Firenze Jewels’ Jeffrey Levin, together with the New York City 47th Street Business Improvement District announced a relief effort aiding the victims of the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan on March 11th. The 47th St BID works with businesses in the New York City Diamond District area. They are trying to organize with as many of the 2,600 businesses to donate $1 per sale to the American Red Cross Japanese Earthquake Relief Fund. The relief effort is expected to last until the end of April.
As a major supplier of pearls to the American market and the fourth largest market in the world for American jewelry exports, Japan has played an integral role within the jewelry industry as well as the New York City Diamond District for decades. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the devastating tragedy in Japan and we hope our joint contributions play a small roll in rebuilding their lives and pulling through the many struggles ahead.
London’s Natural History Museum is currently hosting the largest vivid-yellow pear shaped diamond in the world. Weighing in at a whopping 110.03 carats, The Cora Sun-Drop diamond is said to be so valuable, that it’s priceless – literally. Experts consider the diamond so rare that it’s price cannot be calculated, and as of yet, no one has made an attempt to do so.
This precious pear-shaped yellow diamond is approximately the size of a woman’s thumb and has a color grade of fancy vivid yellow, which is already extremely rare. Unusual diamonds of this color stem from very small amounts of nitrogen within the carbon structure of the stone.
“When you look at a diamond like this you are not only looking at a unique piece of art, you are looking at the fascinating science that bought this stone to us,” said Alan Hart, head of mineralogy collection at The Natural History Museum.
The stone is set to be on display for the next six months.
A new beauty is set to step into the global spotlight on April 12th. Christie’s recently announced it will auction a 10.09 carat cushion cut Fancy Vivid Purple-Pink diamond as the highlight of its Magnificent Jewels sale in New York. This rare and exceptional diamond is estimated at $12,000,000-15,000,000.
The past 15 months, has seen a growing investor demand for large and rare fancy color diamonds, a number of which have sold for more than $1 million per carat. In November 2010, a 24.78 carat emerald cut pink diamond sold at auction at Sotheby’s for $46 million, shattering the world record for the highest price ever bid for a jewel at auction.
“Collector demand for large colored diamonds has never been stronger, especially where pink diamonds of this size and quality are concerned. Fewer than 10 percent of all pink diamonds mined weigh more than 0.20 carats, and even fewer exhibit the exceptional color saturation and brilliance of this exceptional gem. In all my years at Christie’s, I have never seen such vivid color in a stone of this size,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry at Christie’s New York.
“At Christie’s New York this past December, jewelry collectors competed for a 6.89 carat Fancy Vivid purplish-pink diamond, which ultimately sold for $6.9 million or $1 million per carat. This larger stone, with its richer, deeper hue of pink and electrifying purple tone is positioned to become one of this season’s top-selling diamonds,” he added.
A world record was smashed when a rare gem was sold for 45.4 million francs ($46 million) at auction in Geneva this week. Laurence Graff won the bid for a 24.78-carat rare pink emerald cut diamond surpassing initial expectations of $27 million to $38 million dollars. “This is the highest price ever bid for a jewel at auction,” said David Bennett, the head of Sotheby’s European and the Middle Eastern jewelry departments. “Everybody was surprised it went that high,” Mart van Drunen, a jeweler from Amsterdam, commented after the sale.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has classified the diamond as “Fancy Intense Pink”. Sold by a private collector, this marks the first time the gem was put on the market in 60 years. “What makes it so immensely rare is the combination of its exceptional color and purity with the classic emerald-cut,” said chairman David Bennett. “It’s a style of cutting normally associated with white diamonds and one that is so highly sought-after when found in rare colors such as pink and blue,” he added.
Graff immediately renamed the gem the “The Graff Pink”. “It is the most fabulous diamond I’ve seen in the history of my career and I’m delighted to have bought it,” he said in a statement issued by Sotheby’s. The jewelry auction raised a record 103 million francs.
The Wittlesbach-Graff Diamond was finally unveiled at the American Museum of Natural History. In a category known as Type IIb, this type of diamond is believed to make up less than half of one percent of all diamonds found in nature, putting the Wittlesbach-Graff alongside very rare company such as the 70.21-carat Idol’s Eye and the 45.52-carat Hope Diamond. These types of stones get their distinctive blue hue from the absence of nitrogen and presence of boron. They are also semiconductors, which is another unusual trait.
