The world’s most expensive Barbie is set to be offered at Christie’s auction house in New York for an estimated $300,000 to $500,000 on October 20th. Austrailian jewelry designer Stefano Canturi designed the diamond collar necklace which features a Cubist-style 1-carat emerald cut Fancy Pink diamond surrounded by 3 carats of smaller white diamonds in his signature baguette-cut geometric pattern. “I wanted the jewelry design to pay homage to Barbie’s modern yet timeless style over the ages,” said the designer. Canturi also arranged the doll’s black strapless dress, stilettos, hair as well as other features.
All proceeds will benefit the Breast Cancer Research foundation, in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The world auction record for a Barbie was set in 2006 at Christie’s London when one sold for $17,091.
The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History unveiled its latest addition to the National Gem Collection, the Cullinan Diamond Necklace. Just like its neighbor, the Hope Diamond, this exquisite piece has an intriguing history.
The 30-carat Edwardian style jewel, features a unique structure that allows it to be worn as both a brooch and a necklace. A large oval shaped 2.61 carat Fancy Blue diamond of exquisite color drops from the center which is part of 5.61 carats total of extremely rare blue diamonds. 251 white diamonds surround the necklace curving into loops and then ribbons, creating an elaborate Edwardian-esque bow motif.
Named after Thomas Cullinan, the famed South African explorer, the rough diamond weighed an astonishing 3,106.75 carats total before having been cut and polished. National Gem Collection Curator Jeffrey Post said “It was the largest rough diamond ever discovered”. Cullinan presented the piece to King Edward VII for his birthday which earned him his knighthood.
Honoring his own knighthood in 1910, he then had part of the diamond set into a necklace for his wife. The 9 blue diamonds represent the 9 pieces that were cut from the original stone. Four of the largest diamonds were placed into settings such as scepters, rings and crowns and are the main gemstones featured in the British Crown Jewels.
The Cullinan Blue necklace remained in the family until Sir Thomas’ great-granddaughter, Anne Robinson sold the heirloom to Stephen Silver in the early 1980’s. After three decades, Silver then sold it to an unnamed buyer who then in turn donated it to the museum.
Sotheby’s announced on Monday it will present an auction for a rare pink diamond whose estimated value is up to 38 million dollars (28 million euros) in Geneva, Switzerland on November 16th. The 24.78 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond is mounted on a ring and features exceptional color and purity and a classic emerald cut with gently rounded corners. Dubbed as “one of the world’s most desirable stones, the auction house says the gemstone is rated among a type that accounts for just two percent of diamonds.
While the stone has a flaw unnoticeable to the naked eye, the Gemological Institute of America has graded the pink diamond as VVS2 clarity, and said it may well be internally flawless after re-polishing. Last seen on the market 60 years ago, the marvelous pink beauty is being sold by an unnamed private collector. The diamond will be shown at exhibitions in Hong Kong, the Middle East, London, New York and Geneva during the final weeks leading up to the sale. Last year a five-carat pink stone sold for $10.8 million setting a new per carat record.
The extraordinarily rare Kazanjian Red diamond is on display at New York’s American Museum of Natural History Morgan Memorial Hall of Gems. Weighing 5.05 carats, the naturally blood hued stone is one of only 3 red diamonds of its size known to exist. The other two are the trilliant-cut 5.11-carat Moussaieff Red and the 5.03-carat De Young Red.
Perhaps just as remarkable as the gem itself, is the story behind it. Having been discovered in the diamond fields of South Africa in 1927, the stone was sent to Amsterdam-based jewelers the Goudvis brothers for cutting and seven months of study where it was eventually decided that an emerald cut suited it best. When no dealer in Amsterdam could estimate the diamond’s worth, it was sent to New York City, but they were not able to find a buyer willing to pay its price. It was then returned to Europe and placed in a safe in Arnhem, the Netherlands.
The diamond was eventually stolen during World War II during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, where it stayed hidden in a salt mine for years. After the war, U.S. General Joseph McNarney discovered the red stone believing it to be a ruby. Over the course of 30 years, the red diamond has remained in private collections, passing through several owners, including Sir Ernest Oppenheimer. Finally in February 2007, Kazanjian Bros. Inc. purchased the gem.
This incredible stone is on display through March 13, 2011 and is set to be joined by the 31.06-carat blue Wittelsbach-Graff diamond, which is coming from the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History.
Oscars 2010 had a number of surprises this year. As always, it is a great source to spot fashion and jewelry trends for the upcoming season. While some ensembles were way off target, there were a few starlets that were spot on. Ever-elegant Meryl Streep was our favorite pick of the evening. Draped in a hot white Chris March gown, those pave-set diamond and white gold earrings superbly complimented her overall look.
First and foremost, all of us at Firenze Jewels would like to wish everyone a happy new year and we hope that you and your family had a warm and pleasant holiday season. We’ve been hard at work preparing to release many bold initiatives for 2009, one of which includes a total rehaul of our website both inside and out. The new site is set to launch within the next few weeks. Our goal for this project has been to provide you with a more intuitive shopping experience while aiming to set a new web standard for the mid to high end diamond jewelry market online.
