Archive for the Antiques Corner Category

55-Carat Diamond Dazzles at NYC Museum

Posted in Antiques Corner with tags on July 17, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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55-Carat Diamond Dazzles at NYC Museum

Tanya Lewis, Staff Writer
Date: 10 July 2013 Time: 07:07 PM ET
The stunning Kimberley diamond was found at a mine in Kimberley, South Africa.
CREDIT: ©AMNH\D. Finnin 

The dazzling 55-carat Kimberley Diamond makes its debut at the American Museum of Natural History in New York Thursday (July 11).

The champagne-colored “cape diamond” was originally cut from a 490-carat stone found sometime before 1868 in theKimberley Mine in South Africa. (A carat is a unit of weight equivalent to about a fifth of a gram, or about 0.007 ounces.) The diamond was later cut to 70 carats in 1921, and cut to its stunning present form in 1958.

The diamond, which is on loan from the Bruce F. Stuart Trust, is about 1.25 inches (3.2 cm), and virtually flawless, said exhibit curator George Harlow. The original diamond was fairly large, but there aren’t many descriptions of it, so its history isn’t well-known, Harlow told LiveScience. [Sinister Sparkle Gallery: 13 Mysterious & Cursed Gemstones]

Diamond is a form of carbon that is less stable than graphite, but stable at high pressures.

Most diamonds probably form underneath continents, but the process is somewhat mysterious. Carbon-containing fluids are thought to seep out of the deep mantle (the viscous layer between the Earth’s crust and core), and enter the lithosphere (the outermost rocky layer). There, a chemical reaction turns them into diamond.

“You’re talking on the order of 100 kilometers (62 miles) or more down into the Earth,” Harlow said.

Most diamonds are also very old, Harlow said. Using radioactive dating of minerals trapped inside the gems, scientists can determine their age. This diamond doesn’t contain the telltale radioactive minerals, so scientists don’t know exactly how old it is. But many diamonds from the same area are about 2 billion years old, Harlow said.

In order for the diamond to survive at the Earth’s surface, it has to get there fast. The precious stones hitch a speedy ride on magma. The magma starts out very deep and moves toward the surface at 22 to 25 mph (35-40 km/h). During a volcanic eruption, the magma creates little bubbles, “like champagne,” Harlow explained, adding that the debris can reach a speed of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound).

“If you were there, you would see the most impressive explosion, then immediately be dead because of the shock wave,” Harlow said.

Diamonds were first found in rivers, where people were looking for gold. Dense minerals tend to collect in the bottoms of rivers, streams and beaches, Harlow said. In the 1870s, people found diamonds in rivers in South Africa. They followed the river upstream and found a gray-blue rock, or “blue ground.” This blue ground contained diamond, and because they were found in Kimberley, South Africa, they were called kimberlite.

A gem the size of the Kimberley diamond would not survive in modern mining techniques, Harlow said — it would be crushed during processing.

Even the diamond’s current size of 55 carats is fairly large. “It would have been a bit of a bonker on a ring,” Harlow said.

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitter and Google+. Follow us @livescienceFacebook & Google+. Original article on LiveScience.com.

Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

Posted in Antiques Corner, SCIENCE, GEOLOGY,HEALTH, INVIRONMENT, TECHNOLOGY,ANTHROPOLOGY, ARCHAEOLOGY, with tags on May 16, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Shine On: Photos of Dazzling Mineral Specimens

