Thursday, 21 October 2010

Spring, Gardens and News from the Gem World



Wow, what a week its a been! We've had gale force winds, rain, snow (albeit 'sago' snow), icy winter temperatures as well as the expected sunny skies and pleasant temperatures that spring brings. Luckily we got through the wind, rain and snow BEFORE the open garden that I attended with my jewels on Sunday. It was still rather chilly though and the garden presented beautifully, even after the inclement weather. Everyone had a fabulous time and lots of money was raised for CanAssist.

On the downside of the spring weather though, all the girls in the house have succumbed to hayfever, so we really can't get out and about and enjoy it. The Coolah valley is renowned for its ability to give people who have never had it before, hayfever, so we've really got no choice in the matter! My next show (this weekend) is at the Riverlea garden at Mudgee that is open as part of the Australian Open Garden Scheme. I know Tamara will have a beautiful garden and if you're in the district, you'll find me in the courtyard, possibly sneezing!!! The lovely Julia of Bushbelles has some information on this garden and the other Mudgee garden (Mullamuddy Park) open this weekend in her post here.

I've been catching up on my gem news and there are so many fabulous things happening in the gemmie world at the moment!

If you're near New York, did you go to the Christie's Jewel Sale yesterday? Included in the auction was a Vanderbilt diamond necklace that sold for $626,500; a Mouboussin sautoir pendant that went for $1,106,500; a 17.86ct Harry Winston diamond ring that sold for $1,818,500; and a Bulgari vivid blue diamond ring that sold for a whopping $15,762,500, which was an absolute bargain as they had hoped to go as high as $50 million! See a short video on these jewels here or click here to see the whole catalogue on the Christie's site.

Christie's is also hosting a gemstone sale in Dubai on 27 October. This twice yearly auction is apparently a highlight of the Middle East's social calendar (and rightly so!). Included in this sale is a private collection of more than 40 parures (jewellery suites), the largest selection ever to be sold at auction. Highlights of this collection include a 26ct Kashmir sapphire ring, and two Ceylon sapphires of 180ct and 130ct. Another highlight of the sale is the second largest orange melo pearl to be offered at auction (only 9 of these have ever been auctioned). The melo pearl, named after the mollusc melo amphora, is found in the waters of the South China Sea. For the Emperors, who wore the Imperial colours of yellow and orange, a Melo pearl was highly prized and its image is often found on Imperial robes with the symbol of a dragon chasing an orange or melo pearl. Another rare gem on offer in the sale is the Paraiba tourmaline. First discovered in the Paraiba State of northern Brazil in the early 1980s, it has a unique turquoise green colour not found in any other gemstone. There will be a ring and a pair of earrings made with this gorgeous electric blue stone in the sale. Click here to see a slideshow of the sale pieces.

OK, enough drooling over all the Christie's goodies!

If you like historical jewels and artifacts and are in the UK, check out the "Buried Beneath the Beaney" exhibition at the Museum of Canterbury. The archaeology exhibition showcases nearly 2,000 years of history after Canterbury Archaeological Trust conducted a major dig in, of all places, the High Street! Highlights in the exhibition include a Roman gold bracelet and a Turkish carved gemstone. Wouldn't it have been a thrill finding these.

In other news, The Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), touted as the world's largest diamond trading centre, opened at Bandra-Kurla complex in the Mumbai, India, yesterday (20 October).India is already a world leader in the export of cut and polished diamonds.

Tanzania has temporarily lifted the ban on exporting uncut tanzanite till next year to give their jewellery and lapidary sector time to establish themselves. I just love tanzanite - its a pretty purple-blue stone and there is a small one in the photo above (along with pink topaz and rock crystal quartz)... ok, they're not anywhere on the same page as the Christie's beauties, but hey, I've got to be realistic!

Whilst nothing at all to do with gems, I loved this post by Monique of My Cheeky Monkey on "Why doesn't an igloo melt inside?" - if you've got younger ones, check it out! And a shout out to the Business Mums Blog - a great resource if you're a small business.

OK, I must drag myself away from the computer (and the Christie's site... yes its still open!) and get to my bench.

Hope you're having a fantastic day!
Till next
Annette
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