Who Is Norman Rockwell and Why Are His Paintings So Famous?

There’s a short list of artists whose work is so iconic that it becomes an indelible part of the culture, with enduring images that are familiar even to those who don’t know the artwork’s background. Norman Rockwell is one such artist. His paintings of ordinary life are still celebrated for capturing the spirit of small-town America and illustrating core American values. He’s best known for the cover illustrations he created for The Saturday Evening Post from 1916 to 1963.

Born in New York in 1894, Rockwell dedicated himself to his artwork early, leaving high school to study art full-time when he was only 15. His early works appeared in magazines geared for youth, such as Boys’ Life, where he became the art editor at age 19. Rockwell’s long relationship with The Saturday Evening Post was launched in May 1916 with the cover image “Mother’s Day Off.” He created eight cover images for the Post within that first year and went on to paint more than 300 cover images for the magazine.

Rockwell was a hugely prolific artist, producing over 4,000 original works during the course of his career. He produced covers and illustrations for many magazines of the time, including Life, the Country Gentleman, and the Literary Digest. His paintings combined meticulous detail and execution with a warmth and charm that lent grace to the everyday subjects he generally portrayed. While critics of the day dismissed his work as overly sentimental, his audiences appreciated the empathy he showed in the way he chose to depict his subjects and the powerful storytelling conveyed in his choice of scenes.

The artist also used his stature and popularity to address important issues of his time. For example, inspired by Franklin D. Roosevelt “Four Freedoms” speech, Rockwell created four paintings in 1943: Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear. Originally published in The Saturday Evening Post, the images became widely popular, and the paintings themselves were used to boost the war bond effort through a national tour. In the 1960s, he addressed social issues such as racism in paintings like The Problem We All Live With.

Norman Rockwell passed away in 1978, but the appeal of his artwork has not faded. In 2013 his 1951 painting Saying Grace, which depicts a woman and a young boy bowing their heads in prayer before a meal at a diner while inquisitive youths look on, sold at auction for a record $46 million. Studies (works he created in the process of developing a finished painting) for Triple Self Portrait and Tough Call sold for $1.3 million and $1.6 million respectively in 2017, making it clear that the market for his work is hotter than ever in the 21st century.

If you’re looking for fine art at prices you won’t find in a gallery, AuctionKing.com is your source for prints, lithographs, giclees, serigraphs, etchings, and more. With bids starting as low as $1 on authenticated pieces, we give collectors the opportunity to bid and win from the comfort of their own home. To get started, register today for a free online account.

The Top Gemstones That Are Always in Style

Like any other fashion item, jewelry can be subject to the whims of what is popular at the moment. Every year arbiters of taste will proclaim the latest trends in gemstones, often directing attention to lesser-known gemstones or promoting interest in gems that might have once been coveted but have since fallen out of favor. However, fine jewelry isn’t subject to all the same rules as other fashion items, because unlike a dress or a pair of shoes, a well-made piece of quality jewelry can last generations. Because of this factor, some gemstones simply transcend the fads of the moment, remaining perennially in style. Which stones fall into this category?

Birthstones: Every month has at least one designated birthstone, and part of the charm of wearing a piece of jewelry that incorporates your own birthstone is the personal association. According to the American Gem Society, the traditional birthstones are:

January: Garnet

February: Amethyst

March: Aquamarine or bloodstone

April: Diamond

May: Emerald

June: Pearl or alexandrite or moonstone

July: Ruby

August: Peridot or sardonyx or spinel

September: Sapphire

October: Opal or tourmaline

November: Topaz or citrine

December: Zircon or turquoise or tanzanite

Wearing your birthstone transforms any piece of jewelry into a potential conversation piece. Many who choose to wear a certain stone for that reason often enjoy delving into the history and lore associated with it as well for added interest.

The big three: Emeralds, sapphires, and rubies are classic gems, and probably among the first that come to mind when you think of colored gemstones. They have been favorites in cultures around the world for thousands of years as much for their value as for their beauty. The finest examples of each of these stones can be more expensive than diamonds on a per-carat basis. The enduring popularity of these stones means that you can find intriguing vintage pieces incorporating them, giving you the choice between contemporary styles and traditional looks.

