Elizabeth Taylor’s Love Letters

Elizabeth Taylor has dusted off her love letters exchanged with Richard Burton and is letting Vanity Fair publish portions for its July issue.  It will be the first time that Taylor makes her love letters with Burton public and the actress will be a featured on the cover (albeit in a photo from her stunning heyday).   The only letter that Taylor was not willing to share was the letter that Burton sent her just days before his death.  Taylor actually didn’t receive the letter in the mail until a few days after Burton had died.

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton

“Richard was magnificent in every sense of the word.  And in everything he did…he was the kindest, funniest, most gentle father.”  Taylor has said.  “All my kids worshipped him.  Attentive, loving–that was Richard…from those first moments in Rome we were always madly and powerfully in love.  We had more time, but not enough.”

The love letters reveal the pair’s love-torn relationship that was often dramatic, high-strung and even silly.  In many letter, Burton calls Taylor playful names and jokes around, while also professing how much he loves her.  Their two marriages served as examples of how loving someone isn’t always enough to keep a healthy marriage.  The pair fell in love while working on the epic film, Cleopatra, in 1961, and married for the first time just three years later.  During their marriage, Burton presented Taylor with a lavish 70-carat flawless pear-shaped engagement ring, which was later named the Taylor-Burton diamond.

New Diamond Heist Movie Produced by “Lost” Creator

Though it may have no title yet, the new movie about the unprecedented 2003 Antwerp diamond heist does have an Oscar-nominated writer and award-winning producer at the helm.  Largely based on the 2009 Wired magazine article entitled “The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist”, Field of Dreams writer Phil Alden Robinson has been selected to write the script.  The story details how a group of tieves managed to bypass ten layers of security to reach the vaults in the basement of a building in Antwerp’s famous diamond district, stealing millions in diamonds and jewelry.

diamonds

Six years of research for the article Wired magazine led journalist Joshua Davis to a revealing interview with the ringleader of the crime, currently located in a Belgian prison.  The ringleader apparently revealed exactly how they pulled off the heist.

The film will also be produced by J.J. Abrams, who created “Lost”, which just saw it’s series finale this week.  Abrams plans to produce the film through his production company, Bad Robot, and a collaboration with Paramount Pictures.

Alrosa to Increase Diamond Production

Russian jewelry giant Alrosa has just announced its plans to increase jewelry production over the 2010-2012 period to produce 102.3 million carats in rough diamonds. Known as Russia’s largest diamond company, and practically a monopoly, Alrosa is heavily engaged in all aspects of the diamond process, including exploration, mining, manufacture and sale. The Alrosa behemoth actually accounts for nearly 25% of the world’s rough diamonds supply and nearly 97% of the Russian supply, according to the New York Times.
Alrosa mines Alrosa’s plan for the next three years will be presented for approval at the annual conference set to take place in June. The company plans to produce 34 million carats at $3.18 billion average production. Of course, sales dropped in 2009 to 32.8 million carats during the global financial crisis, with sales dropping further to $2.19 billion. The year before wasn’t quite so bad with sales totaling $2.93 billion.

Breathless Robber Caught in Jewelry Heist

A man tried to rob a jewelry store in suburban Seattle, but didn’t get too far…literally.  The man was said to have entered the store saying he was shopping for engagement rings.  He subsequently barraged the clerk with endless questions, and asked for her to remove everything out of the display case.  When the clerk refused, he flashed a gun tucked in his pants.  The robber quickly told the clerk to give him a dozen rings and then fled the store.

diamonds

Apparently a number of good samaritans chased the man down the road, making headway.  The exhausted robber first threw out the gun, which turned out to be a fake, and then threw the stolen engagement rings behind him.  If he had been more agile, he would have gotten away with over $75,000 in stolen designer pieces!  The robber who was handcuffed and out of breath told police he only had one lung when they arrested him.

