Posts by sunil

    JAR's Pansy Rings set with colored stones and diamonds on silver and gold, shows the use of pavé-set tiny colored stones forming a carpet of tiny colored gemstones, with a gradation of color from the subtle to the vivid.

    Considering each of the five Pansy rings in the image below clockwise from top left :-

    Pansy Ring 1 - Designed in 2009, is set with green garnets of various shades and diamonds mounted on silver and gold.
    Pansy Ring 2 - Designed in 2009, is set with rubies, pink sapphires, black spinels, green garnets and diamonds on silver and gold.
    Pansy Ring 3 - Designed in 2011, is set with garnets, sapphires, spinels and diamonds mounted on silver, gold and platinum.
    Pansy Ring 4 - Designed in 2010, is set with emeralds, demantoid garnets, spinels and diamonds mounted on silver and gold.
    Pansy Ring 5 - Designed in 2012, is set with sapphires, garnets, tourmalines, chrysoberyls, spinels, citrines and diamonds mounted on silver, platinum and gold.

    Another brooch designed in 1989 by JAR, as three stylized leaves pavé-set with emeralds, peridots, garnets, citrines and zircons, also show a gradation in color from yellow to yellowish-green, and light-green to vivid green. The scrolling stem centering upon a cushion-shaped emerald is pavé-set with diamonds, mounted in platinum and gold. The lot appeared at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on November 12, 2013. A pre-sale estimate of US$511,565 - $718,367 was placed on the lot which sold much above the upper estimate for US$1,181,346.

    Two plant motif brooches also appeared at the same Christie's New York Rockefeller Plaza, Magnificent Jewels Sale held on April 11, 2001. These are lots 206 and 242.

    Lot 206, A Turquoise, Sapphire And Diamond Brooch, designed as a reeded gold and pave-set sapphire spathe of an Araceae (Aroid) inflorescence, set with an oval-shaped turquoise spadix and further enhanced by a pavé-set diamond sepal. The stem and leaves are made of reeded gold, enhanced by circular-cut diamonds mounted in 14k gold. The lot sold for US$5,288 above the estimated range of US$3,000 - $4,000.

    Lot 242, was an Attractive Diamond Flower Brooch designed as a flower of two whorls of three petals each, pavé-set with circular-cut diamonds, accented by yellow-gold veins, and the center of the flower occupied by a bunch of circular-cut diamonds representing the stamens and pistil of the flower. The lot sold within the estimated range of US$20,000 - $30,000 for US$21,150.

    Lot 195, 196 and 293 are three human and animal motif brooches that apeared at Christie's New York Rockefeller Plaza, Magnificent Jewels Sale held on April 11, 2001.

    Lots 195 and 196 are blackamoor brooches designed by the renowned Venetian jewelry designer Nardi, based on the famous Venetian icon - the Moretto, depicting the head and shoulders of a turbaned Moor of Venice, with its gem-encrusted turban and tunic. Nardi's blackamoors became very popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

    Lot 195 is a carved hardstone blackamoor, wearing a 18k gold turban, set with oval-cut tsavorite garnets and circular-cut diamonds, surmounted by a mabé pearl, with diamond collet ear-pendants. The 18k gold tunic is encrusted with alternating semi-circular rows of oval-cut tsavorite garnets and circular-cut diamonds.

    Lot 196 is another Nardi blackamoor brooch carved out of blackonyx, wearing an 18k gold turban set with a circular-cut ruby, with 18k gold earpendants, and the tunic set with circular-cut and oval-cut rubies, and multi-colored sapphires, such as yellow, orange, pink and blue sapphires.

    Nardi's blackamoor brooches are highly collectible and lot 195 sold for US$11,750 above the pre-sale estimate of US$6,000 - $8,000.

    Lot 293 that appeared at the same Christie's New York auction, was a Cartier duck brooch made up of agate, coral, sapphire and diamond. The body of the duck was carved out of orangish-white agate and the bill and feet made of coral.The eyes were set with circular-cut blue sapphires. The duck was wearing a yellow-gold crown, and an old European-cut diamond necklace, enhanced by gold wiretwist and mounted in 18k gold. The lot sold above the pre-sale estimate of US$2,500 - $3,500 for US$4,935.