Diamonds: These brilliant gems have as long a history as the big three, even though the custom of proposing with a diamond ring is a relatively recent development in the stone’s history. Before the nineteenth century, diamonds tended to be associated with royalty, and India was thought to be the sole source of the stone. The discovery of diamonds in South Africa increased supply at the same time as improved cutting and polishing techniques were helping to bring out the stone’s true beauty. As the hardest of all gemstones, diamonds are perfect for everyday wear, a distinction few other stones can match. They also pair well with any color, making them easy to match with any item in your wardrobe.

At AuctionKing.com, we maintain an extensive selection of rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and pendants featuring a wide range of gemstones, from trendy to classic. Bid on authenticated pieces easily from the comfort of your own home on our secure proprietary bidding platform. We bring the value and excitement of the live auction experience to you! Register for a free online account today to find your next treasure.

Most Expensive Movie Memorabilia

Any field that has a devoted fan following can inspire a market for memorabilia. Movies are a prime example—costumes, props, scripts, and other items from popular movies are coveted treasures for those looking to own an item associated with a favorite film or star. Here are some iconic mementos that top the list for most expensive movie memorabilia:

Robby the Robot, Forbidden Planet – $5.375 million (2017) – This seven-foot-tall robot from the 1956 is considered the most expensive movie prop ever auctioned. The lot also included a Jeep Robby drove on the planet Altair IV, an auxiliary control panel, and original packing crates from MGM.

Marilyn Monroe’s white dress, The Seven-Year Itch – $4.6 million (2011) – The famous scene where an updraft from a subway grate blows up Marilyn Monroe’s skirt made this dress one of the most instantly recognizable costumes in movie history. The final auction price vastly exceeded the $2 million expected.

James Bond’s Aston Martin, Goldfinger and Thunderball – $4.6 million (2010) – An Ohio collector purchased this 1964 Aston Martin DB5, which was one of two cars driven by Sean Connery as the famed spy 007. The other car used in the films was reported stolen in 1997.

Maltese falcon statue, The Maltese Falcon – $4.1 million (2013) – Although two identical statues were made for use in the film, the filmmaker verified that this one was the statue that actually appeared on screen.

Upright piano, Casablanca – $3.4 million (2014) – At Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca, Sam played the song “As Time Goes By,” the unforgettable leitmotif of the movie, on this piano, making it one of the most famous pianos in the world. It was modified for the movie so that Rick could open the lid from the rear to hide important papers.

Cowardly lion costume, The Wizard of Oz – $3 million (2014) – The original costume worn by Bert Lahr as one of Dorothy’s companions in her journey down the yellow brick road had been left in an old MGM building before it was rescued by a junk dealer and subsequently auctioned off.

Costumes worn for “Do-Re-Mi,” The Sound of Music – $1.56 million (2013) – The costumes worn by the Von Trapp children and by Maria (Julie Andrews) in the scene where she first teaches them to sing sold in a lot including other costumes from this beloved musical in a Hollywood auction.

Unfortunately, as with other kinds of memorabilia where prices are high and authenticity is key, movie memorabilia can attract counterfeiters or invite misrepresentation. Recently two movie props slated to go up for auction—a lightsaber purportedly used by Mark Hamill in the filming of Star Wars: A New Hope and a Walther pistol that supposedly appeared in the opening scenes of the 1962 James Bond film Dr. No—were withdrawn due to disputes over their authenticity. Collectors interested in purchasing any kind of memorabilia should be careful to purchase only from scrupulous dealers who will guarantee the provenance of the items they sell.

At AuctionKing.com, our clients find great values on memorabilia and collectibles every day. We triple-check the authenticity of every item so that you can bid with confidence. Our secure bidding platform gives you the excitement of live bidding with the convenience of online shopping. To start bidding and start winning, register for a free online account today.