Diamond District Heist Leader Gets 32 Years

Hector Rivera of Queens, New York, was sentenced this week for leading a heist ring that targeted New York’s famed Diamond District. The judge sentenced Rivera to 32 years for running the ring that targeted diamond businesses and shipments in the midtown Manhattan area.
diamonds

One of Rivera’s more infamous heists involved two armed gunman and a business in the heart of the Diamond District. The two men entered the business disguised as Federal Express delivery men. The gunmen tied up the workers and got away with millions of dollars in stolen jewelry merchandise, which was ultimately delivered to Rivera.

Rivera was convicted in late 2009 and also ordered to give back the $2.39 million sum he received via his crime ring. Evidence showed that Rivera was the ringleader for the diamond heist and extortion ring from at least 2003 until December 2009.

Rivera also participated in a failed 2007 hijacking involving a FedEx tractor-trailer carrying millions of dollars in diamonds. After the 2007 hijacking, police began to use surveillance to track Rivera and learned of a 2008 hijacking in the works. Police eventually arrested Rivera and several other co-conspirators before the hijacking could take place.

Jewelry Styles at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner

This week saw the annual White House Correspondent’s Dinner and what a sparkling show it was with guests like Queen Latifah, Jessica Simpson, Jay Leno and, of course, the Obamas in attendance. Many of the female celebrities wore sparkling jewels and appropriate and elegant dresses. The dinner brings together celebrities, correspondents and also includes several performances.

Michelle Obama

The First Lady herself wore a custom-made cuff in 18-karat yellow-gold from Sutra Jewels, with a 10-carat raspberry tourmaline at the center and flanked by a star motif of rose-cut diamonds.  The First Lady also accessorized with a Bochic cuff and rose-cut diamond ring.  And that wasn’t the end of the stacking motif at the Correspondent’s Dinner.

Queen Latifah wore a custom-designed “Everlon Diamond Knot Cuff” by Timothy Snells for Zales.  Singer Jessica Simpson wore drop earrings, a cocktail ring, and stacked bangles from Amrapali, while Oscar-winning director Katherine Bigelow wore Boucheron’s stacked “Ava” bracelets.   Late-night talk show host Chelsea Handler and Mad Men star Elisabeth Moss also attended the prestigious event clad in diamonds.

Large Diamond Uncovered in Canada

A 25.13 carat diamond was uncovered this week from a Canadian diamond exploration drill program. Mountain Province Diamond Inc., which is one of Canada’s premier diamond exploration and development companies, recovered the gem, which has proven to be in fantastic shape, clarity and color. It’s a real feat for the Canadian diamond industry and many industry insiders suspect that it is the largest gem-quality diamond to be recovered from a Canadian diamond exploration drilling program.

diamonds The large, beautiful Canadian diamond was uncovered from the Tuzo bulk sample from the Gahcho Kué Diamond Project. As a joint venture between Mountain Province Diamonds and De Beers Canada Inc., Tuzo remains one of the main kimberlites at Gahcho Kué. Using two drill rigs, the bulk sampling program was intended to uncover approximately 1,500 carats.

The entire value of the diamond is estimated to be at $440,000, coming in at $17,500 per carat. Even the several past year’s exploration has uncovered a host of other gem-quality diamonds amidst the vast kimberlite-cluttered areas at Gahcho Kué. The largest of these gem-quality diamonds has been a 9.9 carat diamond–so obviously nothing from the area’s past compares to this 25.13 carat, gem-quality find.

Millennium Blue Diamond Sells for $6.4 Million

The 5.16ct  vivid blue diamond from De Beers sold in a Hong Kong auction this week for $6.4 million, breaking the auction house’s highest estimate of $5.9 million.  The entire massive Sotheby’s Hong Kong sale garnered $52.4 million in total sales and featured many rare and exceptional jewels for buyers.  This was also the first time that one of the original De Beers Millennium Blue diamonds had been put on sale since the originals had been placed with private collectors in 2000.

De Beers Millennium Blue Diamond

Another highlight of the sale–and the top-selling item–was the Riviére necklace, which sold for a total $6.7 million.  This astonishing piece is set with 50 D color internally flawless brilliant-cut diamonds ranging from 1.50 to 6.55 carats.

