What Determines an Emerald’s Value?

Emeralds are considered one of the “big three” in precious gemstones, a classic jewel regularly used in high-end jewelry. But what differentiates one emerald from another? There are many factors that determine their value. If you’re in the market for emerald jewelry, here’s what you need to know about the most desirable qualities of this beautiful gemstone.

What Determines an Emerald's Value | Auction King

Clarity

Generally speaking, when you’re shopping for gemstones, the most valuable stones are those with no visible inclusions. However, that isn’t really the case for emeralds, because all natural emeralds have some inclusions that are visible to the naked eye or with a jeweler’s loupe. In fact, most emeralds receive some treatment to reduce the appearance of these inclusions during the lapidary process, which is not considered to affect the value of the stone. Only a synthetic emerald (much less valuable) might be perfectly clear—some are even given artificial inclusions to look more genuine. Thus, inclusions are a sign of an emerald’s authenticity. Emeralds that are considered “eye clear” are extremely rare, and quite valuable. It is only when inclusions are so numerous that they negatively affect the stone’s transparency that they can reduce an emerald’s value.

Color

An emerald’s brilliant green color is produced by trace amounts of chromium, vanadium, and iron. An individual stone can have a varying amount of each, and thus an emerald’s color can range from bluish green to yellow-green. The exact hue may hint at a stone’s origins—for example, emeralds from Zambia tend to be on the blue-green side, while emeralds from Brazil and Colombia are a more pure green. In general, the more intense the color, the more valuable the stone. Stones that are extremely light or extremely dark (so much so that the transparency is reduced) cost less per carat.

Cut

Emeralds are often cut in a rectangular shape, known as an emerald cut, to both enhance the natural color of the stone and to protect against chipping or breaking. Although they are resistant to scratches, emeralds tend to be somewhat brittle, and their natural inclusions can make them prone to fracturing. However, whatever the cut of the stone, it should enhance its natural sparkle and color.

Carats

While you can find emeralds in sizes ranging from truly tiny to huge, very fine grades of emeralds over one carat are rare. In general, a larger emerald will be worth more if its color and clarity are also good. If you have two stones with the same overall color and clarity, the larger one will be more valuable.

The overall value of an individual emerald is determined by a combination of these factors—a small but unusually clear emerald of gorgeous green may very well cost more than a much larger light-green emerald that looks cloudy from numerous inclusions. The best way to get a feel for the way these combinations can affect price is to shop around and compare prices.

Auction King regularly stocks emerald bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings in a variety of sizes, cuts, and styles. Our live online auction gives our buyers an opportunity to find exquisite pieces at below-market values. Sign up for a free online account today and browse our selections. The piece you’ve been looking for may be just a click away!

What Determines the Value of Tanzanite

Tanzanite, discovered only fifty years ago in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, is a relatively new entry to the list of desirable gemstones. Given its short history compared to more familiar gemstones like emeralds and diamonds, it’s not unusual to encounter some confusion about what factors contribute to the value of an individual tanzanite.

What Determines the Value of Tanzanite | Auction King

While many of the categories that determine the value of other stones—cut, clarity, and carats—also apply to tanzanite, it’s important to know that color is the most important thing to consider with this rare gemstone. The finest tanzanite not only displays an intense blue or blue-violet color, but it is also pleochroic, meaning that it displays flashes of different colors depending on which direction it is viewed from. In fact, its unusual and beautiful color is what has propelled its unparalleled rise in popularity since its discovery. The most valuable tanzanite has a deeply saturated color; while paler stones are also attractive, they do not command the same price as more vividly colored gems.

Tanzanite is cut into a variety of shapes for jewelry. The primary consideration in determining a good cut is showing the stone’s color and pleochroic properties, which means the cutter must properly determine the direction of crystal growth to achieve the best effect. A secondary consideration is the overall size of the stone. The cutter will generally try to achieve the largest possible cut stone from the raw material, unless this will result in significantly inferior color. A well-cut tanzanite will be brilliant and symmetrical, no matter what the shape chosen.

