The Most Complicated Watch in The World

Henry Graves, Super Complication, Patek Philippe, Pocket Watch, The Most Expensive Watch

The most complicated handmade watch, the Henry Graves Supercomplication, has been sold at auction for 20.6m Swiss francs (£13.4m), writes Luke Jones.

A "complication" is a technical term referring to any feature on a watch which is in addition to simply telling the time - and Henry Graves Jr wanted more than anyone else.

The Supercomplication, made by Patek Philippe in 1932, has 24 of them including Westminster chimes, a perpetual calendar, sunrise and sunset times, and a celestial map of New York as seen from Graves's apartment on Fifth Avenue.

But for a "very flamboyant time he was a strangely quiet man", says Stacy Perman, author of A Grand Complication. His father was a "figure of the gilded age of American finance", but Graves was more a man of leisure. He was a banker, but not "nine to five", notes Perman.

This was the tail end of the "golden age of watchmakers". "Until the advent of the automobile they were considered the most innovative makers in the world," Perman explains.

Graves was an "incredibly keen" sportsman, which may have drawn him to the increasingly competitive field of watchmaking. The Geneva Observatory Timing contest, the "watch Olympics" as Perman calls it, pitted timepieces against each other for prizes and Graves took a close interest in it.

For more visit www.bbc.com

Unearthed: 122.52 Carat Blue Diamond from Cullinan Mine

In what experts are saying to be one of the most significant finds in recent history, a 122.52 carat rough blue diamond has been unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

Not only is it very rare to find a blue diamond, but also rough diamonds over 100 carats are extremely significant finds. This diamond at 122.52 carats is about the size of a walnut and holds a beautiful blue hue even in its rough form.

As a product of the Cullinan mine, a site that has produced very large rough as well as finished diamonds, and due to their tendency to be very clean and very pure diamonds, they do not pose a great chance of cleaving or fracturing in the cutting process.

Due to the purity of Cullinan diamonds, it is assumed that this diamond will produce a very large polished stone, and quite possibly may end up as the largest polished blue diamond known to exist.

The diamond is set to be further analyzed to assess the color and clarity grade of the stone, and will be sold later this year for most likely another high record price.

For more information on the diamond and the Cullinan mine visit www.PetraDiamonds.com

Estimating a Diamonds Weight

Diamond weight is defined by a metric unit of measurement called the carat. The carat being equal to 0.2 grams is a fairly small unit of measurement and is measured most accurately by very sensitive scales where even slight air movements can interfere with measurement. 

In instances where diamonds are mounted and an estimation of weight must be made, formulas have been developed which can mathematically estimate a diamond's weight based on general proportions of particular diamond cuts, relative to a diamonds specific gravity.

The most common and well defined estimator is for round brilliant cut diamonds that are generally cut to very specific proportions. In estimating a round brilliant diamonds weight the largest and smallest diameter of the diamond are averaged, squared and multiplied by the depth of the diamond, and then by .0061 (a defined variable for estimation of round brilliant diamonds) which will equal an estimated weight for the particular round brilliant diamond.

So for example if your round brilliant diamond has measurements of 7.54 x 7.56 x 4.58 millimeters, the diamonds diameter is averaged, in this case to 7.55, squared resulting in 57.003, multiplied by the depth, resulting in 261.07 and then by the estimation variable .0061 giving an estimated weight of 1.59 carats. 

Of course there are additional variables and adjustment factors that can play into the diamonds weight being higher or lower than the estimate, but as a general rule, most estimates will be in a plus or minus 5% range of weight.

For more information or to learn how to estimate your diamonds weight, call our team of graduate gemologists at Meridian Diamond at 1-866-966-9454.

Discovering Ruby

Of the 3 precious colored gemstones, which include ruby, sapphire and emerald, ruby and sapphire are actually considered to be the same material and are part of a gemstone family called corundum.  Of all of the varieties of color in sapphire, which can be found as colorless, pink, purple, green, orange, yellow, padparadscha (orangy pink) and most popularly, blue sapphire, the  red variation of sapphire is called Ruby.

Rubies can be found in a number of locations around the world, and the country of origin can play a large role in the value of a ruby. Today most people consider Burmese rubies to be the most desirable, while rubies are also found around the world in places such as Thailand, Tanzania, Sri Lank, Madagascar, the United States, Brazil and Pakistan.

Ruby is a very hard material and ranks at a number 9 on the Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness, where diamond ranks as the hardest gemstone at 10 on the scale.

Ruby colors incorporate many hues of secondary colors as well including, purple, pink, orange and brown, while the more pure the red, the more valuable the ruby.

When buying a ruby, one should take into consideration the color as the most important factor.  Clarity is secondary to color in rubies to a certain degree, but if the ruby is full of unsightly inclusions it can drastically take away from the value and desirability.

Diamonds A Commodity?

After many attempts to offer a viable solution to commoditizing diamonds, firms seem to be getting close to the answer. Recently Martin Rapaport's proposal to the Securities and Exchange Commision in the United States seems to have begun making waves in the committees and we should expect word back on the viability of diamonds as a commodity by mid December 2014.