The Millennium Blue diamond was bought by Moussaieff of London and is among only 11 Blue Diamonds of the De Beers Millennium Jewels Collection.  Selling at $1.25 million per carat, the Millennium Blue nearly approached the records set by a 7.03 carat blue diamond and a 5 carat pink diamond also sold in Hong Kong last year for $2.1 million per carat.

Gemstone Earrings for Spring

This Spring don’t forget to accessorize with some gemstone earrings clad in diamonds that will be sure to impress your friends, family and loved ones. Colorful, chic and the perfect choice for the warmer weather, these choices will be surefire for dinner parties, weekends and date nights.

18k white Gold Multi Color Sapphire and Diamond Earrings 18k White Gold Multi-Color Sapphire and Diamond Earrings. These gorgeous earrings featuring yellow, blue and pink sapphires and surrounded by pave set diamonds are the perfect choice for Spring nights in the park or on the terrace. Also a great gift for anniversaries or baby showers!
18k White Gold Diamond & Sapphire Drop Earrings 18k White Gold Diamond and Sapphire Drop Earrings. These opulent dangling blue sapphire and diamond earrings are set with three vivid blue sapphires and brilliant diamonds. There’s nothing more elegant or stately than these beautiful earrings, which are perfect for upscale parties and formal occasions.
18k Gold 4.23ct Diamond & Ruby Earrings 18k Gold 4.23ct Diamond & Ruby Earrings. Vibrant and elegant, these earrings could go well year-round, from hot summer nights near the beach to the holiday season. Each earrings features three rows each of baguette-shaped rubies alternating with round brilliant cut diamonds.
18k Gold 2.90 Diamond & Emerald Earrings 18k Gold 2.90ct Diamond & Emerald Earrings. Nothing better than beautiful emeralds to herald the coming Spring season! Each earring features a single row of alternating round diamonds and emeralds, prong set in elegant 18k gold.
14k White Gold 1ct Diamond & Emerald Earring Jackets 14k White Gold 1ct Diamond & Emerald Earring Jackets. Have some diamond studs that you want to dress up this Spring? Then look no further than these wonderful emerald jackets–perfect for those nice Spring occasions.

History of Diamond Shapes and Cuts

Ever looked at your wedding or engagement ring with princess cut diamonds, or round brilliant cut diamonds, and wondered how the stones got to be shaped that way? Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of history behind the introduction of different diamond shapes and cuts.  Here are just a few examples of how certain diamond shapes came to be.

emerald Cut Diamond Emerald Cut Diamonds. This diamond got its name when a diamond cutter cut a diamond in an emerald shape, instead of an emerald. Cut in “stepped facets”, the facets on this diamond resemble steps on a staircase. This cut is also known for it’s precise long lines and it’s open appearance.
Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds Round Brilliant Cut Diamonds As far as historians know, diamond engagement rings date back to 1477, when Mary of Burgundy received a diamond ring as a symbolic promise of marriage. Then over a century ago, Russian mathematician Marcel Tolkowsky calculated the precise number of diamond cuts necessary to create the “ideal” diamond shape. This “ideal” shape is today known as the “round brilliant cut”. The purpose of this cut is to maximize brilliance and fire, and diamond cutters have been refining the original cut ever since.
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND Radiant Cut Diamonds. Henry Grossbard perfected this shape relatively recently, in 1977, in order to maximize the brilliance of fire of diamonds with straight edges and rectangular facets. His radiant cut design was one of the first patents ever established for a diamond cut.
Asscher Cut Diamonds Asscher Cut. The Asscher shape diamond was developed in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland. It is most widely known as a variation of the emerald cut, as it is a stepped square cut also known as a Modified Square Emerald cut. It has 72 facets, making it resemble an octagon and sparkle like a round brilliant. The Asscher brothers were renowned jewelry cutters and were widely praised for their Art Deco style.
Cushion Cut Diamonds Cushion Cut Diamonds. This antique cut resembles a cross between the Old Mine Cut (deep cut with large facets), which was common in the late 19th century, and the Modern Oval cut. It is also known as the pillow cut or candlelight diamond. Though it’s not as brilliant as some modern cuts, it has a very romantic look.