Because of the geological processes that form this stone, tanzanite can readily be found without inclusions visible to the naked eye. As with other gemstones, tanzanites with fewer inclusions are more valuable, and those that do have inclusions that can be seen without the aid of a jeweler’s loupe sell at a significantly lower price.

As with other gems, when all other factors are equal, a large tanzanite will cost more per carat than a small one. However, the most intense colors tend to be seen in sizes of five carats or more; stones of one to two carats tend to be much lighter in color than larger stones. In large sizes, the best-quality tanzanite can sell for $700 per carat or more. While tanzanites are available in a variety of sizes, gem-quality stones over thirty carats are quite rare.

One final factor to take into consideration is tanzanite’s rarity. The entire world’s supply of tanzanite comes from a single location only one and half miles square. While experts may disagree on exactly when the mines will run out, they agree that it will happen. Therefore, prices can only be expected to rise.

You may believe that a high-quality tanzanite is beyond your reach, since it is so rare and valuable. However, you can still find excellent deals on large, dark-blues tanzanite by shopping at auction. The live online auction at Auction King regularly features beautiful tanzanite necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings for a fraction of their retail price. Sign up for a free online account today and get this rare gemstone before it’s gone for good.

5½ Tips for Buying Jewelry Online

Online vendors have made all kinds of shopping easier, and they’ve opened up a huge marketplace of merchandise that would have been inconvenient or impossible for a typical consumer to access before. As a result, people are shopping online for items they once would have only purchased in person, like fine jewelry. Online shopping has revolutionized the fine jewelry market, and it’s a great way to find beautiful pieces if you follow some simple tips.

5.5 Tips for Buying Jewelry Online | Auction King

Tip #1: Decide what you’re looking for before you shop

If you just Google “fine jewelry for sale” you’re going to end up with an avalanche of useless search results. Are you looking for a pair of diamond earrings? A birthstone pendant? A vintage bracelet? If you focus on exactly what you want, you’ll be able to narrow your search.

Tip #2: Know who you’re buying from

Buying online means you’re unlikely to ever meet your seller face-to-face, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn about who they are before you buy. Is the site a reputable vendor? Are they an established business with a history of specializing in what you’re looking for? You should be able to contact them directly via email, phone, or web chat and have your questions answered (whether about them or the item you’re interested in).

Tip #3: Research before you buy

Once you’ve narrowed your search and you’ve found an item or two that fits what you’re looking for, shop around a little more. Do you find similar items elsewhere for comparable prices? Keep in mind that the online branch of a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer may be helping to fund the additional overhead of maintaining retail locations, so you can expect higher prices if you choose to shop there. Online-only retailers will typically offer better deals. The best deals to be found will be at auction sites, especially those that feature live auctions of seized or abandoned goods, where there is no wholesale or minimum cost to be met.

Tip #4: Get certification

Fine jewelry is often pricey, so you’ll want to know that what you’re buying is the genuine article. Reputable sellers will provide third-party certification that will detail the features and quality of the stone(s) and setting and the overall condition of the piece. If the seller hesitates to provide this information, or asks you to pay for it, look elsewhere!

Tip #5: Understand the terms of sale

Shopping online isn’t always like shopping in a store, especially if you are buying from an individual listing a piece on Craigslist, say, or if you’re buying at auction. Make sure you’ve taken into account any fees, taxes, or shipping charges for your purchase. Knowing what you’re agreeing to ahead of time will avoid any misunderstandings afterward.

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Tip #5½: NEVER BUY ON IMPULSE!

If you’ve read all the tips above, this is a no-brainer. The best way to be satisfied with the ruby ring or tanzanite pendant you’ve bought is to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting, from whom, and how it compares to what’s out there before you ever lay down money.

Online jewelry shopping offers great opportunities, so it should never be a source of regret. If you’re looking for incredible deals on high-quality fine jewelry, sign up for an account at Auction King. They have a regularly updated inventory of high quality fine jewelry for auction, with minimum bids starting as low as $1. Check it out today!

