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christies green diamond

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.

 

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Those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis may be glad to hear that those cumbersome bandage-like splints can be a thing of the past! There is now a very fashionable HeidiK repossialternative, precious metal finger splints made from silver or gold. These offer support while blending in with your outfits as a chic, everyday “accessory”.

More than just a pleasing visual appearance, they also have other advantages over their bandage counterparts. For one, they are much more streamlined and compact, allowing ease of hand function in day-to-day activities. For example, the user can wear gloves over them while doing housework or when out in the cold, and are able to slide into sleeved shirts without difficulty. Because there is an efficient use of space, they are also more comfortable to wear.

Being made of metal instead of cloth and rubber means that there is less maintenance for the splint, the traditional ones need to be wiped down and hand-washed often. Hygienic maintenance for metal splints is not necessary, but like any piece of jewelry, you may want to give it a polish every now and then to keep it looking its best.  You can also get them wet without any worries! No Sienna ringsneed to take them off every time you wash your hands. The rigidness ensures it will keep your wrist and hand movements in the way it is intended.

As an added bonus, similar types of extended finger rings are already a very popular fashion accessory for people without arthritis! This “rock-chic” look has been seen on many celebrities and models.

You can choose to customize them to your personal tastes as well, changing up the finish of the metal, adding different designs, embed with gemstones or diamonds.. The possibilities are endless!

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royal babyAs part of the royal tradition, Kate Middleton is rumored to receive a new mommy gift (or “push present”) for the birth of her first child, Prince George Alexander Louis. It can’t be easy to figure out what to give the mother of the future King of England, but Prince William seems like he has it all figured out.

It is believed that William has commissioned one of the royal jewelers to find a pink diamond that will become the centerpiece of a custom brooch for Kate. He is very involved in the design process, adding sentimental touches to make it that much more special. Due to the scarcity of colored diamonds, in particular high quality ones of a larger size, it may be a while before we see the completed piece. Originally he was contemplating giving her one of his late mother the Princess Diana’s jewels, but decided that he wanted something made just for her. Prince Charles had also presented the late Princess Diana with a gift when William was born – a necklace of diamonds and pearls with a heart-shaped center, and a gold ‘W’ charm for her bracelet.

Fancy colored diamonds have a tradition for the English royal family, especially pink diamonds. Queen Elizabeth II owns one of the most famous pink diamonds in the world: the Williamson Pink, a flawless diamond of over 54 carats rough given to her as a wedding gift in 1947 by Canadian geologist John Williamson. The rough diamond was cut into a 23.6 round brilliant, which the Queen then had set into a diamond flower brooch.

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small diamond pendantSmall necklaces, earrings and bracelets have been appearing more in the jewelry market today. They are great small pieces for gifts and self-purchase, a great entry piece for fine jewellery. Many jewelry brand names have developed a line of tiny pendants, for instance, diamond brand hearts on fire have a collection of small diamond necklaces.

Hearts on fire my 1xt “x” pendant. These small pieces great for layering, a trend that’s very popuar with necklaces, rings and bracelets. The right necklace is an essential for putting the final touch on your outfit, with a small diamond necklace, you can totally overdo it with earrings, bracelets or rings.

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cufflinksToday’s popular male stars, such as Jay-Z, Johnny Depp, the Jonas brothers and Justin Bieber, tend to wear more jewelry and that’s opening the door for other men to realize that jewelry is a part of putting an outfit together. Jewelry is also a status symbol for men who have become more established in life and their careers. The more popular and traditional men’s jewellery are watches and cufflinks.

As men’s jewelry progresses, it will go through those conservative categories, of watches and cufflinks, to more modern categories, including bracelets, rings and pendants. These categories will continue to grow as the younger generation moves into the market. Younger generation may not be able to afford nice watches yet but they can all afford some nice silver men’s jewellery. Men’s jewellery can’t be too flashy, feminine or ostentatious; they need to have a masculine appeal. Brushed and blackened metals are great choices of design, and most of the time men’s jewellery are easy to maintain.

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cheapsidehoardfullA treasure that was uncovered 100 years ago by a workman is going to now be on display for the first time next fall in the Museum of London.  The entire chest called the Cheapside Hoard which includes hundreds of gold and gem studded Tudor and Jacobean jewellery.  There are many questions and possible murder mystery tales surrounding this jewellery which makes its value more than just its weight in gold. It also can tell us about the life during this time in London a period from between 1558 to 1625. Some questions that arise are whose jewels were these? Why was it hidden? Why hasn’t it ever been claimed?

It was first discovered in 1912 when it was buried in a cellar on Cheapside in the City of London.  A workman’s pickaxe smashed through the brick floor more than a century ago and it was left forgotten. When an old house was being demolished on Cheapside the hoard was found and remains priceless.