LiveScience Staff
Date: 14 May 2013 Time: 10:35 AM ET
The Snow Angel
The Snow Angel
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This mineral beauty, dubbed the “snow angel,” was discovered during the digging of a well in India. The specimen is a silicate mineral called apophyllite-(KF), which appears in volcanic rocks. The snow angel is one of dozens of gorgeous minerals up for auction June 2, 2013.
Gold Sculpture
Gold Sculpture
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The opening bid on this natural gold “sculpture” is $15,000. This specimen comes from the Eagle’s Nest Mine in Placer Co., Calif.
Linarite
Linarite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
A specimen of a copper mineral called linarite contains unusual large crystals and could, conceivably, fetch more than $100,000 at auction, according to the auction house. All of the proceeds from the sale go to benefit Dallas’s new Perot Museum of Nature and Science.
Tourmaline
Tourmaline
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This 16-inch (40 cm) tourmaline goes up for auction June 2, 2013 with a starting bid of $30,000. Tourmalines are boron silicate minerals that get their rainbow-like colors from various elements such as iron, sodium or magnesium. This specimen comes from Brazil.
Cumengeite Crystal
Cumengeite Crystal
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Tiny but super-rare, this cumengeite crystal perches on a throne of brecca, or broken-up rock and mineral naturally cemented together. Cumengeite is closely related to boleite, which forms cubes of a similar blue hue and is found in lead and copper deposits. This cumengeite measures just a centimeter across and comes from Mexico.
Stibnite Swords
Stibnite Swords
Credit: Heritage Auctions
This stibnite “swords” are made of the elements antimony and sulfur and are up for auction on June 2, 2013 with an opening bid of $32,500. This frozen firework of a mineral was found in the Lushi Mine in Henan, China and measures 9 by 10 by 4 inches (23 by 25 by 10 cm).
Rhodochrosite
Rhodochrosite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
These stunning red rhodochrosite crystals are made of manganese carbonate. The largest of the crystals measure about an inch (2.5 cm) in length.
Opal Egg
Opal Egg
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The smooth egg shape of this specimen isn’t natural, but the rainbow-colored opal vein inside is. This specimen was mined in 1985 in Oregon. The brown areas are rhyolite, a volcanic, igneous rock. Opals are made from silica (the same stuff as sand or quartz), but are infused with water molecules. The arrangement of the silica diffracts light, causing opal’s multicolored sheen.
Cubanite
Cubanite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Copper, iron and sulfur combine to make cubanite. This specimen, up for auction June 2, 2013, may be the largest cubanite crystal on record at 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) across. This cubanite was discovered in a copper mine in Quebec, Canada.
Wulfenite
Wulfenite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
The buyer of this wulfenite crystal (starting bid: $10,000) will also get a complete history of the specimen since discovery. Found in Mexico and first bought for $40, the chunk of wulfenite was owned by some of the early luminaries of the mineral business, according to Heritage Auctions. These crystals are made from lead, molybdenum and oxygen.
Strontianite
Strontianite
Credit: Heritage Auctions
Delicate strontianite crystals top a Sphalerite (zinc ore) in this specimen from Hardin Co., Ill. Strontianite is made of the element strontium mixed with carbon and oxygen. Yellow and blue cubes of fluorite add a flourish to this otherwise black-and-white bit of geological art.
La Madona Rosa
La Madona Rosa
Credit: Heritage Auctions
“La Madona Rosa,” a rose quartz specimen from Brazil, gets its name from a supposed resemblance to the Virgin Mary. Mary’s body is formed out of smoky quartz with a halo of pink rose quartz outlining her. This sparkling beauty stands 15.5 inches (39 cm) tall, taller than other known rose quartz specimens. Quarz is made from silica, and titanium, manganese or iron lend rose quartz its pink hue. Smoky quartz’s color comes from free silicon in the mineral. The starting bid for La Madona Rosa is $100,000.

Chinese bowl sells for record-breaking sum

Posted in Antiques Corner with tags on April 8, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Chinese bowl sells for record-breaking sum

A red bowl with a lotus pattern broke the world record for Chinese Kangxi ceramics on Apr. 8, fetching over $9 million after a bidding war won by a Hong Kong ceramics dealer at the last day of spring sales for global auctioneer Sotheby’s.
Security guards chat in front of a light box featuring a photograph of a magnificent Ruby-Ground Falangcai “Double-Lotus” Bowl Blue Enamel Yuzhi Mark and Period of Kangxi at Sotheby’s Spring Sales in Hong Kong April 8, 2013. Sotheby’s said in a press release Hong Kong Chinese ceramics dealer Wiliam Chak has bought the bowl for HK$74 million ($9.5 million) on Monday, setting a world auction record for Qing Kangxi porcelain. REUTERS/Bobby Yip (CHINA – Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)
A magnificent Ruby-Ground Falangcai “Double-Lotus” Bowl Blue Enamel Yuzhi Mark and Period of Kangxi is shown after Hong Kong Chinese ceramics dealer William Chak has bought it for HK$74 million ($9.5 million) at Sotheby’s Spring Sales in Hong Kong April 8, 2013. Sotheby’s said in a press release the deal set a world auction record for Qing Kangxi porcelain. REUTERS/Bobby Yip (CHINA – Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)
Hong Kong Chinese ceramics dealer William Chak poses with a magnificent Ruby-Ground Falangcai “Double-Lotus” Bowl Blue Enamel Yuzhi Mark and Period of Kangxi, after he bought it for HK$74 million (US$9.5 million) at Sotheby’s Spring Sales in Hong Kong April 8, 2013. Sotheby’s said in a press release the deal set a world auction record for Qing Kangxi porcelain. REUTERS/Bobby Yip (CHINA – Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)

Singing bird PISTOLS- Amazing

Posted in Antiques Corner with tags on March 27, 2013 by 2eyeswatching

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Source  : Ben Draper – Canada

Ben April 2012

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Singing bird PISTOLS- Amazing

Simply incredible …you have to hang in there for a minute before you see what this is all about. Amazing.

This is a short video on a pair of 200+ year-old mechanical singing bird pistols;whether or not you are an antique gun aficionado, you’ll be glad you took a moment to   watch. They are like great paintings. .. . only on a much grander scale.  These pistols sold for $5.8 million

 


                        http://www.christies.com/features/singing-bird-pistols-en-1422-3.aspx

 

10,000 diamonds on display at Buckingham Palace

Posted in Antiques Corner on July 2, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

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10,000 diamonds on display at Buckingham Palace

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/10-000-diamonds-on-display-at-buckingham-palace-slideshow/

More than 10,000 of the gems are going on display at Buckingham Palace in a celebration of jewelry owned by British monarchs over three centuries. The exhibition includes a coronation necklace and other gems worn by Queen Elizabeth II as well as items from the royal collection, including the miniature crown adorned with 1,187 diamonds worn by Queen Victoria for her 1897 Diamond Jubilee.