The First Piece of Jewelry to Get Your Girlfriend

You’re in a relationship, you’ve got a special occasion or holiday coming up, and you think you’d like to get your girlfriend jewelry as a gift. If you’re like many men, the thought of picking out a piece of jewelry has you in a cold sweat. But buying jewelry doesn’t have to be intimidating. If you follow a few simple guidelines, that first gift of jewelry can be the perfect way to show your girlfriend exactly how much you care about her.

The First Piece of Jewelry to Get Your Girlfriend | Auction King

Do your homework If you’re buying jewelry as a surprise, your powers of observation are your best friend. Before you shop, take note of the kind of jewelry your girlfriend wears already. Does she tend to wear silver or does she prefer gold? Is rose gold her favorite? Does she favor dramatic statement pieces and big earrings, or does she wear subtle, delicate chains and discreet stud earrings? Does she ever wear bracelets? Women wear what they like and feel comfortable in, so if you want to have the best chance to get her something she’ll like, shop for something that is generally like what you’ve seen her wearing frequently.

Go for quality The first piece of jewelry you give your girlfriend is likely to be something that she cherishes, and she’ll always remember when you gave it to her. You don’t need to go broke to get her something in genuine gold or silver, or that includes real gemstones. (As a practical matter, if you’re not sure if she has a nickel allergy, precious metals are the best way to ensure your gift won’t give her a rash.) Fine jewelry will have the longevity you want this meaningful gift to have.

Send the right message Certain types of jewelry send specific signals, ones you may not intend at this point in your relationship. You’ll probably want to save any ring buying until further on down the road, when you’re considering tying the knot. A gift of a necklace or earrings conveys a more general romantic vibe.

Shop smart Getting a piece that you can find in the window of any mall jeweler is not the way to let your girlfriend know how uniquely special she is to you, nor is it the best way to get the most for your money. You will have a much better chance of finding a one-of-a-kind piece that truly expresses your feelings if you shop at auction. The live online auction at Auction King regularly features exquisite jewelry at below-market prices, which means you can find the perfect gift at a cost well within your budget.

Whether you buy your girlfriend a pair of diamond stud earrings, a tanzanite bracelet, or an amethyst pendant, the thought you put into your choice is what will make the gift truly meaningful to her. Sign up for an account at Auction King and browse the regularly updated selection of fine jewelry on offer. With a little work and savvy shopping, you can make that first gift of jewelry one she’ll treasure always.

The Best Alternative to Gold

Gold is the classic metal we all associate with fine jewelry. It’s malleable, hypoallergenic, and attractive—but it’s also expensive. Depending on the per-ounce price of gold on the market, the cost of gold jewelry can run the gamut from merely pricey to truly exorbitant, and that’s before you factor in the cost of any gems in the setting or design costs. Before you decide to do without, however, you should consider a familiar alternative: silver.

The Best Alternative to Gold | Auction King

Silver is an attractive, stylish alternative to gold. Even though it is the most brilliant precious metal, it is far more readily available on the market than gold, which makes it much more affordable. Affordable does not mean cheap-looking, though. Silver has a beautiful luster that is attractive on its own or as the setting for a wide variety of gemstones.

The beauty of both precious and semi-precious stones is enhanced by the elegance of silver, which sets off the hue of the stone rather than competing with it. Amethyst, tanzanite, rubies, citrine, blue topaz, emeralds, and more look lovely in a sterling silver setting, which makes it a popular choice for jewelry designers.

Because silver is less costly than gold, jewelry makers can afford to purchase more raw material to work with in order to produce a wider variety of designs. This is good news for customers who like to have a varied collection of pieces, or for those who would like to have a custom piece made to set a loose stone. It also means that jewelry shoppers don’t have trouble finding sterling silver jewelry in styles from traditional to contemporary, and when they find the perfect piece to add to their collection, they can afford to indulge.

Silver is a hard metal, which makes it suitable for use in any kind of jewelry, from necklaces and earrings to rings and bracelets. Any minor damage from daily wear can be easily and economically repaired. Although silver can tarnish, especially if pieces are not worn regularly, it is easily cleaned with inexpensive, commercially available jewelry cleaners and cloths. Best of all, sterling silver, distinguished by the “925” mark indicating that it is 92.5 percent pure silver, is a recommended choice for those who have allergies to metal (most frequently nickel, often found in costume jewelry).

