Monthly Archives: December 2013

Engaged couples look beyond white diamonds

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This interesting take from today’s Crain’s Chicago Business highlights a mini trend that NYC Wholesale Diamonds has seen surface here in the 80’s, and again in the late 90’s for a short time, especially with our European clients.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend—but they aren’t the default for all brides-to-be anymore.

While the traditional white diamond engagement ring always has been a classic choice, the tradition isn’t set in stone. Just a few years ago, some 98 percent of the couples walking through the doors of Geneva Seal, a family-owned jewelry store on Oak Street—were buying white diamond rings.

Today, that’s down to 90 percent.

“About 10 percent are veering away from traditional white,” says Lisa Jungers, a gemologist at Geneva Seal. “People are getting married older now, and they have a better idea of their style, and they have more of an individual sense of what they’re looking for.”

What they appear to be looking for is anything that’s not traditional: colored diamonds, sapphires and even other types of jewelry. Anything goes, including watches.

Ryan Eakes, 33, general manager of the Rolex store on Michigan Avenue, says that within the past year, he’s helped about seven couples purchase engagement watches in lieu of—or in addition to—rings.

The store offers a complimentary engraving service, and since the watches are waterproof, couples never have to take them off—and both get a keepsake of their engagement, says Mr. Eakes, who also celebrated his own engagement with his-and-hers Rolexes.

“This is your first team investment as a life partner,” he says. “I can see it when they come in and start talking about the idea. Then they come back and they say, ‘We thought it through, and both of us have always wanted a Rolex watch.’ “

Still, the majority of couples are tying their engagement knot with a ring—but increasingly, they’re looking for one that shows their unique personality, says Jennie Ma, fashion and beauty editor a, a New York-based website that focuses on wedding planning.


The twist away from white diamonds started in 2010 when Carrie Bradshaw accepted Big’s 5-carat black diamond ring on the HBO series “Sex and the City.” Celebrities Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez followed the trend, but the real colored ring bomb exploded when England’s Prince William presented his bride-to-be, Kate Middleton, with his mother’s sapphire-and-diamond cluster ring, Ms. Ma says.

The celebrity aspect of the rings is one reason for their growing popularity, but there are other reasons they have become so common so quickly, she says.

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Rachel Farwell opted for a yellow diamond engagement ring. Photo: Stephen J. Serio

Some colored diamonds retain their value more than white diamonds, says Rachel Farwell, jeweler at Geneva Seal, who has her own 2.10-carat yellow diamond engagement ring.

But she wasn’t thinking much about investments when she spotted the intense yellow gem for the first time. After all, she had only been dating her boyfriend a year when the diamond arrived at the store from an unknown small jeweler.

Still, Ms. Farwell called her boyfriend, a director of computer software and development, and told him that if he were to ever think about looking at rings for her, he should consider that diamond.

He immediately called the store and purchased it without telling her or mentioning it for the next four years until he was ready to propose.

“I remembered the diamond, but I had no idea that he bought it,” Ms. Farwell says of his Labor Day proposal this year.

Depending on the color, many of these diamonds are pricier than white diamonds, says Heidi Harders, a gemologist and appraiser at Chicago Gem Evaluation Services in the Loop. Red, blue and purple tend to be the most expensive, says Ms. Harders, whose clientele ranges from jewelers to estates and engaged couples.


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NYC Wholesale Diamonds Holiday and January Store Hours

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Diamonds Demand Will Rise, Goldman Sachs Predicts

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Investment bank Goldman Sachs forecasts demand for polished diamonds will continue to increase due to the growing middle class in China and other emerging markets.

The bank believes diamond prices will rise as the number of wealthier people grows in the emerging markets together with a continuing U.S. economic recovery which will cancel out any additional production.

The main diamond miners – De Beers, Alrosa, Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond – reported higher production in the first nine months of this year.

Goldman Sachs said it does not expect a new mine to come on-stream for at least eight years, and in the meantime the demand from the Chinese and improving American market will outpace supply over the medium to long term.

Goldman forecasts supply to grow by a compound 5.2% over the next four years through to 2017, well behind the forecast 11% growth in demand in . NYC Wholesale Diamonds President Keith J Saxe concurs and reiterates NYCWD’s estimate of a 12 – 15% growth in demand.

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The $1 Million Movie Necklace

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The most expensive piece of jewelry designed for a movie was worn by Nicole Kidman in Moulin Rouge. It cost $1,000,000 to create!

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Ever wonder what the most expensive jewelry ever sold looks like?

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The most expensive jewelry in the world occasionally shows up at high-profile auctions. So do serious collectors with obscene amounts of wealth. Furious bidding wars are par for the course, until somebody parts with a few extra million to take home expensive jewelry. The rest of us who don’t earn in millions have to be content with swooning over the costliest and most exclusive jewelry in the world.


Presenting a list of 15 pricey jewels.


