Sunday, 31 March 2013

10 Largest Gold Mines

10 Largest Gold Mines

1. Grasberg Gold Mine is in the Indonesian province of Papua and produced 2,025,000 ounces of gold, according to the annual report of Rio Tinto Plc. The mine is majority owned by Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. Besides gold, it also produces silver and copper.
2. Muruntau Gold Mine is about 250 miles west of the capital in Uzbekistan. It is believed to have produced approximately 1,800,000 ounces of gold in 2012. The project is run by state-owned Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat.
3. Carlin-Nevada Complex is in Nevada and produced 1.735 million ounces in 2010. It is owned by Newmont Mining Corp. and includes both open-pit and underground operations.
4. Yanacocha Gold Mine is in northern Peru and is the largest gold mine in Latin America with 1.46 million in 2011. It is run by Newmont Mining and owned by Newmont Mining and Buenaventurda, a Peruvian company.
5. Goldstrike (Betze Post) Gold Mine is northwest of Elko, Nevada and produced 1.24 million ounces of gold in 2012. It is owned by Barrick Gold Corp.
6. Cortez Gold Mine -- This mine, which is southwest of Elko, Nev., produced 1.14 million ounces of gold last year. It is owned by Barrick Gold.
7. Veladero Gold Mine -- This mine, which is in Argentina, produced 1.12 million ounces of gold last year. It is owned by Barrick Gold Corp.
8. Lagunas Norte Gold Mine is in north-central Peru and produced 808,000 ounces of gold. It is owned by Barrick Gold.

9. Lihir Gold Mine in Papua New Guineau, produced 790,974 ounces of gold. It is owned by Newcrest Mining Ltd.

10. Super Pit/Kalgoorlie is an open-cut mine in Western Australia which produced 788,000. It is 50-50 owned by Barrick Gold and Newmont Mining.
Boddington, Australia. Gold Production 741,000 oz in 2011. Newmont Mining.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The lost Fabergé eggs

Peter Carl Fabergé and his brother Agathon were Russian jewellers of French descent based in St. Petersburg. They became famous for the quality and beauty of their work. In 1885 Tsar Alexander III (House of Romanov) commissioned the production of the gold and enamel 'Hen Egg' for his wife the Empress Maria. The tsarina and the tsar enjoyed the egg so much that Alexander III ordered a new egg from Fabergé for his wife every Easter thereafter. The egg is currently located in Russia as part of the Vekselberg Collection. Fabergé was made ‘Goldsmith by Special Appointment to the Imperial Crown’ and over the next 33 years 52 eggs were made for the Russian Royal Family as well as a further 15 for other private buyers.
The 1917 Russian Revolution toppled Tsar Nicholas II who was executed along with much of the royal family in July 1918. The Fabergé eggs and many other treasures of the Royal family were confiscated and stored in the vaults of the Kremlin Armoury. Some were sold to raise funds for the new regime. Over time eight of the original 52 Imperial eggs have vanished and their whereabouts remain a mystery to this day. In 2007 'The Rothschild' egg was sold at Christies Auction House for $8.9 million.

In 2002 the 1913 Faberge "Winter Egg" sold for 7.2 million Swiss francs ($5.5 million US) at Christie's.

Christie's to auction 'perfect' 101 ct diamond

On 15 May 2013 Christie’s will auction in Geneva a pear-shaped perfect diamond weighing 101.73 carats. Offered for sale for the first time, this sensational gemstone is not only one of the largest pear-shaped diamonds known to date, it is also one of the world’s most perfect diamonds: a D colour, Type IIA Flawless gem. The rare brilliance and inner limpidity is only found in the chemically pure Type IIA diamonds, which account for less than 2% of the world’s diamond production.

Christie's said the rough stone weighed 236 carats when it was extracted from the Jwaneng mine (DeBeers) in Botswana and required 21 months to polish.

In November 2012, Christie's sold the cushion-shaped, colourless, 76.02-carat Archduke Joseph Diamond for a world record-setting $21.5 million.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Teacher inherits $ 7m in Gold coins

"A California substitute teacher will inherit over $7 million in gold coins found in her recluse cousin's home after his death.

A Carson City, Nev., judge ruled Tuesday that Arlene Magdanz was Walter Samasko, Jr.'s only cousin and therefore entitled to his fortune, according to the Associated Press.

Samasko, 69, died in May due to heart problems and was not discovered until June when neighbors complained of an odor coming from his house.

When authorities went to clean out his Carson City home, they found boxes of gold coins in his home and garage.

"He was quite a hoarder. He had boxes and boxes and boxes of things," Carson City Clerk Alan Grover told in September. Grover said there were many containers of food and cans. Grover said the coins were in boxes marked "books." There were also coins wrapped in aluminum foil and stored in ammunition boxes. There were Mexican, British and Austrian coins dating as far back as the 1870s. There was so much gold that Grover used a wheelbarrow to carry the fortune to his truck. The coins were first moved to a bank vault and later moved to armored vehicles. Samasko had no will and no immediate relatives. He was cremated and the remains were flown to Chicago to join his mother who died in 1992. Using the funeral attendance list from Samasko's mother's funeral, Grover tracked down Magdanz, Samasko's first cousin in San Rafael, Calif.
Samasko had only $200 in the bank at the time of his death, according to the Las Vegas Sun, but had stock accounts totaling in $165,000 and had been living off of his investments. Grover said one of his first thoughts upon seeing the thousands of coins was, "What was a guy like this doing with his kind of money in just a regular house?"




