May 16th, 2008

Fred Leighton, Christies & 14 carat pink Diamond Ring caught up in auction mess

Cameron Diaz Esmerian NY TimesThe NY Times recently covered the difficulties Christies has had in auctioning an important diamond ring. Fred Leighton was involved as well:

EVEN a 14-carat pink diamond ring can start looking tarnished if it is immersed in muck. That rose-gold ring, worth up to $15 million by one estimate, was to be the centerpiece of a Christie’s auction last week, until legal actions in Manhattan scuttled the sale minutes before it was to start — on two successive evenings.

On Wednesday, the second night, lawyers for a Wall Street bank that was trying to sell the ring and more than 100 other pieces of stunning antique jewelry to recoup part of a $187 million debt owed by a prominent collector were awaiting a judge’s ruling on the collector’s effort to stop the auction. Christie’s had spent a small fortune promoting the sale, sending the gems on a world tour to Geneva, Moscow and Dubai for potential buyers to savor.

A few minutes after 6, when the auction had been set to start, the cellphone of François Curiel, the director of Christie’s jewelry department, rang. He listened, said thank you and hung up.

“There is no auction tonight,” he announced to a small group of international jewelry dealers gathered at Christie’s Rockefeller Center rooms.

“Disgusting!” cried a prominent London dealer, who grabbed his coat and stormed out.

March 26th, 2008

Tip: Do not put your engagement ring in a balloon filled with helium

red balloonsSad story on Yahoo! News:
Honey, will you marry… Oh. Never mind…

“It is the one moment every man wants to get right — and which London floor-fitter Lefkos Hajji could hardly have got more wrong.

The luckless 28 year-old’s dreams of giving his sweetheart, Leanne, 26, the ultimate proposal have literally vanished into thin air.

Hajji, of Hackney, east London, had concealed a $12,000 engagement ring inside a helium balloon. The idea was that she would pop the balloon as he popped the question.

But as he left the shop, a gust of wind pulled the balloon from his hand and he watched the ring — and quite possibly the affections of his girlfriend — sailing away over the rooftops.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he told The Sun newspaper.

“I just watched as it went further and further into the air.

“I felt like such a plonker. It cost a fortune and I knew my girlfriend would kill me.”

Hajji spent two hours in his car trying to chase and find the balloon, without success.

“I thought I would give Leanne a pin so I could literally pop the question,” he said.

“But I had to tell her the story — she went absolutely mad. Now she is refusing to speak to me until I get her a new ring.”

He is hoping the ring will still turn up.

“It would be amazing if someone found it,” he added.

(Reporting by Peter Apps. Editing by Steve Addison)”

Take home message? While it’s romantic to put an engagement ring in a unique place as a surprise for your girl, it won’t be romantic if the ring gets lost. Nothing wrong with using a CZ in a setting as a temporary ring, even if you have to attach a sticker saying this ring is redeemable with a real diamond upon saying yes. Use your imagination, but be smart :)

March 18th, 2008

Get Smart: Buji Bijoux is essential

Buji Bijoux is essentialHot new designer, buji bijoux is starting to make some waves. They made the February 2008 edition of inStyle Magazine with their honeysuckle rose earrings. Their all a-flutter hoop earrings are now the “essential item” in OK Magazine, and on the red carpet, their jewelry has been seen on Hilary Duff and is going to make a cameo in Get Smart the movie. Definitely a designer to watch!

March 14th, 2008

72 carat D Flawless going on auction April 10 at Sothebys Hong Kong

72 carat flawless diamond auctionImpressive diamond is going on Auction soon. It is an exquisite 72 carat pear-shaped D Flawless. Here is Yahoo’s take on the story:

“NEW YORK – A 72.22-carat diamond, so large it could fill a tablespoon, is expected to bring up to $13 million when it goes on auction next month.

Cut from an original rough diamond, the D-color, flawless gem is prized for its pear shape and GIA-graded excellent polish and symmetry. D-color is actually colorless and considered the most highly valued.

It was previewed in Manhattan on Monday and will be offered on April 10 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong galleries, which estimates its value at $10 million to $13 million. The buyer has the privilege of naming the stone.

Sotheby’s said the most expensive diamond and jewel sold at auction, the pear-shaped, 100.10 carat Star of Season, brought $16.5 million in May 1995.”

February 5th, 2008

Robert Scoble back from Davos reporting on Methane Gas to Diamonds

farts to diamondsI was reading the latest news from my feeds and noticed a story about Diamonds from an unlikely source. Robert Scoble, formerly of Microsoft. He met some cool technologists at Davos who told him about their work.

I was never into fart jokes, so I did not repeat his headline in reporting the story, but our readers should find the story interesting. Dig in.

February 5th, 2008

NY Times: Lasers change colors of platinum, aluminum & titanium

NY Times article: lasers metal goldFrom the NY Times comes news that researchers at the University of Rochester can use a tabletop laser to turn aluminum into gold.

Neat trick :)

January 28th, 2008

Joi and the Chocolate Factory

Joi Ito and the Chocolate FactoryGmail has this cool feature that helps you waste even more time than email does alone. They let you add your RSS feeds to a list which are fed back to you one at a time in web snippets on top of your email.

So while you’re reading some boring note from your boss or whatnot, you can see the latest, coolest headlines from the feeds you watch.

Today Joi Ito caught me with an intriguing headline about a TCHO beta. Expecting a cool new tech site I never heard of, I headed over there.

Turns out it’s even better. He and a couple people from Wired magazine invested in a Chocolate Factory. So put down your diamonds for a moment and give the chocolate beta a try.  Then report back. $4.00 for a 50g bar.

January 10th, 2008

Charlie Wilson’s Diamonds

Julia Roberts War & diamondsI just saw Charlie Wilson’s War. Not a bad movie at all. Of course you need to take movies and article and news reports that purport to tell you inside stories of CIA covert operations with a grain of salt. They are covert for a reason. They are a secret.

Published accounts of real events are easily manipulated. Who will be able to confirm or deny the story?

Sometimes a story is told to achieve an agenda, sometimes because the writer knows a little bit and needs to turn it into a compelling enough story to sell it. But if you look at these kinds of movies as somewhat fiction, they can be fun.

That’s NOT why I’m blogging about it. The reason for this post is that Julia Roberts wears some outstanding jewelry with enormous diamonds throughout this film. Even if for nothing else, our readership should enjoy that aspect of the movie alone. But besides, it is a good film.

December 24th, 2007

Susan Sarandon gets flak for cocktail party at Lev Leviev’s store

susan sarandon ny post lev levievThe NY Post shouts: “JEWELER FOES BLAST SARANDON“. Politics in the Middle East is never simple. A Jewish group is upset with Lev Leviev not over any issue around diamonds, but his support for Jewish Settlements in the West Bank. His store has had picketers in front of it, on and off, since opening, and Sarandon apparently crossed the lines to attend a cocktail party.

Funny, the article mentions the Apthorp building. I just attended a cocktail party there myself and knew that I had heard something about the owner but couldn’t remember who it was. Not too many buildings like that one in New York.