Monday, May 21, 2012

Pearl is the Birthstone for June

For those celebrating a birthday in the month of June, Pearl is the traditional birthstone.

South Sea Pearl and Diamond Earrings at Fourtane $16,500

Timeless, demure and elegant pearls are one of the world's most highly regarded gemstones. The humble beginnings of a pearl start when a single grain of sand or shell becomes lodged within the soft tissue of a living mollusk and over the years a protective substance called nacre is produced. Layer upon layer of nacre coats the intrusive sand or shell and creates a lustrous pearl. It takes approximately eight years for a natural pearl to form.

72 inch Baroque Pearl Strand Necklace at Fourtane $12,500

Natural pearls are extremely rare. Divers harvest pearls in the Persian Gulf, the South Pacific Islands, Australia, Japan and China. Cultured pearls account for 90 percent of the pearl industry. The value of a pearl is determined by size, shape, color, quality of surface and luster.

"Salavetti" multi-colored pearl and black diamond ring at Fourtane $18,000

Sumptuous pearls are regarded as one of nature's great treasures and are a symbol of purity and unblemished perfection in virtually every culture. It is the oldest known gem and for centuries was considered the most valuable. In the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, pearls were at the height of royal wedding fashion and everyone from the bride to her male guests was adorned in glowing pearls.

Antique Pearl Pendant circa 1880 at Fourtane $5,500

"Who comes with summer to this earth
And owes to June her month of birth
A pearl should wear against her skin
Who's innocence many a heart will win"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Staff Favorite: the Rolex "Commando"

This Rolex "Commando", reference# 6429, is an extremely rare and highly collectable manual wind watch that was limited in production in, and only in, 1972. Regarded as a stripped down version of the Explorer, reference# 1016, it's case is much thinner, with different hands, but has the same "3,6,9" markers on it's dial. The "Commando" was sold exclusively at Post Exchange stores on United States military bases. This model was the least expensive watch in the Rolex catalog at the time, and is now among the rarest, most sought after Rolex timepieces ever produced.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Emerald is the May Birthstone

Art Deco diamond and emerald ring circa 1926 at Fourtane $75,000

For those celebrating a birthday in May, emerald is the traditional birthstone. Quality emeralds are mined in Africa, Russia and India. Colombia is the source of the most prized examples, with rich, alluring color. The lush green hue of an emerald is unparalleled in the gem kingdom. The sublime, vibrant color in this beryl is caused by trace amounts of chromium and iron. Unlike other beryl varieties, emeralds usually contain inclusions that are not considered flaws, but rather part of the stone's character.

Art Deco cabochon emerald and diamond bracelet circa 1930 at Fourtane $30,000

For more than 4,000 years emeralds have been among the most sought after of all jewels. Ancient Egyptians mined emeralds in the eastern desert region for centuries. During her reign, Cleopatra's use and love of emeralds led to her name being attached to the mine, an association that remains present day 
7.13 carat oval emerald at Fourtane, $70,000

It is believed that wearing an emerald brings wisdom, growth and patience, all essential for a successful and enduring love. It is the gemstone commemorating 20th and 35th wedding anniversaries.

Van Cleef and Arpels emerald ring at Fourtane $18,000

"Who first beholds the light of day
In spring's sweet, flower month of May
And wears an emerald all her life
Shall be a loved and loving wife."