John and Laura Ramsey write: Jewelry in Museums—Down-Under no Exception

Cate Blanchett Diamond Brooch closeThe Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia is hosting a showing of notable jewelry worn by their famous actors in films.

Satine necklace Nicole KidmanAmongst other items on display is the most expensive piece of jewelry ever made specifically for a movie: the “Satine” necklace worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge.

Cate Blanchett Diamond BroochOther pieces include a stunning diamond brooch worn by Cate Blanchett to the Oscars, and a star-studded ring worn by world-renowned fashion designer Catherine Martin.

Having gems and jewelry on display at museums is a worldwide phenomenon. Of course if you’re visiting down under be on the lookout for displays of opal–the gem that made Australia famous. The last statement my opinion solely. But what else would a gem aficionado say?

Satine necklace close Andrew Murray Daily Mail Australia

Close-up photos of jewelry: Andrew Murray, Daily Mail Australia

John and Laura Ramsey write: WHAT MAKES A SAPPHIRE BEAUTIFUL???

The photo we’ve included in this posting is a good example of a really great sapphire. What makes is so beautiful and appreciated the world around? First of all there is what it is not. It is not so pale a color that we would say “who cares?” Secondly, the photo shows a stone that is not so dark that we would say “who cares?” What we are showing in the photo is a “Goldilocksgem pictures 095 (2)” sapphire that is “just right” when it comes to depth of color. Not too dark, not to light. Next we have a stone that is not hampered by a lot of eye visible inclusions. The gem in the photo is relatively “clean” and flaw free. The combination of a just right color and good clarity give us the opportunity of seeing nice reflections off of the back facets while we are looking down into the stone from the top. The gem in the photo is relatively well cut and that is another reason we’re getting some nice reflections off the back facets. Color, clarity and cut…3 out of the 4 “C’s”. The only thing left is the size (weight in carats). Well, we’ll leave that to the imagination this time….Is it 1 carat, 5 carats, 50 carats? Might as well dream………

John and Laura Ramsey write: Dueling Tiaras

Tiara or diadem with reflection

Europe is all abuzz comparing the two young royals Princess Kate and the recently crowned queen of Spain the former Letizia Ortiz Rocasolano. Queen Letizia married Felipe VI of Spain in 2004 and was a princess until June 19, 2014. On that date her spouse’s parents abdicated in favor of the younger couple. Suddenly Letizia has access to the crown jewels of Spain and has been wearing tiaras amongst other fine jewels. The Euro tabloids have fastened on the two relatively young royals and is always showing them in tiaras. While the two ladies have a 10 year difference in age they both photograph well and show jewelry to its best advantage.
Chances are the two are so far removed by geography that comparisons and competitions are the last thing on their mind. In any case the crown jewels of Great Britain are miles ahead of the crown jewels of any other country. Convenient ownership of the right colonies at the right time gave Britain the edge. From Sri Lanka came great sapphires. From South Africa came the world’s largest collection of large fine diamonds. India contributed emeralds.
According to sources some of the jewels owned by the Spanish royal family were sold while they were in exile from 1931 to 1968. Jewels have often come in handy as a form of portable wealth for many centuries.

John and Laura Ramsey write: “Peridot Gem of the Sun”

Peridot

August babies have a lot better birthstone than they may have imagined. Ten cool facts that they may not know about peridot.
1. Cleopatra’s famous emeralds may have in fact been peridot.
a. The island of Zabargad in the Red Sea off of Egypt is an ancient source for peridot.
2. Zabargad Island is also known as Topazios Island and St. John’s Island.
3. Peridot comes from several sources around the world—Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar), China, Afghanistan, Pakistan and San Carlos Reservation, Globe Arizona USA!!!
4. While peridot comes from a number of sources, reliable sources producing large fine quality gems remains elusive. Want a lot of small peridot gems—no problem. Want a lot of large fine peridot gems—take a ticket and stand in line.
5. Peridot crystals from Zabargad were easy to identify as from that source in that many o them were exposed to sand storms through the ages and displayed a sand-blasted surface.
6. Great color in peridot is also the perfect spring green—green and gold slammed together.
7. Peridot comes from deep in the earth’s mantle and is brought up to the surface in volcanic activity.
8. Peridot also comes from outer space. Meteorites have been discovered with beautiful peridot inside.
9. Peridot only comes in green as opposed to many gems which come in a veritable rainbow of colors. Such versatile gems include: diamond, sapphire, garnet and of course the rainbow gem—tourmaline.
10. Peridot is one of John Ramsey’s favorite gems to cut and polish.

