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Little Gems

Singer Beyonce blings it up at the Oscars
Singer Beyonce blings it up at the Oscars


Academy Awards adornment

From the weird to the wonderful, bulletin board is filled with snippets about jewellery from around the world.

Academy Awards adornment

The 81st Academy Awards shone as the pinnacle of celebrity glamour, with stars dazzling the red carpet, the ceremony and the after parties, in jewellery that made one forget the US was in economic meltdown.

Platinum and diamonds played lead roles, with Best Supporting Actress winner Penelope Cruz donning a platinum necklace with 69 carats of diamonds by Chopard.

Best Actress winner Kate Winslet accepted her award in pear-shape platinum earrings with 28 carats of diamonds and a 117-carat, multi-cut diamond bracelet by Chopard.

Anne Hathaway, nominated for best actress, wore a diamond starburst brooch in her hair, a diamond watch bracelet, diamond swirl earrings and diamond rings by Cartier.

While diamonds dominated, some stars also opted for colour. Angelina Jolie for example, made a statement in emerald earrings and ring.

Calls for Koh-i-noor to return to India

Mahatma Gandhi's great grandson has called for Britain to return the famous Koh-i-noor diamond to India.

According to a report in Times Online, Tushar Gandhi, 49, was pleased at the Indian government for agreeing to try to halt the sale of the Indian independence leader's belongings at a New York auction, including his spectacles and sandals.

Tushar Gandhi has now called for more of India's historical relics to be returned to their homeland, including the Koh-i-noor, which was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850 and forms part of the Crown Jewels, currently on display at the Tower of London.

Gold for cash in US

It appears US pawnbrokers are currently doing better business than jewellers, as increasing numbers of women exchange their gold for cash.

Gold ascended $US1,000 an ounce in New York trade in late February, and according to a Reuters report, this spurred an increase in pawn shop clients.

"It's been going on for a long time now," said Joseph Grunberg of Lombard Mutual Pawnbrokers & Jewellers in New York. "There is a correlation between the markets and our customers, and we view this as only the beginning."

Sotheby's to auction Islamic pearl carpet

An historical pearl-sewn carpet is getting set for a forthcoming Sotheby's auction in the UAE.

According to a report in Gulfnews.com, the unique carpet is thought to have been created as a gift for the tomb of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH). It was on display in late February at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Known as the pearl carpet of Baroda, the carpet's surface is covered in an estimated two million natural seed pearls, known as "Basra" pearls and originally collected in the waters of the Gulf, according to Henry Howard-Sneyd, executive vice-president, Sotheby's North America.

The carpet went on sale in the Arts of the Islamic World auction on March 19 in Doha. While bidding was expected to start around $US5 million, Howard-Sneyd believed it will finish "considerably higher".

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Results of the auction were not available at the time of print.

Gold out of reach in India

The soaring price of gold has made the metal unaffordable for much of the Indian market.

In a nation where gold is highly coveted - especially in wedding ceremonies - many middle-class brides are now wearing gold-plated jewellery on their big day.

At almost $US32 a gram at the time of print, the practice of wearing plated jewellery, which is quite commonplace in Delhi and other northern cities, is also happening prevalently in Mumbai.

According to The Times of India, one retailer saw a 20 per cent year-on-year increase in "imitation" jewellery sales in February.

"Gold is untouchable as the prices are insanely high," said another Indian jewellery designer, Sapna Gupta. "In fact, more and more people are simply melting and remodelling their old gold."

Fear of being robbed is also deterring newly-weds from keeping it real. "Couples often spend their first night at some resort or hotel. They are scared to wear gold while travelling and staying in a strange place,"' said Mumbai jeweller, Asha Doshi.

Balaclava bandit robs jewellery store

A daring jewellery store robbery has occurred at a New South Wales shopping centre in February.

According to a report in the Illawarra Mercury, shoppers were left stunned as an armed bandit wearing a balaclava and hat entered and smashed the display case of the Angus & Coote Stockland Shellharbour store with a spanner before grabbing jewellery.

Staff later learnt he was also carrying a knife. As he fled, the thief was apprehended and crash tackled by three bystanders.

According to witnesses, the incident occurred just before midday.

The bystanders held the man down until police arrived.

A 17-year-old Flinders male was subsequently charged with robbery while armed with an offensive weapon, armed with intent to commit an indictable offence, larceny, malicious damage and carrying a knife in a public place. He was due to face children's court at the time of print.

Charles Dickens' diamond ring up for sale

A diamond ring once belonging to author Charles Dickens has been put up for auction in England.

The 0.9-carat ring was a gift from the Oliver Twist author's poet friend, Lord Alfred Tennyson and is inscribed with a message reading, "Alfred Tennyson to Charles Dickens 1854".

According to a report on the BBC website, the ring is listed to be sold by auctioneer Nigel Ward & Co, with an expected selling price of between £25,000 and £35,000.

Morris and Watson

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