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Sotheby’s April Auction of Magnificent Jewels – a 74.79 carat Pear-shaped Diamond!

In most cases, if one wants to see the world’s most magnificent diamonds at auction, one has to travel to Europe or Asia to attend (as I did in October ’12 when I traveled to Geneva for the Archduke Joseph Diamond auction http://jewelryactivist.com/archduke-joseph-diamond-auction/). But on April 17th, Sotheby’s will offer the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas. This 74.79 carat pear-shaped diamond – one of very few pear-shaped diamonds over 70 carats – is a beautiful D color.  Sotheby’s is predicting a sale of $9 – $12 million!
74.79 carat pear-shaped diamond How big is a 75 carat diamond? Imagine holding a large egg in your hand. Then imagine being the Diamond Polisher or Master Diamond Cutter who is responsible for removing layer after layer of the rough stone to create a beautifully faceted pear! I’m just grateful that the world is full of such beautiful things. I’ll keep you posted on what happens in New York!

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Love Out Loud

A More Confident You = a More Loving You

A More Confident You - Jewelry Activist Every Valentine’s Day, we are reminded to think of those we love. It is also the time that many people experience despair…as they think about their desire to be loved more. We hear it said by experts all the time: we will be loved more if we learn to love more. However, learning to love more is not top of mind for most of us and it is certainly not a quick fix for those in despair; it is a lifelong journey. There are, however, many people, places or things that can provide inspiration and can help us on our journey. When I give thought as to how I can love more, I visualize the ultimate symbol of love- a Diamond. Every woman who receives a Diamond as a gift of love treasures that Diamond Moment for her lifetime. The Diamond says what every woman wants to hear and what many men cannot articulate with words. Yet women also treasure the intrinsic qualities and beauty of the actual Diamond as much as the meaning that the Diamond holds. For this reason, woman today often purchase Diamonds themselves, because wearing diamond jewelry makes women feel more beautiful, more confident and lovable. With that in mind, it is understandable that every woman wants a diamond that is brilliant and sparkles for all to see. Yet a diamond has to go through many phases to reach that point in its outward beauty. We know that most diamonds have inclusions, flaws and rough edges that require polishing. Master diamond cutters do not see these natural diamond characteristics as defects, but rather areas for attention or improvement. Centuries ago, the prolific English writer Daniel Defoe of Robinson Crusoe fame wrote: “The soul is placed in the body like a rough diamond and must be polished … or the luster of it will never appear.” When women purchase and wear diamond jewelry, the feeling reminds us that we are lovable, we are beautiful and most importantly, we are on a wonderful journey. Isn’t it easier to love others when we are at peace and confident with ourselves? Love (like a Diamond) is both reflective and refractive. But in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, which is only days away, I suggest we do more than quietly reflect love onto others. I suggest we LOVE OUT LOUD! This means we should love visibly and openly. Send out your love from a more confident you! This means we should demonstrate our love for humanity as loud and as openly as possible. That love will not go unnoticed and will continue to reflect and refract onto others ..and then from others to more. Also, if we wear Diamonds, we are not only telling the world that we are loved, we are reminding ourselves of our own beauty and internal love…and we will be confident and motivated to focus on loving others. There are so many ways you can enjoy Diamond Jewelry in your life! Diamonds can express every personality and occasion perfectly. Look at all these different options for finely made, high quality, diamond jewelry!  

For Spectacular Diamond Earrings it's Hard to Beat these Sunflower Earrings from Harry Winston.

Anne Sportun Ruby and Diamond Earrings

These Beautify Ruby and Diamond Earrings from Anne Sportun Put a Contemporary Twist on a Classic Look.

Sandra Muller Love Potions Heart

The "Love Potions" Heart Collection from Sandra Muller is both Playful and Elegant.

Samantha Louise Jewelry The Perfect Girlfriend or Daughter Gift

These Sweet Diamond Stackers from Samantha Louise Jewelery are a Perfect Gift for a Daughter, a Sister, or a Beloved Girlfriend!

OmiGems Diamond and Ruby Earrings

These Spectacular Diamond and Ruby Earrings from Omi Prive Represent the Best in Fine Diamond and Colored Gemstone Jewelry.

Elizabeth Garvin Fine for a less traditional look

This Natural Colored Diamond Pendant from Elizabeth Garvin Fine is the Perfect Statement for the Confident Woman in Your Life!

Walt Adler

Walt Adler Weaves Diamonds Through His Designs for a Bolder Look

Jennifer Dawes

Jennifer Dawes Offers Diamond Designs for a More Organic Look. There is Truly a Diamond for Every Woman!

Ippolita bracelet turquoise silver diamonds

Can't You See this Diamond and Turquoise Bracelet from Ippolita on Your Mom?