If you want to expand your collection of gemstone jewelry at a reasonable cost, sterling silver is the perfect way to get beautiful pieces that won’t break the bank. Auction King offers a dazzling selection of sterling silver jewelry featuring a variety of attractive gemstones at unheard-of prices, both at auction and in their store. Register today for a free account and check out the opportunities!

What is the Difference Between Lithograph, Giclée, and Photomechanical Graphic Art?

For those exploring the idea of purchasing fine art, the plethora of terms for prints that may look very similar to one another at first glance can be confusing. However, those terms, strictly speaking, are not interchangeable. Knowing which is which will tell you how a particular piece of art was produced and can provide a clue as to the work’s potential value.

What is the Difference Between Lithograph Giclee and Photomechanical Graphic Art | Auction King

Lithograph: Lithography, which dates from 1796, is a method of printing from a plate directly onto a smooth surface. An artist paints an image onto the plate using a substance that will attract oil-based inks, while the other areas of the plate are dampened with water to repel the ink. The plate is then pressed onto paper to create the image. Old-fashioned methods of lithography used oil or wax to draw on a limestone plate, while modern methods use a polymer applied to a flexible aluminum plate. In fine art printing, a limited number of prints are usually made from a single plate, which may then be destroyed to permanently cap the number of artworks made from it.

Giclée: Giclée (pronounced zhee-clay), is a more modern technique of producing high-quality prints. The term was coined in 1991 to describe high-resolution fine art prints made on professional quality 8- to 12-color inkjet printers. This production process offers some significant advantages to artists. Because giclée prints are produced from digital files, artists can create original artworks directly in digital form and customize the sizes of prints made from that artwork. The technique can also be used to produce copies of original artworks in other formats from digital photos. It’s an excellent choice for producing just a small number of prints, since the technique essentially amounts to print-on-demand for fine art images. And when it is done on archival quality paper with pigment-based inks, giclée offers superior color reproduction and excellent longevity. A high-quality giclée can last 100 years or more if properly cared for.

Photomechanical graphic art: These types of prints are typically reproductions of artwork originally produced in another medium, such as a print of an oil painting. They may be produced by methods such as offset lithography, which combines lithographic plates with offset printing (where an inked image is transferred first to a rubber blanket and then to the final printing surface). Because of the significant time and expense involved in setting up a print run, printers will make hundreds of copies of the same artwork. The longevity of any given print depends greatly on the quality of the paper and inks used. This type of print is an affordable choice for those looking to enjoy art without the prohibitive cost of purchasing an original.

Purchasing at auction is a great way to begin or to add to a fine art collection without blowing your budget. Auction King has a frequently updated selection of lithographs, giclées, and photomechanical graphic art available. Register for a free account today, and you’ll be on your way to the art collection that expresses your individual style.

Top Status Symbols for Men

When men achieve success in their career or business and reap the financial rewards that go with it, they naturally want to acquire the luxuries that go along with that success. This isn’t simply a matter of buying cool things, though—the status symbols associated with wealth can affect how a man is perceived by those around him. Some of the items that traditionally send a message of prosperity and accomplishment are:

Top Status Symbols for Men | Auction King

Cars: Whether a man is into speed or just wants a luxurious ride, expensive cars are one of the most recognizable status symbols out there. Some men prefer traditional choices like Mercedes or BMWs—tricked out with all available upgrades, of course—while others opt for sportier choices like Ferraris or Lamborghinis. Recently, the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S has become popular with men who like stylish cars and green technology.

Watches: The status watch has a long history as a subtle symbol of both good taste and success. Wearing a Rolex, Cartier, or Breitling is about much more than having a convenient way to know the time. Since a watch is a classic accessory that gives a man an opportunity to convey a sense of style, successful men often own a wardrobe of different watches suited to a variety of occasions.

