19 Stories

Famed Mine Spits Out 121-Carat Diamond

Petra finds white gem in same mine where British crown jewels diamonds were discovered

(Newser) - From the Cullinan mine in South Africa emerged in 1905 what still ranks as the world's largest rough diamond: the Cullinan diamond , a 3,106-carat gem that was cut down into smaller stones and incorporated into the British crown jewels. Now Petra Diamonds announces it's made another sparkling... More »

Newly Found 'Star of Adam' Is Worth $100M

It's the largest blue star sapphire ever found

(Newser) - Kate Middleton's $45,000 sapphire ring can't compare to this showstopper: Gemologists in Sri Lanka say they've dug up the largest blue star sapphire ever found at a mine in Ratnapura, known as the City of Gems. The star sapphire—named for the star-shaped reflection that appears... More »

Suit: $12K Sapphire Ring Worn for 15 Years a $30 Dud

NC woman beside herself over 1999 birthday present that turned out to be fake

(Newser) - For more than 15 years, Mary Ellen Frabizzio showed off her 4-carat pink sapphire ring, a glittering beauty with diamond baguettes and a gold mounting that her husband had presented to her for her birthday in 1999. "I went nuts," she tells the News Journal . "I was... More »

Owner of 840-Pound Emerald May Finally Be Decided

LA court case of Bahia gem continues, despite claim from Brazil

(Newser) - An 840-pound emerald is still without a clear owner after six years in police custody, but that could be settled soon in Los Angeles Superior Court. Judge Michael Johnson says a case to determine the rightful owner of the 180,000-carat Bahia Emerald, found in Brazil in 2001, will move... More »

Egg-Sized White Diamond Sells for $30.6M

118-carat gem sets a record at Sotheby's auction

(Newser) - A white diamond the size of a small egg sold for $30.6 million at a Hong Kong auction today, as two phone bidders competed for the 118-carat white diamond from Africa in six minutes of measured bidding in the Sotheby's jewelry auction. The "flawless" white oval diamond,... More »

Liz Taylor Gem Sale Smashes Records

7 world records fall at $116M sale of fabled collection

(Newser) - The sale of Elizabeth Taylor's legendary gem collection shattered records—and estimates—at Christie's in New York last night. Amid competition so fierce that bids sometimes jumped by a million dollars, the $116 million sale of the late star's gems broke the world record for a private... More »

Sun-Drop Diamond Fetches $12.3M

Rare yellow gem goes for record price

(Newser) - A dazzling 110-carat yellow diamond has fetched $12.3 million at a Sotheby's auction, a record for a diamond of its kind, and the eighth-highest price ever paid for a diamond. The gem, named the Sun-Drop, was found in South Africa last year and given the "fancy, vivid... More »

$25M in Gems Found in Paris Sewer

Loot from Harry Winston heist recovered

(Newser) - Stolen gems worth $25 million have been found stashed in a rain sewer in a Paris suburb. Police say the gems—taken in a spectacular $100 million heist in 2008 —were hidden in a plastic container embedded in cement, the BBC reports. The home above the sewer belongs to... More »

Rare Pink Diamond Fetches Record $46M

London dealer snaps up most expensive stone ever sold at auction

(Newser) - An extremely rare pink diamond has cut its way through world records at a Sotheby's auction. The 24.78 carat stone, graded "fancy intense pink," was sold to London jeweler Laurence Graff for $46,158,674, almost double the highest price ever previously paid for a gemstone at... More »

$20M Diamond Found

Egg-sized diamond ranks among the highest quality gems ever discovered

(Newser) - A giant diamond experts believe ranks among the top 20 gems ever found has been unearthed at a South African mine. The egg-sized, 500-carat sparkler was found at the same mine where the biggest diamond in history, the Cullinan, was found in the 19th century. The diamond is being analyzed... More »

Scottish Gem Expert Hacked to Death in Kenya

(Newser) - Renowned Scottish gem expert Campbell Bridges has been killed by a mob armed with spears and machetes in Kenya's Tsavo National Park, the Independent reports. The murder is believed to be linked to a feud with squatters stealing gems from a Bridges family mine in the park. The mob set... More »

Brazen Paris Gunman Grabs $8M in Gems

(Newser) - A lone gunman boldly stepped into a plush Chopard store in Paris and walked out with $8 million in gems yesterday, reports the BBC. The thief, dressed in a suit and fedora, forced the staff to hand over 15 pieces of jewelry, then calmly exited into the aftyernoon sun. ... More »

Blue Diamond Sells for Record $8.4M

Industry hopes sale will stimulate trade slump

(Newser) - As the diamond market tumbles, at least it seems a blue one is forever, reports GlobalPost. A 7.03-carat rock unearthed in South Africa last year sold for more than $8.4 million at a Geneva auction today—setting a world record in price per karat for a gem of... More »

Downturn Dulls Gem Trade's Gleam

Effects felt worldwide as Americans stop buying bling

(Newser) - The worldwide slowdown in spending is making for rough times in all facets of the jewelry business, reports the Washington Post. More than a thousand jewelers in the US—which buys almost half the world's polished diamonds—have gone bust, and the effects are being felt from the mines of... More »

840-Pound Brazilian Emerald Lands in Court

Detectives puzzle over ownership of 840-pound Brazilian gem

(Newser) - A colossal emerald valued at almost $400 million is under lock and key in Los Angeles County while detectives try to figure out who owns it, the Wall Street Journal reports. Police managed to track down the 840-pound Bahia emerald after it was reported stolen last fall, but they also... More »

De Beers to Halt Work at Diamond Mines

Firm last suspended production during the Great Depression

(Newser) - De Beers has temporarily shut down its diamond mines in Botswana due to low demand for the precious stones, the Telegraph reports. The firm’s Botswana mines account for half of De Beers’ output, and about a fifth of diamond production worldwide. De Beers was not able to sell a... More »

Would You Mind If This Wasn't Mined?

Lab-created diamonds get ever closer to nature's version—to chagrin of some

(Newser) - De Beers might like you to think a “diamond is forever,” but try this on for size: “A diamond is for everyone.” In a secret Massachusetts lab, Apollo Diamond is using novel technology to grow diamonds virtually indistinguishable from their mined cousins, the Smithsonian reports. Unfortunately... More »

Couple Finds Rare Pearl in Clam Dinner

Purple pearl at local restaurant could be worth thousands

(Newser) - A Florida couple found an extremely rare purple pearl in their steamed clam dinner that could turn out to be worth thousands of dollars. The two stopped for seafood at a local restaurant when the man bit down on something hard in one of his middleneck clams. When cleaned off,... More »

Gems That Bankroll Burma Junta Remain on Sale in US

Congress closing loophole as a first step

(Newser) - Congress is moving to close a loophole in a law that forbids the sale of rubies from Burma, but the measure comes too late for the holiday shopping season, writes Marin Cogan of the New Republic. That means US shoppers—unless they take pains to question their jewelry shop's policy—... More »

19 Stories