Posts by Lareef

    Thanks Anitap and Sunil for your updates. We are mainly dependent on your updates to carry on this discussion. In the context of the increase in demand for natural blue sapphires around the world, I think it is worthwhile carrying on this discussion, so that our readers would be well informed of the market trends for high-quality natural blue sapphires, arising from different sources. I really do not know how we missed such a significant Burma/Mogok sapphire weighing 114.73 carats that sold for US$ 7,137,821 at the Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held in November 2013. As you have rightly pointed out this Burma sapphire had broken the world record for a sapphire whole stone in November 2013, but in terms of price-per-carat of US$ 62,214 it is not significant, but still falls within the range for Burma sapphires. In any case this Burma Sapphire can now claim to be the most expensive Burma sapphire ever sold at an auction.

    The Sri Lanka sapphire highlighted by AnitaP with a weight of 102.61 carats that sold for US$ 4,203,118 is also significant in terms of its whole stone price, now occupying the 3rd-position in the list of Blue sapphires registering highest whole stone prices, but insignificant in terms of price-per-carat. The ppc of US$ 40,962, though not significant when compared to Kashmir blue sapphires is one of the highest ppc recorded for a Sri Lanka sapphire at an auction. Apart from that this blue sapphire is the most expensive Sri Lanka blue sapphire ever sold at an auction.


    The revised list of blue sapphires that recorded the highest whole stone prices at public auctions is given below :-


    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - US$ 8,358,520 - November 2013- Most expensive Kashmir blue sapphire sold at an auction
    2) 114.73-carat, oval-cut Burma blue sapphire - US$ 7,137,821 - November 2013 - Most expensive Burma blue sapphire sold at an auction.
    3) 102.61-carat, cushion-cut Sri Lanka blue sapphire - US$ 4,203,118 - April 2014 - Most expensive Sri Lanka blue sapphire sold at an auction.
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,838,508 - November 2011
    5) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - US$ 3,484,102 - May 2013
    6) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,458,420 - November 2008
    7) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,231,584 - November 2013
    8) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - US$ $ 3,064,000 - April 2007
    9) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - US$ 3,031,000 (Mogok sapphire) - April 2001


    The revised highest price-per-carat list for blue sapphires is given below :-


    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 20.04-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 130,474 - April 2014
    8) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$94,822 - May 2013
    9) 31.53-carat, cabochon-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$84,316 - April 2012
    10) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    11) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$64,460 - May 2013
    12) 114.73-carat, oval-cut, Burma blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 62,214 - November 2013
    13) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001
    14) 102.61-carat, cushion-cut Sri Lanka sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 40,962 - April 2014


    A study of the two lists above clearly shows that there is a definite grading in prices of blue sapphires based on origin - Kashmir, Burma, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) - as suggested by Richard Hughes in his book "Ruby & Sapphire". This grading is seen both for the whole stone prices and price-per-carat values. The first, second and third most expensive blue sapphires in the world are the Richelieu Kashmir sapphires, the 114.73-carat Burma blue sapphire and the 102.61-carat Sri Lanka blue sapphire that sold for USD 8,358,520, USD 7,137,821 and USD 4,203,118 respectively.
    The price-per-carat list also shows that the ppc of sapphires 1 to 11 varying from USD 175,821 to USD 64,460 all belong to Kashmir blue sapphires. PPC of 12 and 13 equal to USD 62,214 and USD 48,871 belong to Burma sapphires and PPC of 14 equal to USD 40,962 belongs to a Sri Lanka Sapphire.

