GONE MINING

– CURRENTLY ON ANNUAL LEAVE –

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR WHEN I MUST VISIT THE MINES!

GONE DIGGING!

GONE DIGGING!

CALLS, MAILS, MESSAGES WILL BE ANSWERED ON MY RETURN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE.

 

 

PHARAOH’S PERIDOTS OR AN EMPRESS’S EMERALDS

EMERALD MOUNTAIN STANDS IN AN INHOSPITABLE 86,000 SQUARE MILE REGION IN EASTERN EGYPT. BENEATH IT, WADI SIKAIT, THE OLDEST KNOWN EMERALD MINE IN EGYPT, AND THE WORLD.

© Richard de Nul

© Richard de Nul

IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN THAT CLEOPATRA’S EMERALDS WERE LEGENDARY. FROM 69 – 30 BC CLEOPATRA, WIFE OF MARK ANTONY, AND LOVER OF JULIUS CAESAR WAS THE BEST KNOWN DEVOTEE OF THE PRECIOUS GREEN GEM. BUT WERE THEY IN FACT EMERALDS?

WHILE EGYPT PRODUCED EMERALDS FROM ITS MINES, IT IS KNOWN FROM VERY EARLY RECORDS THAT THE ANCIENT EGYPTIANS MINED A GREEN GEM ON THE ISLAND OF TOPAZIOS OR ST. JOHNS ISLAND.

THIS GEM WAS IN FACT PERIDOT.

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

THE WORD ‘EMERALD’ REFERRED TO A MYRIAD OF GREEN GEMS. IT DERIVED FROM THE GREEK “SMARDAGUS”, AND ENCOMPASSED SUCH A WIDE VARIETY YOU COULD CALL IT A VERITABLE SMARDAGUS-BOARD.

TO CONFUSE MATTERS FURTHER, PERIDOT WAS ALSO REFERRED TO AS TOPAZ. THE WORD PERIDOT COMES FROM THE ARABIC “FARIDAT”, WHICH MEANS ‘GEM’. THE EGYPTIANS REFERRED TO IT AS THE ‘GEM OF THE SUN’.

TO ADD TO THE MIX THE SIMPLE FACT THAT GEMMOLOGICAL IDENTIFICATION DIDN’T BECOME AN EXACT CHEMICAL SCIENCE UNTIL THE 18TH CENTURY CASTS FURTHER DOUBT ON TO THE NATURE OF THE GEM. 

WHILE MANY HISTORIANS PUT FORWARD THE IDEA THAT CLEOPATRA’S FAMED EMERALDS WERE IN FACT PERIDOT, IT IS BASED ON SUPPOSITION. IN LATE MEDIEVAL TIMES GREEN GEMS WERE READILY AND CONTINUALLY CONFUSED. FOR CENTURIES THE GEMS ADORNING THE SHRINE OF THE THREE HOLY KINGS IN COLOGNE CATHEDRAL WERE MISTAKEN FOR EMERALD. THEY ARE AS IT HAPPENS, PERIDOT. 

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

© MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE

SO BACK TO OUR QUEEN CLEOPATRA, WHAT DO WE KNOW? NO EMERALD KNOWN TO BE IN HER POSSESSION OR BELONG TO HER, SURVIVES IN EXISTENCE. WE KNOW THAT EGYPTIAN EMERALDS DID EXIST AND THAT EGYPT WAS AN ANCIENT SOURCE OF EMERALD DURING, AND LONG AFTER CLEOPATRA’S REIGN, BUT EGYPTIAN EMERALDS TENDED TO BE PALE AND CLOUDY.

WE ALSO KNOW THAT 60 MILES OFF THE EGYPTIAN COAST LAY TOPAZIOS, A GREEN GEM RICH ISLAND SOURCE OF PERIDOT.

CAN WE SAY FOR DEFINITE THAT CLEOPATRA’S EMERALDS WERE, IN REALITY, PERIDOT? 