Clothing: Despite what some may say about eschewing formal styles of dress, designer suits and bespoke suits still mark a man as impeccably stylish. Leaders of industry have long known that to convey authority, you have to dress the part, which explains why this status symbol retains its popularity. The subtle but unmistakable differences between top-end suits and their off-the-rack counterparts lend their wearers an air of incomparable sophistication.

Collectibles: With financial means comes the ability to indulge your passions, which is why one-of-a-kind collectibles are coveted status symbols. A basketball fan’s collection of signed jerseys or a film buff’s memorabilia speak to the owner’s personality and interests while also clearly conveying their value.

Fine art: A peerless fine art collection is a favorite status symbol of the wealthy man. Well-known collectors such as J. Paul Getty and, more recently, Eli Broad have even turned their private collections into museums open to the public. Those with the means have long favored art not only as a way to display their interest in culture, but also as an opportunity to invest in a manner more enjoyable than purchasing additional stocks and bonds.

In fact, many of these status symbols can be acquired by knowledgeable buyers at a fraction of their retail value if you purchase at auction. That means auction shoppers can enjoy all the benefits of success and keep more money in their pockets at the same time. The live online auction at AuctionKing.com offers a constantly updated inventory of high-end goods certain to appeal to the discerning man.

Top 10 Jewelry Gift Ideas for Your Wife or Girlfriend

It’s no wonder jewelry is a classic gift from a man to the woman he loves. Combining beauty, durability, and style, an exquisite piece of jewelry shows just how much he values her. You can find many pieces on the market, but if you want to get your wife or girlfriend jewelry that she’ll treasure forever, you’ll want to consider one of the items on this list.

Top 10 Jewelry Gift Ideas for Your Wife or Girlfriend | Auction King

  1. Hoop earrings – A classic pair of hoops can dress up a casual outfit or lend flair to business attire. Consider a delicate pair for a particularly feminine appeal.
  1. Long necklace – A stylish pendant on a long chain is just the statement piece she needs to set off that simple sheath dress or sleek top. She’ll especially love it if it includes a gemstone in her favorite color or her birthstone.
  1. Delicate pendant – An exquisitely made short necklace is another must-have piece every woman craves for her jewelry wardrobe.
  1. Chandelier earrings – These dramatic earrings are a popular statement piece, and you can find them set with a variety of different semiprecious and precious gemstones.
  1. Channel-set ring – Whether set with diamonds or a colored gemstone, these classic rings can be stacked, worn with other rings, or worn separately, giving her options for changing up her look.
  1. Tennis bracelet – The diamond tennis bracelet is the quintessential example of bling she can enjoy wearing every day, whether she’s heading to a gala or going to the grocery store.
  1. Diamond solitaire necklace – You can find many variations on the concept of a necklace highlighting one single exquisite diamond. Prong or bezel-set; white, yellow, or rose gold; round, marquise, or princess cut—the options are endless.
  1. Cocktail ring – A gemstone cocktail ring is a gorgeous gift the special woman in your life can enjoy and flaunt. Look for one with a special stone, such as tanzanite or alexandrite, that has an interesting story, and she’ll have a conversation piece as well as a lovely ring.
  1. Pearls – Coco Chanel considered pearls an essential for any woman, and they have traditionally been associated with icons of fashion like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Whether traditional creamy white or exotic black from Tahiti (or any of a variety of natural shades), pearls have an unmatched elegance that make them essential for any woman of style.
  1. Diamond earrings – A dazzling pair of diamond stud earrings are the little black dress of jewelry, the go-to piece that is perfect for every occasion. Invest in high-quality stones with plenty of fire, and know that she’ll wear and love this gift for a lifetime.

If you’re looking for high-quality jewelry that reflects the depth of your feeling for the woman in your life, you can find amazing pieces available at auction through AuctionKing.com. Not only will you find unique pieces that you won’t see at any mall store, the incredible deals will let you get more for your money. Register now to browse their regularly updated inventory, and discover how you can give her a surprise she’ll never forget!

How Does a Live Online Auction Work?

