7.44-carat Diamond Found by Teen

Kalel Langford, 14, of Centerton, Arkansas, found the 7th-largest diamond ever discovered in Crater of Diamonds State Park

A teen named Kalel Langford just found a 7.44-carat diamond at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Murfreesboro, Arkansas. Kalel, 14, named it “Superman’s Diamond” after the comic book hero Superman whose real name is also Kal-El. It’s the seventh-largest diamond ever found in the park. The brown diamond is coffee-colored and about the size of a pinto bean. Kalel found it within his first 20 minutes at the park without even looking that hard, his mother said. 
The overjoyed Kalel plans to keep the diamond as a special souvenir, but will possibly spend it wisely in the future. “For now he plans on keeping it until he has a chance to let it all sink in, and over time we’ll plan to make a decision,” said his mother. “He told us, ‘That’s what I’ll plan to use for college if I don’t get enough scholarships. And if I get enough scholarships then it can be a down payment for a house.’
“He’s a very good kid,” she added. “He is very much into science. He loves rocks and loves minerals.”

For more information on Crater of Diamonds State Park please visit http://www.craterofdiamondsstatepark.com/

CVD Synthetic Diamond Over 5 Carats Identified by GIA

This 5.19 ct CVD synthetic diamond (10.04 × 9.44 × 6.18 mm, with J-equivalent color and VS2-equivalent clarity) is the largest GIA has identified to date. Photo by Johnny Leung and Tony Leung.

Originally published by GIA on October 5th 2016

Chemical vapor deposition (CVD) technology has accelerated over the last several years, and the rapidly improving techniques have produced large, high-quality near-colorless and colorless synthetic diamonds. Two samples over 3 carats were reported in early 2016 as the largest CVD synthetics. GIA recently tested a CVD-grown synthetic diamond that weighed over 5 carats, marking a significant milestone.

The 5.19 ct cushion modified brilliant measuring 10.04 × 9.44 × 6.18 mm was submitted to GIA’s Hong Kong laboratory for grading service. The stone was not disclosed as a synthetic diamond. Using the lab’s standard screening and testing processes, it was identified as CVD synthetic. Following examination, a GIA Identification Report was issued and the stone was inscribed on the girdle with the report number and the words “Laboratory Grown,” following GIA’s protocols for undisclosed synthetics.

This is the largest CVD synthetic diamond GIA has examined to date, and the largest reported in the jewelry industry. It had J-equivalent color grade and VS2-equivalent clarity, comparable to a high-quality natural counterpart. Natural-looking internal inclusions such as needles and clouds were the major features. Strong graining and a fracture in the table were also clearly observed under the microscope. The black inclusions that are often found in synthetic diamond, were not found in this CVD specimen. This stone could have easily been mistakenly identified as natural based on microscopic examination alone. This case highlights the importance of using advanced spectroscopic instruments as well as conventional gemological techniques to ensure an accurate identification. Link to Original Article

I will be writing more on the subject of lab grown diamonds in the coming days. If you are interested in the subject I would encourage you to join my mailing list! 

AGTA Spectrum Award Winners

This suite of round brilliant demantoid garnets weighing 24.67 total carats won Best of Show in this year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards.

This suite of round brilliant demantoid garnets weighing 24.67 total carats won Best of Show in this year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards.

Judging for this year’s Spectrum Awards took place Saturday and Sunday in New York. For the first time the competition was held in the summer rather than the fall. This was the second year in a row that an entry in the 'Cutting Edge' category took best in show. The design contests highest honor was given to a suite of round brilliant Russian demantoid garnets weighing a total of 24.67 carats cut by Ruben Bindra of B&B Fine Gems (see above photo).

This year’s judges were: Gail Brett-Levine of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers, Diane Garmendia of 33 Jewels at El Paseo, Jay Mednikow of J.H. Mednikow & Co., Inc. Victor Velyan of Victor-Christy Studios and Lew Wackler of Lew Wackler Gem Co.

The winners will be receiving their awards during the 2017 AGTA GemFair in Tucson (Jan. 31 to Feb. 5) at the Tucson Convention Center. Winning entries will be displayed during the show and the award winners will be recognized during the Spectrum Awards Gala on Feb 4.