 

PRETTY IN PINK – A PERFECT TEN

NOT EXACTLY A PERFECT TEN, I’LL ADMIT, BUT YOU’LL FORGIVE ME FOR TAKING POETIC LICENCE WHEN DISCUSSING THIS MAGNIFICENT 10.07CT FANCY INTENSE PURPLE-PINK ARGYLE DIAMOND.

© CHRISTIE'S 2016

© CHRISTIE’S 2016

PURCHASED IN 2007 FOR US$2,000,000, THIS RARE DIAMOND IS UP FOR AUCTION AT CHRISTIES IN NEW YORK ON THE 20TH OF APRIL. AND WITH IT, COMES MORE THAN A SLIGHT INTEREST FROM YOURS TRULY.

BEFORE YOU GO REACHING FOR YOUR WALLETS, PUT YOUR $2,000,000 AWAY FOR ANOTHER DAY, FOR THIS 10.07 HAS INCREASED IN VALUE BY A STAGGERING 500%

UP FOR AUCTION THE DIAMOND HAS A GUIDE PRICE OF US$8,000,000 – 12,000,000 

MOST OF THE WORLDS PINK DIAMONDS COME FROM THE ARGYLE MINE IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA, AND WHEN YOU CONSIDER THAT THERE IS ONLY ONE ‘COLOURED’ DIAMOND FOR EVERY TEN THOUSAND, YOU CAN UNDERSTAND THE HIKE. COUPLE THIS WITH THE FACT THAT THE MINES SUPPLY IS LIKELY (OR SUPPOSED LIKELY) TO RUN OUT BEFORE 2020 AND PINK DIAMONDS SUDDENLY BECOME MUCH MORE INTERESTING AND EXPONENTIALLY MORE VALUABLE.

© CHRISTIE'S 2016

ACCORDING TO RAHUL KADAKIA, HEAD OF JEWELLERY AT CHRISTIE’S, “PINK DIAMONDS IN STRONGLY SATURATED COLOURS OF OVER A CARAT ARE A RARITY.”. HE ADDED THAT “TO LOCATE AN INTENSE PINK GEM OF OVER TEN CARATS IS A REAL EVENT IN THE WORLD OF JEWELLERY AUCTIONS.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE UPCOMING MAGNIFICENT JEWELS AUCTION VISIT CHRISTIE’S

 

 

 

IMAGES © CHRISTIE’S 2016

 

 

 

BEING MORE THAN FAIR

© fairgold.org

© fairgold.org

2015 HAS BEEN A YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION FOR MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE. 2016 EVEN MORE SO. HERE AT MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT WHAT I DO, AND HOW I DO IT.

2016 SEES MY STORE AT 8 WINTHROP ARCADE CORK, BECOME LISTED AS A REGISTERED FAIRTRADE SMALL JEWELLER.

© fairgold.org

© fairgold.org

THIS IS A FIRST FOR CORK CITY AND COUNTY.

AS MY GOLD AND SILVER BULLION IS PURCHASED FROM LEGITIMATE SUPPLIERS, AND NOT PRE-MANUFACTURED, IT IS PROUD MOMENT FOR THIS INDEPENDENT LOCALLY OWNED RETAILER.

MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE © LIKE MAGAZINE 2015

MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE © LIKE MAGAZINE 2015

FAIRTRADE GOLD AND PRECIOUS METALS IS A GROUND BREAKING INITIATIVE THAT OFFERS A LIFELINE TO POOR AND EXPLOITED SMALL-SCALE MINERS AROUND THE WORLD.

IT LINKS CONSUMERS OF JEWELLERY WITH THE SOURCE OF THEIR PURCHASE. IT IS THIS LINK THROUGH FAIRTRADE STANDARDS AND CERTIFICATION THAT MAKES FAIRTRADE GOLD THE BEST GOLD IN THE WORLD.

IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FAIRTRADE AND HOW SMALL-SCALE MINERS ARE SUPPORTED YOU CAN CLICK HERE  

© fairtrade.org

© fairtrade.org

 IF YOU’D LIKE TO KNOW MORE ABOUT FAIRTRADE IN-STORE FEEL FREE TO DROP BY NO. 8 WINTHROP ARCADE, WINTHROP STREET, CORK OR CONTACT  VIA THE FORM BELOW

 

  

LOOSE GEM SALE THIS JANUARY

LOOSE SAPPHIRE PARCELS © MICHAEL WALL 2016

LOOSE SAPPHIRE PARCELS © MICHAEL WALL 2016

THIS JANUARY, MY DIAMOND AND GEM SALE TAKES PLACE IN-STORE. UP TO 70% OFF DIAMONDS AND GEMS TO INCLUDE:

4.76CT PEAR-CUT COLOMBIAN EMERALD

7.00CT OVAL CITRINE

4.18CT BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND

5.88 CTS OVAL BURMESE RUBIES (X4)

AND MANY MORE..

2.00CT PAIR OF AQUAMARINE © MICHAEL WALL 2016

2.00CT PAIR OF AQUAMARINE © MICHAEL WALL 2016

DIAMONDS, SAPPHIRES, RUBIES, AND EMERALDS ARE AVAILABLE LOOSE, IN PAIRS AND IN SETS.

IF YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC REQUIREMENT FEEL FREE TO CALL 086 8687456 OR VISIT MICHAEL WALL BESPOKE IN 8 WINTHROP ARCADE, WINTHROP STREET, CORK TO DISCUSS YOUR REQUEST. YOU CAN ALSO USE THE ONLINE FORM BELOW.

3.66CT OLIVE-GREEN PERIDOT © MICHAEL WALL 2016

3.66CT OLIVE-GREEN PERIDOT © MICHAEL WALL 2016

 

CAUGHT BY THE ROCKS!

I DON’T PARTICULARLY LIKE HEARING HORROR STORIES. BUT FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS YEAR I’VE ONCE AGAIN HEARD A STORY THAT SHOCKS ME A LITTLE BIT.

A COUPLE WHO I KNOW THROUGH MUTUAL FRIENDS INVITED FAMILY AND FRIENDS TO CELEBRATE THEIR WEDDING DAY IN NEW YORK, AND ON ARRIVING HOME WERE HORRIFIED TO BE ASKED TO PRODUCE RECEIPTS FOR THEIR ENGAGEMENT AND WEDDING RINGS.

USUALLY DUTY AND VAT ARE APPLICABLE ON PURCHASES BUT IN THIS CASE BOTH THE WEDDING RINGS HAD BEEN PURCHASED ABROAD.

THE ENGAGEMENT RING HOWEVER HAD BEEN MADE IN IRELAND BUT BORE A STANDARD HALLMARK OF 950 (DENOTING PLATINUM).

AS THE COUPLE HAD BECOME ENGAGED A FEW YEARS PREVIOUS THEY HADN’T RETAINED ANY RECEIPT OR INDEED HAD ANY DOCUMENTATION TO PROVE THE PIECE WAS MADE IN IRELAND.

THE PROBLEM OF COURSE AROSE WHEN THEY WERE ASKED TO PRODUCE THESE DOCUMENTS. PROOF OF PURCHASE AS IT WERE. THEY DID HAVE A VALUATION FROM A JEWELLER. ALL WOULD SEEM IN ORDER, YET NO DETAILS OF THE RING WERE DOCUMENTED. IN OTHER WORDS THEY HAD A GENERIC PIECE OF PAPER LISTING ‘DIAMOND RING’ AND ‘VALUE’.

NO ACTUAL PROOF THAT RING WAS THE ACTUAL RING IN QUESTION. THE OUTCOME? DUTY AND V.A.T. APPLIED. OVER 40% OF THE ‘VALUE’ OF THE RINGS. THE FINAL RESULT? €4,000 INCURRED.

 

MY ADVICE? PROTECT YOUR ASSET. MY SERVICE? A DETAILED COMPREHENSIVE DOCUMENT THAT INCLUDES PHOTOGRAPHS, AND DETAILED DESCRIPTIONS OF JEWELLERY.

