Friday, 31 January 2014

Diamonds in the News - 2013

The 59.6-carat Pink Star diamond lived up to its hype by selling for a world record price of approximately $83.4 million at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale.

When introducing the internally flawless fancy pink vivid diamond, David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division in Europe and the Middle East, called it “one of the most remarkable gems to ever appear at auction.” The gem was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999 and received the highest possible colour and clarity rating from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). It weighed 132.5 carats in the rough, and was cut and polished over a period of two years by Steinmetz Diamonds
Christie’s Geneva sold the largest fancy vivid orange diamond ever offered at auction, weighing 14.82 carats, for a record $35,540,612, or $2.4 million per carat. The sale set a world record price per carat for any diamond sold at auction, as well as a world record price for an orange diamond.

François Curiel, International Head of Christie's Jewellery Department, said: “Time and again, a stone will appear on the market that is truly a miracle of nature. The 14.82-carat orange diamond is one such a stone, a rare gem, which will perhaps only be seen once in a lifetime."
A 118.28-carat, D flawless, type IIa oval-shaped diamond sold for $30.06 million, or $254,000 per carat, at Sotheby's Hong Kong sale of magnificent jewels.

Sotheby’s said the 118.28-carat diamond was the largest oval-shaped, D, flawless or internally flawless diamond ever graded by the GIA.
The most expensive necklace ever made was put on sale at Singapore's JewelFest show. It is estimated to bring $55 million.

The jewelry, known as L'Incomparable, features a large internally flawless brown diamond weighing 407 carats suspended from a rose gold setting with 90 white diamonds. It is 637 carats in total. The necklace was made by luxury jeweler Mouawad and features a yellow, with 90 white diamonds weighing nearly 230 carats. The rough stone was found in a pile of mining tailings by a young girl in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In April, a 25.5 ct. blue diamond was recovered by Petra Diamonds Limited at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

The rough stone sold for $16,910,180 (US$663,144 per carat).
Rio Tinto’s 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender has delivered a strong set of results, including records for the most valuable diamonds ever sold from the Argyle diamond mine, the firm reports.

Known as the ‘Red Edition’ with the inclusion of three fancy red diamonds, the 2013 Argyle Pink Diamonds Tender collection featured 64 pink, red and blue diamonds, ranging in size from 0.20 carats to 3.02 carats.
_______________________________________________________________


How Diamonds Became Forever - NY Times
It was in 1947 when the real-life copywriter Frances Gerety coined the phrase “A Diamond Is Forever.”

As Ms. Gerety recalled in a 1988 interview with a co-worker, Howard Davis, she had just finished a series of ads and was headed to bed when she realized that she had forgotten to create a signature line. Exhausted, she said “Dear God, send me a line,” and scribbled something on a slip of paper. When she woke up and saw what she had written, she thought it was just O.K.
A few hours later, she presented her idea at a meeting. According to her, “Nobody jumped.” It’s hard to imagine a time when diamond engagement rings were not the norm. Last year, Americans spent almost $7 billion on the rings. But in 1938, when a De Beers representative wrote to N. W. Ayer to inquire whether “the use of propaganda in various forms” might boost the sale of diamonds in the United States, their popularity had been on a downward trend, in part because of the Depression.
N.W. Ayer conducted extensive surveys of consumer attitudes and found that most Americans thought diamonds were a luxury for the ultra-wealthy. Women wanted their men to spend money on “a washing machine, or a new car, anything but an engagement ring,” Ms. Gerety said in 1988. “It was considered just absolutely money down the drain.”

Still, the agency set an ambitious goal: “to create a situation where almost every person pledging marriage feels compelled to acquire a diamond engagement ring.”
“Sentiment is essential to your advertising, as it is to your product,” it counseled De Beers in a memo, “for the emotional connotation of the diamond is the one competitive advantage which no other product can claim or dispute.”

Meanwhile, Ms. Dignam was busy making sure average consumers saw diamonds everywhere. Her theory was that “the big ones sell the little ones.”
In the 1950s, N. W. Ayer started lending jewels to socialites and starlets for the Academy Awards and the Kentucky Derby. The campaign was a success from the start. After just two years, the sale of diamonds in the United States increased by 55 percent. In its 1951 annual report, N. W. Ayer noted that, “for a number of years we have found evidence that the diamond engagement ring tradition is consistently growing stronger. Jewelers now tell us ‘a girl is not engaged unless she has a diamond engagement ring.’ ”
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/05/fashion/weddings/how-americans-learned-to-love-diamonds.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

A Diamond Is Forever,” has appeared in every De Beers engagement ad since 1948. In 1999, two weeks before the never married Ms. Gerety died at the age of 83, Advertising Age named it the slogan of the century.