Winners of the 2016 Summer AGTA Spectrum Awards:

“Best of” Category
Best of Show: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Best Use of Color: Derek Katzenbach, Katzenbach Designs
Best Use of Pearls: Judy Evans, Oliver & Espig Gallery of Fine Arts
Best Use of Platinum and Color: Kathy Kinev, Jewel Creations Inc.
Fashion Forward: Lorenzo Chavez, Geogem-USA 

Bridal Wear
First Place and Platinum Honors: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc. 
Second Place: Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry
Third Place: Caroline Chartouni, Caroline C
Honorable Mention: Jessica Neiwert, Jessica Nei
Honorable Mention: Samuel Sulimanov, Samuel Sylvio Designs
Manufacturing Honors: Dennis de Jonghe, deJonghe Original Jewelry
Gem Diva Award: Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems Inc.

Business/Day Wear
First Place: Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg Inc. 
Second Place: T. Foster & Co. Fine Jewelers
Third Place: Zoltan David, Zoltan David LLC
Honorable Mention: Shuang Feng, Fon Shon Jewellery Art & Design
Honorable Mention: Patrick King, Jewelsmith
Manufacturing Honors: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry
Platinum Honors: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Entry Platinum Innovation: Jill Maurer, Jill Maurer
Gem Diva Award: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs

First Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems Inc.
Second Place: Niveet Nagpal, Omi Gems Inc.
Third Place: Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan Luxury Jewelry
Honorable Mention and Entry Platinum Innovation: Lindsay Jane, Lindsay Jane Designs
Honorable Mention and Gem Diva Award: Heena Chheda Shah, Real Gems Inc.
Manufacturing Honors: Dominique Israileff, ASBA USA Inc.
Platinum Honors: Zoltan David, Zoltan David LLC

Evening Wear
First Place: David Gross, David Gross Groups
Second Place: Phillip Dismuke, Jewelsmith
Third Place: Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers
Honorable Mention: Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney Inc.
Honorable Mention: Sinork Agdere, Lord Jewelry
Manufacturing Honors: Llyn Strong, Llyn Strong Fine Art Jewelry
Platinum Honors: John Ford, Lightning Ridge Collection by John Ford
Gem Diva Award: Alexia Connellan, Alexia Connellan

Men’s Wear
First Place and Platinum Honors: Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design
Second Place: William Travis, William Travis Jewelry
Third Place: Craig Slavens, Studio 247 Fine Jewelry
Honorable Mention and Entry Platinum Innovation: William Travis, William Travis Jewelry 

The winners for the Cutting Edge Awards are as follows.

First Place: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs
Second Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Third Place: Meg Berry, Mega Gem
Honorable Mention: Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs

Classic Gemstone
First Place: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Second Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Third Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Honorable Mention: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems

Innovative Faceting
First Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Second Place: John Dyer, John Dyer & Co.
Third Place: Ryan Joseph Anderson, Ryan Joseph Gems
Honorable Mention: Glenn Wm. Lehrer, Lehrer Designs Inc.

Objects of Art
Honorable Mention: Brenda Smith, Brenda Smith Jewelry
Honorable Mention: Neda Behnam, Samuel B. Collection

Pairs & Suites
First Place and Best of Show: Ruben Bindra, B & B Fine Gems
Second Place: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.
Third Place: Ben Kho, Kho International Ltd.
Honorable Mention: Allen Kleiman, A. Kleiman & Co.

First Place: Gil International
Second Place: Robert Shapiro, Robert Shapiro
Third Place: Manu Nichani, Blue Moon Ent.
Honorable Mention: Robyn Dufty, DuftyWeis Opals Inc. 

All Other Faceted
First Place: Jeffrey R. Hapeman, Earth’s Treasury LLC
Second Place: Mikola Kukharuk, Nomad’s
Third Place: Ambassador Gems
Honorable Mention: Hemant Phophaliya, AG Color Inc.

Excavation Reveals a 2,000-year-old Natural Pearl Found in Australia

Australian scientists said Wednesday that they have uncovered a "very rare" 2,000-year-old natural sea pearl while excavating a remote coastal Aboriginal site. The pearl is the first found on the continent. 

