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Stunning Colored Stone Jewelry at Oscars 2012

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 UPI/Kevin Dietsch /LANDOV
 Getty Photo

Comedienne and actress Tina Fey looked gorgeous on the red carpet at the 84th Annual Academy Awards. The 30 Rock star's midnight-blue, strapless gown was specially made for her by renowned fashion designer Carolina Herrera. Complimenting her formal wear was a pair of beautiful blue sapphire and emerald chandelier earrings and a blue sapphire ring, both designed by Bulgari. Fey was listed on many of the Best Dressed lists for this glamorous star-studded event at the Hollywood & Highland Center. As one of the presenters at the awards ceremony, she looked stunning and was ready for a night of Hollywood-style celebration. Fey currently stars in, produces and writes for the Emmy®-winning comedy series 30 Rock. Actor Alec Baldwin is her co-star.

Stylist to the stars Michael O'Connor predicted colored stone jewelry would dominate the red carpet at Oscars night. "Bright and vibrant colored gemstones in pink, blue, orange and green, will make a resurgence," O'Connor said. Many other stars lit up the night with an array of exquisite colored gemstone jewelry.  InStyle read more...

 

"La Peregrina" Makes History at Christie's

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New York — Christie's

The extraordinary beauty, rarity and provenance of the pearl known as “La Peregrina” inspired a fierce bidding battle at Christie’s New York at the opening auction of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor. Estimated at $2-3 million, the pearl reached a world auction record price for a pearl at $11,842,500 (£ 7,579,200 / € 9,118,725) after four and a half minutes of bidding. The pearl, an historic 16th century pear-shaped pearl suspended from a necklace custom designed for Ms. Taylor by Cartier, has been widely heralded as one of Elizabeth Taylor’s most iconic jewels.

The price with premium for La Peregrina surpasses the previous world auction record for a pearl jewel, set in 2007 at Christie’s New York with the sale of The Baroda Pearls for $7,096,000.
La Peregrina is a remarkable pearl of 203 grains in size –equivalent to 50 carats – that was first discovered in the 1500s in the Gulf of Panama. King Philip II of Spain was among the first recorded owners of the pear-shaped pearl, which later passed on to the Spanish queens Margaret and Elisabeth, who proudly wore the pearl in 17th century portraits painted by Velázquez himself.
Richard Burton famously purchased the pearl for Elizabeth Taylor at auction in 1969 for $37,000, after successfully outbidding a member of the Spanish Royal family. Inspired by a 16th century portrait of Mary Queen of Scots, Ms. Taylor later commissioned Cartier to design an exquisite new mount of matched natural pearls and rubies to offset what she called “the most perfect pearl in the world.”
www.christies.com

 

Christie's Sale of Emerald Ear Pendants Sets World Record

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A pair of 25.38 and 23.12 cts cushion-shaped Colombian emerald ear pendants set a world record at Christie's Autumn Hong Kong sale at US$83,000 per ct., realizing a total of   $4,036,318 from a private Asian buyer.

The stones, known as The Stars of Colombia (see image), with their remarkably large size - 25.38 and 23.12 carats - high clarity,  refined cutting and superior color, are a pair of unparalleled rarity.  These cushion-shaped gems, each boasting a verdant green, are untreated, making them extraordinary, and the purity they exhibit is not often encountered in the market today.  Indeed, a single Colombian emerald of this quality is rare. To have its equal in quality and color to match so well in size and shape is virtually unheard of.

Some of the finest emeralds in the world originate in Colombia which are especially prized for their intensity and depth of color - a particularly rich grass-green with a medium-dark tone. 

For further information visit the Christie's website: http://www.christies.com/about/press-center/releases/pressrelease.aspx?pressreleaseid=5106

 

Gifts of the Sultan: The Arts of Giving at the Islamic Courts

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Comb: Turkey, Late 16th-17th century
Rock crystal inlaid with gold and set with emeralds and rubies; horn or tortoiseshell

Gifts of the Sultan, an exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), explores Islamic art through the universal tradition of gift giving. Many of the most spectacular and historically significant examples of Islamic art can be classified as gifts, a number of which have been brought together for the unique purpose of this exhibition to demonstrate the integral and complex nature of gift exchange in the Islamic world. 

The exhibition spans the eighth through nineteenth centuries and includes 200 works of art representing a rich variety of media from three continents. These spectacular works of art are associated with the great Islamic courts from Spain to India, where gift

Powder Horn: India, c. 1600-1700
Nephrite (jade), rubies (or spinels), and emeralds

giving was a fundamental activity. Gifts were intended to further diplomatic and political ambitions; as rewards for services rendered; to celebrate annual events like the New Year or more personal occasions such as weddings, and as expressions of piety, often associated with the construction or enhancement of religious monuments.           

The exhibition also includes a small contemporary component with new work by Sadegh Tirafkhan, Shahzia Sikander, and Ahmed Mater, who were commissioned to interpret the theme of the exhibition. read more...

 

 

Timeline: Gifts of the Sultans
  Timeline: Gifts of the Sultans
 

Sapphire ring 'belonged to Anglo-Saxon or Viking royalty'

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A unique gold and sapphire finger ring, found by a metal detectorist and  just purchased by the Yorkshire Museum, almost  certainly belonged to Anglo-Saxon or Viking royalty, very senior clergy or a leading member of the Anglo-Saxon aristocracy, say historians.