    Thanks AnitaP for all the trouble you have taken in fishing out this valuable information about blue sapphires that appeared at Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2013. The images you have uploaded are indeed very stunning and give an insight into the beauty of blue sapphires originating from the main source countries of Ceylon (Sri Lanka), Burma and Kashmir. The much-valued cornflower blue color appears to be common to all the blue sapphires you have highlighted, irrespective of the source country.
    Since the sale of the seven blue sapphires you have highlighted took place at the same Sotheby's auction held on May 14, 2013, we can use the prices achieved by them at these auctions, to compare the prices achieved by blue sapphires from different sources and make appropriate conclusions. However, as the weight of the sapphires vary from 6.90 carats to 43.27 carats no direct comparison could be made. The ideal method of comparing prices achieved, would be to calculate the price-per-carat achieved by each stone and then comparing the price-per-carat values.
    The price-per-carat achieved by each blue sapphire you have listed in the same order given by you are as follows :-
    1) 25.51-carat, step-cut, Burmese blue sapphire - WSP US$695,943; PPC - US$27,281
    2) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP US$1,110,370; PPC - US$94,822
    3) 43.27-carat, pear-shaped, Burmese or Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$545,243; PPC - US$12,600
    4) 30.52-carat, cut-cornered rectangular step-cut Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$168,492; PPC - US$5,520
    5) 6.90-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP US$444,775; PPC - US$64,460
    6) 28.21-carat, oval-cut Ceylon blue sapphire - WSP US$344,309; PPC - 12,205
    7) 13.57-carat, cut-cornered rectangular step-cut, Burma blue sapphire - WSP US$231,284 ; PPC - US$17,043


    Let us now arrange the PPC values in descending order from the highest to the lowest and indicate against them the source of the stone :-
    1) US$94,822 - Kashmir blue sapphire
    2) US$64,460 - Kashmir blue sapphire
    3) US$27,281 - Burma blue sapphire
    4) US$17,043 - Burma blue sapphire
    5) US$12,600 - Burma or Ceylon blue sapphire
    6) US$12,205 - Ceylon blue sapphire
    7) US$5,520 - Ceylon blue sapphire


    The above analysis shows that the highest PPC is registered by Kashmir blue sapphires, followed by Burma blue sapphires and then Sri Lankan blue sapphires. In other words there is a definite grading in prices of blue sapphires based on origin, which Richard Hughes in his book "Ruby & Sapphire" referred to as a market ranking based on origin, which according to him unfolds as follows :-
    1. Kashmir
    2. Burma
    3) Ceylon
    4) Everything Else


    Our analysis above provides statistical proof for Richard Hughes contention, based on actual auction performance of blue sapphires from the three main sources at an auction conducted by Sotheby's.

    In the list of blue sapphires registering very high whole-stone prices, all the blue sapphires listed had recorded prices above dollars three million. None of the three Kashmir blue sapphires mentioned by AnitaP come within this range, and hence will not alter the list of six blue sapphires given above. If at all they are added to the list it has to be after the 6th blue sapphire in the list.
    However, if price-per-carat (PPC) values of the three sapphires are considered, they may find a place in the list of blue sapphires registering high price-per-carat values.
    The PPC values of the three blue sapphires are as follows :-
    1) 31.53-carat, Cabochon-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - Whole Stone Price (WSP) - US$2,658,500; PPC - US$84,316
    2) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP - US$1,110,370; PPC - US$94,822
    3) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - WSP - US$444,775; PPC - US$64,460


    Accordingly, the revised highest price-per-carat list for Kashmir sapphires shall run as follows :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 11.71-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$94,822 - May 2013
    8) 31.53-carat, cabochon-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$84,316 - April 2012
    9) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    10) 6.90-carat, cushion-cut, Kashmir blue sapphire - price-per-carat - US$64,460 - May 2013
    11) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001

    Thanks AnitaP for your update. The images of the Kashmir blue sapphires you uploaded are indeed very stunning. In the light of the information provided by you, I am trying to figure out whether the lists provided earlier needs further revision. You have joined in our discussion after a long period of silence. Hope everything is fine. We are eagerly looking forward for more contributions from you.