    An alexandrite and yellow diamond ring bearing Lot No. 1573, appeared at Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale, held on April 8, 2013. The centerpiece of this platinum and yellow-gold ring was a 2.85-carat, circular-cut Brazilian alexandrite, surrounded by eight oval-shaped yellow diamonds, resembling petals of a flower, and eight circular-cut smaller alexandrites mounted at a lower level, alternating with the petals and resembling green sepals of a flower. Total weight of yellow diamonds was 3.95 carats and total weight of circular-cut alexandrites was 3.10 carats. A GGL report accompanying the lot, certified that the 2.85-carat alexandrite is a natural stone of Brazilian origin, with a pronounced color change from green in daylight to purple in incandescent light. A presale estimate of US$42,511 - 48,952 was placed on the lot which sold above the upper estimate for US$51,528, working out to a ppc value of US$8,660 for the alexandrites.

    A Ceylon sapphire ring designed by Graff, bearing Lot No. 596 and titled "Impressive Sapphire And Diamond Ring by Graff" appeared at Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2013. An oval-cut, 28.21-carat, Ceylon blue sapphire was double claw-set on the ring designed by Graff, between triangular diamond shoulders. The lot was accompanied by SSEF report certifying the Ceylon origin of the stone with no evidence of heat enhancement. A pre-sale estimate of USD 225,000 - 330,000 was placed on the ring which sold slightly above the upper estimate for USD 344,309 equivalent to a price-per-carat value of USD 12,205.

    Another Ceylon Sapphire and Diamond Ring that appeared at the same Sotheby's Geneva Jewels Sale held on May 14, 2013, was Lot 622 titled "Sapphire And Diamond Ring" from an important private collection. The ring was set with a 30.52-carat, step-cut Ceylon blue sapphire, with a saturated, even medium rich blue color that may be graded as AAA, and a clarity grade of type1, meaning eye-clean with no visible inclusions. The blue sapphire is set between baguette diamond shoulders. The lot is accompanied by an SSEF reort certifying the Ceylon origin of the stone with no indications of heat enhancement. A pre-sale estimate of USD 88,000 - 141,000 was placed on the ring which eventually sold for USD 168,492. This works out to a price-per-carat value of USD 5,520.

    The image under daylight of ICA's Sri Lanka catseye alexandrite in incandescent light, is unfortunately not available for comparison. However, two images of a 15-carat, stunning catseye alexandrite, one in daylight and the other in incandescent light, appearing in a web article titled "Russian Alexandrite by Peter Bancroft" in Pala International's website, would hopefully compensate for this shortcoming.

    Another stunning catseye alexandrite from the website with the URL…buy-in-fine-alexandrites/ also has a distinct color change from dark green in daylight to dark purple in incandescent light and a prominent chatoyancy with a sharp catseye effect.

    An image of an exceptional Sri Lanka alexandrite in incandescent light, taken by International Colored stone Association photographer Bart Curren, appears in several websites. The perfect cabochon-cut of this alexandrite, combined with the brownish-purple color in incandescent light and the very sharp and distinct chatoyancy is indeed a very rare spectacle. I am uploading an image of this extremely rare catseye alexandrite for the benefit of our members.

    A Pair of Alexandrite and Colored Diamond Earrings did significantly well at Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on November 16, 2011. Each earring is designed as a cluster of oval-shaped alexandrites, weighing a total of 18.78 carats mounted in gold, with a brilliant-cut, fancy vivid yellow diamond top weighing 0.27 and 0.25 carats. A GGL report accompanying the lot certified the Brazilian origin of the alexandrites and their pronounced color change. A pre-sale estimate of US$120,871 - $175,812 was placed on the lot, which sold significantly above the upper estimate for US$231,989, which works out to a PPC value of US$12,353.
    Another jewelry lot incorporating a cushion-cut Ceylon alexandrite weighing 8.41 carats appeared at Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels Sale held on April 16, 2014. The jewelry piece designed by Marcus & Co. around year 1900 during the Art Nouveau period is described as An Art Nouveau Alexandrite, Diamond and Enamel Brooch. The piece designed as a green enamel plaque, centers upon the cushion-cut alexandrite, and is enhanced with bezel-set old European-cut diamonds, suspending a green enamel bead, mounted in rose gold. An AGL report certifies the Ceylon origin of the stone. The lot sold for US$87,500 within the estimate of USD70,000-100,000. This works out to a PPC value of USD10,404.