Jewelry to Pair with Pantone’s 2019 Color of the Year

Since 2000, Pantone has announced its Color of the Year annually, analyzing trends across all segments of global society to select a color that captures the zeitgeist of the year ahead. For 2019 they have chosen Living Coral, “an animating and life-affirming coral hue with a golden undertone that energizes and enlivens with a softer edge.”

In choosing this color, the selection committee noted that given the increasing role of technology in modern life, people seek authentic connection and intimacy. The Pantone Color Institute selected the vibrant hue as a “fusion of modern life” because it “is a nurturing color that appears in our natural surroundings and at the same time, displays a lively presence within social media.” The color is intended to represent optimism, joy, and playfulness.

For those looking to incorporate this spirited shade into their jewelry choices, there are a couple ways to go. Precious coral has been polished for use as an opaque gemstone since ancient times, and was especially popular during the Victorian Era. Its use in jewelry has declined in recent years, in part due to concerns over the environmental impact of harvesting slow-growing coral to meet consumer demand. If you like the look but love the ocean, shop for vintage coral earrings, rings, or beads, which won’t harm today’s reefs.

If you prefer coral color in a clear gemstone, morganite is a great option. The peachy-pink stone has the warm tones of Pantone’s selection for 2019, and is readily available in large carat sizes perfect for cocktail rings or stunning pendants. Even though it has become quite sought after, morganite remains relatively affordable in larger sizes. This gemstone is frequently paired with rose gold, which amplifies its golden tones.

On the other hand, if you’re wearing a coral ensemble, you may not want to match the hue in your jewelry. In that case, consider creamy pearls, which offer a lovely neutral counterpoint and also evoke the oceanic origins of coral. White opals can offer a similar neutral choice with a fiery twist. For an eye-catching pop of contrast instead, green gems such as emerald, peridot, or jade evoke a sustaining connection to nature, although they by no means represent all the colored gemstone choices that would look attractive with this shade. Whatever gemstone you choose, yellow and rose gold will harmonize most effectively with the warm undertones of Living Coral, so look for settings in those precious metals.

At AuctionKing.com, our selection of fine necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets, rings, and loose stones give you a rainbow of colors to choose from every day, whether you’re setting a trend or making a unique style statement. Every piece is triple-checked for authenticity so you can bid knowing that what you see is exactly what you’ll get. We seek out unusual and precious pieces so our customers around the globe can enjoy top-quality fine jewelry at below-retail prices every day. To start bidding and start winning, register for a free online account today.

Accessorize Your Holiday Outfit with Jewelry from Auction King

The end of the year is full of gatherings, bringing us together with family and friends as we celebrate the holidays. From office get-togethers to family parties to New Year’s Eve flings, the holiday season can seem like a whirlwind of merriment. Getting dressed up is a great way to get yourself into the spirit, and if you’re looking for the right piece of jewelry to make your outfit complete, Auction King is the place to find high-quality items at budget-friendly prices.

With twinkling lights and glowing candles all around, it’s natural to want to don a little sparkle ourselves. Auction King stocks a wide variety of gemstones and types of jewelry, making it easy to find something to exactly fit your taste and the occasion. Bids start as low as $1, giving you an unmatched opportunity to purchase top-quality fine jewelry for below-market prices.

Looking for something to coordinate with your dress for a gala soiree? A cocktail ring with a colored center stone can be just the thing to either match your gown or accessorize with a contrasting accent color. Our selection of rings includes exquisite examples featuring rubies, emeralds, tanzanite, opals, amethyst, alexandrite, Tahitian pearls, and more.

Want to liven up a little black dress? A glimmering pair of statement earrings or a necklace of brilliant stones will give your ensemble the zing that transforms a classic look into something head-turning. Whether you want to give a shout-out to Christmas hues with rubies or emeralds, evoke a Hanukkah spirit with sapphire or tanzanite, or embrace a general winter vibe with aquamarines or diamonds, we’ve got you covered.