    The 8.91-carat Kashmir sapphire highlighted by rashid occupies the third place in the 2nd-list above reflecting blue sapphires registering highest price-per-carat values. Hence, as of now this sapphire has registered the third highest price-per-carat value for any blue sapphire sold at public auction in the world. However, in December 2012 it set a record-breaking price-per-carat value of US$ 153,759, pushing the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire with a price-per-carat value of US$ 145,342 registered in November 2011, to second place.
    It is important to note that mathematically highest price-per-carat values are usually registered by gemstones that have lower carat weights but still register very high prices at auctions, due to their exceptional qualities.


    Accordingly, the revised highest price-per-carat list for Kashmir sapphires runs as follows :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 8.91-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 153,759 - December 2012
    4) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    5) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    7) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    8) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001

    The 8.91-carat Kashmir sapphire highlighted by rashid occupies the second place in the 2nd-list above reflecting blue sapphires registering highest price-per-carat values. Hence, as of now this sapphire has registered the second highest price-per-carat value for any blue sapphire sold at public auction in the world. However, in December 2012 it set a record-breaking price-per-carat value of US$ 153,759, pushing the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire with a price-per-carat value of US$ 145,342 registered in November 2011, to second place.
    It is important to note that mathematically highest price-per-carat values are usually registered by gemstones that have lower carat weights but still register very high prices at auctions, due to their exceptional qualities. The present record holder for price-per-carat value, the 19.88-carat "Star of Kashmir" sapphire is one such gemstone.

    @Scarletglory, Thanks for reading our extensive web article on Mary Todd Lincoln's Seed Pearl Jewelry Suite, which also included biographies on President Abraham Lincoln and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln. We are indeed grateful to you for pointing out this error, that had inadvertently crept into this article. As far as possible, we try to double-check images uploaded to our website, in order to verify the identity of the subject in the image, and also to make sure that we do not violate any copyright laws. Most of the images published in our website are in the public domain. This image most probably was taken from another trusted website, which had probably committed this error. In our enthusiasm to present the most comprehensive biography of the former first lady of the United States, we published this image inadvertently, not knowing the exact identity of the subject of the image. Thank you very much for alerting us on this error, and helping to set the record straight.
    We are in the process of editing this webpage. The said photograph will be deleted and a correct image uploaded in its place.
    We do hope, that you would continue to visit our website and forums, and give us useful suggestions for their further development.


    Visitors interested in reading our informative article on the Mary Todd Lincoln's Seed Pearl Jewelry Suite should click the following URL :-
    http://www.internetstones.com/…colns-inaugural-ball.html



    Thanks Peter for your update. I think this thread on the Hill's Kashmir Sapphire had generated a lively and informative discussion on blue sapphires in general and the rare and exceptional Kashmir blue sapphires in particular. It has also helped to bring out information on exceptional Kashmir blue sapphires that had performed very well at public auctions conducted by leading auction houses, such as this 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped stone which you helped to highlight. In fact the auction of this gemstone had taken place in Geneva on November 20, 2008 just an year- and-a-half after the sale of the Hill's Kashmir Sapphire at Christie's New York City on April 25, 2007.
    The Hill's Kashmir Sapphire was sold for US$ 3,064,000, setting a new world record price, for price per carat, and whole stone, ever paid for a blue sapphire and this record seems to have been broken at least for a whole stone on November 20, 2008 just one-and-half years after it was set, by the 42.28-carat Kashmir sapphire selling for US$ 3,458,420.
    Let me now list the sapphires we have dealt with so far in the chronological order in which they were sold at public auctions.
    1) Rockefeller Sapphire - 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Burma (Mogok) blue sapphire; sold at Christie’s New York, in April 2001 for US$ 3,031,000; price-per-carat - US$ 48,871
    2) Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - 22.66-carat, cushion-cut; sold at Christie's New York on April 25, 2007 for US$ $ 3,064,000; price-per-carat- US$ 135,216
    3) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire; sold at Christie's Geneva on November 20, 2008 for US$ 3,458,420; price-per-carat - US$ 81,798
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire; sold at Christie's Hong Kong Sale in November 2011 for US$ 3,838,508; price-per-carat - US$ 145,342
    5) "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - 19.88-carat, cushion-cut; sold at Christie's Geneva Sale on May 15, 2013 for US$ 3,484,102; price-per-carat - US$ 175,256
    6) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire; sold at Sotheby's Geneva Sale on November 13, 2013 for USD 3,231,584; price-per-carat - US$ 150,867
    7) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires; sold at Sotheby's Geneva on November 13, 2013 for USD 8,358,520; price-per-carat - USD 175,821