Thursday, 21 March 2013

The Nuestra Señora de Atocha

Spanish expansion in the New World was rapid and by the late 1500's Mexico City, Lima and Potosi had populations that exceeded the largest cities in Spain. Spanish settlers were given vast tracts of land to grow tobacco, coffee and other products for export. Far more important to the throne was the wealth of silver and gold, which were vital to Spain's continued dominance as a global power.

Trade with the colonies followed a well-established system. Beginning in 1561 and continuing until 1748, two fleets a year were sent to the New World. The ships brought supplies to the colonists and were then filled with silver, gold, agricultural products and sometimes the colonists for the return voyage back to Spain.
The fleets sailed from Cadiz, Spain early in the year. Upon arrival in the Caribbean, the two fleets would split up, the Nueva España Fleet continuing on to Veracruz, Mexico and the Tierra Firme Fleet to Portobello in Panama. Here, the ships were unloaded and the cargo of silver and gold brought aboard. For the return trip the divided fleets reassembled in Havana, then rode the Gulf Stream north along the coast of Florida before turning east when at the same latitude as Spain.

The treasure fleets faced two main obstacles; weather and pirates. The hurricane season began in late July, so for this reason the operation was timed for an earlier departure. For protection against pirates, each fleet was equipped with two heavily armed guard galleons. The lead ship was known as the Capitana. The other galleon, called the amaranth, was to bring up the rear. A recently constructed 110 foot galleon, the Nuestra Señora de Atocha, was designated the amaranth of the Tierra Firme Fleet.

The fleet departed Spain on March 23, 1622 and after a brief stop continued on to the Colombian port city of Cartagena, arriving in Portobello on May 24th. Treasure from Lima and Potosi was still arriving by mule train from Panama City. It would take 2 months to record and load the Atocha's vast cargo in preparation for departure. Finally, on July 22, the Tierra Firme Fleet set sail for Havana, via Cartagena, to meet the fleet returning from Veracruz.

In Cartagena, the Atocha received an additional cargo load of treasure, much of it gold and silver from Santa Fe de Bogotá.

As a military escort, the Atocha carried a company of 82 infantrymen to defend the vessel from attack and possible enemy boarding. For this reason, she was the ship of choice for wealthy passengers and carried a large percentage of the fleet's treasure.

On Sunday, September 4th, with the weather near perfect, the decision was made to set sail for Spain. The twenty-eight ships of the combined fleet raised anchor and in single file set a course due north towards the Florida Keys and the Gulf Stream current. The Atocha, sitting low from its heavy cargo, took up its assigned position in the rear. By evening the wind started to pick up out of the northeast growing stronger through the night.
The Atocha, Santa Margarita, Nuestra Señora del Rosario and two smaller vessels at the tail end of the convoy received the full impact of the storm. All five ships were lost, the Atocha being lifted high on a wave and smashed violently on a coral reef. She sunk instantly, pulled to the bottom by her heavy cargo. The next day, a small merchant ship making its way through the debris rescued five Atocha survivors still clinging to the ship mizzenmast. They were all that were left of 265 passengers and crew.

Mr. Mel Fisher formed a company called Treasure Salvors and began searching in earnest for the much talked about Atocha. His effort over a sixteen-year period from 1970 to 1986 lead to the discovery of the Santa Margarita in 1980 and the Atocha on July 20, 1985, her hull lying in 55 feet of water, exactly as recorded by the first salvagers in 1622.

Lost in the shipwreck of Nuestra Señora de Atocha, Florida Keys, 1622

Estimation: 150,000 - 250,000 USD

LOT SOLD. 410,500 USD (Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium)

NOTE DE CATALOGUE: The magnificent emerald jewel of the lost Atocha showcases the largest faceted stone in the group of emerald-setjewels recovered from the shipwreck of the famous Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha.

"Set with a single rectangular step cut emerald measuring approximately 11.00 carats, the gold setting, cast and vigorously chased with strapwork and studded with rosettes, reveals the remarkable skills of the New World goldsmiths. The bezel setting, meticulously burnished, secures the stone at the girdle with gold extending up and into the crown of the gem, sealing it firmly in its setting. Although seawater seems to have seeped in behind the stone, it has remained secure for centuries."
In 1622 the galleon was loaded with the belongings of the noble families and other passengers making the return journey to Spain with the armada. There was also bullion, tobacco and emeralds, both uncut stones and gems set in gold jewelry such as the present example, many not included on the ship’s manifest to avoid the Spanish quinto tax.

On September 5, the Atocha was driven by a severe hurricane onto the coral reefs near the Dry Tortugas, about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Key West.