Monthly Archives: December 2011

Bracelet reveals amazing craftsman’s skill from 7500BC (so good it couldn’t be bettered today)

A 9,500-year-old bracelet has been analysed using the very latest computers – and the results show that it is so intricate even today’s craftsmen would struggle to improve it.

Researchers from the Institut Français d’Etudes Anatoliennes in Istanbul and Laboratoire de Tribologie et de Dynamiques des Systèmes studied the bracelet’s surface and its micro-topographic features revealing the astounding technical expertise of the maker.

The bracelet is obsidian – which means it’s made from volcanic glass – and the researchers analysis of it sheds new light on Neolithic societies, which remain highly mysterious.

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On February 14 the Fairtrade Foundation hallmark for gold was unveiled to the public, offering jewellery shoppers an accessible in to the ethical jewellery market. The first hoard of Fairtrade gold was divided up amongst 20 jewellers in the UK and while there were sceptics at first, the rise of ethical jewellery in the months since has been noticeable and it is no longer just a niche product sector. Leading companies such as Garrard, Weston Beamor, Stephen Webster and Ingle & Rhode were among the early adopters and new ethical companies have continued to pop up including Chavin and Foundation Jewellery. Ethical diamonds have also started to gain some market share with conflict-free brand Canadian Ice being picked up by a major multiple.

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La Peregrina Pearl given to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton goes for $11m as auction of her $150m collection goes under the hammer 33.19-carat diamond ring – also from Burton – sold for $8,818,500.

Elizabeth Taylor’s astonishing jewellery collection fetched a record-breaking $115million (£75million) at auction in New York – including more than $11.8million for a pearl necklace and $8.8million for a diamond ring, both given to her by Richard Burton.

The necklace was made to display a historic pearl known as ‘La Peregrina’, which Burton bought for Taylor in 1969 and which cost him $37,000 (£23,000).

Last night the necklace fetched a world record price of $11,842,500 (£7.6million).

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How a toybox trinket that cost just £20 and was a four-year-old’s plaything, turned out to be a royal gem

My daughter, Imogen, four, loved to wear my pretty brooch on the bodice of her Disney Princess dress or tied with a ribbon in her hair. The pretty orangey-pink stone, surrounded by faux diamonds, sparkled and the gold-coloured setting almost looked real.
I had bought it from a junk shop for £20, so I knew it was just flashy old tat. Or so I thought.
In a week’s time, this bauble will go on sale at Bonhams fine jewellery sale in London — with a conservative guide price of £3,000 to £4,000. It could fetch much, much more.
It has travelled to New York and Hong Kong for exclusive viewings by potential buyers and bids are expected from all over the world. My humble knick-knack has turned out to be a magnificent example of early 19th century jewellery, possibly part of a tiara or necklace that may have graced the neck of a Russian Czarina.

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