US Maintains Bans on Myanmar jade and rubies importing

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The Obama administration maintained the ban on imports of Myanmar jade and rubies, according to the official announcement on August 7, manifesting their aims to push the political and economic reforms in the Southeast Asian nation.

"The administration is maintaining restrictions on specific activities and actors that contribute to human rights abuses or undermine Burma's democratic reform process," deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said in a statement. It is “due to continuing concerns, including with respect to labour and human rights”, Rhodes reiterated.


Precious opals in Australia may shed light on the origin of the surface of Mars

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Could gemstones provide evidence of the origin of the geology of the Earth and of Mars? That may be the case, according to work by researchers in the United States and Australia.


Sotheby's Sells Gem-Set Magpie's Treasure Nest Clock in Hong Kong for $2.3 million

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A standing clock made by luxury timepiece maker Patek Philippe and set with a huge multitude of gems was sold at a Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong for $2.3 million. Going by the name: the Magpie's Treasure Nest Clock, the clock is 52 centimeters high and weighs more than 15 kilograms.


Scientists Believe Discovery Shows Viking Sailors Used 'Sunstones' to Navigate

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Although it has long been recounted that Viking sailors made use of special "sunstones" to navigate their ships when clouds covered the skies, no evidence has ever been uncovered to suggest that they actually existed. Until now, that is.


U.S. Keeps Myanmar Sanctions in Place on Gemstones

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Myanmar's Ministry of Mining says new gem mining permits in Mogoke, Mineshu and Nanyar Sate will be issued at a price of $1,167 per gem mining block. Meanwhile, permits for jade mine blocks that expired during January, February and March will be renewed.


Lily Safra Jewel Auction to Benefit Charity

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A ruby and diamond Camellia brooch created for Lily Safra by renowned jeweler, JAR.

Christie's Geneva announced that the Brazilian-born billionaire Lily Safra is selling her personal collection of jewelry at auction expecting to raise more than US$20 million for 20 different charitable organizations. The sale, called "Jewels For Hope," will feature 70 exquisite jewels.

Philanthropist and socialite Lily Safra, who is the widow of Lebanese banker Edmond J. Safra, is known as a discerning connoisseur of jewelry whose taste in jewels has been admired and the cause of inspiration during the past five decades. This outstanding collection contains important rubies, sapphires, and diamonds, as well as an exceptional array of fine antique and period jewelry.

“Throughout our journey as collectors, my husband and I sought the highest quality in our diverse areas of interest, from pictures, to furniture, works of art, watches and jewelry,” Safra said.

A special section of the sale will be dedicated to a group of extraordinary creations by JAR, the majority of which were designed specifically for Lily Safra by the renowned jeweler between the 1980s and 2000s. Showcasing 18 pieces, this is the largest private collection of creations by JAR ever to be offered at auction.

“A sublime collection of rare jewels, comprising the very best in all styles, periods and makers, from the late 18th Century all the way to modern times, is enough to attract the attention of jewelry amateurs and professionals worldwide," commented François Curiel, head of Christie's International Jewellery Department.

The Safra jewel collection will tour the world with stops in major cities before the auction takes place in Geneva in May.

Some of the charities identified to receive donations from the auction include the Elton John AIDS Foundation, the Paris Opera, the Paris Ballet, the Royal Opera House London, Water Treatment Program in Bahia, Brazil, Keren Shemesh, Israel, and Henry Street Settlement in New York.


First Lady Michelle Obama Dazzles With Color at State Dinner

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President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama welcomed British Prime Minister and his wife, David and Samantha Cameron to a state dinner at the White House on 14 March.

The guest list included Washington insiders, numerous members of the media, and international personalities such as George Clooney, Sir Richard Branson, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, clothing designer Georgina Chapman, and British actors Damian Lewis and Helen McCrory.

First Lady Michelle Obama's stunning off-the-shoulder silk teal gown was the talk of the town. The gorgeous gown was designed by British designer Georgina Chapman for American fashion House Marchesa. Ms. Chapman, who was a guest at the dinner, did not know beforehand that the First Lady had chosen to wear her gown for the occasion.

Complementing the First Lady's striking look was a bold blue and silver statement necklace by Tom Binns. The cascading array was made up of multi-strands of silver, turquoise, and teal beads.

Tom Binns jewels have also adorned well-known personalities such as Beyonce, Cate Blanchett, and Lady Gaga.

See more Tom Binns designs at


Fabergé and Gemfields Create Fair Trade Emerald Necklace

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This exquisite Fabergé design features 79 emeralds, totaling 186.85 carats, with sugar-loaf cabochons and a single pear-shaped drop of 30.65 carats. It includes 1,991 round white diamonds, totaling 98.15 carats, 151 rose-cut diamonds, totaling 43.29 carats, with one rose diamond of 0.67 carats and a pear-shaped rose cut of 3.48 carats.

The House of Fabergé recently unveiled the Romanov necklace, a breathtaking emerald and diamond collar that is a reworking of an early jewel from the House of Fabergé, recreated and contemporized from an archival gouache design dated 1885.

Fabergé and Gemfields collaborated on creating the piece to draw attention to ethical mining and fair trade practices in the gemstone and jewelry industry. The emeralds, which Fabergé confirmed were ethically and ecologically sound, were sourced directly from Gemfields’ Zambian mines and hand selected by Fabergé’s creative director, Katharina Flohr.

The detachable Romanov collar, designed by Fabergé can be worn separately, with or without the pear-shaped emerald drop.

Following the stone selection, a complex and challenging design process was undertaken by Fabergé’s in-house design team in collaboration with a leading Paris-based jewelry workshop, inspired by legendary master jeweler Peter Carl Fabergé.  Following two months of work on the design process were 14 months of intense and meticulous workmanship by artisans, goldsmiths and gem setters. The finished piece contains a collection of 79 emeralds of exceptional quality, totaling 186.85 carats, featuring skillfully cut sugar-loaf cabochons and a single pear-shaped drop of 30.65 carats.

Crafted in white gold, the Romanov necklace is designed to spread over the shoulders and neckline in a silky openwork trellis composed of emeralds, white round diamonds and rose diamonds, shimmering with a soft, vintage luster. In all, the necklace is set with 2,225 gemstones, totaling 363.48 carats, including 1,991 round white diamonds, totaling 98.15 carats, 151 rose-cut diamonds, totaling 43.29 carats, with one rose diamond of 0.67 carats and a pear-shaped rose cut of 3.48 carats.

A special feature of the necklace is that it was crafted in three pieces that can be worn separately,  or in different combinations to create different looks. The detachable collar can be worn with or without the pear-shaped drop.

Fabergé  and Gemfields also collaborated on the Solyanka Emerald ring. This extremely rare emerald of 13.73 carats is set high into a detailed platinum and diamond ring featuring 14 baguette diamonds and 251 round diamonds totaling 5.62 carats.


This 13.73 carat emerald is set in a detailed platinum ring, with stylized swags and finely tapered diamond baguette drapes on all sides, tapered square-cut diamonds at the sides and inside edges of the shank, which is also rimmed with diamonds.


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