MY LOCATION?

8 WINTHROP ARCADE, WINTHROP STREET, CORK

MY HOURS? 9.00 – 5.30 MONDAY – FRIDAY

IF YOU ARE UNSURE WHETHER OR NOT YOU NEED TO HAVE YOUR PIECES VALUED, DROP BY TO MY OFFICE. ALL MY ADVICE IS FREE, AND I WILL TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY INFORM YOU OF THE OPTIONS AND REQUIREMENTS YOU MAY NEED TO TAKE CARE OF.

CONTACT MICHAEL

GOT ENGAGED? GETTING ENGAGED? SHARE YOUR STORY TO WIN…..

HAVE YOU OR YOUR PARTNER PROPOSED THIS CHRISTMAS? OR ARE YOU PLANNING TO PROPOSE IN THE NEW YEAR?

SHARE YOUR STORY FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A BESPOKE CONSULTATION TO DESIGN YOUR WEDDING BANDS!

THE LUCKY COUPLE CAN AVAIL OF A BESPOKE CONSULTATION AND DESIGN OF A MATCHING SET OF WEDDING BANDS PLUS 25% DISCOUNT OFF ALL BESPOKE WORK.

IT CAN BE AS SIMPLE AS A WALK ALONG A BEACH OR A CANDLELIT DINNER ATOP A HOT AIR BALLOON OVERLOOKING THE EIFFEL TOWER.

IF YOU CAN’T FIND THE WORDS, REMEMBER A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS. 

YOU CAN MAIL YOUR SUBMISSIONS TO: MICHAELWALLBESPOKE@GMAIL.COM

YOU CAN TWEET YOUR SUBMISSIONS WITH HASHTAG #OURENGAGEMENTSTORY (PHOTO AND TEXT) HERE

YOU CAN POST YOUR SUBMISSIONS WITH HASHTAG #OURENGAGEMENTSTORY TO FACEBOOK (PHOTO AND TEXT) HERE

DON’T FORGET TO INCLUDE YOUR NAME, YOUR PARTNERS NAME, AND WHERE YOU’RE FROM.

03D26773

 

 

THE FIDDLY BITS:

YOU OR YOUR PARTNER MUST HAVE PROPOSED IN DECEMBER 2015 OR ON OR BEFORE JANUARY THE 30TH 2016.

OPEN TO SAME SEX COUPLES, LGBT COUPLES, AND STRAIGHT COUPLES.

COMPETITION IS OPEN TO IRISH RESIDENTS ONLY.

CONSULTATION WILL INCLUDE THE DESIGN OF A SET OF WEDDING RINGS, ALONG WITH A FURTHER 25% OFF A BESPOKE COMMISSION.

PRIZE CANNOT BE USED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OTHER OFFERS/COMPETITIONS.

THE WINNER WILL HAVE THEIR STORY PUBLISHED HERE AS WELL AS ASSOCIATED SOCIAL PLATFORMS.

YOUR INFORMATION WILL NOT BE SHARED WITH THIRD PARTIES. 

FOR FURTHER TERMS AND CONDITIONS, SEE INSTORE FOR DETAILS.

A SAVAGE EYE

ON THE FOOT OF THE LAUNCH OF MY NEW RETAIL STORE, IT WAS LOVELY TO CALL TO THE TODAY FM STUDIO IN MARCONI HOUSE AND JOIN ANTON SAVAGE FOR A LITTLE CHAT ABOUT DIAMONDS, GEMS, AND SPARKLY THINGS.

Anton Savage & Michael Wall

ANTON WAS ITCHING TO GET HIS HANDS ON MY ROCKS, AND HERE’ S WHAT HAPPENED…..  

 

RETAIL BECKONS!

EXCITING TIMES AT DIAMOND HQ!

IN THE LAST FEW DAYS A PROJECT HAS GONE LIVE THAT SEES A NEW AND EXCITING CHANGE TO MY BUSINESS.