Australia's University of Wollongong on June 3, 2015: a "very rare" 2,000-year-old natural pearl (the first found on the vast island continent) uncovered while excavating a remote coastal Aboriginal site

Australia's University of Wollongong on June 3, 2015: a "very rare" 2,000-year-old natural pearl (the first found on the vast island continent) uncovered while excavating a remote coastal Aboriginal site

Kat Szabo, an associate professor at the University of Wollongong said that archaeologists came across the pearl while excavating the site on the north Kimberley coast of Western Australia.

"Natural pearls are very rare in nature and we certainly -- despite many, many (oyster) shell middens being found in Australia -- we've never found a natural pearl before," Szabo, who specialises in studying shells at archaeological sites, told AFP.

The discovery's location is particularily significant because "the Kimberley coast of Australia is synonymous with pearling, and has been for the better part of the last century, " says Szabo 

The pink-and-gold-coloured pearl is almost completely spherical, and measures five-millimeters in  diameter. Because the pearl was nearly perfect round researchers were able to use a micro CT scan to test its age as well as prove that is was naturally occurring rather than a modern cultured pearl.

Pearl producing oysters have been used in rainmaking ceremonies in indigenous cultures, and their shells have been found in the central desert more than 930 miles away. Archaeologists have known about the rainmaking rituals but were not aware of how far back in history they had been practiced until now.

"Studying the pearl has led us to the study of the layer in which it's found," Szabo said.

"In indigenous terms, that's telling a really interesting story about a cultural tradition to do with pearl shells which we knew historically but we've never been able to prove that it went back into the past." 

The pearl is set to go on display at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Perth later this month, with details of the find published in the Australian Archaeology journal.

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA


Doyle's New York to Hold Auction in LA

Continuing the westward move of auction houses Doyle will hold its Inaugural West Coast Auction in Beverly Hills on Thursday, May 21, 2015 at 10am. These important sales address an entire demographic that has been ignored in the past by the established Eastern houses. 
The sale of Fine Jewelry will feature exquisite designs by such prestigious makers as Van Cleef & Arpels, Cartier, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. Comprising over 250 lots, the sale showcases jewelry set with diamonds, colored gemstones and pearls, as well as gold jewelry, fine watches and gentlemen's accessories.
One star of the show will be the dazzling collection of jewelry once owned by film star Mae West, comprising a circa 1950 platinum and diamond bracelet-watch by Fred and a platinum, moonstone and diamond ring.

'Sunrise Ruby' Steals the Show at Sotheby's Auction


The “Sunrise Ruby,” a 25.59-carat untreated pigeon’s blood red-colored stone set a new world auction record for price paid for a ruby on Tuesday at the Sotheby's Geneva sale. The ruby was initially estimated to sell at between $12-$18 million but bidding soared to $30.3 million, demolishing the existing ruby auction record that was held by the $8.6 million sale of the “Graff Ruby.” The ring also set a record for the price paid for a jewel by Cartier. It was sold to an million to an anonymous buyer.
The high price of the ruby heavily contributed to the Sotheby’s Magnificent and Noble Jewels auction which the highest-ever total for any jewelry auction at $160.9 million, deposing the Christie’s November 2014 sale of Magnificent Jewels in Geneva, which totaled $150.2 million.

Also performing well but not meeting pre-sale expectations was the “Historic Pink." The 8.72-carat fancy vivid pink diamond sold for $15.9 million, below its pre-sale high estimate of $18 million.
David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s international jewelry division had this to say about the sale: 
“(The) record result is the reflection of outstanding quality of the pieces in the sale across the board,...The galleries have been brimming with collectors during our worldwide exhibitions, and this translated into lively bidding throughout the sale … with truly global demand for the finest diamonds, gemstones and signed pieces of the very highest order.”

The entirety of the auction results can be viewed at Sotheby's 

Alert from GIA Lab


The Gemological Institute of America has cut off four clients traced to hundreds of diamonds submitted with an undisclosed treatment that improves their color by as much as three grades but fades over time. 

On May 12, 2015 GIA Laboratory sent out notifications about the still-unidentified temporary treatment Tuesday and is asking anyone in the trade with these 424 potentially treated stones to turn them back into the GIA for reexamination. According to the National Jeweler approximately 76 of the 500 already have been reexamined by the GIA.)  The majority of the stones are 1 carat or larger. 

