“One should either be a work of art, or wear a work of art.” – Oscar Wilde.

Diamonds are one of the world’s oldest and most valued treasures, and what better feeling than owning your very own precious stone… Formed billions of years ago, deep below the Earth’s surface, under extreme conditions, these glimmering rocks are a constant reminder… There is something about a sparkling diamond that remains fascinating.

Whether you’re wearing it as a symbol of love, sentimentality or prestige, we want to be a part of your journey to finding the perfect shape, size, colour and fit.

Here are a few steps to help you find the perfect one for you or your loved one:

1: The Budget

Before you even start, determine how much you are willing to spend on a diamond. Then again, diamonds are sparkly and they are forever…who can put a price on that?

2: The Shape

The shape of a diamond is tied to your personal style preference. Round Brilliant is the most popular shape while Oval, Princess, Cushion, Emerald, Pear, Marquise, Asscher, Radiant and Heart shapes are more unique.

3: The Cut

The cut is the proportion, polish and finish of the diamond. A well-cut diamond looks brighter and will also appear larger than its carat size.

4: The Clarity

This describes the purity of the diamond. Flawless diamonds or diamonds with external characteristics are rare. Those are the ones you’d definitely want to show off!

5: The Carat

The carat refers to the physical weight of the diamond and not how large the stone is. So do not think for one second that the larger the stone, the more expensive it is.

6: The Color

The most popular choice is colorless to near colorless diamonds. Pink, red, and green colored diamonds known as fancy colored diamonds are more expensive and far rarer than colorless diamonds.

7. The Alternative

Decide whether you want a mined diamond or a lab-made diamond.

8: The Unique ID

A laser inscription is a combination of letters and numbers etched onto a diamond. This combination serves as a unique ID to identify your diamond if it’s ever lost or stolen…fingers crossed that never happens.

9: The Grading Report


All diamonds come with an independent grading report. If the diamond comes with a GIA (Gemological Institute of America), you can verify the report details on Report Check, GIA’s secure, online database.

10: The Appraisal and Insurance

Now that your precious diamond is in hand, have an independent appraiser confirm that what you have purchased matches the paperwork and description of the seller. While small in size, a diamond can be one of the most valuable items to own. Make sure to insure it.

You never need a reason to want diamonds, they’re a necessity!

If you’re an art lover, you’ll know that no matter what it cost your art is priceless. It’s the one form that cannot be replicated, duplicated or mass produced. It’s not about how you acquired it, or who painted it, but if it speaks to you, you’ll know it was made with love. The beauty lies in its authenticity and uniqueness – so you cannot just buy another one.

Whether you’ve been collecting art your whole life, are a novice collector or a budding artist, it is most likely that you are working with or own canvas. This material is popular for its durability, but it still needs to be cared for and stored properly.

Whether you are moving, redecorating or simply storing your art, we have some tips to keep both the canvas itself and the creation on it safe.

Handle with Care

The natural oils on your skin can sometimes cause a chemical reaction to the paint. It is recommended to wear cotton gloves when handling art pieces to prevent this and avoid fingerprints, especially on work that hasn’t dried completely yet.  This will also prevent you from scratching the paint.

Avoid Direct Sunlight

Exposure to direct sunlight can deteriorate paintings much faster because of the ultraviolet radiation reacting with the paint. Some paints can be more resilient to light exposure, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Avoid complete darkness as well – sunlight will fade the color and darkness can darken the paint. Photographs are most sensitive to light, in fact any work on paper and UV plexiglass can provide longevity but not complete protection.

Moisture Sensitivity

Paintings and other paper formats are highly sensitive to moisture. Avoid water, soap and even gentle cleaning solutions. In fact, it is highly discouraged to touch the paint and we recommend lightly dusting with a soft duster or even better, taking it to a professional restorer if it has been stored for a long time.

Keep Your Display Case/Glass Clean

Dust glass cases regularly to avoid an accumulation of dirt. Due to the fact that art is moisture-sensitive, we don’t suggest using any detergents on the case, especially if the art is old and cannot be removed from the frame.

Store in a Cool, Dark Place

The main concern is temperature fluctuations that can deteriorate or alter the artwork. Ideally, store art in a temperature-controlled unit or a cool, dry and dark place.