Greenwich Jewelers Valentine's Proposal

Greenwich Jewelers is Featuring this Rosy Little Statement as a Valentine's Engagement Ring.

For the more earthy girl - Barbara Michelle Jacobs

This Diamond Ring from Barbara Michelle Jacobs' Botanicals Collection is Perfect for the Gardening, Hiking, Never-comes-indoors Woman in Your Life!

Tiffany Solitaire Pendant

A Diamond Solitaire is an Essential Part of your Wardrobe. This Pendant from Tiffany is Simply Perfect.

 

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You’ve Gotta Have Heart

G&G Creations Heart But This Heart Jewelry Takes Design to a Much Higher Level

Hearts are one of the most common shapes found in modern jewelry, and for good reason. Jewelry is the go-to gift for romance and special occasions! If you’ve become a bit tired of the typical heart motif, let me stir your heart with a few very fresh takes on this wonderful tradition! Heart Jewelry from G&G Creations My favorite hearts this season are designed and hand-crafted by G&G Creations in Boston. The entire G&G line is beyond beautiful – all museum quality jewelry that feels good on and really draws attention! So it’s no surprise that their new collection of hearts is sophisticated and of the highest quality. Every piece they make is unique, just like the individual hearts to whom each piece will be gifted.  

Or is Vintage Heart Jewelry More Your Style?

Just Jules Locket

If the thing that makes your own heart go pitter-pat, you’ll love what designer Julie Romanenko does with vintage heart lockets. She shops antique shops all over the world looking for only the most beautiful and unique lockets she can find. After she redesigns them to include new or handmade chains, gemstone elements, and other lovely touches, you have a locket that is both traditional and stylish. Like the hearts from G&G, every locket Julie creates is a one-of-a-kind, which is such a nice touch for any gift associated with romantic love.  

Diamond Heart Jewelry

De Beers Heart

Of course, diamonds are still a girl’s best friend. Maybe the heart for you is something dainty that you can wear on your sleeve, like this sweet little diamond heart bracelet from De Beers.  

Molina Fine Jewelers

            Or perhaps this heart will capture yours  …with over 17carats of diamonds on the outside and almost 3carats of pink sapphires on the inside, there is nothing tiny about this breathtaking pendant. The  3inch, three dimensional heart is suspended from a diamond pave chain and is only a heartbeat away at www.molinafinejewelers.com    

  Heart to Heart…

Remember that fine jewelry hearts such as these will never go out of style – and may become some of your favorite heirlooms.  So, In the spirit of Valentine’s Day:
  1. Tweet Sweet
  2. Blow Kisses
  3. Spread some Kindness
  4. Roll-out the Red Carpet for a Friend
  5. Form a Strategic Partnership
  6. …and Have a Heart!

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New Jewelry Wardrobe for the New Year!

Experience the Joy of a New Jewelry Wardrobe Without Breaking the Bank!

A friend of mine told me that she received a new jewelry box for Christmas, which meant touching , polishing & enjoying her quality jewelry all over again.  More importanly, after a little care and attention she now says she has an entirely new jewelry wardrobe! What a terrific idea! You don’t have to receive a new jewelry box to do this (though a new jewelry box is such a fun thing). The new year is a terrific time to refresh your jewelry wardrobe with a bit of attention. Here are my tips for taking your jewelry wardrobe in hand:
  1. Sort your jewelry to determine which pieces you no longer wear. They’re just taking up space! You may be holding on to a few pieces for a daughter or granddaughter, and if that is the case, carefully wrap them (don’t forget the anti-tarnish strips if the item is silver) and tuck them away in a safe place. That way they stop taking up space in your jewelry box and you’ve stored them safely for the future. As for the rest? Gift them, melt them, or remake them! Take your un-worn jewelry items to your local independent jeweler for a discussion of all the possibilities (and don’t forget, Erica Courtney offers an amazing Repurpose! Relove! program for those of you who want to redesign your jewelry)!
  2. Clean your jewelry. Every time you wear your precious gems and metals they pick up body oils, lotions, soaps, and environmental pollutants – just like your clothing! If you don’t own a home-use ultrasonic cleaner, this is a terrific item to invest in.  Delicate items like pearls, opals, and other soft gemstones should always be taken to your local jeweler for professional cleaning.
  3. Play with your jewelry! Try different combinations than the ones you have been using. Pair your jewelry up with different outfits. Jewelry is supposed to be a fun, motivating part of getting ready for each day – a way to add a bit of creative flair and personal identity to your every-day look.
  4. Consider where your jewelry box is located! I’ve talked to people who said they forget to wear their jewelry because the jewelry box is in a dark spot on a closet shelf, underneath other items that are a hassle to move, or otherwise inconvenient to access. Fix this, and make selecting your jewelry the part of getting dressed you most look forward to!
Of course, it’s always exciting to acquire a wonderful new objet d’fine jewelry, but why wait? You might find that you have treasures untold hiding in your jewelry box right now. Have fun!