GIA has confirmed that they have terminated the client agreements of the companies linked to the stones. GIA spokesman Stephen Morisseau said the lab “reasonably suspects” that the companies knew the diamonds were treated and did not disclose it.  

The companies are listed online as: E.G.S.D Diamonds Ltd., L.Y.E Diamonds Ltd., Abramov Romok and Yair Matatov.

 The GIA also said it notified the diamond bourses. In a statement issued Wednesday, the Israel Diamond Exchange said it called an emergency meeting of its board of directors upon hearing the news and has “resolved to identify the suspects” and act immediately to “take the needed measures.” 
The lab became aware of this potentially new color treatment when a client purchased one of these diamonds and the treatment began to wear off, leaving him with a diamond that had a much lower color grade than what he had paid for. He returned the stone to GIA for reexamination. It was then that the GIA discovered the treatment and the stone was connected with hundreds of others that had been submitted by the four companies. 
GIA hasn’t drawn any solid conclusions yet, Morisseau said they “reasonably believe” that all of the approximately 500 stones have been treated, but cannot definitively say anything until the lab reexamines them. 
Morisseau said the GIA has not yet identified the treatment but are “actively researching it.” He added that they are monitoring other GIA labs worldwide for similar submissions. 

You may view the list of recalled diamonds here.

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

Sotheby's to Auction a Historic Pink Diamond

Historic pink

A fancy vivid pink diamond that is believed to have been part of the collection of Napoleon Bonaparte’s niece, Princess Mathilde, could fetch up to $18 million when it hits Sotheby’s auction block next month.
Dubbed the “Historic Pink Diamond,” the diamond is an 8.72-carat stone, VS2 clarity and is a non-modified cushion cut; unusual for a pink diamond.

Scheduled for May 12 Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, in Geneva.

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

Botswana mine yields 342-carat diamond


Lucara Diamond Corp. announced this week the discovery of a 341.9-carat gem-quality diamond at its Karowe Mine in Botswana, the same mine that yielded two 200-carat-plus pieces of rough last year. 
The diamond is a Type IIa that shows “exceptional color and clarity”. It will be sold along with two other big pieces of rough, both of which are more than 100 carats. The sale date has yet to be determined.
The diamond was found while processing fragmental kimberlite from the central and south lobe interface of the mine, which is proving, somewhat surprisingly, to be a prolific source of high-quality, large rough diamonds.

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

The “Ultimate Emerald-cut Eiamond" Fetches More than $22 million

Ultimate Emerald Cut

An anonymous buyer who called in their bid became the owner of one impressive diamonds, a 100.2-carat, internally flawless, D color Type IIa diamond. The diamond sold for $22.1 million at Sotheby’s New York jewelry sale on April 21, falling slightly short of its highest pre-sale estimate, $25 million.
The hundred-carat stunner led Tuesday’s Magnificent Jewels sale and was one-third of the auction’s $65.1 million total, a new record for Sotheby’s in New York.
According to Sotheby’s, the stone is the largest “perfect” diamond with a classic emerald cut ever sold at auction and the first 100-carat-plus perfect diamond sold at an auction held in New York. The $22 million paid for it is a record for a colorless diamond auctioned in New York.


Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

Exceptional 63.05-carat Diamond Found

Lucapa Diamond Company recovered an “exceptional” 63.05-carat, Type IIa diamond from its alluvial mining operations at the Lulo Diamond Concession in Angola. It is the biggest diamond recovered since Lucapa started commercial mining operations at the site in January and the company’s third-largest stone unearthed at Lulo, behind 131.40-carat and 95.45-carat stones (both of which also were Type IIa).

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA

Angola diamond

The “Kimberley Purple"


The “Kimberley Purple,” a 30.80-carat rough diamond found in Batla Minerals’ Superkolong diamond tailings plant in Kimberley, South Africa, is on view in New York until April 23, when it will be moved to Antwerp for tender. 
A viewing can be arranged by emailing appts@fusionalternatives.com. Additional information on the tender can be found on the Fusion Alternatives website. 

Kathleen Marino M.A, G.G., AJP, NAJA