Posts by Johnruby

    The discovery of the Fossilized Giant Clam Shell is indeed an extremely rare find. and perhaps as Asiboy has suggested the oldest fossilized Giant Clam Shell ever recorded in the history of Cebu. Leaving the rare fossil exposed to the elements could cause further disintegration, and irreparable damage to the fossil. I would suggest that Asiboy gets the assistance of a Geologist as soon as possible, to examine the fossil in its present environment and try to retrieve the fossil with extreme care and move it to a safe covered environment, like a museum, where the fossil can not only be subjected to further study by Scientists, but the public also given an opportunity to see it firsthand.

    The main reason for the moderate showing of Gübelin's piece is the relatively cheap material used in the brooch, viz. pink precious coral, Corallium rubrum. White diamonds and emeralds are used only in the eyes of the owl. The entire body and head of the owl are covered with navette-shaped pink coral feathers.
    It is important to note that the moderate price of US$4,048 realized by this relatively cheap brooch, was undoubtedly due the prestigious name of Gübelin being associated with it.

    David Webb, founder of David Webb Jewelry was an American jeweler born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1925. Webb was a self-taught jewelry designer, whose designs included dragon bracelets, Maltese cross brooches and animal motif jewelry. The Duke of Windsor purchased a David Webb bracelet for his wife in 1964. Among his other distinguished clients were Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedey Onassis, Barbara Streisand, Helen Mirren, Jennifer Garner and Diana Vreeland former editor of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue Magazines. Unfortunately, David Webb died of pancreatic cancer at the relatively young age of 50 years in 1975, but fortunately not before leaving an unbelievably rich and diverse collection of exquisitely designed, intricate jewelry to be treasured and preserved for many generations to come.

    Two Burma sapphire lots appeared at Christie's New York Rockefeller Plaza, Magnificent Jewels Sale, held on April 11, 2001. These lots are 338 and 302.


    Lot 338 was a Pair of Sapphire and Diamond Ear Pendants. The centeriece of each pendant was a circular-cut Burma blue sapphire, with an open-backed collet setting, that allows entry of light from both sides of the gemstone. The central sapphire is surrounded by collet-set graduated circular-cut diamonds increasing in size towards the bottom and terminating in a large, collet-set, pear-shaped diamond. Each pendant is suspended by a line of collet-set alternating circular-cut diamonds and rectangular-cut sapphires, from a surmount collet-set with a kite-shaped sapphire and circular-cut diamond. AGL certified that all blue sapphires used in the pendants are of Burma origin, with no evidence of heat enhancement. The weights of the blue sapphires in this lot are not provided.The lot sold for a modest US$19,975 above the presale estimate of US$12,000 - $15,000.


    Lot 302 was a Sapphire and Diamond Necklace, made up of graduated polished blue sapphire beads alternating with faceted diamond beads, with a circular-cut diamond clasp, mounted in platinum. A 22.14-carat, briolette-cut Burma blue sapphire is suspended as a pendant from the bead necklace. American Gem Laboratories certified that the briolette-cut sapphire and a random sample of the drilled beads are all of Burma origin, with no evidence of heat enhancement. The lot sold for US$56,400 above the presale estimate of US$30,000 - $40,000.

    A stunning 10.02-carat, oval cabochon-cut, Ceylon catseye alexandrite with a strong catseye effect and prominent color change from brownish-green in daylight to brownish-purple in incandescent light appeared at Christie's Hong Kong, Jewels : The Hong Kong Sale, held on November 29, 2010. The alexandrite was set as the centerpiece of an 18k yellow-gold ring, flanked by old mine-cut diamonds. The lot was accompanied by two lab reports by SSEF and GRS certifying the alexandrite as a natural chrysoberyl of Ceylon origin, with no indications of any treatment, with strong catseye effect and a moderate color change. A moderate pre-sale estimate of US$16,000 to 26,000 was placed on the ring, which sold above the upper estimate for US$38,820 working out to a ppc-value of US$3874.


