Sotheby’s to Offer 11-ct. Fancy Pink Diamond

We publish courtesy of Forbes 

Author: Anthony DeMarco

A 10.99-ct. pink diamond that hasn’t been on the market for more than 30 years will be offered at the Magnificent & Noble Jewels sale, being held by Sotheby’s Geneva on May 17. It has a pre-auction estimate of $9 to $16 million.

The diamond features a classic emerald cut, normally associated with white diamonds. This type of cut is highly sought-after when found in rare colors such as pink and blue, Sotheby’s said. This gem, mounted as a ring, has been graded “fancy intense pink,” natural color and VS1 clarity. It’s further assessed to be type IIa, meaning it is almost or entirely devoid of impurities with extraordinary optical transparency. Less than 2 percent of all diamonds in the world are given this grade of purity and most of those diamonds are white.

It is being offered for sale from a private collection.

Colored diamonds are very desirable on the auction market right now. In November 2010, Sotheby’s Geneva set a world auction record for any diamond and any jewel when it sold the 24.78-ct. Graff Pink for $46.15 million.

“I do not remember the market for colored diamonds to have ever been as strong as it is today,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Department for Europe and the Middle East.

TanzaniteOne 1Q Production +8%, Sales +48%

We publish courtesy of Rapaport 

Author: Jeff Miller 

TanzaniteOne Limited produced 609,737 carats of tanzanite during the first quarter, representing a year on year increase of 8 percent. Sales rose 48 percent to  $3.96 million and TanzaniteOne recovered a remarkable  12,100-carat stone, the third largest mined in the history of the company.

In other news, TanzaniteOne noted the departure of its chief operating officer,   Zane Swanepoel. The specialty miner also stated that it is progressing  towards achieving its 2011 development goals  and  plans to appoint a new general manager for mining shortly.

TanzaniteOne’s chief executive Bernard Olivier said, ”During the quarter we have achieved an increase in production, grade and sales compared with same period last year. We have also achieved a maiden JORC compliant inferred and indicated resource at our Tsavorite project, which we are now completing a second phase of pilot sampling on.

”I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zane Swanepoel for all his efforts and hard work during his time with us. We have a highly experienced management team including an extensive team of highly proficient technical personnel on the ground in Tanzania who along with the company directors will lead the next phase of growth and development,” concluded Olivier.

Largest Natural Pearl Ever Offered at Christie’s Dubai Sells for $254,500

We publish courtesy of  Forbes 

Author: Anthony De Marco

One of the largest saltwater pearls ever recorded was sold for $254,500 atChristie’s Dubai sale of Important Jewels on Wednesday. The baroque drop-shaped natural pearl weighing 239.7 grains (59.92 carats) is set with a diamond foliate surmount and comes with a 42-cm. long diamond chain.

It was once part of the collection of Valda Virginia Vaughn Scott, the daughter of an English diplomat and a member of the Alessi family. Her grandfather and great-grandfather served in the Royal Malta Regiment and the Malta Crown Advocate, and they were in turn descended from the Maltese nobleman, the Marquis di Taflia. The pearl’s provenance along with its size, as one of the largest natural saltwater pearls so far recorded, speaks to its value, said David Warren, International Director of Christie’s Jewellery department and Head of Jewellery Middle East.

“Natural pearls of this size are rarely seen on the jewelry market and when offered they attract international interest,” he said. “The buyer is from the region, a traditional hot spot of the finest natural pearl enthusiasts. To date this is the largest natural pearl we have offered in Dubai.”

The auction of diamonds, gemstones, natural pearls, contemporary and signed jewelry, held at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, took in more than $3.9 million.

The highest sale of the evening went to a diamond and colored diamond suite, which fetched $542,500. In addition to the quality of the materials and design, this jewelry suite is distinguished by the way it coverts from a dual necklace to a tiara with ear clips.

The front of the necklace, designed as a detachable swag, has five graduated diamond flowerheads, three flowerheads mounted with a brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamond of 3.57, 3.11 and 3 cts. each, surrounded by a diamond cluster center to the similarly-set diamond petals. These are alternated by two similarly-set diamond flowerheads, each mounted with a brilliant-cut diamond weighing 2.02 and 2.01 cts. to the marquise-cut diamond petals, interspersed by connecting links of pear-shaped fancy vivid and fancy intense diamonds of yellow and orange hues and diamonds of foliate motif. The back of the necklace accented by brilliant-cut yellow diamond spacers, converts to form a tiara; with ear clips en suite composed of two brilliant-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds weighing 3.52 and 3.49 cts. each, with diamond-set leather fitted cases.

The suite is accompanied by 27 Gemological Institute of America reports stating that quality and characteristics of the various diamonds.

A ring centered by a 25.01-ct. fancy brownish greenish yellow diamond flanked by two shield-shaped diamonds weighing a total of 2.40 cts. was sold for $410,500, well-above its pre-auction high estimate of 350,000.

A diamond jewelry suite consisting of necklace, ring and earrings all with a heart-shape theme sold for $266,500, above its high estimate of $260,000.

The suite is composed of a detachable pendant mounted with two graduated heart-shaped diamond collets weighing 5.77 and 4.01 cts. each to the similarly-set graduated heart-shaped diamond neck chain; Matching ear pendants, each suspending a heart-shaped diamond drop weighing 3.49 and 3.42 carats to the diamond surmount weighing 2.19 and 2.11 cts. each; Ring mounted with a heart-shaped diamond weighing 2 carats to the tapered baguette-cut diamond shoulders with plain hoop.

It is accompanied by seven reports from the Gemological Institute of America the Antwerp Diamond High Council.