Speaking of luxury purchases, most New Yorkers have probably heard by now about NY Governor David Patterson’s controversial tax hike proposal. Part of his plan calls for an additional 5 percent tax on jewelry priced over $20,000. A recent article in the New York Post mentioned that a woman named Lisa shopping in the NY Diamond District was admiring a $48,000 necklace at Firenze Jewels and was concerned about how the proposed tax increase would affect her purchase.
We’d like to take this opportunity to remind our fellow patrons that Firenze Jewels continues to be one of the top places to find the greatest deals on diamond jewelry in New York City and in the world. In fact, many people may not realize that nearly 70 percent of the pieces in our showroom are priced below $5,000 even if most retail elsewhere for double that amount. Please stay tuned for the many changes to come shortly and know that we always warmly welcome your feedback.
New York City’s Firenze Jewels weighs in on four very different but influential women in politics this year, the type of jewelry they have worn and how it compliments their overall style. “You can tell a lot about someone’s personality by looking at the style of jewelry they choose to wear,” says Gabrielle Guzman, Director of the e-Commerce division at Firenze Jewels. While you may or may not agree with their (or their husband’s) philosophical views, one thing is for certain; we’ll be seeing a lot more of one of them in the future.
Current second term Senator of New York, former First Lady and former 2008 Democratic candidate for President of the United States, Hillary Clinton has worn many different hats and usually likes to wear a pearl or modest diamond necklace to go along with each. Some people tuned into the election coverage may remember that when asked a light hearted question during last year’s UNLV presidential debate about whether she prefers diamonds or pearls, she
jokingly replied “I want both”. Hillary is also known to be a big fan of turquoise jewelry, and when she’s not in the spot light she’ll usually opt for a simple gold necklace. Firenze Jewels believes that the jewelry Mrs. Clinton chooses to wear is very much like her famous trademark pantsuits, it shows that she’s confident, enjoys attention and likes to be in control.
Philanthropist, chairwoman of Hensley & Co, and potential First Lady, Cindy McCain has always been a fan of chunky beaded or pearl necklaces and/or earrings. In fact, her philosophy seems to be “the chunkier the better”. Cindy’s traditional demeanor has often been compared to that of Nancy Reagan’s, but her overall fashion style as the wife of a Republican presidential candidate is anything but. On her husband’s campaign trail she’s been seen wearing sharp red leather and copper toned jackets with bold jewelry to match. The clothing and jewelry styles that she wears
are traditional but the fabrics and colors that she chooses are not. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. McCain’s choice in jewelry and sense of fashion shows that although she chooses to play the role of a traditional Republican First Lady if her husband were elected, she certainly does not think like one.
American lawyer, Princeton University & Harvard Law School graduate and potential First Lady, Michelle Obama has been compared to Jacqueline Kennedy for her taste in beaded necklaces and she’s even drawn comparisons to Barbra Bush for her fondness over bold “pearl-like” white necklaces. Michelle has made several appearances on various best dressed lists for her sense of style. Her use of jewelry is very distinct. When wearing a contemporary outfit, she’ll usually compliment it with a more conservative looking jewelry piece and when dressed a little more conservative, she will wear something along
the lines of a long beaded necklace, a sparkling brooch or other form of jewelry that adds flair and drama to her overall style. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. Obama’s selection of jewelry and the way she employs it with her outfit, shows that she is very down to earth and comfortable with who she is.
Current Governor of Alaska, former mayor of Wasilla, and current potential Vice President of the United States on the Republican ticket, Sarah Palin has a flair for small gold nugget earrings and stretch bracelets. Many times, she’s been seen wearing a pair of gold earrings that look to be the shape of Alaska. Her trademark rimless glasses and flashy power suits have become her bold signature
look, so Sarah usually keeps her jewelry to a minimum. If she does wear a necklace or chain of some sort, it’s usually a simple chain made of gold or modest sized beads. Firenze Jewels believes that Mrs. Palin’s choice of jewelry and overall style shows that she takes pride in roots as well as her work and achievements.
New York’s Firenze Jewels is pleased to announce the addition of the famous designer line, Ritani to its exclusive designer jewelry collection Ritani, most noted for their beautiful branded collections, such as Endless Love, Ritani Setting, and Romantique, design each and every piece of fine jewelry for its maximum beauty and character.
“Ritani is a very established name in jewelry design, and we are excited to have the opportunity to work together.”, says Gabrielle Guzman, Director of Ecommerce at Firenze Jewels.
Designed and hand crafted in their state of the art New York workshop, Ritani combines the most current, high-tech computer generated design and manufacturing processes with traditional, old world setting, hand finishing and fine craftsmanship.
All of the pieces within Ritani’s fine jewelry collection feature the world’s most beautiful diamonds and gemstones, hand selected by Ritani’s in-house, certified gemologists. Distinctive finishes in the finest grade platinum and 18k gold characterize their jewelry, ensuring long lasting, durable, and high quality products that can be passed from generation to generation.
To learn more about Firenze Jewels’ vast collection of diamonds, or to view their collection of engagement rings and settings, please visit www.firenzejewels.com.