What You Can Do with Loose Stones

It’s not unusual to see loose gemstones for sale at your local jeweler or up for auction. In fact, it’s fairly common for those shopping for an engagement ring to select a diamond separately from a setting. But the options for loose gemstones go well beyond that scenario alone. Loose gemstones offer a great opportunity for jewelry buyers looking to get great value, to design completely unique pieces, or both.

What You Can Do with Loose Stones | Auction King

Loose stones offer value in two ways. First, it is much easier to appraise the worth of a stone when it is not in a setting, as the setting can hide flaws in a stone or make it hard to judge its transparency. Thus, you’ll know more precisely what you’re getting when you buy a loose stone. Some especially great values can be found if you purchase stones at auction rather than buying from a retail outlet. Second, when you’re buying already-set jewelry, you may be paying just as much (or more!) for a designer name or a brand-name markup as you are for the value of the piece itself. Buying a stone separately eliminates the price increases that come from such intangible factors.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys expressing their creativity, loose stones also offer you a chance to create a piece of jewelry all your own. Jewelry sold in traditional retail outlets often incorporates stones cut in standard sizes and shapes. The settings themselves are typically mass-produced—you can be certain that other people will be wearing the exact same designs. When you have a piece of jewelry custom-designed starting with a loose stone, perhaps one in an unusual size and cut, you can be sure that the end result will be completely unique.

For those who have an interest in do-it-yourself jewelry making, loose stones easily lend themselves to popular techniques such as wire-wrapping. This can be an especially striking way to show off a stone with unusual patterning or an irregular shape. While DIY jewelry frequently uses semiprecious stones, there’s no rule that says you have to restrict your creativity by limiting your materials.

Finally, loose gemstones in exceptionally large sizes may be suitable as display items in your home in their own right. Jade, turquoise, and other opaque gemstones can be found in artfully carved shapes and figures. In such cases, all you need to do is find the one that strikes your fancy at your desired price, and then enjoy.

In short, loose gemstones are a natural choice for those looking for something out of the ordinary. Exploring the possibilities can unlock your imagination and result in an unexpected treasure for you to enjoy.

Tanzanite Jewelry Designs

From its popularity, you might not realize that tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery among gemstones. The blue-violet gem was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, for which it is named, and is found in only one small area in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is known both for its deep, gorgeous color and its trichroism—when tilted in different directions, the stone gives flashes of blue, violet, or burgundy. Its beauty has made tanzanite a natural choice for fine jewelry, and you will readily find it in necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

Tanzanite Jewelry Designs | Auction King

Tanzanite is most often set in gold (white or yellow) or platinum. Silver is not recommended for setting tanzanite because the metal lacks the strength to properly protect the stone. Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it somewhat vulnerable to scratching, and it has one direction of perfect cleavage, which could result in chipping should the stone be struck sharply. Because of this, jewelers suggest that tanzanite rings not be worn for daily wear, unless the setting is designed to protect the stone, such as in a bezel setting.

Tanzanite can be found in almost any shape you desire, although cushion and oval cuts are very popular, as they show off the stone’s color well. The rough stone itself can dictate the shape of the final cut, as jewelers seek to craft the largest and most beautiful finished gem possible from the raw material. The most saturated and desirable color will be found, naturally, in the largest stones. Most cut tanzanite stones are relatively small, and their value increases dramatically as their size increases.

Tanzanite is frequently surrounded in diamonds or set with diamond accents, as the cool brilliance of diamonds contrasts dramatically with tanzanite’s velvety blue. For the same reason, white gold and platinum are popular choices for settings. The stone appears in all kinds of settings, though, from sleek and modern to ornate, so the main factor in dictating your choice should be your personal preference. Because tanzanite can vary in color, you’ll want to take care in matching pieces you intend to wear together, such as earrings and a necklace.

Tanzanite jewelry is best cleaned with mild soap and warm water, and then dried with a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning is not recommended, and you should avoid exposing tanzanite to high temperatures, sudden temperature changes, or strong acids. However, with a little care, your tanzanite jewelry can be a joy to you and an heirloom to pass down.

If you’re looking for a special tanzanite piece, you can find necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings at AuctionKing.com. We constantly seek out the highest quality jewelry and regularly update our inventory with new finds. Our live online auctions bring these treasures to you at below-market prices every day.

The Rarest Gemstone You’ve Never Heard of is About to Disappear

Tanzanite, the “gemstone of a generation,” will soon come to an end. Tanzanite mines are close to depletion.  This generation will most likely be the last one able to buy newly mined tanzanite.