Pay Attention to Humidity

Humidity can also cause a chemical reaction with the paint. A hygrometer is usually used to measure the moisture in an enclosed space and should never be more than 55%. Think about ventilation when choosing a storage location.

Keep Your Paintings Separated

If your paintings are unframed and you want to keep them together, make sure you separate each one with acid-free paper and a mat board slighter larger than the pieces. This will prevent chemical reactions, chipping and creasing.

Don’t Roll your Art

Although we often see art tubes, it can cause cracking and creasing. We always recommend storing paintings flat if you’re not going to frame and hang them.

Don’t forget to check up on your stored artwork every now and then to monitor their condition. If you take care to do the above correctly your artwork should out last you!

Jewelry has always held a pivotal place in history, culture and tradition. Self-embellishment has brought about some of the last centuries’ most high-end, adored and priceless pieces that are more often than not considered works of art.

Some have become famous heirlooms or formed part of estate jewelry ranking as the world’s most classic, timeless and worthwhile investments that will only appreciate over the years.

We look at some of our favorite statement jewels designed by industry heavyweights that have been kept in families for years or found homes in some of the world’s most famous museums.

1. The Hope Diamond

Let’s start off with what is possibly considered the most famous jewel in the world… The Hope Diamond. It is the most expensive stone weighing 45.52 carats and is roughly worth $250 million. Popularly known for its unique color, this deep blue stone is speculated to have been mined in the Golconda region of India. It is  rumored to be cursed, causing the owner or wearer to suffer misfortune to hype up the profile of diamond. It was at one point in the possession of King Louis the XVI.

2.  The Tiffany Yellow Diamond

If you’re a classic lady, Audrey Hepburn will definitely be one of your fashion icons and inspirations. You’ll also love yellow diamonds and at some point, want to recreate Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The Tiffany Yellow Diamond was discovered in 1878 and is one of the largest yellow diamonds weighing 128 carats, 2 and a half times the size of the Hope Diamond. The diamond is set in a breathtaking necklace, only worn once by Audrey Hepburn and on permanent display at the Tiffany’s 5th Avenue store in New York City.

3. Elizabeth Taylor’s Asscher-cut Engagement Ring

Elizabeth Taylor isn’t far behind as one of our favorite jewelry icons – boasting an extravagant collection of jewels. This star actress really knew her diamonds and owned one of the purest stones – a flawless 33.1 carat asscher-cut diamond engagement ring valued at $305,000 in 1968  from Richard Burton.

4.  The Pink Star


Just ahead of the Graff Pink is The Pink Star, a 59.60-carat pink diamond ring. This ring holds the largest Internally Flawless Fancy Vivid diamond ever graded by the GIA. It is the most valuable ring to ever be sold at auction, fetching a hefty price of $71.2 million.

5. The Dresden Green Diamond

The Dresden Green Diamond is said to bring good luck as the largest green diamond in the world. Rumored to have originated in India, this stone was owned by Polish royal family in the 1700s exhibiting power and wealth. In1768 it became part of a hat ornament surrounded by several white diamonds. It is now on display at the Met Museum in New York.

Diamonds are more than just ornaments, they tell stories. They have always had the powerful ability to capture the hearts and minds of people for thousands of years – from inspiring designers to crafting incredible myths to accompany the profile of the stones. While few of us will get to pull off wearing a 70-carat diamond, we can all take the time to appreciate these iconic jewels… and to dream!

Top 7 Sculptures - Live Auctions - The Rio

Sculptures have become increasingly popular again as they are an extremely engaging art form. The messages and meanings derived from them can evolve over time and send different messages to different people. Sculptures have moved from classics such as David and Venus de Milo to abstract works of art and oscillating back to life-size portraits.

Like paintings, sculptures have been used to express a vast range of emotions and feelings from the most tender and delicate to the most violent and ecstatic. The beauty lies in the interpretations of these feelings.

These are our top 7 famous sculptures from around the world. Whether they connect with us on an emotional level, hold historical relevance, cultural insight or social understanding… they are to be celebrated!