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with Queen Victoria's Small Diamond Crown at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with Queen Victoria’s Small Diamond Crown at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London, in this file photograph dated May 15, 2012. More than 10,000 diamonds go on show at London’s Buckingham Palace this week to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, in a dazzling display of gems gathered over the centuries as objects of beauty and symbols of power. The exhibition, which runs from June 30 to July 8 and then from July 31 to Oct. 7, was designed to coincide with the queen’s diamond jubilee this year, and features jewels she wears regularly at official functions in Britain and abroad. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/files (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with the Cullinan VII necklace at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with the Cullinan VII necklace at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London May 15, 2012. A special exhibition “Diamonds: A Jubilee Celebration” will run from June 30 – July 8 and July 31 – October 7, in celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee anniversary. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with the Cullinan III and IV brooch at the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace

Exhibition curator Caroline de Guitaut poses with the Cullinan III and IV brooch at the Queen’s Gallery in Buckingham Palace, London, in this file photograph dated May 15, 2012. More than 10,000 diamonds go on show at London’s Buckingham Palace this week to mark Queen Elizabeth’s 60th year on the throne, in a dazzling display of gems gathered over the centuries as objects of beauty and symbols of power. The exhibition, which runs from June 30 to July 8 and then from July 31 to Oct. 7, was designed to coincide with the queen’s diamond jubilee this year, and features jewels she wears regularly at official functions in Britain and abroad. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/files (BRITAIN – Tags: ENTERTAINMENT ROYALS SOCIETY)

This Thursday June 28, 2012 photo shows curator Caroline de Guitaut, holding the Delhi Durbar Tiara, on show for the first time and made to mark the succession of King George V as King Emperor in 1911

This Thursday June 28, 2012 photo shows curator Caroline de Guitaut, holding the Delhi Durbar Tiara, on show for the first time and made to mark the succession of King George V as King Emperor in 1911, at a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace, London. The new exhibition at Buckingham Palace shows jewels collected by six monarchs over three centuries to mark the Queen’s Diamond jubilee this summer. (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

This Thursday June 28, 2012 photo shows curator Caroline de Guitaut, standing behind the Delhi Durbar Necklace and Cullinan Pendant made up of diamonds and emeralds, created for the Delhi Durbar of 19

This Thursday June 28, 2012 photo shows curator Caroline de Guitaut, standing behind the Delhi Durbar Necklace and Cullinan Pendant made up of diamonds and emeralds, created for the Delhi Durbar of 1911 and owned by Queen Mary, at a new exhibition at Buckingham Palace, London. The new exhibition at Buckingham Palace shows jewels collected by six monarchs over three centuries to mark the Queen’s Diamond jubilee this summer. (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire) UNITED KINGDOM OUT

The Queen wears the Diadem crown in May. The crown will be on display as part of the exhibition at Buckingham Palace

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II is pictured wearing the Diadem crown at the opening of Parliament in May. More than 10,000 diamonds set in works worn by British monarchs for over 250 years will go on show at London’s Buckingham Palace this summer to celebrate the Queen’s diamond jubilee. The exhibition includes a range of the queen’s personal jewels, including the Diadem crown. (AFP Photo/SUZANNE PLUNKETT)

Rare 1792 penny sells for $1.15M

Posted in Antiques Corner on April 22, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

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Rare 1792 penny sells for $1.15M

The unusual coin was auctioned off Apr. 19 at the Renaissance Schaumburg Convention Center in suburban Chicago.

http://news.yahoo.com/photos/rare-1792-penny-sells-for-1-15m-1334938827-slideshow/rare-penny-photo-1334938707.html

Rare penny

A 1792 Silver Center Cent is shown on April 18, 2012 in Schaumburg, Illinois. The coin is scheduled to be auctioned by Heritage Auctions on April 19. Online bidding for the coin has already pushed the price over $1 million. The coin, considered the third best example of fourteen known to exist, was last sold at auction in 1974 when it reached a price of $105,000.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

World’s first all-diamond, 150-carat ring created by Swiss jeweler; worth $70 million

Posted in Antiques Corner on March 26, 2012 by 2eyeswatching

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World’s first all-diamond, 150-carat ring created by Swiss jeweler; worth $70 million

By Eric Pfeiffer | The Sideshow12 hrs ago
Switzerland’s Shawish Jewelryhas created the world’s first diamond ring.Not impressed? Well, consider that the entire ring  is carved from a diamond, whereas most other diamond rings are composed of a precious-metal band with a diamond centerpiece. Styleitewrites that the 150-carat ring runs laps around some other famous diamond competitors, including Beyoncé’s 18-carat engagement ring from Jay-Z and the even better known 30-carat ring given to the late Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton.The ring was created by Shawish’s president and CEO Mohamed Shawesh using lasers (yes, lasers!) along with traditional diamond cutting and polishing techniques. It took a full year to carve the ring, which has been copyrighted and is expected to sell for $70 million

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