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This Holiday, Give Gifts of Meaning

Give Gifts of Meaning and Lasting Value

We all seem to be in search of the more meaningful Holiday . . . less stuff, more value. Some of this is economic; currencies worldwide are depreciating and in many places times are tough. And some of it is emotional – we all want to focus more of our energy on gifts of meaning rather than just giving things.  My strong belief is that we should only purchase those gifts that hold or increase their value while expressing the strongest emotions . . . gemstones and jewelry of course.

Diamond Studs an Essential Part of a Jewelry Wardrobe At the Top of My List . . .

For women . . . diamonds still take a woman’s breath away like no other gift, and of course, a Diamond is Forever. Pearls are also a classic choice that I have always loved, as did my mom.

What’s in Your Jewelry Wardrobe?

All women should have a basic jewelry wardrobe – and this is a necessity for any woman in business! So when choosing gifts of meaning  for the woman in your life this year, in addition to Quality and Value, Versatility should lead the way. Here are my recommendations:
  • A beautiful timepiece
  • Pearl necklace or pendant
  • Pearl stud earrings
  • Diamond stud earrings
  • Diamond ring (’tis the season for engagements and anniversary bands! But it’s also always a good time for a right-hand ring).
  • Diamond pendant or necklace
  • Fine jewelry brooch (diamonds or pearls, or a brooch with both)

What about the men in our lives?

Watches are the easy choice, but I’m always shocked when I see a man dressed with a fine timepiece, but with shirt cuffs (peeking from his sleeve) closed with plastic buttons. Where is the fine pair of cufflinks? It’s always the little details that matter, and for me cufflinks are as important to a man’s polished look as his shoes. If you want to see a truly different collection of cufflinks made of the highest quality gemstones and hand-crafted in the United States, check out what Seaman Schepps has to offer. Men are also buying more accessories, and the selection of fine men’s bracelets has never been better! When you stop in at your independent retailer, make sure you look at men’s jewelry. The offerings from designer lines like David Heston, Todd Reed, David Yurman, Scott Kay and more are genuinely exciting and look terrific with a magnificent Italian suit or jeans and a jacket.   I suspect we’re all at the point in our lives where we’d rather have one beautiful, meaningful gift of lasting value than 10 – or even 20! – lesser gifts whose pleasure will fade quickly.  Remember, it’s not just Diamonds that are Forever . . . it’s also the true thoughtfulness that goes into selecting them. Happy Holidays my friends!

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America’s First Jeweler

Independent Jewelers are best choice for consumers

Black, Starr & Frost is America’s first  jeweler and I do mean first, as in founded in 1810 and still in business today.  If the name sounds familiar to you, maybe it’s because you remember Marilyn Monroe naming them in the song “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” in the 1953 blockbuster film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  Or perhaps you’ve visited the Newport Beach store that includes a waterfront patio, a fireplace, a bar and beautiful chandelliers to light your way.  Perhaps you heard mention of the countless celebrities who have purchased their most important jewelry pieces from Black, Starr & Frost or read of the premiums paid at auction for Black Starr & Frost items.

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The Diamond Business Moves Hearts and Million$

It’s been a big week for movers and shakers in the diamond business!

  1. BHP Billiton, a globally diversified mining company, has sold its stake in the Canadian Ekati diamond-mine to Harry Winston Diamond Corp. For BHP, the diamond business is too small an operation compared to its other mining interests, but for Harry Winston it serves core strategic interests.  Harry Winston also bought BHP’s marketing operations in Antwerp – a prize itself with its strong group of diamond marketing executives already in place and ready to turn their attention strictly to Harry Winston’s marketing needs. Read more about it here.
  2. The Archduke Joseph diamond wasn’t the only amazing diamond auction last week (more on that later) – famed diamantaire Laurence Graff paid $10.9 million at Sotheby’s for a 10.48-carat fancy deep blue briolette-shaped diamond.  In 2008 Graff bought the Wittelsbach Diamond for $24.3 million, and then recut it – and experienced significant criticism for altering what many considered to be an important historic jewel. What can we expect of him with this gem – a beautiful setting for one of the world’s most wealthy, or another daring alteration of a $1+million per carat diamond?
  3. And yes, there was the Archduke Joseph auction – an event at which I was able to be present in Geneva. The Archduke sold for $21.5 million – significantly over its projected $15 million sale price.  Black Starr & Frost (Chairman, Alfredo Molina) was its guardian for the past 13 years and now it continues its immortal journey.  For me, the auction was as emotional as the day I wore it and met President Bill Clinton.  This auction was also historical: The sale broke several auction records including a record sale for a colorless Golconda diamond sold at auction, and price per carat for a colorless diamond. Read more about the Archduke auction here.
That’s a lot of excitement for one week. And now, with Black Friday just around the corner, there’s sure to be more exciting moments (in and out of the news) involving diamonds….as they continue to commemorate our love, enhance our life experiences or excite global investors.  “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures” (Thorton Wilder) ….and I am filled with gratitude for this amazing year!    Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  
Here are a few photos from the Archduke Joseph Diamond auction at Christie’s:        

