagement rings, hearts on fire, Morena Baccarin, Women in Television
We’ve seen many seemingly ordinary items bedazzled into creations of jewelry art: diamond studded shoes by Stuart Weitzman, Victoria’s Secret Fantasy Bras, and even Lady Gaga’s golden wheelchair chariot… but this is the first time expensive jewels are combined with Finnish flora to create a Christmas wreath.
Created by floral designer Pasi Jokinen-Carter, it takes the place as the most expensive wreath ever designed. With 32 diamonds and 16 rubies totalling 138 carats, the creation is priced at $4.6 million. Resting among the elaborate and rare greenery that includes Helleborus flower buds, hand-curled eucalyptus leaves, and blue Hedera berries, the gems add an unmistakable luxurious touch without overwhelming – they create a nice visual contrast with a little pop of color. Twenty-two loose round brilliant diamonds are nestled in the petals of one of the Helleborus flowers, and another cradles a 3.03 carat fancy yellow diamond. The largest gem in the wreath is a 17.49 carat ruby.
“I am passionate about my craft and this recent invitation to create an exclusive wreath, using natural materials and diamonds, has been an exciting and exceptional project,” says Jokinen-Carter. The wreath takes about a week to create, with most of the greenery and flowers sourced from his own backyard. All of the gems can be easily dismantled after the holidays, where they may find new (more permanent!) homes in jewelry pieces.
Tags: Burma, carat, custom jewelry, diamonds, eucalyptus, fancy yellow diamond, flower buds, Hedera, Helleborus, holiday decorations, loose diamonds, most expensive, natural, round brilliant, ruby
With its range in color from sunny yellow to bronze deep orange hues, what better stone to represent the falling leaves of autumn than citrine? One of the official birthstones of November, citrine is a member of the mineral family quartz.
Currently the world’s largest faceted citrine resides in the “Special Exhibit Gems” of the Art Natura museum in Spain, a natural science museum that is home to an extensive collection of colored gemstones. Known as “The Malaga” in tribute of its host city, this oval shaped gem is an enormous 20,200 carats – equivalent to 4 kilos! It neighbors another gemstone of gigantic proportions: the “Eldorado”, a 31,000 carat imperial topaz which also happens to be the other birthstone of November.
Despite its size, “Malaga” has very minor imperfections and is considered nearly flawless. Along with its exceptional color, even distribution, transparency and purity, “Malaga” is truly a world-class gem. Citrine crystals that are found usually measure only a few cm across, and the ones that are larger in size generally lack in quality and are used for decorative purposes rather than jewelry.
The rough that formed “Malaga” was originally discovered in 1990 in Brazil. Due to the complications of the process of cutting and polishing a stone this large, the rough was left untouched for nearly two decades until 2009 when a team of gem cutters took on the challenge. With all of the special considerations needed for a stone of this size, it took over a year to bring to its polished form.
Brazil is the largest producer of the world’s supply of citrines; other important sources include Bolivia, United States, and Madagascar.
Tags: amethyst, Brazil, citrine, largest gemstones, Malaga, mineral family, museum of natural history, quartz, tourist sites
The most beloved First Lady of Argentina was as well-known for her charitable endeavours as she was her glamorous image. Eva Perón (fondly referred to as Evita), the wife of the former Argentinian president Juan Perón was a charming beauty who created her own legacy. She rose from humble beginnings in the rural town of Los Toldos to become a recognized actress before finally meeting her future husband. Soon after, she established the Eva Perón foundation, which focused on helping the common people and provided services such as healthcare, education, and community development nationwide. Being very hands-on, she made many public appearances in the name of her charity and was always impeccably dressed; often in French couture, fur, and elaborate jewels.
One of Perón’s most memorable pieces has surfaced again to the public: the headliner at the upcoming October 15th Sale of Magnificent Jewels by Christie’s, the historic brooch depicting the Argentine flag. Featuring brilliant colorless and yellow diamonds and “mystery-set” blue sapphires, it was a custom designed piece for the first lady by the house of Van Cleef and Arpels. The last time it was seen in public was in April 1998, where it sold at auction for ten times its estimate at an astounding $992,500!
Another iconic piece worn in her 1947 official portrait (which was also used in Argentinian stamps in that era) is a Victorian-era diamond necklace set with eleven oval Burmese rubies. It was also sold at auction in 2003 at an estimate of about $200,000. What is unusual, according to experts, is that the entire necklace remained intact – it was common during the 19th century for important pieces of jewelry to be dismantled and remade.
Very recently, Spanish police have recovered a hoard of stolen jewels estimated at approximately $6 million euros. They organized a sting at the hotel the thieves were staying at in Milan, and they recovered a collection of rings, earrings and a fantastic diamond tiara believed to have been given to Perón by the Dutch royal family.
Much like her life, there is a lot of mystery of origin surrounding Perón’s many jewels, which may also be why some of her most treasured jewelry pieces have wound up at high-end international auctions, fetching record-breaking prices for fascinated jewelry collectors and historic collectors alike.
Tags: brooch, Burmese, choker necklace, christie's, diamonds, jewels, magnificent jewels, royal family, royalty, rubies, tiara
The world has set a new record never before has a ring being entirely made of a single diamond. How did they do it? Who had this crazy idea? How many carats is it and the big question is how much does it cost and who will buy it? They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend; well this one ought to provide a lifelong companionship.
The 150 carat all diamond ring was made with laser technology. Multiple tests were done to get the precision of the circle right. Special laser equipment was bought to cut the diamond directly and not alter the colour of it. It was made by a labor of love and took a couple years in the process for making it. Mohamed Shawesh, president and CEO of Geneva-based Shawish Jewelry was the genius and passion behind this stunning piece. “A ring made entirely of a faceted diamond has always seemed like a fantasy, It seemed impossible, so we decided to embark on the adventure of creating it. To create the perfect diamond ring is the epitome of art.” Says Mohamed Shawesh. It had been a dream of his from way back. In 2009 he sought to get the copyright to design the ring and in 2010 it was finalized but it still had a lot more time to go.
They had to go through a lengthy process of designs to get the ring to its perfect precision. Shawish speaks of this, “We had to do multiple tests with the design, to get the precision of the circle right. Diamonds are made of carbon and molecules that can change, even the colour can be altered when attempting to cut it. We had to buy special laser equipment, to cut directly into the diamond. The most important aspect is preserving the integrity of the diamond and of course the most difficult phase is precision cutting an entire stone into a ring.”
A couple years later in 2012 all the dreaming, fantasizing, and hard work has paid off. The 150 carat ring now goes for about $70 million.
Tags: carat ring, cut, diamond ring, diamonds, faceted diamond, fantasizing, genius, jewel, jewely, labor of love, laser equipment, laser technology, perfect, size, stone, stunning piece