    Another stunning catseye alexandrite and diamond ring appeared almost one year later at Sotheby's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite sale held on October 5, 2011. The round cabochon-cut catseye alexandrite weighing 13.14 carats was mounted as the centerpiece of a 18k white gold ring, framed by a diamond surround consisting of pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds totaling 3.40 carats in weight. The lot was accompanied by a Gubelin report, that certified the natural origin of the stone, its distinct color-change from brownish-green in daylight to purplish-red in incandescent light, and a well-centered and pronounced chatoyancy. The GGL report however did not commit itself on the country-of-origin of the stone, probably because the characteristics of the stone, and the nature of inclusions did not match with that of known sources such as Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil etc. Despite the uncertainity of the country-of-origin of the stone the alexandrite performed quite well at the auctions selling above the presale estimate of the lot at US$ 57,817 - 68,095 for US$71,949 (PPC- US$5,475)

    One of the finest catseye alexandrites with an extraordinary color change and prominent chatoyancy, ever to appear at an auction, was the 23.19-carat, round cabochon-cut alexandrite set as the centerpiece of an 18k white-gold ring, with a stylised bombé surround pavé-set with small circular-cut alexandrites and diamonds. Two lab reports by AGL and GGL certified the Brazilian origin of the catseye alexandrite, and its natural status without any treatment, with a well-centered and prominent chatoyancy, very high degree of transparency, and distinct color-change from bluish-green in daylight to reddish-purple in incandescent light. AGL further stated that this is the finest catseye alexandrite of its size the lab has ever examined.

    The catseye alexandrite ring appeared at Sotheby's Hong Kong Jewels & Jadeite Sale held on April 6, 2011. A pre-sale estimate of HKD 10-12 million (US$ 1,286,300-1,543,560) was placed on this lot which sold within the estimate for HKD 11,860,000 (US$ 1,525,552) equivalent to a price-per-carat value of HKD 511,427 (US$ 65,785).

    A pair of Alexandrite Ear Pendants, set with a 3.21-carat and 3.11-carat, oval-cut, Brazilian alexandrites as centerpiece, with pave-set alexandrite surround mounted in 18k white gold, appeared at Christie's New York auctions held on October 18, 2011. The lot was accompanied by GGL report, certifying the Brazilian origin of the stones, and their pronounced color change from bluish-green in daylight to purple in incandescent light. A pre-sale estimate of US$60,000 to US$80,000 was placed on the lot, which sold within the estimated range for US$74,500, equivalent to a PPC value of US$11,788.
    Another fantastic alexandrite and diamond pendant necklace/brooch appeared at Christie's Dubai in April 2008 and sold within the pre-sale estimate of US$400,000-500,000 for US$481,000. The detachable pendant/brooch of this necklace is designed as a diamond foliate cascade with a flower head center, mounted with alexandrites, and seven drop-shaped alexandrites as terminals. The necklace itself is set with graduated pear-shaped alexandrites alternating with brilliant-cut diamonds. Seven lab reports issued by GGL certified the Brazilian origin of the stones weighing between 2.00 carats and 4.31 carats and their pronounced color change.

    An early 20th-century alexandrite and diamond cluster ring designed around year 1900 appeared at Bonhams London auctions on December 6, 2007. The centerpiece of this ring is an oval mixed-cut alexandrite weighing 3.95 carats, surrounded by two rows of old brilliant-cut diamonds, mounted in silver, platinum and gold. A certificate issued by The Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain certified the alexandrite to be natural, but did not give the country-of-origin of the stone. But, the historic provenance associated with this ring gives a possible indication as to the country-of-origin of the alexandrite. If the historic provenance that the ring was a gift from Queen Alexandra to her Lady-in-waiting, Lady Morgan and the alexandrite was the Queen's prize in a Christmas cracker at a party hosted by Tsar Nicholas of Russia, is accurate, the most probable country-of-origin of the alexandrite, is Russia, as during this period, Russia was the only source of alexandrites in the world. However, in spite of the historic provenance the ring sold only for £15,600 (USD 26,200), PPC value US$ 6,633.