    If these blue sapphires are arranged in descending order of their whole stone prices we have the following list :-
    1)26.66-carat and 20.88-carat cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - US$ 8,358,520 - November 2013
    2) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,838,508 - November 2011
    3) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - US$ 3,484,102 - May 2013
    4) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,458,420 - November 2008
    5) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - US$ 3,231,584 - November 2013
    6) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - US$ $ 3,064,000 - April 2007
    7) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - US$ 3,031,000 (Mogok sapphire) - April 2001
    Hence, the world record price for whole stone since November 2013 is held by the 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat Richelieu Sapphires that sold for US$ 8,358,520 at Sotheby's Geneva in November 2013.


    If these blue sapphires are arranged in descending order of their price-per-carat values we have the following list :-
    1) 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphires - price-per-carat - US$ 175,821 November 2013
    2) 19.88-carat, cushion-cut "Star of Kashmir" Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 175,256 - May 2013
    3) 21.42 carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 150,867 - November 2013
    4) 26.41-carat, cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 145,342 - November 2011
    5) 22.66-carat, cushion-cut Hill's Kashmir Sapphire - price-per-carat- US$ 135,216 - April 2007
    6) 42.28-carat, cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 81,798 - November 2008
    7) 62.02-carat, rectangular step-cut Rockefeller Sapphire - price-per-carat - US$ 48,871 (Mogok Sapphire) - April 2001
    Hence, the world record price for price-per-carat among blue sapphires is held by the 26.66-carat and 20.88-carat, cushion-cut Richelieu Sapphire since November 13, 2013
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    Thanks Hippi for the beautiful photographs of rare crystals and jewels uploaded. I suggest that if you could provide specifications of these crystals, such as cut, color, carat weight, clarity etc. it might be useful for our readers. Please keep up with the good contributions you are making to our forums.

    Thanks Mary for your latest updates on the Kashmir blue sapphires. It is not surprising that the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th most expensive single blue sapphires sold at auctions are all Kashmir blue sapphires, given the premium value attached to these sapphires and the top place given to Kashmir blue sapphires in the market-ranking based on origin, viz. Kashmir - Burma - Ceylon - everything else, as stated by Richard W. Hughes in his authoritative book "Ruby & Sapphire."
    With regard to the Richelieu Sapphires that sold for a staggering USD 8,358,520, given the fact that the sapphires were sold as a pair, one weighing 26.66 carats and the other 20.88 carats, they may not interfere with the ranking of the most expensive single sapphires just given. However, disregarding the weight differences of the two sapphires, and dividing the total value realized by the pair of sapphires by two, you obtain the figure USD 4,179,260. Thus, if we assign half the total value of the two sapphires to each of the sapphires in the pair irrespective of their carat weight, the value of USD 4,179,260 obtained for each sapphire is still greater than the value of USD 3,838,508, the highest price realized by the most expensive blue sapphire in the world, the 26.41-carat Kashmir sapphire that sold for US$ 3,838,508 at the Christie's Hong Kong Sale in November 2011.
    Hence, one might argue that any one of these two Kashmir blue sapphires with a value of USD 4,179,260 might be considered as the most expensive single blue sapphire in the world !!!
    The price-per-carat value of the Richelieu Sapphires taken as a whole is USD 8,358,520/26.66+20.88. This works out to USD 175,821, the highest price-per-carat value realized by any sapphire at an auction.