Michelangelo’s David at Galleria dell’Accademia - Live Auctions

To not start with Michelangelo’s work of art would be a cardinal sin. The sculpture David remains Italy’s most prized possession. Belonging to the Renaissance era and created between 1501 and 1504, this 5.17-meter marble statue of a nude male represents the Biblical hero David and is a true wonder to behold.

Venus de Milo

Top 7 Sculptures - Live Auctions - Venus de Milo

This sculpture is also known as Alexandros of Antioch’s Aphrodite of Milos and is one of the most famous works of ancient Greece that dates to 101 BC. It now lives at The Louvre Museum in Paris.

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

This massive sculpture is found in South Dakota in the US and was completed in 1941 by the father son duo – Gutzon Borglum and Lincoln. The sculpture stands 60ft high and depicts the faces of US presidents – George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln to represent the founding, expansion, preservation, and unification of the United States.

Christ the Redeemer

This 38-meter statue is the focal point of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil. This massive sculpture was a collaboration between the French sculptor Paul Adowski, Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa and French engineer Abert Caquot using concrete soapstone. For the statue’s 75th anniversary, they built a chapel in front of it where you can get married.

The Kiss

This sculpture was created in 1889 by Auguste Rodin. It portrays the 13th century Italian noblewoman immortalized in Dante’s Inferno who falls in love with her husband’s younger brother. Rodin made sure to show a detailed depiction of the events as the couple’s lips almost touch, suggesting that they were interrupted and died before they could kiss. The original sculpture is in the Musée Rodin in Paris, France.


Top 7 World Sculptures - Live Auctions - Expansion

This Big Apple sculpture is poetic in every sense – a nude woman sitting in meditation with a crack running across her body illuminating the sculpture, showing that she has attained complete enlightenment. Not only is light entering her, but the bronze statue is made from individual pieces that float separately from one another indicating that we are all a sum of small pieces that make us whole.

Nelson Mandela

Creative ingenuity – Nelson Mandela is conceptualized in a completely unorthodox way in Howick, South Africa. Marco Cianfanelli used 50 steel columns to create the face of Nelson Mandela using laser rays. The ultimate tribute to one of African’s greatest leaders.

Coloured Diamonds - Ring - Live Auctions

“I am fascinated by diamonds. When I put diamonds on my hands shake.” — Debra Messing

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend – and what better than to have friends in every color!

There are 7 different types of colored diamonds: blue, pink, orange, green, red, brown and yellow. Here is what makes each of them so unique, so special and so sought after: 

Blue Diamonds 

A blue diamond is extremely rare. In fact, they make up only 0.02% of mined diamonds in the world. Although they exhibit many of the inherent properties of a regular diamond, they boast the exquisite addition of blue color in the stone.  

Blue diamonds are genuine and are formed completely naturally beneath the earth’s surface over billions of years. Authentic and genuine to the core – these stones are not enhanced or color-treated. It is the boron in the diamond’s carbon composition that exudes the mesmerizing blue, the more boron the more brilliant the blue. 

Polishing and cutting of diamonds can influence their color, but blue diamonds are found with their beautiful blue color tone and no diamond collection is complete without a blue diamond making them highly sought after by diamond collectors around the world. 

The Hope Diamond, now found at the Washington Museum is one of the most famous jewels in the world, weighing in at 45.52 carats it boasts ownership records dating back almost four centuries. 

Pink Diamonds 

Pink diamonds are known as one of the rarest diamonds in the world today and for many years have been iconic in couture jewelry designs. Pink diamonds are considered Natural Fancy Color diamonds, they are extremely opulent and their popularity has driven their price up so much that they cost up to 20 times the price of a similar-sized white diamond. The more intense the color of the diamond, the higher the price. They also always come with a secondary hue which is why you will never find two pink diamonds that look alike. 

More than 90% of the world’s supply of pink natural diamonds have been produced in the Argyle Mine in Western Australia but only 1% of this mine’s output is pink diamonds. Only a limited number exist, and it is estimated that only another 500 or so, remain to be discovered. 

Unlike other precious stones, pink diamonds are sourced from a volcanic host rock lamproite pipe as opposed to kimberlite. They also differ from other diamonds where the color is caused by large amounts of Nitrogen, Boron, increased Hydrogen, or exposure to atomic radiation or radioactivity. In the case of pink diamonds, the cause of the pink color remains questionable. 