Are your holiday plans going to keep you at more intimate, understated affairs? That’s no reason to pass up the opportunity to add a little bling to your wardrobe. A diamond solitaire necklace, a string of pearls, or your favorite gemstone set in a pendant will be lovely at close quarters without seeming overwhelming. A pair of diamond stud earrings or a bangle or tennis bracelet are also great choices when you want just a hint of dazzle in your attire.

At Auction King, we seek out beautiful, finely made pieces from all over the world so that we can offer our bidders a truly breathtaking array of jewelry to choose from. We triple-check the authenticity of all of our pieces so you can bid with confidence, knowing that the quality of what you get will match your expectations. Our convenient online platform allows you to bid from the comfort of your own home on our secure proprietary platform—getting the right jewelry to complete your holiday look may be the easiest thing to check off your to-do list this year! Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning.

The Hottest Contemporary Art up for Grabs

When people think of fine art, they often call to mind the names of masters of the past like Van Gogh, Monet, or da Vinci. However, the field of contemporary art is just as full of names worth knowing. The recent auction of David Hockney’s painting “Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)” for $90.3 million smashed the previous record for an auction sale by a living artist, previously held by Jeff Koons’ sculpture “Balloon Dog (Orange),” which sold for $58.4 million in 2013. The painting highlights two of the themes Hockney’s work from the 1960s and ’70s is known for—emotionally complex double portraits and swimming pool landscapes—and its sale generated considerable buzz in the contemporary art world.

Although its price was considerably less, the drama surrounding the auction of Banksy’s painting “Girl with Balloon” at Sotheby’s, in which the iconic painting was half-shredded moments after the gavel fell also generated much discussion. Fortunately for the buyer, who elected to keep the transformed work at the auction price of $1.4 million, experts believe that the work’s new provenance as a piece of conceptual art will only increase its value.

Contemporary art doesn’t offer the certainty that one might find in collecting already-established masters. After all, it’s hard to know which of today’s up-and-coming artists might gain the popularity (or notoriety) of Hockney, Koons, or Banksy. However, it is not difficult to find articles and lists noting rising or influential artists currently working in the field. For example, W Magazine suggests that portraitist Nathanial Mary Quinn and painters Eliza Douglas and Christina Quarles are among up-and-coming artists to take note of.

As with older art, when a contemporary artist becomes well-known, their work is often priced out of reach of all but the wealthiest collectors. Along with those of Koons and Hockney, the works of Jasper Johns, Christopher Wool, Brice Marden, Yayoi Kusama, Cindy Sherman, and Cecily Brown, among many others, have been known to command staggering prices at auction. The groundbreaking work of such artists often receives acclaim because it influences the work of others, producing thought-provoking shifts in artistic expression.

However, it’s not necessary to possess a multimillion-dollar masterpiece, whether it is contemporary or classic, to enjoy having artwork. Auction King gives you the opportunity to own striking pieces in a variety of mediums and styles at a fraction of what you might pay at a gallery. As with all of the items available on our site, our artwork is triple-checked for authenticity so you can bid with confidence. Our online format makes it easy and convenient to bid wherever you are, so geography is no limit to obtaining the artwork that speaks to you. Register for a free online account and start bidding today.

Why Is Morganite so Popular?

In the world of jewelry, it’s not uncommon to see particular gemstones go through fads of popularity. This is particularly true for stones that might not be as well-known as diamonds or the big three (emeralds, sapphires, and rubies). One stone that has become wildly popular in recent years is morganite, a relatively recent addition to the ranks of precious stones available for use in jewelry. If you’re unfamiliar with the stone, it isn’t hard to see why it has become a favorite.

Morganite is a variety of beryl usually found in shades ranging from pale pink to light salmon. It was discovered in 1910 and was dubbed “morganite” in 1911 in honor of banker J.P. Morgan, who was also a famous gemstone collector. He donated thousands of specimens of extraordinary gemstones to the American Museum of Natural History in New York, so it seems only fitting that this gorgeous gemstone bears his name.