1. Elizabeth Taylor’s Jewelry


Selling Price: $115.932 million
Date of Sale: 13-14 December 2011


Earlier this month, the late Liz Taylor made headlines once again. In her lifetime, the Hollywood beauty was famous for her love of jewelry. Naturally, when her collection of jewels hit the auction block, they made a big splash. But few could have guessed that this would become the most expensive private collection of jewels by such a large margin. Liz Taylor’s most expensive jewelry was expected to rake in around $30 million. But the final sale price was far higher at $115.932 million. The star attractions in this collection included the historic La Peregrina necklace, the famous Elizabeth Taylor Diamond and a Taj Mahal ruby.


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2. Bulgari Two-Stone Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $15.7 million
Date of Sale: 19 May 2010


This eye-catching jewel from the house of Bulgari is a most expensive ring. After all, it bears not one, but two large diamonds. In fact, it is the perfect proposal ring for girls who love big rocks. The triangular-cut fancy vivid blue diamond alone weighs 10.95 carats. Complementing the blue of this rare diamond is a triangular-cut white diamond that weighs in at 9.87 carats. The most expensive ring was created in 1972. But it earned its “most expensive” tag as recently as May 2010, when an Asian collector purchased the ring for $15.7 million after a furious bidding war.


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3. Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet


Selling Price: $12.417,369 million
Date of Sale: 30 November 2010


Have an eye for unique jewelry? Then take a look at Wallis Simpson’s Panther Bracelet. Simpson, who later became the Duchess of Windsor, was the reason why King Edward VIII had to abdicate the throne and become Duke of Windsor. On becoming a duke, he gained ownership of the kingdom’s royal jewels. The panther bracelet was part of this exclusive jewelry collection. Designed by Cartier, the panther sits mid-crouch, as though ready to pounce. Adorned with diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds, this is a most expensive jewel. No wonder it fetched well over $12 million at a Sotheby’s auction in London. Moreover, as if the adornments and the royal connection were not enough, rumors abound that singer Madonna has purchased this exclusive jewel.


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4, Emerald And Diamond Tiara


Selling Price: $12.76 million
Date of Sale: 17 May 2011


This dazzling emerald and diamond tiara is fit for a queen. This most expensive jewel was commissioned by German prince Guido Henckel von Donnersmarck. He presented the tiara to his second wife Katharine around the year 1900. Some experts believe that Eugenie, the wife of Emperor Napoleon III of France, also owned this gorgeous tiara at some point. The diamond-studded tiara contains a row of 11 polished pear-shaped emeralds worth 500 carats. The white diamonds complement the rich green of the emeralds beautifully. It is not hard to understand why an anonymous bidder was willing to pay a record-making $12.76 million for this magnificent jewel.


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5. Vivid Pink Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $11.8 million
Date of Sale: 1 December 2009


In 2009, the world was still reeling under the effects of the recession. But even the economic crisis could not stop this vivid pink diamond ring from selling for a record $11.8 million. The vivid pink color of this gemstone resulted from exposure to heat and pressure within the earth’s crust. The fancy-cut cushion-shaped diamond originated in the mines of South Africa. The 5-carat pink diamond is mounted by Graff diamonds and set on an elegant ring.


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6. Empress Eugenie Brooch


Selling Price: $10.5 million
Date of Sale: 22 April 2008


In April 2008, the Louvre successfully managed to bring a historic jewel back to France. The Louvre paid $10.5 million for the pricey bauble. But the price must have been well warranted, for the Empress Eugenie Brooch was a piece of French history. Sculpted into a bow-like pattern, the gorgeous brooch features openwork of European-cut diamonds. The most expensive jewel ranks among the best fine jewelry of the world. Moreover, it is an antique piece dating back to approximately 1855, when Francois Kramer created the expensive brooch for Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.


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7. Vivid Blue Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $10 million
Date of Sale: 5 October 2011


The vivid blue diamond ring in the picture above is a most expensive ring. Experts in the world’s most expensive jewelry are likely to well versed in the characteristics of this prized jewel. This ring features a large 6.01-carat cushion-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond as the centerpiece. Two oval pink diamonds flank two sides of the blue diamond. The pink diamonds – also rare gems – weigh 0.46 and 0.44 carats respectively. The three diamonds rest on a platinum ring. This piece of fine jewelry fetched the highest price per carat for auctioned fancy vivid blue diamonds, when it sold at Sotheby’s Hong Kong for $10 million in October this year.


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8. Flawless Blue Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $9.69 million
Date of Sale: 12 May 2009


In 2009, this flawless blue diamond ring proved to be the star of Sotheby’s semi-annual sale in Geneva. The simple but elegant blue diamond ring fetched $9.69 million at the auction, taking even serious collectors by surprise. The rectangular blue diamond sits atop a platinum ring. The rare diamond weighs 7.03 carats and was found in South Africa’s famous Cullinan mine in 2010. Despite the handsome price, the diamond is no larger than a coin.


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9. Golconda Diamond Earrings


Selling Price: $9.3 million
Date of Sale: May 2011


As the name suggests, the Golconda Diamond Earrings were born in the Golconda mines of India. Sometimes also referred to as the Imperial Cushions because of the cushion-shaped diamonds, this gorgeous pair of earrings is an example of truly exclusive jewelry. This glittering pair of danglers weighs about 23.11 carats. The earrings emerged for auction during May 2011 at Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Spring Sale in Hong Kong. An anonymous bidder purchased the expensive jewelry for $9.3 million at the auction.