The Rarest Gemstone You’ve Never Heard of is About to Disappear Auction King

 

In fact, as the gemstone becomes more scarce, the independent miners who once busily dug for tanzanite have started to give up on finding more of the rare stone. Many have drifted away to pursue other, more readily available gemstones elsewhere. In 2014, Richland Resources sold TanzaniteOne, the largest commercial tanzanite mining operation, to turn its attention to more profitable ventures. It is clear that they have seen the research: the remaining tanzanite supply is running dangerously low.

Investors have enjoyed the rising price of tanzanite in the past, which had previously grown at a rate of 400%. Now that the mines are emptying out, another spike in price is expected in the near future. Investors have said that the time to buy tanzanite is now. The current price of tanzanite generally falls between $550 and $700 per carat, and is expected to go up to $1,000 in a relatively short amount of time.

Though tanzanite is quite rare, it is a surprisingly new find. The gemstone was discovered in 1967 in the city of Mererani, Tanzania. Located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, this small region is the only known source of tanzanite. The extremely tiny area where the gem has been mined is only one and a half square miles. Analysis of the composition and properties of tanzanite have led experts to conclude that the creation of this beautiful stone has not been replicated anywhere else on earth.

Tanzanite ranges in color from blue to violet, with the deepest color stones considered the most valuable. Due to its crystalline structure, it can appear to show different colors when it is viewed in different directions, displaying an array of blue and violet hues or even flashes of red when it is rocked back and forth. The supply of darker, more valuable stones is expected to be depleted long before mining ceases altogether, making these gemstones some of the rarest.

The effect of a dwindling supply of tanzanite on the market is already being felt. With demand rising above the availability of new, high-quality stones, prices have begun to rise. This trend of rising prices will only increase as extraction of any remaining stones in Tanzania becomes more difficult. While consumers in the past have enjoyed relatively low prices for beautiful specimens of tanzanite, it will soon be nearly impossible to find tanzanite of good quality at anything other than premium prices.

Opportunities to invest in tanzanite at attractive prices still exist. Hard to find in stores, many quality stones can be found at auctions. Those auctions specializing in seized assets and estate sales in particular, such as sites like AuctionKing.com, have high grade tanzanite.  Although tanzanite production is coming to a close, it isn’t too late to invest in one of these uniquely beautiful gems.

The Secrets to Buying Fine Art

Fine art may be an investment, but it’s one with an obvious difference from stocks or bonds. A work of art’s value is based in part on the aesthetic pleasure it gives to the viewer, so savvy collectors know they shouldn’t just buy artwork because it seems like it will appreciate in value, but because they like it. The idea of buying fine art and starting one’s own collection may seem intimidating, but there are some guidelines to follow to buy with confidence.

Secrets to Buying Fine Art | Auction King

Start with what you like—The best way to start collecting is to begin with artwork that appeals to you. If your initial budget is low, begin by purchasing prints, which are usually less expensive than original artworks, or by purchasing from auctions. Look around at various galleries and art sites to get a sense of what is out there—this is easy to do without even leaving home, thanks to the internet—and do some research on the artists, periods, or styles you like.

Business or pleasure?—Know your primary purpose for buying fine art. If you are buying with the idea of reselling at a profit later on, know that it can take time for artwork to appreciate, so make sure you will enjoy what you’re buying while you own it. In addition, the value of artwork can fluctuate as certain styles go in and out of fashion. If you view your growing collection as an investment portfolio, it should be diversified in different styles and types of art. You don’t need to consider this factor as much if you are purchasing primarily for your own enjoyment.

Authentication—Original artwork and limited edition prints should come with certificates of authenticity that describe the artwork and verify that what you are purchasing is the artwork in question. Reputable dealers will routinely offer such confirmation. Such dealers, whether they are auction houses or galleries, will also be happy to answer any questions you might have about a particular piece of art as you contemplate purchase.

Getting it home—Buying your fine art is just the first step. Once you have it, make sure you take good care of your print or original to preserve its value. Keep your artwork out of direct sunlight, and do not use any cleaning products on its surface. Artwork doesn’t actually require much care—just running a soft duster over it occasionally is enough to keep it looking beautiful.

If the idea of collecting fine art appeals to you, it is easier than ever to get started. AuctionKing.com offers collectors a constantly updated inventory of fine art prints and originals. You can bid from the comfort of your own home in real time and take advantage of the opportunity to find your next treasured artwork at below-market prices.

Rare Alexandrite for Auction: Unbelievable Sizes, Unbelievable Prices

A large collection of alexandrite, a rare and valuable color-changing gemstone, will soon be available to purchase at auction through AuctionKing.com. The collection, acquired by a Japanese billionaire, was entrusted to the popular site last month for sale due to Auction King’s expertise in fine jewelry and rare collectibles. Lab certification of the stones is now complete and the collection will be posted to the website for public view prior to auction.

