Friday, 22 September 2017

Ruby Mines of Jegdalek

Only a few hours' drive from the Afghan capital Kabul is an area renowned for some of the world's most valuable rubies.

The last mining boom in Afghanistan was over 2,000 years ago in the era of Alexander the Great, when gold, silver and precious stones were routinely mined. Geologists have known of the extent of the mineral wealth for over a century, as a result of surveys done by the British and Russians.
Jegdalek mines have been worked for more than 700 years and are known for their high-grade blood-red rubies. The corundum deposit is hosted in calcite-dolomite marble and is up to 2,000m thick. The deposit is worked by about 20 mines and more than 2,000 open pits and trenches. The ore field also includes skarns and muscovite-bearing pegmatites. It is located in the western part of the Surkh-Rod pegmatite field.
The mines rarely produce the red rubies they were once famous for - more often than not semi-transparent pink sapphires are the only gems found, even at depths of 150m.

Every Friday the Taliban organizes a ruby bazaar near Jegdalek in the small village of Soar Naw - a remote and mountainous area covered with deeply forested valleys. Here they sell rubies which are then smuggled to Dubai, Pakistan and Thailand.
About 75% of the production at the Jegdalek mines is in the form of pink to violet-pink sapphire, with rubies accounting for 15%, and the balance being blue sapphire.

The Taliban reportedly smuggled a ruby out of the area which sold for $600,000 in Dubai. The government admits that it is only in control of a few of the mines. "The income from rubies is used to buy weapons and pay fighters. If we can somehow plug this source, it will be a big blow to Taliban finances," an intelligence officer said. Mining officials admit that the government is losing millions of dollars every year as powerful warlords, tribal chieftains and corrupt officials collude to rob the nation of its natural resources.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Alisa Moussaieff; grande dame of diamonds

Alisa Moussaieff knows gems. It’s been more than 50 years since she and her late husband, Shlomo, opened their first boutique on Park Lane in London. The family jeweler has been supplying exceptional gemstones and high jewelry around the world ever since.
At 88 years old, Mrs. Moussaieff isn't slowing down. The company debuted it's latest collection at the La Biennale Paris, September 11th.

Chameleon diamond
See ----->

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Laurence Graff - The King of Diamonds

Laurence Graff has earned the nickname the ‘King of Diamonds’. He is one of the most successful jewellers and gem dealers of our age. Graff has bought and sold some of the most iconic stones in the world over his long and glittering career. In 1960 he founded the Graff Diamonds Company Limited in Hatton Garden, London. The venture was an instant success.

Laurence Graff and François Graff
Graff’s The Royal Star of Paris features a 107.46 carat Fancy Yellow cushion-cut diamond, suspending the Graff Perfection, a 100 carat D Flawless pear-shaped diamond drop.

Le Collier Bleu de Reve necklace features a 10.47 carat Fancy Vivid Blue Internally Flawless briolette diamond, above a 4.22 carat old-mine Colombian emerald.

Sapphire and Diamonds “Secret” Tassel Brooch. A pavé diamond watch face is concealed suspended from a platinum chain.

10.62 carats fancy diamonds crossover ring. 5.01 carat Fancy Brown Orange Pink Internally Flawless pear shape diamond and a 5.05 carat Fancy Vivid Orange Yellow pear shape diamond.

Graff tassel necklace, featuring pigeon's blood Burmese rubies and white diamonds

Graff's Diamond Flower Brooch features an 8.97 carat pear-shaped Fancy Vivid Pink Orange diamond

24.78 carat Pink Emerald-Cut Graff Diamond
“The Golden Empress” a 132.55-carat Fancy Intense cushion-cut yellow diamond set on a necklace with 30 other yellow diamonds.

Graff Rhythm platinum necklace featuring rubies and diamonds

Monday, 18 September 2017

Chaumet Fine Jewels

Marie-Étienne Nitot (1750-1809) settled in Paris in 1780 after having served his apprenticeship at Auber, then jeweller to Queen Marie-Antoinette. His aristocratic clientele remained loyal to him until the French Revolution in 1789.

He later became the official jeweller of Napoleon in 1802. Nitot created the jewellery that would offer the French Empire it's splendour and power.
The jewellery for Napoleon’s wedding to Joséphine de Beauharnais, and later to Marie Louise de Habsburg-Lorraine, was created by Nitot. He designed and set Napoleon’s coronation crown, the hilt of his sword as well as many other pieces for the court.

François Regnault Nitot took over his father’s jewellery House on his death in 1809 and continued his activity until the fall of the Empire in 1815. Napoleon’s exile caused Nitot, a fervent royalist, to withdraw from the jewellery House, selling the business to his foreman.

French Tiara given to Josephine by Napoleon.

Crown of Empress Eugenie

Coronation crown of Napoleon

Napoleon's Iron Crown of Lombardy Ring
Chaumet was bought in October 1999 by LVMH. After an unsuccessful attempt to penetrate the American market in the end of the 1990s, the company opened stores in Asia to fuel growth.

Chaumet is now part of the watch and jewellery brands that includes TAG Heuer, Zenith, Fred, Hublot, Montres Christian Dior, and De Beers Diamond Jewellers (a joint venture between the LVMH and De Beers groups).