Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Random Cool Stuff I

Crown of the Andes - La Corona de los Andes. The Crown of the Andes is a gold crown set with 453 emeralds, estimated to weigh 1,521 cts, the principal stone weighs 45 cts.

In the 1580s, smallpox epidemics raged through Colombia. The city of Popayan, near the source of the Cauca River, was a prosperous cultural center in the path of the plague. The people of the city prayed for deliverance from the death-dealing sickness and were spared. In thanksgiving, the citizens donated gold and emeralds for a crown to be dedicated to the Virgin Mary.
It was completed and placed in 1599 on the statue of the Madonna (Queen of Heaven) at the Cathedral at Popayan. In the early 1900s, it was decided that the crown should be sold to build an urgently needed orphanage, hospital, and home for the aged.

In 1963, it was sold at an auction. Its present owner is Oscar Heyman & Bros. Inc., New York City, USA

Latest gemstones at the Smithsonian National Gem Collection.

Labradorite Sunstone

Pyroxmangite

Jeremejevite

Pyrope with Spessartine

The “Jones Diamond,” also known as the “Punch Jones Diamond,” is a 34.48 carat alluvial diamond found in Peterstown, West Virginia by members of the Jones family. It remains the largest alluvial diamond ever discovered in North America.

The diamond was discovered by William P. “Punch” Jones and his father, Grover C. Jones, Sr. while pitching horseshoes in April 1928.


Kaho Raukaraka; is a Maori term for a green variety of nephrite jade with olive-green to yellow-green bands.

It is highly valued, playing an important role in Māori culture. It is considered a taonga, or treasure, and therefore protected under the Treaty of Waitangi, and the exploitation of it is restricted and closely monitored. The South Island of New Zealand is Te Wai Pounamu in Māori — "The [land of] Greenstone Water" — because that is where it occurs. Weapons and ornaments were made of it; in particular the mere (short club), and the hei-tiki (neck pendant). These were believed to have their own mana, were handed down as valuable heirlooms, and often given as gifts to seal important agreements. It was also used for a range of tools such as adzes, as Māori had no metal tools.