Sunday, 26 January 2014

Synthetic Diamonds Primer

Dating back to the 19th century, there have been many claims for the creation of diamond in a lab.
For many years conventional wisdom was that diamond would form only under conditions of high pressure and high temperature (HPHT).

The first commercially available “manmade” diamond was produced at high pressure and high temperature by General Electric in 1956. HPHT growth imitates natural diamond formation, but with carefully selected input materials to catalyze crystal growth. Today, billions of carats of diamonds are manufactured annually by the HPHT process, mostly for industrial applications.
In 1954 a patent was issued for another type of diamond growth: the CVD (chemical vapor deposition) process. In the late 1980s, scientists discovered how to reproducibly grow diamond using the CVD process.

The CVD process is quite different from natural diamond formation. It produces diamond from a heated mixture of a hydrocarbon gas (typically methane) and hydrogen in a vacuum chamber at very low pressures.
The CVD process produces gem-quality synthetic diamond of great beauty, with properties virtually identical to those of natural diamond. Because of their high purity, these CVD products are type IIa.
Detection has advanced to the point where any CVD-grown sample can be identified with certainty. The CVD growth process itself occurs under conditions that bring about readily detectable features, including:

1. a low-pressure, highly energetic hydrogen-rich environment
2. the presence of silicon from grower parts
3. the presence of residual nitrogen in the grower
4. the layer-by-layer addition of carbon atoms on the growing surface

_______________________________________________________

SURAT: Experts appointed by Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) to understand the landscape of man-made (synthetic or lab-grown) diamonds and its likely impact on the industry have started a secret operation to find out the units manufacturing synthetic diamonds in a clandestine manner in the world's biggest diamond cutting and polishing centre in Surat.

The small diamond manufacturers in the diamond hub of Varachha and Katargam have come under the scanner following reports of the large-scale mixing of synthetic lab-grown diamonds in the natural diamond parcels. Sources said there are some unscrupulous elements in the diamond industry polishing synthetic stones at secret locations in the city.

The polished synthetic diamonds are then mixed with natural diamonds and sold in the diamond markets located at Mahidharpura and Varachha.


http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-12-30/surat/45708144_1_diamond-monitoring-committee-synthetic-diamonds-large-scale-mixing

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Paraiba Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a crystal boron silicate mineral compounded with elements such as aluminium, iron, magnesium, sodium, lithium, or potassium.

Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and comes in a wide variety of colours. Almost every colour of tourmaline can be found in Brazil, especially in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Bahia. In 1989, miners discovered a unique and brightly colored variety of tourmaline in the state of Paraíba.
The new type of tourmaline, which soon became known as paraiba tourmaline, came in blue and green. Brazilian paraiba tourmaline usually contains abundant inclusions. It was determined that the element copper was important in the coloration of the stone. These cupriferous tourmalines are small, rare and precious.

Their turquoise to green colours are not duplicated in any other gemstone in the world.
Another highly valuable variety is chrome tourmaline, a rare type of dravite tourmaline from Tanzania.


Chrome tourmaline is a rich green colour due to the presence of chromium atoms in the crystal; chromium also produces the green colour of emeralds.



See : http://pennystockjournal.blogspot.ca/2013/12/rubellite-tourmaline.html

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Sugilite

Sugilite is a relatively rare cyclosilicate mineral with the complex chemical formula KNa2(Fe,Mn,Al)2Li3Si12O30.

Sugilite was discovered in 1944 and is found in Japan, Canada and India. The most important occurrence was found in 1975 in the Kalahari Desert, northern South Africa. In 1979 a large deposit of gem grade sugilite was found 3200 feet below the original discovery. Sugilite is named for the Japanese geologist who discovered the first specimens. It is opaque with a waxy luster and ranges from a pale grayish lavender to a deep dark purple.

Sugilite is also known under the trade names of "Royal Lavulite" and "Royal Azel"

Sugilite crystallizes in the hexagonal system with prismatic crystals. It often contains black matrix wih reddish brown or yellowish blotches and ranges between 6 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Bright purple stones with little matrixing or blotches are the most valued. Gem grade sugilite is beautifully translucent and often brings a high price.