    I agree totally with your views Mary. The Michael Scott Collection, one of the most important private gem collection in the United States, with a few rivals in the world outside of the royal families, is essentially a collection of colored stones, both rough and faceted, precious and semi-precious, common and not so common and sometimes extremely rare; some set in jewelry, of both antique and modern designs and accentuated with diamonds; some set in animal and plant motifs such as butterflies, parrots and flowers; some rough stones carved into artworks or sculptures by renowned gem-carvers of Idar-Oberstein; and some extremely rare gemstones, their rarity either due to their extraordinary size, color or rarity of occurrence, cut and polished and set in special settings to highlight their beauty; collections of unmounted cut and polished colored gemstones of all varieties, such as beryls, corundum, garnets etc. in the whole spectrum of colors in which they exist in nature; and rare minerals together with their matrix as they exist in nature, such as the red beryl crystal with its matrix, Colombian emerald crystal with its matrix and an enormous tourmaline crystal with its matrix weighing 22,700 carats.
    The 5,500-carat Star Rose Quartz comes under the category of rare gemstones, due to its extraordinary size, color and distinct property of asterism, and it is set in a special silver setting designed by John Marshall to highlight its beauty.

    Topaz Azul and Marbella Topaz have exactly the same weight of 8,225 carats, and have the same intense blue color caused by irradiation. A comparison of the images of the two topazes show that they are exactly identical, and as you have suggested it is highly likely that the Topaz Azul was subsequently renamed the Marbella Topaz.
    The massive 8,225-carat, blue topaz with its perfect cushion-cut and intense deep blue color was actually in the possession of the PRC since April 2000 when it was purchased from Russian dealers at the Gem & Mineral Show in Tucson, Arizona, USA and was added to the "Special Exhibition Gems Collection" under the name Topaz Azul. However, on July 14, 2010 the enormous irradiated blue topaz was christened the "Marbella Topaz" by the PRC on a request made by the Marbella Town Council and its Mayoress, with a view of stimulating the town's economy, encouraging its cultural development and also raising the town's profile internationally when the stone is exhibited in a number of different countries as part of the "Special Exhibition Gems Collection."
    The following images of the "Marbella Topaz" bring out the beautiful characteristics of the stone, such as its perfect clarity and cushion-cut, and the intense deep blue color

    The Iranian Crown Jewels were first transferred from the Royal Treasury to the National Bank of Iran in November 1937 after a law enacted by the Iranian Parliament, during the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi the founder of the Pahlavi dynasty.

    The main reason that prompted the transfer was the advice of economic experts who said the valuable jewels can act as a reserve to back up the local currency.

    It was in 1960, during the reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammed Reza Shah Pahlavi, that the crown jewels were transferred from the National Bank of Iran to the newly established Central Bank of Iran and put on display at the vaults of the bank. Shah Mohammed Reza also decreed that the Crown Jewels would be the property of the Iranian State and not the Imperial Family.
    After the Islamic revolution of 1979, the Iranian Crown Jewels still remain in the treasury of the Central Bank and has been named the Treasury of the National Iranian Jewels.

    Thanks Mary for uploading the images of the Famous Topaz Gemstones Cut and Uncut, particularly the latest images of the El-Dorado Topaz from the Programa Royal Collection.
    Images of three more Famous Topaz Gemstones, from the Programa Royal Collection are uploaded below :-
    6) "Lua de Maraba" Topaz - 25,250 carats; 2nd-largest faceted topaz in the world; rare, grey-colored, octagonal-cut topaz.
    7)Topaz Amarelo - 9,600 carats; 6th-largest faceted topaz in the world; 3rd-largest faceted topaz in the Programa Royal Collection, pear-shaped, yellow topaz; largest pear-shaped topaz in the world.
    8)Topaz Azul - 8,225 carats, 7th-largest faceted topaz in the world; 4th-largest in the Programa Royal Collection; originally colorless, yellow or yellowish-brown; converted to intense blue by irradiation; largest irradiated blue topaz in the world.