Swan

“Nothing in the world comes close,” said Museum of London curator Hazel Forsyth. He has been studying the pieces for a long time now. Some of the jewelry includes necklaces, rings, brooches, chains, pearls, rubies, fan holders, scent bottles and two carved gems dating back 1,300 years ago. The most delicate of items are fine gold enamel chains with gems on them up to two meters long they were stitched on gowns and hung from collar to waist as a dazzling display. “This collection has been misunderstood and misinterpreted, dismissed as jewelry for the merchant classes,” Forsyth said. “But at this date the merchants were among the wealthiest people in the land; they had far more disposable wealth than the aristocracy.” Along with the massive rubies, and pearls the size of acorns there are sapphires, emeralds and some fake stones made of quartz crystal which have been dyed and carved to look like precious gems.

New research of a specific gem known as “The Stafford Intaglio”, an oval shaped piece of engraved cornelian, suggest the time it was buried between 1640 and 1666.  The engraved piece is a badge of Stafford with a swan and a wreath, there was only one Viscount Stafford by the name of William Howard in 1640.

broochTwo other pieces from the Cheapside Hoard is a salamander shaped brooch set with Colombian emeralds and table cut diamonds from India. The other is a gold enamel ring set with moonstone and engraved with a frog.

Another extremely rare piece is a hexagonal emerald watch, one of the most unusual and decadent pieces found, one of a kind no other in its era had ever been recorded.

All these jewels will be displayed together they are the single most important knowledge of early modern jewelry worldwide.

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GlitterAngFor the fabulously wealthy, gold is not limited to jewelry. Here are some of the more unconventional ways that gold is being put to use:

For the woman who has everything, here is the most glamorous and exclusive nail polish in the world: the Model’s Own Gold Rush from British jeweler, Frost of London. This tiny bottle comes with a handcrafted 18 karat gold lid embedded with 1,118 diamonds! The polish itself resembles liquid gold, a metallic, rich pure gold hue with iridescence. The cost of each bottle of Gold Rush is a whopping $130,000 – but it is sure to make the wearer feel like a million bucks.

Just short of bathing in the metal, a floor length couture gown made entirely of gold sequins by designer Zac Posen will set you back approximately $1.5 million. Such a dress was worn by Caroline Correa for a Magnum Gold marketing campaign titled “As Good as Gold”. Handcrafted by the designer himself, the dress had pure 24 karat gold foil applique on each of the thousands of sequins.

GoldLady Gaga recovered recently from an emergency hip surgery, which rendered her incapable of walking for a few weeks. So of course, she commissioned a custom black leather and 24 karat gold plated wheelchair for her to ride around in style. Dubbed “The Chariot”, it looks more like a throne than a wheelchair. It comes complete with luxurious italian leather and gold plating on all of the delicate framework, with a removable canopy and full recliner. The designer, Ken Borochov, reportedly gave only a week to complete the entire project. The chair is both fashionable and fuctional – it has accompanied Lady Gaga all over Manhattan, from window shopping to shopping for a new apartment.

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Margaret ThatcherMargaret Thatcher, the longest serving Prime Minister of the UK (1979-1990) and first and only female PM is one of the 20th Century’s most famous and influential women. She came from modest roots with a dedication to justice and problem solving that took her well beyond the barriers of gender and class to not only be heard but respected in a male dominated world.

The Prime Minister’s stoic nature was reflected in her fashion sense as much as in her political diplomacy. A style that was understated yet defined, consistent while sentimental.

She is most well known for her skirt suits and handbags – standing out from the sea of black and grey men’s suits and briefcases of her contemporaries. She even coined the used of the term ‘handbagging’ which eventually made it into the Oxford English Dictionary to describe Mrs Thatcher’s abrasive style when dealing with those who displeased her. Her handbag for almost 30 years was an Asprey box style in black leather, it was auctioned for charity at Christie’s in 2011 and reached £25,000.

Pearls were another staple. As Meryl Streep who plays her in the 2012 movie, “The Iron Lady” says “I may be persuaded to surrender the hat… The pearls, however, are absolutely non-negotiable”. Ultimately feminine just as the skirt and handbag, the tough player was almost never seen without her pearl earrings and usually the double strand necklace she was given by her husband after the birth of her twins, or a single strand.

In an interview for the Times newspaper in 1975, she is described as wearing “all the jewelry she has—every piece her husband’s gift—two modest rows of pearls (“a present when the twins were born”); a sapphire and diamond engagement ring and a small diamond half-hoop ring; a slim gold watch; a marble-sized amethyst ring on her right hand and a jangle of cairngorms on the wrist; a nice pearl and diamond display brooch on her right lapel, pearl and gold filigree earrings and an aquamarine brooch on the dress under the jacket. Her foulard scarf matched it.”

Her sapphire and diamond engagement rings is re-emerging as a popular style now, especially since the engagement of Prince William to Kate Middleton. Thatcher’s was smaller than Middleton’s (originally Princess Diana’s), while her amethyst worn on her right hand was oval and much more substantial.

‘Cairngorms’ is the name given to citrine quartz mined in the Cairngorm Mountains of Scotland. It is an amber-brown or richly orange variety used extensively in Scottish jewelry in the Victorian period. The larger sized cairngorms were particularly prized and often handed down through families. Thatcher’s amethyst could also have been from this period and location.