Morganite’s current popularity is probably due to a number of factors. First of all, it has a hardness of 7.5 on the Mohs scale, which means it is relatively resistant to scratches. This makes it suitable for all kinds of jewelry and for everyday wear. Second, its delicate pink hue is in line with current fashion trends, which has increased the demand. It looks especially good in rose gold settings, which are also highly sought after at the moment.

In addition, unlike some colored stones, morganite can readily be found without eye-visible inclusions in larger sizes. This means that there is not a dramatic per-carat markup for larger stones, making it possible to find large faceted stones at reasonable prices. Given that larger morganites tend to exhibit stronger color, the ability to buy one without breaking the bank is a considerable attraction.

One notable morganite trend is its use in engagement rings. Many brides looking for an alternative to a traditional diamond find morganite’s lovely color appealing. Compared to the cost for a similar-sized diamond, a large high-quality morganite can be quite affordable, although to get a truly superior stone you should still be prepared to spend a fair amount. However, it should be noted that you might want to think twice about following this trend if you are particularly hard on your hands—or you should at least plan to remove your ring before tackling tasks that might damage the stone.

If you’re looking for morganite jewelry, Auction King’s authenticated selection of earrings, rings, pendants, and more is your source for superior quality pieces at below-market prices. Browse our continually updated inventory from the comfort of your own home, and bid with confidence on our secure proprietary bidding platform. Register today for a free online account to find your next treasure.

How to Care for a Designer Handbag

A designer handbag is a joy to own and use, and one that is well-maintained can be expected to retain its value for years. Some rare and sought-after bags may even increase in value, if they’re in top condition. If you’ve splurged on a high-end bag or received one as a gift, you’ll want to make sure it stays looking its best so you can enjoy it for a long time. Here are some critical tips for maintaining your bag properly:

Think prevention, not cure

Sure, there are ways to repair damage to the interior or exterior of your bag after its been done, but it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to restore it to a like-new appearance after it has been scuffed or stained. Be mindful of how you use your bag by:

  • Taking care of where you set or swing it. Don’t put your designer bag on the floor or knock it into corners or doorframes when you’re out and about.
  • Keeping any contents that might leak or spill in separate, preferably waterproof, pouches inside your purse. Pens and makeup are notorious for leaking and spilling inside of purses, and ink and lipstick stains can be almost impossible to remove.
  • Keeping your load reasonable. Stuffing your purse full of heavy objects can stretch the bag out of shape and weaken handles and stitching.
  • Rotating your bag. Using the same handbag week after week without a break will inevitably result in visible wear and tear.

Apply some regular TLC

The ongoing care your bag will require to keep its materials looking good depends on what your bag is made out of. For example, leather should be regularly treated with a leather balm or cream to keep it from drying out and cracking. However, products intended for smooth leather should never be used on suede, and fabric requires a different care routine altogether. If your bag comes with care instructions, be sure to read and follow them. In all cases, if your bag suffers a serious stain, you’re best off taking it to a professional to treat rather than trying a DIY tip that might cause further damage.

Store your bag correctly

How you put your designer bag away when you’re not using it is critical to keeping it in good shape. Proper storage includes:

  • Always putting your handbag inside a fabric dust bag to protect it from dust and dirt. Most high-end bags will come with a breathable bag for storage, but if you received your bag without one, a cotton pillowcase will do just as well. Never store your handbags in a plastic bag, because these can retain and concentrate damaging moisture.
  • Cleaning your bag before you put it away. Dust off the exterior with a microfiber cloth and use a lint roller to remove any debris from the bag’s interior.
  • Stuffing your bag with acid-free paper or bubble wrap to maintain its shape in storage. Do not use newspaper, which can leave ink stains on the lining of your purse.
  • Storing bags upright on a shelf, rather than stacked on top of one another on the floor.