One of the most famous pink diamonds is The Noor-ul-Ain also known as ‘the light of the eye,’ – a 60-carat oval brilliant-cut pink diamond that is believed to have been discovered in India’s Golconda mines. It was the centerpiece in Iranian Empress Farah Pahlavi’s wedding tiara in 1958. 


The uncertainty of the origin of the orange color diamond makes it extremely rare and sought after. The defects that produce the orange hue have not been determined with certainty and may vary from one stone to another. From research, it is concluded that the defects in orange diamonds cause them to selectively absorb blue light and transmit an orange color.

Before the 14.82-carat The Orange Diamond was discovered, the cushion-cut Pumpkin Diamond of 5.54-carat was catching the eyes of collectors and sold at Auction in 1997. The Reporters at that time referred to the Pumpkin Diamond as “the only vivid orange diamond ever graded by the GIA,” and the Colored Diamond Encyclopedia referred to it as “the world’s largest fancy vivid orange diamond.”


Natural green diamonds are extremely rare, and the color develops when high-energy radiation emitted by nearby radioactive mineral grains penetrates colorless diamond formations. The radiation moves carbon atoms out of their position in the crystal lattice and causes the diamond to selectively absorb red light and transmit green. Green color can also be a result of defects produced by the presence of nitrogen, hydrogen, or nickel within the diamond crystal. 

The most famous green diamond ever found is the 41 carat Dresden Green which was cut from a 100-carat stone. The stone is named after the city of Dresden, the capital of Saxony in Germany where it has been on display for more than 200 years.


Red Diamonds get their beautiful color from impurities such as nitrogen and boron. These extremely rare stones are made purely from carbon, just like colorless diamonds. The red color is a projection of a rare occurrence in its atomic structure. Most would agree that red diamonds are the most expensive and the rarest diamonds in the world, even more so than pink and blue diamonds, as very few red diamonds have been found. Like other color diamonds, they have been subjected to stress which deformed the diamond crystal, causing carbon atom displacement. When light passes through the planes of displacement, the red wavelengths of light are selectively transmitted. The weaker the transmission of red light, the lighter the diamond color will appear – sometimes producing what seems like a pink diamond.

The Hancock Red is one of the most famous red diamonds and was the most expensive per-carat stone ever sold at auction in 1987 and sold for eight times its pre-sale estimate. 


Brown diamonds are one of the more common natural color diamonds mined along with yellow diamonds – and the most affordable color diamond (besides black diamonds). The brown color develops when plastic deformation creates planes of missing and displaced carbon atoms in the diamond crystal lattice, known as glide planes. This is where the brown color is concentrated and can appear as a series of parallel color bands in the diamond known as “graining”.

The Golden Jubilee Diamond is the most famous of its kind, estimated to be worth approximately $12 million and weighs 545.67 carats. It is the largest faceted diamond, surpassing the Cullinan. 


Yellow diamonds are the second most common natural-colored diamond getting its color from nitrogen atoms substituting for carbon in the diamond crystal lattice allowing the stone to selectively absorb blue light and transmit yellow.

The Kimberley Octahedral diamond is the largest naturally formed yellow diamond in the world, mined in the Dutoitspan Mine in Kimberley, South Africa. This is where diamonds were first discovered in 1871. The Kimberley octahedral diamond is also referred to as the “616 Diamond”, which is a reference to its carat weight. Because the diamond remains in its natural state, the uncut stone can only be referenced in terms of its shape, color and weight and not the usual color, clarity and type of cut applicable to cut and polished diamonds.


Tips for buying Rolex - Live Auctions_

“It doesn’t just tell time, it tells history.” Rolex

When you’re looking for a reliable luxury timepiece, in fact… the ultimate timepiece, Rolex immediately comes to mind for most people. The brand is so intricately linked to superiority and success that one can’t help but desire a Rolex!

Rolex owners have included known celebrities like Steve McQueen, Elvis Presley, and Paul Newman to world leaders and public figures like Dwight D Eisenhower, JFK, and Martin Luther King. Essentially… all those who have truly “made it” in life!