Just as it was a secret what she kept in her handbag, it seems there were private and sentimental stories attached to her daily jewellery also. Iron Lady on the outside, but always maintaining that feminine mystique – what does your jewellery say about you?

What special memory does your bracelet hold for you?

Who do you feel you hold close to your heart when wearing that pendant?

How many generations have worn those pearls?

Which piece of jewellery would most express how much your partner means to you?

Old jewellery heirlooms can be remodelled to suit today’s fashion while still using the stones and metal for sentimentality. Custom jewellery can be made specifically to your design to create a unique statement piece. Look for independent jewelers (they are often more accommodating) in your area and talk to them about your options.

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The cherry blossoms are out and this beautiful city is coming alive as the clouds come and go revealing a bright blue sky dotted with pink and white flowers. April is Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival season with many events celebrating the beginning of spring from dance and biking events to Japanese poetry and guided walks.

These delicate beauties are a popular inspiration for jewelry and fashion designers. This year at the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Awards, Vancouver born jewellery designer Gregore Joailliers (now based in Santa Barbara, CA) won the business/Day wear category with his 18K white gold earrings that elegantly feature pink opal Japanese plum blossoms accented with black and white diamonds. It is easy to believe that this piece was inspired from his upbringing in this city.

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Perhaps you have a design in mind that encaptures the beauty of this city? Why not find a local jeweler to make your vision a reality. Look for custom jewelry designers in your area.

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3: STONE:

Here we will only consider diamonds. If you are considering other stones, speak to a gemmologist to find out your options and get their recommendations. Remember: knowledge is power, know as much as you can about what you are spending your money on.

Diamonds are rocks that form naturally in the earth, so there is no ‘one size fits all’. It is like choosing between apples – size, sweetness, crispness, juiciness are categories you want to balance when picking an apple. It is similar for diamonds but with different criteria.

  • Carat: In gold this word refers to the purity, with diamonds it is the weight/size. Bear in mind that diamonds are priced per carat digitally. In other words 0.5-0.99 is one price bracket, and 1.00-1.49 is another. Therefore it is possible to buy a 0.98 for the price of a 0.5 and it will look like a 1 carat. The other factors are also critical, however, so bear in mind that a 1 carat diamond can vary in price dramatically depending on the other variables.
  • Clarity: Being an organic material, most diamonds have impurities known as inclusions. Inclusions are usually white or black and some can be seen with the naked eye. A stone without inclusions is called ‘flawless’ and carries a high price tag. Clarity is graded using letter-number combinations. For most rings the range to look for is either VS1 and VS2 which are very clear, then S1 and S2 have inclusions that can easily be seen with 10x magnification, but not so easily with the naked eye. Diamonds also possess blemishes such as tiny cracks which can make the diamond cloudy (see warnings below).
  • Colour: diamonds vary in colour from colourless to brown and even black. Unless you are after a diamond that is noticeably coloured, you want to aim for as white as possible. Colour is graded using letters. D is colourless, through to zyx (noticeably tinted). Aim for D-G range for a quality diamond.
  • Cut: this determines the overall shape of the stone (round, square, rectangle, oval, pear shaped etc) and sparkly (fire). The more facets the more the light is bounced around in the stone and is reflected back to you as sparkle. Round brilliant cut is the most popular and gives a lot of sparkle. Also more facets can hide impurities, for example, if you are in the market for a flawless diamond, this will be well seen in an emerald (rectangle) cut.

Speak to a jeweler who knows their stones. If your priority is high purity, then maybe you can go down on the carat size or colour etc.

WARNINGS:

Not enough emphasis can be made on the importance of buying from a reputable retailer. It is really important that you trust who you are buying from as not all jewelry is what it seems.

  • Castings of the ring mounts when machine made can be porous (tiny bubbles in the metal); the claws that set the stones can be loose, and these rings will not last.
  • There are imitation diamonds on the market, so be sure to get a certification so that you know you are not buying a cubic zirconia or moissanite when you want a diamond.
  • Especially when buying jewelry unseen, such as on the internet, be aware that even if the dealer is obliged to state colour, clarity and carat value, it is not obliged to state cloudiness or treatments that have been made to artificially enhance the stone. These include laser drilling where tiny pin holes are made into the inclusion to bleach it white or dissolve it. These can look like natural flaws and don’t necessarily impair the appearance or structure of the stone. Fillers, however are not considered permanent and the substance used (usually glass) has different properties to diamonds and can appear as colour flashes unusual to diamond. Also, heat and sunlight can effect this substance over time darkening or eroding it. Even though diamond is the hardest substance, cracks (especially unfilled) are weaknesses and make the stone vulnerable to cracking. There is nothing wrong with buying a treated stone (it can make a lesser quality stone appear better), but make sure that this is disclosed when you purchase so that you know you are paying the right price.

You are now armed and ready to browse those jewelry stores and know what you are looking at! This is all very technical information, as you browse you will find that some diamonds “speak” to you more than others. Don’t be held down by the numbers – find a stone you love and a setting that compliments the stone and your personality. And shop around for the jeweler you trust.

Happy shopping!

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