THE PROJECT, NOW LIVE WITH GRID FINANCE, IS SEEKING FINANCE WHICH WILL GO TOWARDS THE OPENING OF A NEW RETAIL PREMISE THAT, FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE, WILL SERVE AS DIAMOND HQ!

Facade

THE FINANCE WILL GO TOWARDS A RE-FIT, AND SOME STOCK, ALONG WITH FURNISHINGS AND A DISPLAY AND SERVICE AREA THAT WILL BETTER SERVE MY CUSTOMERS NEEDS.

GRID FINANCE IS IRELAND’S ONLINE FINANCING PLATFORM WHERE PEOPLE ARE LENDING AND BUSINESSES ARE BORROWING AT COMPETITIVE INTEREST RATES. AS A LENDER YOU CAN INVEST AS LITTLE AS €5, UP TO €35,000 PER BUSINESS.

YOU CAN VIEW THE CURRENT PROGRESS OF THE PROJECT HERE 

I’D PERSONALLY LIKE TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUED SUPPORT AND FRIENDSHIP, WITHOUT WHICH I WOULDN’T BE DOING WHAT IT IS I LOVE TO DO.

MICHAEL 

 

 

 

SHEDDING SOME LIGHT ON THE SUBJECT

fluorescence in nature 3

ONE OF THE MOST UNUSUAL CHARACTERISTICS OF DIAMONDS IS THEIR TENDENCY TO GLOW UNDER ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT.

A SUBJECT OF CONTENTION FOR MANY A BUYER, BROKER, RETAILER, AND CUSTOMER. BUT WHAT IS FLUORESCENCE AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT A DIAMOND?

FLUORESCENCE IS A REACTION BETWEEN THE TRACE MINERALS IN A DIAMOND AND ULTRAVIOLET (UV) LIGHT. BEARING IN MIND THAT THE SUN IS A SOURCE  OF UV RAYS, A DIAMOND THAT EXHIBITS FLUORESCENCE MAY APPEAR MUCH WHITER THAN ITS COLOUR SUGGESTS.

FLUORESCENCE, FOR THE MOST PART, MEANS A DIAMOND WILL GLOW BLUE UNDER UV LIGHT. UP TO AND POSSIBLY MORE THAN 1/3 OF ALL DIAMONDS FLUORESCE. SOME EXHIBIT A YELLOW GLOW UNDER UV LIGHT, BUT THESE ARE RARE CASES.

 

fluorescence in nature

WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR THE BUYER?

SIMPLY PUT, THE PRESENCE OF FLUORESCENCE WILL AFFECT PRICE. THAT IS NOT TO SAY IT LOWERS PRICE. IN FACT SOME DIAMONDS WILL BENEFIT FROM HAVING IT.

FLUORESCENCE WILL BE CLASSIFIED BY THE FOLLOWING SCALE*:

VERY STRONG – STRONG – MEDIUM – FAINT – NONE

ALL OF THESE GRADES WILL AFFECT DIFFERENT DIAMOND COLOUR IN DIFFERENT WAYS.

FOR EXAMPLE A DIAMOND WITH A COLOUR GRADE OF E, CLARITY GRADE VVS2, WITH FAINT – MEDIUM FLUORESCENCE, COULD COST 1% – 3% LESS THAN AN EQUIVALENT E COLOUR, VVS2 DIAMOND WITHOUT IT.

CONVERSELY A DIAMOND WITH A COLOUR GRADE OF I, CLARITY GRADE OF SI1, WITH STRONG – VERY STRONG FLUORESCENCE, COULD COST YOU 2% MORE THAN AN EQUIVALENT I COLOUR, SI1 DIAMOND WITHOUT IT.

fluorescence in nature 2

Fluorescence is one of the many attributes I consider when purchasing a gem. It will affect the price you pay, so be sure that the diamond you are buying is priced correctly compared to the majority of it’s influencing factors.

If you have a question as to what you need to know when purchasing a gem, feel free to CONTACT me.

*G.I.A GRADING SCALE