This Thursday October 28th, the exquisite and rare blue 31.06 carat Wittlesbach-Graff Diamond is set to be displayed to the public at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Admired for its size, color and remarkable history, the original Fancy Deep Grayish Blue diamond with VS2 clarity included past owners such as King Philip IV of Spain who used the gemstone as part of a dowry for his teenage daughter, Margaret Teresa, in 1664. Since then, it has gone through the hands of several royal families and millionaires before being sold to a private owner in 1964. The diamond resurfaced once again in 2008 where billionaire diamond dealer, Lawrence Graff purchased the stone during a record smashing auction for approximately $23.4 million. For diamonds and gemstones, this was the highest price paid at auction for one at the time.
Experts theorized for a long time whether the diamond was cut from the same stone as the Hope Diamond. Recent examinations however, have suggested this is unlikely. The original Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond was 35.56 carats after being cut and polished. However, in January 2010, Graff decided to re-cut the gem to enhance the stone’s color and clarity, resulting in a 4.45 carat loss as well as a cloud of heavy public criticism. “That stone has a pedigree that is incomparable,” Daniela Mascetti, a senior global specialist in jewelry at Sotheby’s said to the New York Times “The Wittlesback blue, you knew how it came into existence and in a rather exciting way…It is a shame to have altered what has been preserved for so many years.”
Graff responded to criticism by comparing his restoration to what is occasionally done in the art world. “If you discovered a Leonardo da Vinci with a tear in it and covered in mud, you would want to repair it. We have similarly cleaned up the diamond and repaired damage caused over the years,” Graff told BBC News in January 2010. “I decided that to create beauty, or acts of beauty, is not a sin,” Graff said. “All we did was remove the blemishes and now it’s true perfection.”, he added.
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) evaluated the diamond after being re-cut and graded the clarity as Internally Flawless or IF(improved from Very Slightly Included or VS1) and color as Fancy Deep Blue(amended from Fancy Deep Grayish Blue). The diamond is “the largest Flawless or Internally Flawless, Fancy Deep Blue, Natural Color we have graded to date.”, says a G.I.A. spokesperson. The stone will be displayed at the American Museum of Natural History Harry Frank Guggenheim Hall of Minerals, through January 2, 2011.
Anticipating trends is what the fashion industry is all about. It comes as no surprise that jewelry designer powerhouse Le Vian just weighed in on their predictions with a 2011 Jewelry Trend Forecast report. Renowned for their collection of sumptuous chocolate diamonds, the designer included wardrobe staples in their list such as earth tones and sheer metallics along with snakes, equestrian and wild animal themes. Among their predictions were also carved gems and vibrant stones of pink, blue and purples hues. They predict rhodium plated jewelry to continue to dominate the industry as well. What are your thoughts on some of the designer jewelry pieces below?
A Star of David was discovered within a natural 8.53 carat polished diamond. Hidabroot TV, Israels’s first Jewish issues television station, aired a YouTube video that describes the intriguing design.
According to reports, the owner wishes to remain anonymous but has made it clear that the diamond is not for sale and is to be kept locked in a safe for protection. When first realizing the significance of the discovery, he gave it to Rabbi Cohen, founder of Hidabroot, in hopes the stone will be used for religious purposes.
A relative told Israel National News the story began 10 years ago when a batch of raw material had been bought from a merchant in a country from South America. When business was faltering during the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, the relative found work at a firm and was told to make diamonds from a bag of raw material that had been untouched. Even though the finished stones brought in little money, the employer of the polisher rejected advice to sell the remaining raw material and instead continue polishing the remaining two diamonds.
“I did it carefully, and I saw that in one of them there was a design of the Star of David,” said the relative. “It was not clear in the beginning, but after polishing it again and again, it was clearer than ever.”
An uncommon inclusion in the stone(technically referred to as a cloud), “follows the structure of the formation growth of the crystal” and sits precisely in the center of the diamond, says Yehudah Yeker, senior gemology expert at the G.C.A. The video below video reports the stone has been independently graded by Gem Tech and the GIA and was graded as a natural, fancy cut, grayish yellowish green diamond. The yellowish greenish color stated in the diamond grading reports comes from stone’s richness in hydrogen.