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Diamonds & Gems

Blog published date: Nov 30, 2015

Petra Recovers 23.16-Carat Bubblegum Pink Diamond From Famous Williamson Mine in Tanzania


Since 1940, the Williamson Mine in Tanzania has been one of the world's few sources of gem-quality "bubblegum" pink diamonds. On Friday, the mine's owner, Petra Diamonds, announced that it recovered an extremely rare 23.16-carat pink diamond of exceptional color and clarity.

The mining company described the gem as its most significant recovery from the mine to date and will offer it for sale in Antwerp next month as part of Petra's December tender process. It is said to be of a much better quality than the 16.4-carat diamond recovered at the same mine in September 2014. That stone w [...]

Blog published date: Nov 2, 2015

American Golden Topaz is a Stellar Example of November's Official Birthstone

Golden Topaz

The colossal cushion-cut specimen you see here is the American Golden Topaz, the third-largest faceted gemstone in the world and a stellar example of November's official birthstone.

Sourced in Minas Gerais, Brazil, and tipping the scales at a whopping 22,892 carats (10.09 lbs), the American Golden Topaz was cut by Leon Agee over a period of two years in the late 1980s from a 26-pound stream-rounded cobble owned by Drs. Marie L. and Edgar F. Borgatta.


Blog published date: Nov 9, 2015

Indian Group Sues Britain's Queen Elizabeth II for Return of the 105-Carat ‘Koh-i-Noor’ Diamond


The famous 105-carat "Koh-i-Noor" diamond, which has been part of the British Crown Jewels for 165 years, soon may be plucked from the Crown of Queen Elizabeth and returned to India — if a group of Bollywood stars succeed in their lawsuit against the UK.

An Indian group calling itself "Mountain of Light" (the literal translation of "koh-i-noor") is demanding the return of the near-perfect gemstone with deep historical roots in the Indian sub-continent.

The gem was unearthed at India's Kollur Mine in the 13th century. In its rough form, the stone weighed 793 carats — about [...]

Blog published date: Dec 1, 2015

World's Largest Faceted Blue Topaz Is Named for Spain's Costa del Sol Town of 'Marbella'


Weighing 8,225 carats, the "Marbella" is the world's largest faceted blue topaz and the most extraordinary example of December's official birthstone.

The grapefruit-sized specimen was purchased at the Tucson Gem Shows by the Spanish government in 2000 and added to its Programa Royal Collections museum, home to one of the world’s finest selections of precious stones.

The Marbella was originally called "Topaz Azul" (Blue Topaz, in Spanish), but was renamed "Marbella" in 2010 upon the special request of Marbella's Mayoress and local dignitaries, who believed the gem could help raise the i [...]

Blog published date: Dec 4, 2015

'Year of the Ruby' Produces Another Record Breaker for Christie's Hong Kong

Record ruby

The Crimson Flame, a 15-carat pigeon's blood Burmese ruby, set a new record on Tuesday when it sold for $18 million at Christie's Magnificent Jewels sale in Hong Kong. The gem established a new per-carat price record for a ruby at $1.2 million.

Proclaiming 2015 as the "Year of the Ruby at Christie's Hong Kong," Vickie Sek, the deputy chairman and director of Christie’s Asia jewelry department, was proud to put another record breaker in the books. Back in June, a 120-carat ruby-and-diamond necklace by Etcetera sold for $13 million, setting a world auction record for a ruby necklace.


Blog published date: Nov 12, 2015

Blue Moon Diamond Sells for $48.5M, Smashing All-Time Price Record at Sotheby's Geneva

Blue Moon Diamond

The much-ballyhooed Blue Moon diamond set an all-time record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a gemstone when an anonymous Hong Kong bidder captured the coveted 12.03-carat gem for a jaw-dropping $48.5 million at Sotheby's Geneva.

The buyer renamed the stone "The Blue Moon of Josephine," which was curious, because only one day earlier at Christie's Geneva, an unnamed Hong Kong bidder paid $28.5 million for a pink diamond and named it "Sweet Josephine." The Associated Press later reported that the unnamed buyer of both gems was, in fact, Hong Kong billionaire J [...]

Blog published date: Jun 15, 2015

Museum of Named Diamonds Opens ‘Personal Diamond’ Wing Where Everyday People Can Name Their Gems and Tell Their Stories

The online Museum of Named Diamonds — which showcases famous diamonds such as the Cullinan, Centenary and Orlov — has opened a Personal Diamond wing where everyday people from around the world can post their precious gems and the stories behind them.

The founders of the Museum of Named Diamonds believe that all diamonds are endowed by a combination of unique and emotional attributes that render them special and worthy of museum display.

The Museum acts as the official registry for recording and showcasing all the world’s named diamonds. Now, everyday people can name and submit their diamonds to become part of the permanent record.


Blog published date: May 21, 2015

Rare African Plant Signals Diamonds in the Soil Below

Rare African Plant Signals Diamonds in the Soil Below

A Florida geologist has discovered an unusual palm-like plant that only grows in diamond-rich soil.

More specifically, the stilted, thorny Pandanus candelabrum thrives in the potassium, phosphorous and magnesium-rich soil that sits above kimberlite pipes — the volcanic superhighways that deliver precious diamonds from deep within the earth to the surface.

Most of the world’s commercial diamond production is derived from kimberlite pipes and the Pandanus candelabrum plant is the world's only botanical indicator for kimberlite. Where you find this rare plant, you're likely to find diamonds.

S [...]

Blog published date: May 19, 2015

Watch a Scientist Set a Diamond Ablaze in This Fascinating Lab Experiment

Sitting on its lofty perch atop the Mohs scale, diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known to man. It is harder than a ruby, sapphire or emerald and has the ability to slice through steel like a hot knife through butter. The only substance that can scratch a diamond is another diamond.

Under normal circumstances, diamonds truly are forever. But in the labs of the British Royal Institution, the famous De Beers ad slogan — not to mention the theme of the Shirley Bassey hit song — has been put to the test.

Because a diamond is made of pure carbon, scientists have theorized since the 1700s that a diamond should burn like other carbon materi [...]

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