3 Tips for Spotting a Fake Diamond

Whenever you have a highly valuable, coveted gemstone like diamond, you’re going to have fakes. Of course, nobody wants to be fooled into paying top dollar for a cubic zirconium, moissanite, or even glass fake that is being passed off as a real diamond. People are justifiably wary of falling for an imitation, because some counterfeit diamonds look convincingly real. So how can you avoid getting scammed?

3 Tips for Spotting a Fake Diamond | Auction King

Of course, the only way to be 100 percent sure that the stone you have is a real diamond is to have it professionally appraised. Some DIY methods of trying to determine whether or not a diamond is real aren’t easy to carry out if you do not have special equipment or if the stone is already in a setting, and they may damage the stone you’re trying to test. But there are some safe, quick ways you can separate out inauthentic stones before you go to the trouble of seeking out the opinion of a gemologist.

  1. The fog test: Genuine diamonds do not retain heat well. If you breathe on them as if you were trying to fog up a mirror or a pane of glass, any haze you manage to produce on the stone will dissipate quickly. A fake diamond such as moissanite, on the other hand, will build up condensation as you breathe on it. (Make sure the gem is clean before you try this; dirt and oil buildup on the stone can affect your results.)
  1. Examine the setting: It is highly unlikely that a genuine diamond would be mounted in a cheap base metal setting. Check for symbols that indicate the setting is a precious metal, such as 10K or 14K for gold, 925 for sterling silver, or Plat or Pt for platinum. While a precious metal setting is no guarantee that the stone you’re looking at is a diamond, it is much more likely to be a precious or semi-precious gemstone. If the setting has rough edges, an obviously fake finish, wear that exposes dull metal underneath a coating, or is magnetic, then you’ll know it isn’t precious metal.
  1. Look at the edges of the stone: A diamond’s edges will be sharp and exact. An imitation diamond, especially one made of glass or a polymer, is more likely to have dull or worn-down edges. While a sharp edge won’t guarantee you have a real diamond on your hands, a dull edge is likely to indicate that you don’t.

If you’re considering investing in a diamond, taking the trouble to obtain an official appraisal is worth the cost. Of course, reputable sellers regularly provide appraisal reports from gemological laboratories for the diamonds and other fine jewelry available on their site, as we do on ours. This professionalism gives you the confidence that the diamonds you purchase at Auction King’s live online auction are the real deal, even if their below-market prices seem too good to be true. Sign up for a free account today and check out the deals today!

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.

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!

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!

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.

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.

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 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.