Saturday, 25 May 2013

Rare Blue Diamond sells for $9.6 million

A rare blue diamond ring was auctioned by Bonhams April 24 2013, as part of its Fine Jewellery Sale in London.

Estimated to fetch between £1 million and £1.5 million, the "Trombino" ring by renowned Italian jeweller Bulgari realised more than four times its high estimate, selling to Laurence Graff of Graff Diamonds for £6.2 million. This record price of US$1.8m per carat beat the previous world record price of US$1.68m per carat for a blue diamond.
The diamond is a "fancy deep-blue" stone weighing 5.3 carats.

http://news.discovery.com/earth/rocks-fossils/blue-diamond-record-price-130426.htm

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Minoan Gold


The Minoan civilization was a Bronze Age society that arose on the island of Crete and flourished from about the 27th century BC to the 15th century BC.

The term "Minoan" was coined by Arthur Evans after the mythic King Minos. Minos was associated in Greek myth with the labyrinth, which Evans identified with the site at Knossos.


The Bronze Age began in Crete as locals on the island developed centers of commerce. This enabled the upper classes to expand their influence. Eventually the ground would be laid for a monarchist power structure - a precondition for the creation of great empires.

Around 1450 BCE, Minoan culture experienced a turning point due to a natural catastrophe, possibly an earthquake. The palace in Knossos seems to have remained largely intact. The Minoan palace sites were occupied by the Myceneans around 1420 BC. By 1200 BC the Minoans had faded into history.

The Ackworth Hoard

On March 29, 2012 news broke of the Ackworth Hoard. Dr Owen Johnson, 53, was inspecting building work at his home in High Ackworth last July when he spotted a ceramic pot poking out of the earth.

The pot cracked in two spilling out gold and silver coins “like a slot machine.”

Containing 52 gold and 39 silver coins, it is thought the jar had been buried for 300 years, probably at the height of the English Civil War.
The earliest coin is a gold half sovereign of Edward VI minted in 1547-9, and the latest are Charles I silver coins minted in 1645-6. Most of the coins are English coins of Elizabeth I, James I and Charles I. The Hoard also includes a few Scottish and Irish coins, and ducatoons from the Spanish Netherlands.
As well as the coins, the treasure includes a single gold ring with the inscription: 'When this you see, Remember me.'

The hoard was valued at £54,492 and Wakefield Council managed to raise the money after donations from various groups to keep the items locally.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-22109445

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The King of the Klondike

Alexander "Big Alex" McDonald (1859–1909) was a Canadian gold prospector who made (and lost) a fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush, earning himself the title "King of the Klondike".

The son of Scottish immigrants, McDonald was born in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. He was in the Yukon, employed by the Alaska Commercial Company at Forty-Mile to buy mining properties when Gold was discovered in the region in 1897.
One of the early arrivals in the Klondike, he purchased Claim 30 on Eldorado Creek for a sack of flour and a side of bacon. That claim proved to be one of the richest of the Klondike and made a fortune.

Rather than work claims, he leased them to others, who did the actual work for half of the proceeds. He soon acquired 28 claims and by 1898, he had interests in 75 mines, making him the largest landowner and employer.


"Scraping Bedrock 2 Above Bonanza, 1899, 2 Pans of Dirt Yielded $2,000.00, Alex McDonald Co. Ltd."
Unfortunately the Klondike Gold Rush didn't last and neither did McDonald's money. He died alone in a cabin on Clearwater Creek of a heart attack in 1909 virtually penniless.



Tuesday, 7 May 2013

1800 year old golden orbs found in Teotihuacan

1800-year-old, once-metallic orbs have been found under an ancient pyramid in Mexico City. The Teotihuacans knew they were not going to survive and mysteriously abandoned the city in 700 AD. Some say that may have been due to a famine or invasion.
Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History has posted photos of the discovery on its website. Before the Teotihuacans disappeared they hid the orbs at the Temple of the Feathered Serpent in tunnels so deep that it took scientists years of planning before they could even dig

The orbs may have been used for religious purposes to present to the gods. The orbs are yellow, which comes from jarosite, which forms as pyrite oxidizes.





Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Dutch Schultz Lost Treasure

Dutch Schultz (born Arthur Flegenheimer; August 6, 1902 – October 24, 1935) was a New York City-area Jewish American gangster of the 1920s and 1930s who made his fortune in organized crime-related activities such as bootlegging, loan sharking and the numbers racket.
Along with other rackets, Schultz began extorting New York restaurant owners and workers. Those gangsters who skimmed the take did not last long ...

"Dutch Schultz was ugly; he had been drinking and suddenly he had his gun out. Schultz wore his pistol under his vest, tucked inside his pants, right against his belly. One jerk at his vest and he had it in his hand. All in the same quick motion he swung it up, stuck it in Jules Martin's mouth and pulled the trigger. It was as simple and undramatic as that—just one quick motion of the hand. Dutch Schultz did that murder just as casually as if he were picking his teeth.”
As Martin contorted on the floor, Schultz apologized to Davis for killing someone in front of him. When Davis later read a newspaper story about Martin's murder, he was shocked to find out that the body was found on a snow bank with a dozen stab wounds to the chest. When Davis asked Schultz about this, the boss dead-panned, "I cut his heart out."

At the time of the Martin killing, Schultz was fighting a federal tax evasion case: U.S. Attorney Thomas Dewey had set his sights on convicting Schultz. Schultz was convicted of the charges, but they were soon overturned.

Schultz went before the Mafia Commission and asked permission to kill Dewey. The majority were against it on the basis that the full weight of the authorities would come down on them, and they voted unanimously against the proposal.
Bonanno family boss Joseph Bonanno thought the idea was "insane." Schultz was furious at the outcome of the vote; he accused the Commission of trying to steal his rackets and "feed him to the law." After Schultz left in a rage, the Commission decided to kill him in order to prevent the Dewey hit.

At 10:15 p.m. on October 23, 1935, Schultz was shot multiple times at the Palace Chophouse at 12 East Park Street in Newark, New Jersey. Doctors performed surgery but were unaware of the extent of damage done to his abdominal organs by a ricocheting bullet.

They were also unaware that the gunmen had intentionally used rust-coated bullets in an attempt to give Schultz a fatal bloodstream infection (septicemia) should he survive the gunshot. Schultz lingered for 22 hours before dying of peritonitis. Two bodyguards and Schultz's accountant were also killed.
It is believed that Schultz hid his treasure somewhere in the Catskill Mountain range. The story says he stashed it away in an iron box somewhere in the heavily forested area of Phoenicia, New York. When Schultz was gunned down in 1935, the location of his vast fortune died with him.