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John and Laura Ramsey write: “World Record Sapphire”

Fitting into the theme of world records being set for gems and jewelry the spring auction late in April by Sotheby’s saw a new per-carat record for a sapphire. The gem is recorded as being a 28+ carat Kashmir gem. According to the auction house the proceeds of the sale are going to charity. With a total price exceeding $5 million USD the per-carat price was over $180,000.
In the lore of colored gemstones Kashmir sapphire is the bench mark. The purity of the blue in Kashmir stones is indeed stunning. Traditionally the Kashmir stones are said to have slight haze but that seems to vary from piece to piece. After spending months maybe years of my life in Thailand (ruby/sapphire central for the world) and seeing gem after gem I would have to say that a fine Burmese sapphire can be every bit as lovely. Some traditionalists may want to disagree but that is just fine. To a true lover of gems they are all like a family—each member is wonderful on their own and for their own unique characteristics.
For instance, about 10 years ago or perhaps a few more there were some fabulous blue sapphires from Madagascar which were certified as untreated. Many of these gems were absolutely stunning. A great Ceylon stone is also beautiful. In fact many of the most famous sapphires are Ceylon stones residing in the important state collections of the world.
Group of  blue sapphire shape with clipping path

John and Laura Ramsey write: The Pink Star Diamond

Late last year the world’s largest diamond rated by the GIA as Fancy Vivid Pink was up for auction at Sotheby’s. The piece fetched a record price in excess of $83 million but when it was all over the sale did not go through. The finished gem weighs 59.60 carats and is a little over 1″ long by about 0.80 wide. It is a beautiful oval and the color is amazing. With all the auctions going on all over the world bringing record amounts it seems that great gems are suddenly popping up to be available for the auctions.

Prior to the auction the Pink Star was shown at an exhibit at the Smithsonian named “The Splendor of Diamonds.” Along with the pink gem were some other fabulous diamonds: The Moussaieff Red Diamond, the DeBeers Millennium Star and the Heart of Eternity Diamond. What a wonderful showing of diamonds.

John and Laura Ramsey report: for “The Largest Diamonds” go to…

iStock_000035752022Small 

We’ve mentioned in the past that Saturn and Jupiter might be raining diamonds.  However, for the biggest diamonds we might have to travel event further.  Out of our solar system scientists believe there is a planet whose mass may be as much as 1/3 diamond.  Since the planet is so much larger than earth that 1/3 would equal about 2 earth masses!!!

Want even bigger?  More recently astronomers have just revealed that there is a dwarf star with the mass of our own sun which might just be one large diamond.  The dwarf star has the mass of our own sun but has collapsed in on itself and in the process turned itself into a gem of a star.   The weight in carats of diamond is estimated at 10 billion trillion trillion.

Astronomy has always been an interest of ours as have gems.  Who knew years ago that the two would converge to give us dreams of treasure beyond all measure?Diamond iStock_000035752022Small

John and Laura Ramsey report: Fabulous New Blue Diamond Found

Just last week it was reported by Petra Diamonds Ltd. that they have found what they’re calling an “exceptional” rough blue diamond whose uncut weight exceeds 122 carats. Wow!

As we reported recently, a cut and polished blue diamond just recently sold for a record sum—it seems that this new stone will break that record.

Even while it is still in rough speculation, it’s likely that the cut stone out of this piece will fetch in the neighborhood of $100,000,000. That’s one hundred million dollars.

Petra has apparently examined the piece and has declared that it is of exceptional clarity. The color is a nice but not as deep a blue as the Hope diamond.

As a gem cutter I have looked at the photos of the rough piece and speculate that it might be cut into a pear shape. It would be nice to hold it in my own hands and look at it from every angle and then guess as to the cut into which it might be fashioned.

We’ll keep abreast of this story and let everybody know the outcome—the cut and the final price.
Diamond

The Beauty and Lore of Aquamarine by Laura Ramsey

Aquamarine three

As a personal favorite, Aquamarine is high on our gemstone list. John and I have acquired and designed, respectively, many incredible Aquamarines for collectors throughout the years. Its remarkable beauty has won over so many that it became the alternate birthstone for March.

John and I have always had a fascination and direct connection with Aquamarine.   Traveling to Brazil for 35 + years has brought us to the Aquamarine mines directly. Thousands of carats of fine Aquamarine have passed through our hands to find their way into major collections.

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