Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Gems of the Smithsonian

The Bismarck Sapphire Necklace is a sapphire necklace designed by Cartier in 1935.

It is named after Countess Mona von Bismarck, who donated the piece to the Smithsonian in 1967. The sapphire itself was purchased by the Countess in Sri Lanka in 1926. The necklace consists of a single chain of platinum links connected by pairs of round brilliant cut diamonds. The 98.6 carat table cut Bismarck Sapphire is mounted in a pendant at the front of the necklace, surrounded by baguette-cut diamonds.
The Carmen Lúcia Ruby is a 23.1-carat Burmese ruby set in a platinum ring with diamonds. It was donated by Peter Buck in memory of his wife Carmen Lúcia. The stone was mined from the Mogok region of Burma in the 1930s.
The Blue Heart Diamond was found at the Premier Mine, South Africa in 1908. This 30.62 carat heart-shaped, brilliant cut blue diamond was faceted by French jeweler Atanik Eknayan of Paris in 1909-1910 from a 100.5 carat piece of rough.

Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post gifted the Blue Heart Diamond to the National Gem Collection in 1964.
The DeYoung Red Diamond is one of the largest known natural fancy dark red diamonds. It is a modified round brilliant cut VS-2 diamond of 5.03 carats. The diamond was acquired by S. Sydney DeYoung, a Boston jeweler, as part of a collection of estate jewelry and identified, incorrectly, as a garnet. It was gifted to the National Gem Collection by Mr. DeYoung in 1987.
The Hooker Emerald is 75.47 carats and surrounded by 109 round brilliant and 20 baguette cut diamonds, totaling approximately 13 carats. It was once the property of Abdul Hamid II, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1876-1909) who wore it in his belt buckle. Tiffany & Co. purchased the emerald at auction in 1911.

The stone originated from Colombia and was probably shipped to Europe by Spanish conquistadores in the 16th or 17th century. Mrs. Janet Annenberg Hooker purchased the brooch from Tiffany in 1955, and in 1977 she donated it to the Smithsonian.
The 58.19-carat Maharani Cat’s Eye from Sri Lanka. The optical phenomenon of chatoyancy can be displayed by many gemstones, but the most popular and highly prized is that of the mineral chrysoberyl.

The “eye” that the stone displays when it is cut cabochon is caused by the reflection of light off numerous parallel inclusions of fine, needle-like crystals, commonly of the mineral rutile.
The Petersen Tanzanite Brooch. Pair of matched tanzanite gems about 30 carats. The floral platinum brooch, designed by Harry Winston in 1991, has 24 carats of diamonds. The tanzanite “flowers” can be detached and worn as earrings. The Petersen Tanzanite Brooch was gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2002.

The Sherman Diamond is one of five pendants from a diamond necklace. The necklace was a gift from the khedive of Egypt to Civil War General William Sherman for his daughter’s wedding in 1874. The necklace was divided among his three daughters. The pendant has an 8.52-carat pear shaped diamond surrounded by 17 round diamonds.




Monday, 29 September 2014

Gold of the Achaemenid Empire

The Achaemenid Empire (c. 550–330 BCE), was an empire in Western and Central Asia, founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great.

The dynasty draws its name from king Achaemenes, who ruled Persis between 705 BCE and 675 BCE. The empire expanded to eventually rule over much of the ancient world which at around 500 BCE stretched from the Indus Valley in the east, to Thrace and Macedon on the northeastern border of Greece, making it the biggest empire the world had yet seen. The Achaemenid Empire would eventually control Egypt as well.

Panoramic view of the Naqsh-e Rustam. This site contains the tombs of four Achaemenid kings, including those of Darius I and Xerxes.
In 480 BCE, it is estimated that 50 million people lived in the Achaemenid Empire or about 44% of the world's population at the time, making it by population the largest empire.

Alexander the Great (Alexander III of Macedon) defeated the Persian armies at Granicus (334 BCE), followed by Issus (333 BCE), and lastly at Gaugamela (331 BCE).

Afterwards, he marched on Susa and Persepolis which surrendered in early 330 BCE.



See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/ancient-gold-coins-redux.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/02/ultra-cool-ancient-gold-coins-ii.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/04/the-prospero-collection.html



Sunday, 28 September 2014

Worst Cars ever produced


AMC Gremlin (1970-1978)
Launched on April Fool's Day in 1970, the Gremlin marked the beginning of the end for American Motors. Although AMC built a number of terrible cars the Gremlin is generally agreed upon as the worst of them all.

It was a small, rust-prone car that guzzled fuel like a vehicle several times its size. The Gremlin's handling was atrocious, its engine was crippled by emissions control equipment, and the flip-up back window was prone to breaking off in a driver's hands.

AMC Pacer 1975-1981
The Pacer is an enduring symbol of bad taste. The Pacer featured tall, wraparound windows that gave it the look of a rolling fishbowl. AMC spent millions promoting the car, but it was a sales flop.

Although it was a gas guzzler and a rust bucket, the Pacer's hideous looks were its main calling card.

Bond Bug Three-Wheeler (1970-1974)
The Bond Bug was created in an era when designers were entranced with fiberglass. Freed from the costly process required to bend sheet metal, they went wild with the new composite material. The result - a vehicle that looked like an upside down hot tub with windows.

The Bug was a sales disaster with just 2000 sold and drove its manufacturer into bankruptcy.

Bricklin SV1 ( 1974-1976)
New Brunswick premier Richard Hatfield should have passed on Malcolm Bricklin's SV1 project. Hatfield funded the project anyway. Only a handful of the fiberglass-bodied SV1's were ever built, and the project was plagued with problems that ranged from inadequate brakes to a leaking rear hatch.

The SV1 suffered from crippling design flaws and construction quality that resembled a Soviet-era Lada.

Chevrolet Chevette 1975-1987
Rushed into production as a slap-dash response to an OPEC oil embargo that created a market for small cars, the sub-compact Chevette earned a reputation as a car that drove even worse than it looked.
The engine was rough, the suspension was crude, and the interior was lined with shiny plastic. Construction quality of the early Chevettes epitomized mid-1970's Detroit for shoddy workmanship.




See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/07/the-ford-edsel.html
See ----->http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2014/08/the-corvair.html