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Archduke Joseph Diamond Auction at Christie’s

The Archduke Joseph Diamond Auction at Christie’s is Almost Here

The most exciting diamond auction in decades – the Archduke Joseph Diamond – is about  to take place, and of course I’ll be there. I couldn’t miss it!   On November 13 – right after my interview on CNNE – I’ll be catching a flight for Geneva to take part in this historic event. Christie’s beautifully prepared auction catalog details the history and pedigree of the amazing Archduke Joseph Diamond. It is very well-written and the photography is lush. Here’s a link so you can enjoy it too. I can’t wait to  get there, to see the Archduke Joseph Diamond again, and to share my experiences with you!

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At Least $15 million Expected for Archduke Diamond

Diane Warga-Arias with Bill Clinton, wearing the Archduke Joseph diamond If you missed the excitement of the $6.5 million Archduke Joseph Diamond sale at Christie’s back in 1993 (equivalent to a $10.5 million sale today), don’t worry – this 76.02 carat, internally flawless, perfect color Golkonda diamond is returning to Christie’s for auction on November 13, when it is expected to sell for more than $15 million. The Archduke is from the same mine as the famous Hope, Koh-i-noor, and Regent diamonds. In fact, by the 1880s it was common to claim that a diamond was from the Golkonda mine to suggest it was particularly valuable. Pretenders…. just like the marketing-spin masters of today who use the word genuine when promoting gemstones with treatments and enhancements!  A claim to the Golkonda mine belongs to very few diamonds. I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to touch the Archduke (see image above). You might think that meeting Bill Clinton was the main attraction of that night, and oh, he was fun!   But knowing that this significant historical treasure was nestled against my skin was what made that night  magical, memorable…. and historical for me. If you’d like to read more about the Archduke, check out these articles:

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50 Shades of White

Notwithstanding the number of hotel getaway packages, the multitude of bundled bedroom toys and just about anything in every merchandise category that is marketed with reference to Fifty Shades of Grey …I have an unreasonable obsession with all things white.  While my husband carefully strategizes how he can suggest some new bold color additions to our bedroom, I am usually busy studying the nuances of the new available shades of white.  Perhaps I should clarify that I am really only talking about color …and BTW, white is more than the absence of color. For those of you that are still with me, you already know that I detest all covert and hidden color enhancements and treatments when it comes to marketing color diamonds and gemstones.  That does not mean I don’t like color.  I’ve spent many hours mesmerized by the optical properties of Natural Color Diamonds.   BUT, OH THE ALLURE OF WHITE!   Gilbert Keith Chesterton, a British journalist and novelist, best articulates my feeling: “White is not a mere absence of color; it is a shining and affirmative thing, as fierce as red, as definite as black.” Sometimes I crave the comfort of a warm white or demand the sophistication of grey museum white. Today I may be in search of some living-room flowers with feelings of creamy antique white, soft white or snow white. Tomorrow, I could be looking for a white-on-white blouse…that will highlight (I mean soften) some of my curves.    My obsession with shades of white is endless.  Science has taught us that all colors are just waves of light and some colors may not even exist scientifically.  So, it is our brains, our eyes and our emotions that all come together with language to enhance our color experience. It is unfortunate that so many people get pulled into the gemological hype of rarity over beauty…which results in huge investments into colorlessness.   Even the tiniest tinges of color (or warm shade of white) will result in the gemological down-grading of a diamond.  However, I recently read somewhere (it must have been in “Discover Magazine”) that scientists are studying and searching for people with brain components that allow them to see colors, which the vast majority of us cannot see.  We cannot even imagine what they might see in the world! It is time for all of us to trust our eyes and our unique power of comparison!  Any subtle color that attracts you is worthy of being pursued and enjoyed! And remember, any diamond grading certificate prepared by a gemological grading lab, offers only a color-grading opinion based on rarity…not beauty. Hope you all have a beautiful weekend!

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