Alexandrite, discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830, is an extremely rare variety of chrysoberyl with unique color-changing properties. In daylight, alexandrite appears green, but in incandescent light, it is red. Stones can fall in a range from blue-green to yellow-green in daylight and orange-red to purple-red in artificial light. The dramatic color change of alexandrite when viewed in natural versus artificial light is caused by trace amounts of the element chromium in the crystal structure of the gemstone. In addition, alexandrite is pleochroic, meaning that it also exhibits different colors depending on which direction it is viewed from.

The gem was named after Alexander II, heir apparent to the Russian throne. Imperial Russian military colors were green and red, so alexandrite naturally became the national stone of czarist Russia. The original deposits of alexandrite in Russia have long since been depleted, but it can still be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, albeit often at lower quality than that displayed in stones from the Urals. The unique chemical makeup and geological properties necessary to produce alexandrite mean it is rarer than diamonds, and the best gem-quality alexandrite remains a rare find to the present day.

The current auction of alexandrite represents an unparalleled opportunity for aficionados of fine and rare gemstones to buy high-quality stones. Alexandrite is most often seen in stones ranging from .5 to 2 karats. However, the collection of GIA-certified stones coming up for auction includes stones ranging to 30 karats and more. The average price for alexandrite is typically $5,000 per karat, with some high-quality stones going for as much as $50,000 per karat. At AuctionKing.com, opening bids start as low as $1, offering collectors the chance to purchase at below-market prices.

Collectors interested in purchasing from this one-of-a-kind collection of alexandrite can view available stones at www.AuctionKing.com. Auction King specializes in fine jewelry, luxury watches, fine art, and other high-end collectibles. Their online live auction format allows bidders from all over the world to take part, either by submitting an absentee bid prior to the start of an auction or by participating in real time. Customers may also request additional information on any item prior to the start of bidding.

Alexandrites enjoy a storied history and rare beauty that make them a valuable addition to the collection of any connoisseur of precious stones. The auction of this rare collection is expected to attract the interest of savvy buyers and dedicated collectors eager to take advantage of the opportunity to own an unbelievable stone at an unbelievable price.

The 3 Biggest Advantages of Buying in an Auction

If you’ve never shopped at an auction before, you may wonder about the appeal auctions hold for the people who regularly buy jewelry, high-end watches, and other luxury goods there. Savvy consumers know that auction buying holds powerful advantages over retail shopping. So what keeps auction shoppers coming back for more?

The 3 Biggest Advantages of Buying in an Auction | Auction King

1. Great Deals

The most obvious advantage buying at auction has over retail shopping is the potential for truly amazing deals. For example, jewelry ordinarily has high retail markups, and even “sale” prices at a mall jeweler represent a significant markup over wholesale prices. At auction, an alert buyer can snap up high-end pieces for a fraction of their retail value, especially at no-reserve auctions where bidding can start as low as $1. You can also find similar opportunities for other luxury items such as designer handbags and watches. Best of all, you don’t have to wait for a seasonal sale to hunt for a good deal. Auctions are available year-round, so you can save whenever you’re ready to buy.

2. Variety

Tired of seeing the same goods in store after store? Auctions offer a wide variety of items to bid on, not just the designs and looks that are this year’s fashion. Seized asset and estate auctions in particular can offer the opportunity to snap up unique items that you just won’t find at a local shop or retail chain. If you’re looking for vintage, antique, or one-of-a-kind pieces, an auction is the right place to go. Auctions also feature more frequent turnover of pieces available than retail stores do. If you don’t see what you’re looking for one week, just be patient and keep your eye on your favorite sites. No doubt you’ll see something that catches your interest very soon!

3. Comparison

Online retail shopping means people no longer have to trudge from store to store to find what we want. Online auctions have similarly transformed the auction experience. Live auctions used to be events a buyer had to attend to have the chance to bid, which could be inconvenient or even impossible, based on timing or geography. Nowadays, with the availability of well-established, reputable online auctions, you can easily browse a wide variety of items up for bid all around the world to find exactly what you want at the best value.

With all the advantages of being able to conveniently find great deals on quality items, it’s no wonder that so many shoppers prefer auctions to purchase their favorite collectibles and luxury items. They know that the enjoyment of a beautiful diamond ring or a high-end watch is only magnified by knowing that you bought it at a fraction of its retail price.

The Secret to Buying Jewelry

Buying fine jewelry is not an everyday experience for the average consumer. Many will head to the mall or turn to a name brand retailer when it’s time to buy a diamond ring, a high-end watch, or a beautiful necklace. However, just because a store name seems familiar may not make it the best place to shop.