Rolex really spoils you with choice – with more than 1,000 different models in the current catalogue, spread across men and women watches, split into Professional and Classic collections, and spanning more than a dozen different collections.

When doing your research, you will quickly see that Rolex has their own language. Before you buy a Rolex watch, look at the mechanisms, movements, terms, bezels and bracelets to know what you’re looking for in your piece.

Mechanism Terms Explained

Tips for buying Rolex - Live Auctions Book

Bezel: The exterior ring encircling the dial with several distinct types that offer additional functionality.

Caliber: The more formal name for the watch’s internal movement.

Chronergy: This offers an increase in efficiency and high resistance to magnetic forces.

Chronograph: The name for a watch that can also be used as a stopwatch.

Cyclops: The name Rolex gives to the small magnification lens set into the crystal above the date window to make the numeral easier to read. Provides a magnification of 2.5x

Hack: A feature on all modern Rolex movements that stops the second hand when the winding crown is pulled out. This feature makes it easier to set the time accurately.

Hairspring: An incredibly thin coil of metal that is mounted onto the balance wheel to form the watch’s oscillator, ensuring the watch’s timekeeping accuracy.

Index: Another name for the various hour markers found on dials.

Maxi Dial: A type of dial that has oversized indexes.

Mercedes: The unofficial name for the type of hour hand commonly found on Rolex sports watches. The design is close to the car manufacturer’s three-pointed star logo.

Movements on a Rolex

The movement (also known as the caliber) controls the model’s main hands but can also be constructed with various complications. A complication is any function above and beyond regulating the hour, minute, and seconds hands.

Rolex Bracelets

An element often overlooked by newcomers to luxury watch buying is the type of bracelet which has a huge effect on the look and feel. There are five official bracelet types, and each one has its own unique design and personality.

Jubilee Bracelet: The oldest type of bracelet Rolex still uses.

Oyster Bracelet: Only just younger than the Jubilee, the Oyster dates back to 1948. Its three flat links make it the most tool-like and casual of Rolex’s metal bracelets.

President Bracelet: As with the Jubilee, the President bracelet was made specifically for the launch of a new watch, and in this case it was designed for the Day-Date in 1956.

Pearlmaster Bracelet: With its five rounded, staggered links, the Pearlmaster was introduced in 1992 for the first of the Pearlmaster watches, and like the President Bracelet, the Pearlmaster is a premium bracelet option.

Oysterflex Bracelet: Rolex’s first rubber strap.

Leather Strap: These days, leather straps are only found on Rolex’s dedicated dress watch series, the Cellini. Available in black, brown, or blue and fitted with an 18k gold buckle to match the case of the watch, the straps are fully embroidered and stitched alligator leather.


Every Rolex watch has a bezel to secure the crystal on to the case to ensure a certain water-resistance. However, the bezel also offers the perfect opportunity to be both decorative and functional.

Rolex Decorative Bezels

These are fluted, smooth and gem-set.

Rolex Functional Bezels

These include timing bezels, dive bezels, GMT bezels, ring command bezels and tachymeter bezels.

Reasons to buy a Rolex:

  • It will last a lifetime and can be passed down to future generations.
  • It outperforms competition with strength, longevity, and reliability.
  • Recently, more watches have been purchased as investments, particularly vintage models.
  • Choose between The Professional Collection and the Classic Collection depending on your style.
  • Rolex watches are extremely versatile in their design and never look out of place. Pair your Submariner with your wetsuit or your Tuxedo and always have a timeless wrist piece accompany you.
  • And lastly… because Rolex is the Rolls Royce of timepieces ☺
What Makes Oil Paintings So Classic

Oil paintings are one of the greatest and most frequently used art mediums. Oil paint has been used for hundreds of years and the pieces have stood the test of time with durability and steadfast color. Oil paint gives artists ultimate freedom with slow-drying time allowing the artist to rework, correct, and even scrape off areas of paint without the color changing. Oil paint enables one of the most fluid fusions of tones and color with more pigment, making the paintings look like a scene that you can truly just step into. If you’re in the market for a new addition or first purchase, this is what makes these realistic renditions so special both to the artist and the beholder:

What Makes Oil Paintings So Classic

  1. Time is money. Oil painting takes a lot of effort and patience. Each piece is painted in layers. Only once the first layer dries can the second layer be painted. All these layers contribute to the realism and regal look and feel of the work.
  2. The Base. Oil paintings are painted on fine linen canvas which can last for hundreds of years and require very low maintenance.
  3. Oil Paints. Oil paints have been used for from centuries. They are usually made up of oil and pigments mixed together to obtain the perfect color and consistency.
  4. Technique. Oil painting, as an art style, is subjectively more difficult. It takes a procedure of sketching while drawing the portrait and later the work of technical brush work to paint it and there are few artists who can do it well.
  5. High Demand. Oil paintings have been the center of art in history for centuries and are in high demand because of their perfection and realism.
  6. Expensive tools. Various types of art brushes are used in the creation of oil paintings and many of them have short life spans (approximately only two paintings) and so they come at a high cost.
  7. Realism Achieved. Oil Paintings achieve the most accurate sense of realism among all the color painting styles.
  8. Extra Ingredients. Artists sometimes blend oil paint with linseed oil, solvents and walnuts for easy usage and to make the paint thinner. All these ingredients are costlier than any other art products.
  9. Brought to life. Oil paintings create personalized, authentic works of art that are one of a kind and truly transformative.
  10. Varnishing. Once a painting is completed, the artists varnish it to enrich the colors and make it last longer. Oil paintings do have a longer lifespan and can last for centuries if they are kept with care.


When you take the time to stop and admire your oil painting hanging on your wall, you will realize why this art form is in such high demand. The beauty, the realism, the vibrant colors. You will fall in love every time you look at it. And don’t forget to think of the time and effort that was taken to create such a masterpiece!


What Makes Oil Paintings So Classic

10 Useful Tips For Buying a Vintage Watch

Buying a vintage watch can seem daunting at first, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. But with the right tips and advice, you can start your own collection without any hassle. Modern watches may talk, but vintage watches speak to you and whether it’s a sentimental purchase or an investment, educating yourself before buying is very important.

10 Useful Tips For Buying a Vintage Watch


  1. Research your brands. Rolex and Patek Philippe are generally the priciest brands in vintage watch collections.
  2. Contact the manufacturer. Most exclusive brands have an archive of watches produced and can provide information production year, country of origin, number of pieces produced, caliber number, and case and/or reference number.
  3. Find a reputable watchmaker. Find either an independent watchmaker or one who works for a large retailer and ask if he can source replacement (or new) parts. Some parts of vintage watches are exceedingly difficult to source or are no longer available at all and need to be re-created from scratch.
  4. Find the Right Price. Prices can vary on similar looking watches and across brands. Compare the watch you want to other collections and ranges so that you don’t overpay for your timepiece.  Research the average market price, as specifications such as a dial or bezel can change the price dramatically. Find a reputable seller and ask about the guarantees – but keep in mind that it is sometimes difficult to give a warranty on a 50-year-old watch.
  5. Know Your Movements. There are two movements: manual and automatic. Manual watches require you to turn the crown to “wind up” the watch daily and automatic watches gain momentum from the movement of your wrist and winds the watch on its own.
  6. Think of Supplementary functions. Your watch will either have a perpetual calendar which tracks the day, month, and year accurately for decades or a chronograph – a stopwatch with sub-dials.
  7. It’s all in the face. The dial of the watch can usually determine the price tag. Check that the face is an original and not a repainted or refurbished one.
  8. Original is key! Look for watches with original hands, bezels, and movement, with unpolished cases and their original boxes, receipts, and manuals.
  9. Metals. Get a feel for what metal looks good on your skin.
  10. Size Matters. Vintage watches are generally smaller than modern-day designs, but some brands like Patek Philippe Calatrava come at 35 mm in diameter and can bring huge premiums.