Live auctions have long been known as a great way to get below-market prices on a wide range of goods, from real estate to fine jewelry. However, one significant disadvantage of live auctions was the location—bidders had to be present at a certain spot in order to take part. For potential bidders who weren’t close by, that meant missed opportunities. However, live online auctions are now bringing the format of a live auction to the internet, bringing the auction to bidders in the convenience and comfort of their own homes.

How Does a Live Online Auction Work? | Auction King

How does it work? For most online auction sites, you will need to create an account in order to take part in an auction. You can also use your account to observe an auction in progress, if you’d like to familiarize yourself with how it works before you dive in. In most cases, such as at AuctionKing.com, creating an account is free. Prior to the start of the auction, you can familiarize yourself with the lots up for bid by browsing the site, and place absentee bids on any item of interest. An absentee bid allows you to specify the maximum amount you would be willing to pay for the lot of your choice, which is a great way to participate in an auction if you anticipate you won’t be able to bid in real time for either part or all of the live-auction period.

During the live auction, your account will give you access to an online bidding console that lets you follow along with the progress of the auction in real time. AuctionKing.com’s site also includes a live auctioneer conducting the auction, who you can watch via streaming. Our chat module allows you to interact with the auctioneer in real time, so you can get instant answers to any questions you might have about items up for bid. This allows participants to place bids on items with the confidence that they have all the information they need to bid wisely. The auctioneer proceeds through the auction lot by lot, as they would in an in-person auction.

At the close of the auction, the highest bidder on each item is responsible for purchasing that item. The exception is if the item had a reserve (a set minimum price that the seller will not below). For an online auction, keep in mind you will also be responsible for shipping fees for getting the item(s) you won at auction to your location. For AuctionKing.com, shipping is a low flat fee of $14.99 in the U.S. and $63.95 for international shipments.

A live online auction offers the personal interactive experience of an in-person auction combined with the convenience of online shopping. At AuctionKing.com, anyone can get a great deal on high-end jewelry, luxury watches, collectibles and fine art. Sign up, check out our fabulous assortment of goods, and start bidding!

The Difference Between a Live Online Auction and a Timed Online Auction

Online auctions have become an increasingly common option for people shopping online. However, not all online auctions are the same. Many of the commonly known websites such as eBay are what’s known as “timed” online auctions. Live online auctions are rarer, and offer a completely different bidding experience. Not sure about the difference? Here are some key points to know:

The Difference Between a Live Online Auction and a Timed Online Auction | Auction King

 

A timed online auction is automated. It’s set up to run a certain period of time, regardless of how frequent or sparse the bidding is, and the entire process is run by a computer. A live online auction, by contrast, is monitored and conducted by an auctioneer. The auction proceeds lot by lot, with the bidding for each lot closed when competition ends. With a timed auction, the competition ends when the preset time is up.

Live online auctions, such as the one at AuctionKing.com, can offer the chance to watch the auctioneer in auction via streaming. Auction King also includes a chat module that allows auction participants to relay questions to the auctioneer in real time, getting their queries answered on the spot.

As a focused event, a live online auction brings together serious bidders in a shorter defined time period. While you can place an absentee bid ahead of time if you expect to miss part or all of the live event, bidding in real time gives you the opportunity to focus on the lots you want and know immediately if your bid has been countered.

Timed auctions, on the other hand, practically invite bidders to “snipe” the auction. In this tactic, a bidder sits out the auction until the last possible moment and then places a competing bid so late that other bidders do not have time to try to outbid them. It’s a frustrating experience to be outbid at the last second for an item you’ve been monitoring for days. Some people even use sniping software or services, and while some websites take steps to discourage or prevent this, other major auction sites do not.

Timed auctions may also set a reserve price, which is the minimum price the seller is willing to accept for an item. If the amount of this reserve is hidden, it is possible that you can end up with the highest bid at the end of an auction but still not get the item you bid on, as the seller is not required to sell if the reserve is not met. In a live online auction, you’re less likely to encounter these hidden reserves. When that gavel goes down and the auctioneer declares “sold!”, you’ll know that you’re the winner.

AuctionKing.com offers a fully interactive personal auction experience providing bidders great opportunities to purchase a wide variety of goods at below-market prices. Register for a free account and come see the difference for yourself.