Sophisticated Jewel with a French Accent

We publish courtesy of  Color-n-Ice 

Listen to Rose de France—it whispers with a come-hither lilt that woos the chic collector. A pale pink lilac quartz variety, this elegant jewel is the pride of many jewelry lovers and couture jewelers.

Quartz is the most plentiful mineral on earth after feldspar. Its uses are legion, including industrial applications for the piezoelectric varieties. Crystal watch covers are quartz. Many components of timepieces feature quartz as well. And ditto for oscillators.

But these large crystals often occur in the most winsome of colors attracting devotees who rapture over the slightest variation of tones. Rose de France is one such quartz gemstone. The jewel is actually an amalgam of pink and lilac in almost infinite shade combinations.

While some gems boast bold color tones, it’s the subtle tints that attract the connoisseur. Hard to exactly describe, they require a cultivated taste to fully appreciate. Actually, the delicate hues of Rose de France and a handful of other pastel stones have more versatility as an accessory jewel. So they are likely to become a signature jewelry item. They are in effect a glamorous neutral gem.

This is how luxury designer Christophe Danhier responds to Rose de France. It’s a great stone to work with, he claims. “Depending on how the stone is cut and the gold color I use it with, I can bring out many different shades of colors.” Like most colored gemstones, Rose de France’ hues range from light pastel pink, to pastel purple and even to a peachy tone. “The impression of color also varies depending on the skin tone. It looks quite nice with a little summer tan or with a pale white skin.”

Every jewelry artist interprets the stone with an individual twist. “I like to set it in rose gold to bring out some purple shades mixed with the pink,” Danhier said. “It’s definitely a choice for colored stone lovers and fashion conscious customers if used in high jewelry.”

Image Courtesy Christophe Danhier: 18KT rose gold with Rose de France, diamonds, & pink sapphire

Tanzania: Gemstone Show Pushed Back

We publish courtesy of AllAfrica

A GEMSTONE exhibition that was earlier planned to be held in Arusha next month has been postponed to next year, the organizers said on Tuesday.

Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA) Chairman Sammy Mollel said that the event collided with the International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA) congress slated for Brazil.

“After consultations with stakeholders including buyers and exhibitors, we have agreed that the event pushed back to May, next year,” he said.

He said that it would be impossible for exhibitors and buyers to attend the two events at the same time. The 2011 ICA Congress will address ethical mining and fair trade and the growing importance in the gem and jewellery industry.

It will also feature a mini-trade show and will be followed by an ICA mine tour. The exhibition was scheduled to be held at Mount Meru Hotel. Previously, the fair was held at the same venue for nine consecutive years before it was suspended in 1998, due to gemstones license abuses.

The abuse saw traders exporting uncut stones, leading to buyers to see no logic of coming to the country to buy the raw gems. The organizers say that the exhibition was to feature displays of different types of gemstones.

Mr Mollel said buyers from Bangladesh, Malaysia has already confirmed coming for the show.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals estimates that the previous gemstone exhibitions used to

generate up to 600,000 US dollars (about 900m/-) annually.



Bewitching Sapphire

We publish courtesy of Color-n-Ice

Black is back, in gemstones that is. One could argue that it never faded from public demand. But there are few pricey black stones that can truly be fit for couture jewelry. Black diamonds are one such gem. Many of these ebony beauties rely on irradiation to even out the distribution of inky black tone across the entire stone. Large black diamonds often suffer from surface reaching fractures which could compromise the stone’s integrity. Lesser valued black stones abound like jet and onyx. There are black looking tourmaline too. But none of these are snatched up by haute jewelers.

So, how about black sapphire? Corundum is sapphires’ species, and this mineral boasts a boatload of naturally occurring colors like pink, green, purple, orange, yellow, brown, besides blue and red, making that variety a ruby. To sweeten the deal, some black sapphire contains rutile needles, becoming a star sapphire when cut en cabochon.

Black sapphires are a lustrous alternative to black diamonds. All corundum is a hard mineral, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale. This is second only to diamond, the hardest substance on earth, so sapphire is guaranteed to be gorgeous and new looking years after one first acquired it. Sapphires are found in Madagascar, Kenya and Thailand, Nigeria and other destinations, including the United States.

12th century Von Bingen chronicled many gemstone traits in her book Physica. She wrote this about sapphire—“Who is dull and would like to be clever, should, in a sober state, frequently lick with the tongue on a sapphire, because the gemstone’s warmth and power, combined with the saliva’s moisture, will expel the harmful juices that affect the intellect. Thus, the man will attain a good intellect.”

I’m thinking you would be smart enough just to buy the stone. But that’s just me.

Pretty Little Liars starlet Ashley Benson struts her stuff on the red carpet in Los Angeles recently in Matthew Campbell Laurenza, MCL Design, black sapphire oval earrings.

Photo courtesy D’Orazio & Associates, Beverly Hills

An Opinion on Opals

We publish courtesy of Multibriefs

Author: Gerry Manning, Manning International

How to correct long misrepresented “facts” about opal? Even highly respected labs often misstate information regarding opal characteristics and treatments.

Here are some observations from my personal experience:
• Opal is NOT sensitive to solvents, not unless you’re talking about the same acids that are used to etch glass.
• Opal is NOT sensitive to or vulnerable to ultrasound. I’ve used ultrasound with opal for more than 35 years with no adverse effects.
• Gem opal is NOT — as some have claimed — up to 12% WATER. That, if true, would mean that one could literally shake water from the stone! In fact, there are infinitesimal amounts — or, no water — left in any gem opal. Often, water vapor has remained trapped in the silica lattice. This is where an experienced buyer has a distinct an advantage in providing the market with reliably “cured” opal. I am speaking of Australian, Brazilian and Mexican opal, not some of the less stable varieties that are so porous as to soak up water through their open lattice gaps.