Of very great historical importance, it is the only Anglo-Saxon era sapphire ever found in the ground in Britain. The only other sapphire from the period is the one that the Queen wears in her Imperial State Crown, used at the opening of  Parliament. Known as  St. Edward’s sapphire, this latter gem was once part of King Edward the Confessor’s finger ring and is now the oldest gem in the British crown jewels.

The association of sapphires with high status – demonstrated by St. Edward’s gem – suggests that the sapphire ring, just purchased by the Yorkshire Museum, is of very substantial historical significance. It was found in a field some six miles to the south of York by a local metal detectorist, Michael Greenhorn, a  railway technician, was subsequently declared treasure and has now been bought by the museum for £35,000 (US$ 57,500).

It’s very likely that the ring belonged originally to an Anglo-Saxon Archbishop of York, one of the Earls of Northumbria or a senior member of one of Anglo-Saxon England’s royal families. 

 

H. Stern Jewelry Dances in Jerusalem

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The message spread within seconds: Roberto Stern was about to cross Mamilla Avenue any moment now and enter the elegant store overlooking David's Citadel. The staff poised itself, tense and excited. It was as though King David himself was about to arrive. The anticipation ended with a modest, even somewhat shy entry of the man who now rules the H. Stern empire, the individual who is responsible for the revolution that has made H. Stern one of the leading jewelry brands. We sat down next to a side table, along with the general manager of H. Stern in Israel – Israel Kurt – who believes that if he doesn't open a new store every year, he's slipping.

Roberto Stern may have been sipping coffee when he noticed the daily paper. He caught sight of an article about the Brazilian dance troupe, Grupo Corpo. "It said that they perform Brazilian dances in a very unconventional, sensual way," he recalls as we sit in H. Stern's Mamilla Boulevard branch in Jerusalem. "I thought – that's exactly what we do – we make unusual jewelry in sensual, flowing designs. I didn't know anything about dance. I went to the box office. I bought a ticket, sat down, and watched. I was absolutely captivated – the music, the movement, all of it was fantastic. The next day I called the troupe's manager. He listened to my idea – to create jewelry inspired by the dances – and said: 'You are clearly much more creative than I am.’

That was the beginning of our shared journey. Our designers, along with me, began learning about music, ballet, choreography and costumes. At first we didn't know where to begin. In the end, we created a collection of gold jewelry that resembles the dancers' movements in the form of curved surfaces and flowing lines. They danced to the music of Bach, and we designed baroque style jewelry. We used diamonds for the beads of sweat that break out on the dancers' skin. Ultimately, the collection represents the character we share – very Brazilian, very sensuous, constantly in motion and in the limelight." read more... 

 

Madam Secretary Falls in Love with Tanzanite!

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On a recent visit to Tanzania, US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton fell in love with tanzanite. She was captivated with the precious gem, after Susie Kennedy, an ICA Director and jewelry retailer, showed her a pair of tanzanite earrings.

Susie Kennedy owns a luxury jewelry store at the Sea Cliff Village Hotel in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania’s financial capital.  Susie was summoned to visit Madam Secretary by the US Embassy and asked to display a wide selection of tanzanite jewelry. After viewing the collection, Madam secretary chose an exquisite pair of matching pear shaped tanzanite and a design fit to her taste. In only twelve hours, the ‘one-of-a-kind’ earrings were completed and delivered just in time for Ms. Clinton’s meeting with President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania and the First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete.  Madam Secretary's choice of jewels was greatly appreciated!  

Says Susie Kennedy, “Meeting and working with Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton was such a tremendous experience.  It was so great to have someone of her position visit our beautiful country!  What was even more fantastic was that she chose to go home with something that is so uniquely Tanzanian, and one of our most precious treasures.  I was thrilled that I was able to provide her with tanzanite which is something so rare and complements her style.”  

 

The Return of the Fabergé Egg

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Bejewelled, superbly crafted, each with its own intriguing story, and full of surprises, the first in a series of Couture Egg Pendants herald Springtime in the new Saisons Russes High Jewellery Collection from Fabergé, the jewellery and objects house that embraces creativity, craftsmanship and heritage.  The egg pendants, the first to bear the authentic Fabergé name since 1917, represent rebirth, new life that bursts forth in spring, welcomed and celebrated after the long, harsh Russian winter.

Paying homage to the legendary Imperial Eggs created by Peter Carl Fabergé for the Romanov family, and celebrating the Egg as a timeless universal symbol of life, Fabergé has designed a collection of one-of-a-kind High Jewellery Egg Pendants, Les Fameux de Fabergé, each illustrating a traditional Russian proverb, through complex, multi-layered concepts brought to life by the finest craftsmanship in the world today. The first of these creations, launched in Paris, during Couture Week, July 2011, mark the beginning of a series of twelve High Jewellery Egg Pendants, one for every month of the year. Each egg pendant, a wearable object of desire, involves a lengthy, exacting and in many cases pioneering fabrication process, pushing boundaries of both design and manufacture, and taking  contemporary craftsmanship to a new level of sophistication. read more ...

 
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