    Sri Lanka corundum deposits have yielded some exceptional asteriated stones, such as the Rosser Reeves Star Ruby, with its rich-red color and well-defined star, perhaps the largest and finest star ruby in the world. The rich-red color of this ruby is not second in anyway to the intense, medium, pure-red to slightly purplish-red color of Burma/Mogok rubies known by the ill-defined term "pigeon-blood" ruby.

    A Rare Sapphire and Diamond Ring by David Morris, which was lot 1895 at the Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale, held on November 27, 2012, was set with a circular-cut Kashmir sapphire weighing 9.37 carats as centerpiece and surrounded by a layer of pear and brilliant cut diamonds. The lot sold for US$889,280 slightly above the upper estimate of US$842,884, equivalent to a price-per-carat value of US$ 94,907.


    Lot 1896 at the same auction was another Kashmir sapphire lot, AN IMPORTANT SAPPHIRE AND DIAMOND RING, set with a cushion-cut Kashmir sapphire weighing 10.66 carats flanked by cushion-shaped diamonds weighing 2.01 carats each mounted on platinum. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 881,786 – 1,231,907 was placed on the lot, which sold within the estimated range for US$1,200,398, equivalent to a price-per-carat value of US$ 112,607.

    Several Ceylon/Sri Lanka blue sapphires featured at the Sotheby's Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale held on November 13, 2013. These lots are Lot 55, Lot 184, Lot 187 and Lot 232
    Lot 55 - Sapphire and Diamond Ring by Faraone 1967 - is a cluster-ring set with a 10.22-carat, oval-cut, natural, unheated Ceylon blue sapphire as the centerpiece, surrounded by brilliant-cut marquise-shaped and pear-shaped diamonds. The lot with a pre-sale estimate of USD 20,709 - 30,518 was sold for USD 35,423.
    Lot 184 - Sapphire and Diamond Pendant - set with a 15.32-carat, oval-cut, natural, unheated Ceylon blue sapphire as the centerpiece of the pendant, surrounded by a layer of round brilliant-cut diamonds, and the surmount set with heart-shaped diamonds. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 20,709 - 31,608 was placed on the lot, but the lot sold for more than double the upper estimate for US$ 74,932.
    Lot 187 - Sapphire and Diamond Ring - set with a 22.99-carat, oval-cut, natural, unheated Ceylon blue sapphire, with epaulet-shaped diamond shoulders. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 45,777 - 67,575 was placed on the lot, which was sold above the upper-estimate for US$ 74,932
    Lot 232 - Set with a 13.61-carat, cushion-cut, natural, unheated Ceylon blue sapphire as the centerpiece of a ring with baguette diamond shoulders. A pre-sale estimate of US$ 65,395 - 81,744 was placed on the lot, which sold for US$ 92,643.

    Other stunning gem-carvings from Idar-Oberstein include the Agate Starfish and Mephisto.
    The Agate Starfish by Gerd Dreher is carved from a single piece of agate material, weighing 9,306 carats. This is indeed a masterpiece in gem-carving given the minute details in external structure of the star fish excellently portrayed in the carving.
    The "Mephisto" is a sinister-looking, 5,650-carat bust of Satan, with piercing blood-red eyes and red-gold horns and collar, carved from a single ruby crystal from Tanzania weighing 5,750 carats, and mounted on an obsidian base.

    The Golden Topaz Sphere, the 2nd Topaz listed on this webpage, weighing a whopping 12,555 carats, with over 1,000 facets is said to have been cut from a rough stone originating in Minas Gerais, Brazil, by a gem cutter in Idar-Oberstein, Germany. The sphere is exhibited side by side with the 22,892.5-carat American Golden Topaz, the 3rd largest faceted topaz in the world, in the Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals of the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution.
    A photograph of the Golden Topaz Sphere exhibited just behind the American Golden Topaz at the museum, is given below for the benefit of participants in this forum.