10 Useful Tips For Buying a Vintage Watch


Gem Stone Facts

There are more than 200 different known varieties of natural gems that have been discovered. Alongside the more famous diamonds, ruby, sapphire, and emeralds are other semi-precious stones, so incredibly rare that their value outweighs some of the world’s most precious names. If you’re thinking of investing in some fascinating and rare creations from around the world, here are some interesting facts you didn’t know about these naturally occurring and beautiful works of art…


Gemstone Facts


  1. The diamond is the hardest stone and the largest diamond found in the United States, to date, is known as the Uncle Sam Diamond.
  2. Amber is the softest stone.
  3. After diamonds, pearls are a women’s favorite jewel, and it takes up to three years to grow a matured pearl.
  4. The garnet was named after the seeds of a pomegranate.
  5. One of the largest sapphires is known as the Star of Asia, which is currently housed at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
  6. Tanzanite is a variant of the mineral zoisite and is only found in a small area near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The stone was only commercialized after the 1960’s. and has become increasingly popular since then.
  7. Painite was once the world’s rarest gem. A British gemologist discovered it in 1951 and for many years it was the only specimen in existence. 53 years later, there are still fewer than two dozen painite gems. With only 1000 stones, this gem is still scarce and extremely valuable with a carat costing approximately $60,000.
  8. Red beryl, also known as a red emerald, is so rare that for every 150,000 diamonds, one red beryl is mined. Pure beryl is colorless and only gains its bright hues from impurities in the rock: manganese adds the deep-red color to create red beryl. This stone is only found in Utah, New Mexico, and Mexico, and most of the stones found are just a few millimeters in length, too small to be cut. Those that have been cut are generally less than a carat in weight.
  9. Austrian-Irish gemologist Count Edward Charles Richard Taaffe discovered Taaffeite by chance in the 1940’s when he bought a box of cut stones from a jeweler in Dublin.  At first, he had no idea where the mineral naturally occurred, but the source of the stone was tracked down to Sri Lanka, and a handful found in Tanzania and China. It is thought that less than 50 taaffeite stones exist, making this gemstone so rare that the ordinary public are unlikely to ever encounter it.
  10. The Sergio Diamond is a black carbonado diamond, discovered in Brazil in 1893. The 3167-carat diamond is a true spectacle as black diamonds are exceptionally rare and there is still a lot of debate over their origins.

Did these facts make you fall in love with gemstones all over again? There is still so much we don’t know about the exquisite stones that fill our jewelry boxes but in some way there is also magic in that mystery!


Gemstone Facts


Pissaro Family of Artists

Paris is not only the city of love and romance, but home to some of the world’s most renowned artists. Live Auction has been incredibly lucky to work with numerous pieces from the talented Pissarro family over the years. This lineage has boasted many exceptional works of art since the beginning of the Late Baroque Movement.


Camille Pissarro

Camille Pissarro was an 18th century Danish-French Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter whose importance lies in his contributions to both Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Pissarro studied from greats before him including Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. He later studied and worked alongside Paul Signac when he took on the Neo-Impressionist style at the age of 54.

French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir – a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality – referred to Pissarro’s work as “revolutionary” through his artistic portrayals of the ordinary man in natural settings without “artifice or grandeur”.

Pissarro is the only artist to have shown his work at all eight Paris Impressionist exhibitions, from 1874 to 1886.

The creative passion and flow continued to his grandson Hugues Claude Pissarro who followed in his footsteps focusing on landscape, seascape, and marine painting. His father frequently took him on painting excursions, and he exhibited his first art piece at the tender age of fourteen, before studying in Paris. He not only later became a professor of art, but also taught his daughter, Lélia Pissarro, to paint.

Pissaro Family of Artists - Leila Pissaro

Lélia Pissarro is the third and youngest child of Hugues and his first wife Katia, an art dealer.

She sold a piece from her first series to Wally Findlay, a New York art dealer at the age of four, and since then her work has been regularly exhibited around the world. Her first exhibition was at the Salon de la Jeune Peinture, before beginning her formal education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tours.

Lélia moved to London in 1988 after marrying the art dealer David Stern and participated in a series of exhibitions entitled Pissarro: The Four Generations. These exhibitions have been mounted in London, Tel Aviv, five major museums in Japan and the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The same year the Stern Pissarro Gallery was created and has evolved offering a collection of Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art and specialising in Camille Pissarro as well as his descendants who became artists too. Lélia’s work includes La Foret d’Otilia, a pastel which was exhibited at the Christina Gallery along with Camille’s exhibits.