If you’ve ever checked out the prices at a retail jewelry store and had the nagging feeling that they’re higher than they need to be, it isn’t your imagination. The markup at such stores can be several times the wholesale price, a padding that allows chain retailers to offer apparently deep discounts. When you consider the inflated beginning price, however, those so-called “sales” still result in high prices for the customer.

The Secret to Buying Jewelry | Auction King

Instead, savvy jewelry shoppers know that the secret to getting fine jewelry and luxury watches below wholesale value is to buy at auction. Auctions offer the opportunity to get unique, high-end pieces at a fraction of their retail value. Unfortunately, in-person auctions may be inconvenient for an individual shopper due to their location or timing.

Auction King, a live online auction site, combines the opportunity of live auctions with the convenience of online shopping. Unlike eBay, where most items up for bid come from retailers, Auction King sells high-end inventory from government seized assets, estate sales, and abandoned storage facilities. Participants can follow along with bidding when the auction starts and participate in real time, or enter an absentee bid prior to an auction’s start. Customers experience the thrill of live bidding as they hunt for their perfect item.

Buying fine jewelry at auction allows consumers to get fantastic pieces at truly bargain prices. Winning bids can be as low as ten cents on the dollar—a 90 percent savings over retail prices. For example, a recent purchaser at AuctionKing.com bought a $10,000 diamond ring for just $500. Retailers themselves shop their auctions for items to turn around and sell to their own customers.

Auction King offers a wide variety of fine contemporary and antique jewelry featuring diamonds, sapphires, rubies, tanzanite, and many other stones. In addition, they have Rolex and other luxury watches. Available items are posted on their website and updated frequently. Listings for jewelry include pictures as well as detailed appraisals, and potential bidders may request additional information on any pieces of interest before registering for an auction.

For regular shoppers or insiders, buying at an auction is the secret to getting a truly stunning piece of jewelry at a fraction of its retail cost. And as a bonus, purchasing from the online auction at AuctionKing.com means you don’t even have to drive to the mall.

Register today to bid and win at our live online auctions.

How to Make Sure You’re Not Buying Fake Jewelry

Jewelry can be a significant investment. As with any big purchase, you’ll want to be sure that you’re getting your money’s worth when you buy a diamond ring or gold necklace. How can a consumer be sure that the jewelry they’re getting is the real deal? Here are some simple tips to follow that will help you separate quality jewelry from the fakes.

How to Make Sure You’re Not Buying Fake Jewelry | Auction King

Who’s the Seller?

The first thing you should always consider is the source of the jewelry on offer. Are you shopping with a reputable retailer or auction company? Those who make it their business to deal in fine jewelry have nothing to gain—and a lot to lose—by passing off counterfeit merchandise as the real thing, as it is easy for a purchaser to have a piece appraised by a certified jeweler after they buy it. On the other hand, if you hear about a too-good-to-be-true deal through back channels, chances are the piece on offer isn’t genuine. And of course, you should never buy jewelry you’ve never seen at all. Any legitimate seller will give you an opportunity to see what you’re buying and will answer any questions you have about it.

Know Your Metals

If you have the opportunity to examine the item in person, certain features can help you distinguish real jewelry. One obvious thing to look for is a hallmark of precious metals. Sterling silver is usually stamped with “925” and gold will bear a mark such as “10K” or “14K” indicating karats. This mark may be on the inside of a ring or on a disk at the end of a necklace. Precious metals are denser than the substitute metals used in costume jewelry, so pick the piece up and see if it feels heavy enough for its size or too light. Genuine silver will also leave dark streaks (the oxidation that leads to tarnishing) when wiped on a white cloth. Finally, precious metals are not magnetic, so if the piece sticks to a magnet, it is definitely not real.

Quality Shows

The workmanship of a piece can also be a tip-off. If the piece seems cheaply made, with protrusions, rough edges, or visible seams in the metal, it is almost certainly costume jewelry. Genuine pearl necklaces will have a knot between each pearl, to prevent the loss of more than one pearl should the necklace break. You should also check the inside of rings and bracelets, and other spots where a piece of jewelry would rub against a wearer’s skin, to see if a base metal is showing through worn-away plating.

Get Verification

When considering a gemstone for purchase, know that it is difficult to distinguish a genuine stone from a fake with the naked eye. Your best assurance that a gemstone is real is an appraisal report from a trained gemologist. The cost of such an appraisal is negligible compared to the value of a high-end piece of jewelry, so beware if the seller declines to provide one. Auction King provides certificates of authenticity with every purchase, so you can be sure that you are buying quality items.

With some basic knowledge and a little bit of common sense, you can feel confident that the jewelry you’re buying is the genuine article. Fine jewelry lasts a lifetime and beyond. It’s worth taking the trouble to know exactly what you’re getting.