    A stunning 8.02-carat, cushion-cut alexandrite with a pronounced color change from bluish-green in daylight to reddish-purple in incandescent light, and possibly of Brazilian origin, mounted on a platinum ring with a small brilliant-cut diamond surround, appeared at a Bonhams Dubai Fine Jewelry & Watches Sale, held on March 4, 2008, and sold for US$ 114,000 (PPC value - US$ 14,214).

    A spectacular alexandrite from the National Gem Collection of the Smithsonian's NMNH is the 17.08-carat, modified cushion-cut Whitney Alexandrite, one of the finest known alexandrites from the Hematita Mine in Minas Gerais, Brazil, with a stunning raspberry color under incandescent light and an equally stunning teal blue color under daylight/fluorescent light. This spectacular stone was a gift by Coralyn Wright Whitney to the National Gem Collection in 2009.

    Another famous alexandrite is the 43-carat, cushion-cut alexandrite from the collection of the Natural History Museum, London. The origin of this stone is uncertain, but given the fact the stone is larger than the average Russian alexandrite and the color of the stone is a brownish-purple in incandescent light, the most probable source of this alexandrite is Sri Lanka.

    Images of the two pink sapphires uploaded by Shah and Peter, with a vivid intense purplish-pink color, are so impressive, that in ancient times in the "Land of Rubies" Ceylon/Sri Lanka, these gemstones would have been referred to as Rubies and not Sapphires. According to Richard Hughes, historically the word "Ruby" referred to all shades of red, including pink, which technically is a lighter shade of red. The term "pink sapphire" was first used only after the beginning of the 20th-century. Prior to this all corundums of a red color, including light-red/pink were referred to as rubies.

    A single unmounted Burma blue sapphire, oval-cut and weighing 114.73 carats seem to have broken the world record for a sapphire whole stone in November 2013, when it sold for USD 7,137,821 at the Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale. This works out to a price-per-carat value of USD 62,214. It appears that the sale of this blue sapphire had not entered this discussion, and the list of highest whole stone prices achieved for blue sapphires might need further revision. I am uploading an image of this sapphire as it would be relevant to the discussion

    The legend related to the "Ceylon Sin Flower" is quite interesting; but the "Sapphire Cobra Setting" depicting a 64-carat, oval-cut, cornflower blue, Sri Lanka blue sapphire guarded by a solid-gold cobra, whose image has been uploaded by Afrojack, is without any doubt inspired by the popular legend in countries of South Asia, such as India and Sri Lanka, that living King Cobras can produce a valuable pearl in its hood, that emits light in darkness. As the legend goes, there are times particularly in the night when the King Cobra would like to bring out this light-emitting pearl through its mouth, which it guards zealously from a possible intruder. The pearl is known as "Naga Mani" in India and "Naga Menik" in Sri Lanka. Several meta-physical properties are associated with the possessor of an authentic "Naga Mani" such as power, position, leadership, victory, great courage, success, fortune, wealth and happiness.
    Hence the solid-gold cobra guarding the Sri Lanka blue sapphire is based on the myth of the King Cobra and the Naga Mani.

    Even though the Kashmir sapphire is only 8.91 carats, the color and cut of the stone are indeed outstanding !!! Moreover, Tiffany's ring setting highlighting the unique characteristics of this sapphire, has made this an outstanding piece of jewelry. Hence, the stunning performance of this ring at the auctions, going for over a million dollars. Thanks rashid for your valuable contribution.


    I often see Andalusite advertised as 'rare'. Is Andalusite really a rare mineral (it is a mineral, right)? I have made exhaustive searchs to find calibrated Andalusite but unable to find much.