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10. Pear-Shaped Golconda Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $6.5 million
Date of Sale: 2011


The mines of Golconda are represented yet again on our list of most expensive jewelry to be sold at an auction. The pear-shaped Golconda diamond ring was set to show up as part of Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale 2011. With an initial asking price of $6.5 million, there is no doubt that this is a most expensive ring and a piece of fine jewelry. The star of the unique jewelry design is the 30.31-carat D-color uncut diamond. The GIA certified the diamond to be of Excellent Polish and Symmetry.


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11. Green Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $3.08 million
Date of Sale: 2009


This green diamond ring is designed to make onlookers go green with envy. The ring emerged at Sotheby’s auction of Magnificent Jewels. Although a buyer paid $3.08 million for this rare diamond at the Geneva auction, it is not the most expensive jewelry that we have seen. Having said that, the diamond ring bears a single unique distinction – it is the largest green diamond to have ever been sold at an auction. The rare naturally green diamonds weighs 2.52 carats.


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12. Rare Blue Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $2.9million
Date of Sale: 2011


When it is a question of elegance, very few pieces of fine jewelry can compete with the rare blue diamond ring. Bulgari custom-designed this ring for a European collector in the 1960s. The collector presented the ring to his wife. The ring’s $2.9 million price tag sets it among the most expensive jewelry in the world. Earlier this year, Bonhams conducted its Fine Jewelry Sale that included this most expensive ring. The Bonhams sale marked the ring’s first auction appearance. The juxtaposition of the white and blue pear-shaped diamonds along with the detailing on the ring, makes for a unique jewelry design that is well worth the price.


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13. Red Diamond Ring


Selling Price: $2.6million
Date of Sale: 2007


“Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” sang Marilyn Monroe in her pink dress. And flowers score brownie points. So why not merge the two? The red diamond ring blends the dazzle of a diamond with the beauty of a flower. More importantly, it shares the platform with some of the most unique jewelry to have ever been auctioned. English jeweler Laurence Graff recognized the value of the red diamond ring when he purchased it for $2.6 million at a Christie’s auction. The maroon color of the central diamond is rare enough, but rarer still is the diamond’s octagonal shape. The ring is truly a collector’s item.


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14. Mismatched Earrings


Selling Price: $1.38million
Date of Sale: June 2011


Mismatched earrings can be a great fashion statement. But none more so than these mismatched earrings by Indian jewelry designer Nirav Modi. This set of most expensive jewelry could very well be the most expensive mismatched earrings in the world. The pair fetched over $1.38 million at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong earlier this year. The blue, pink and white color scheme is common to both earrings. But while one has an oval 2.22-carat blue diamond as the centerpiece and a white diamond for the earlobe, the other features a white diamond in the center and a blue diamond on the lobe.


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15. Diamond Necklace


Selling Price: $450,000
Date of Sale: 27 June 2011


Rings have dominated our list of the most expensive jewelry to be auctioned. But the list would not be complete without the inclusion of this magnificent diamond necklace. The necklace features an 8.19-carat heart-shaped diamond centerpiece. We love the line of 24-carat marquise-cut diamonds. An anonymous bidder threw caution to the winds and bought this majestic necklace for $450,000. If we had that much money to spare, we’d probably do the same.


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NYC Diamond Blog’s ‘Best Holiday Gift Ideas’

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Keith J. Saxe
Your Personal Jeweler
presents his 25th Anniversary ‘Best Holiday Gift Ideas’
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Keith invites you to his
NYC Wholesale Diamonds
Private Showroom and San Diego Factory Showroom

Enjoy these new extended hours:
8:00 am until 7:00 pm daily at
47 West 47th Street, Third Floor, Suite 3A, New York City

Keith has been named ‘The New York Jewelry District’s Favorite Jeweler’ by The New York Post in their Savvy Shopper column, and has the depth of diamond expertise, and 25 years of unrivaled fine jewelry industry knowledge necessary to be your expert guide on the exciting journey ahead.
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NYC Wholesale Diamonds obtains Ideal Cut Diamonds directly from the premier industry source in Antwerp. No Middlemen. No high retail markup!

Low Wholesale Prices Direct to You Every Time!Take a look at my website at or and my blog
Please call (212) 719-2214 for special newsletter low wholesale discounts, as well as everyday wholesale prices on my entire Diamond inventory, and Fine Jewelry Line

CALL (858) 775-9947 for an appointment at my SAN DIEGO FACTORY SHOWROOM

I find my clients the Perfect Diamond Engagement Ring and Wedding Bands. My complete personal consultation includes:

* An informative lesson on the quality, pricing, and certification of diamonds
* Locating the perfect, ideal cut diamond for maximum, spectacular brilliance 
* Finding and/or custom designing the perfect ring setting for the diamond
* Advice on immediate protection by the least expensive insurance options
* Advice on the actual proposal as its romantic significance will last a lifetime


Keith J. SaxeMy Private Showroom
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47 West 47th Street
Suite 3A
New York City 10036
(212) 719-2214
Fax (212) 575-1579
(800) 247-8478

My Store
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