When you’ve invested in a high-end handbag, putting some thought into how you care for it is worth the effort to maintain its value and appearance. At AuctionKing.com, we offer authenticated designer handbags for auction at a fraction of their retail price, giving bidders around the world an opportunity to own high-end merchandise for unthinkable bargains. Our stock regularly includes favorites from Fendi, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Chloe, Prada, and more. Register for a free online account today to start bidding and start winning!

Why Are Marc Chagall Paintings Valuable?

Marc Chagall (1887–1985) was one of the most prolific artists of the twentieth century. His work is associated with many modernist artistic styles of that era, such as Fauvism, Cubism, Suprematism, and Surrealism, yet his work resists easy categorization. While much experimental art of the twentieth century led to increasingly abstract artistic expression, Chagall’s images embraced figurative and narrative art that married elements of modernism to more traditional imagery.

Born in the Russian Empire to a Hasidic family, Chagall spent his youth attending local Jewish schools and studying Hebrew and the Torah. Many of the themes he incorporated in his work derived from his early studies. He also discovered his love of art in those days, and in 1906 he began formally studying art, first under the Russian portrait artist Yehuda Pen and then with artist Leon Bakst. In 1910 he moved to Paris—in early paintings like I and the Village the characteristics of Cubism, the leading avant-garde movement of the time, are clearly visible.

Even during this early time in Paris, Chagall maintained his connections to his hometown, both figuratively and literally. His paintings included subject matter from village life, including pastoral scenes and weddings. In many of them, figures float freely in the sky, symbolizing his nostalgic affection for his home. These supernatural elements of his work are considered precursors of the Surrealist movement. He also returned to Russia to visit during these years, and on one of those visits he met Bella Rosenfeld, who he married in 1915. Although the couple had planned to move to Paris after their marriage, the advent of World War I and the Bolshevik Revolution trapped them in Russia until 1923.

By this time, his reputation in modern art circles enabled him to travel throughout Europe and the Mediterranean and brought him important artistic commissions. In addition to Jewish themes, his art also incorporated themes from the Christian Bible. In 1931 he traveled to the Holy Lands. Unfortunately, war once again interrupted his career, forcing Chagall and his wife to flee to New York City ahead of Nazi persecution in 1941. He returned to France in 1947, a widower, where he lived for the rest of his life.

Although he is best known for his vibrant paintings, Chagall also produced numerous etchings, and later branched out into sculpture and ceramics. He produced stained glass windows for notable buildings such as the synagogue at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem and the U.N. Building in New York, and murals for locations such as the New York Metropolitan Opera. He was also noted as an accomplished set and costume designer in his time.

Chagall’s skill in evoking emotion through dreamlike imagery that nonetheless remained grounded in his personal experience touched a chord that resonates with viewers to this day. Nowadays, his most important paintings command steep prices at auction, with the record held by Lovers, which sold for $28.5 million in November of 2017.

For collectors seeking to own a more affordable example of Chagall’s artwork, Auction King offers a selection of high-quality limited edition giclees featuring images that exemplify his unique artistic style. Every piece is authenticated by our expert team so that you can bid with confidence on the artwork that speaks to you. Register today for a free online account to find your next treasure.

Why Is Tanzanite Worth Collecting?

Those who appreciate fine jewelry know that gemstones can be found in a rainbow of different colors. Some, while beautiful, are widely available and therefore inexpensive, even in larger sizes. Others are extremely rare and costly. The law of supply and demand dictates that stones that are both attractive and scarce will be more pricey, because there simply won’t be enough to go around for everyone who wants one. Somehow, however, that rule has not yet caught up to tanzanite, one of the premier gemological finds of the twentieth century.

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in the Mererani foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Named for the country of its origin by Tiffany & Co., who recognized the commercial potential of the find, tanzanite has a similar hardness to emeralds (without that stone’s brittleness) and is a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Experts believe that the geologic conditions that formed tanzanite in the roughly four-square kilometer area where it is found are unlikely to be duplicated anywhere else on earth. This means that when this source is completely mined, collectors will lose the ability to buy tanzanite on the primary market. While there is disagreement on when this will occur, even optimists concede it will happen within the current generation.

The properties of tanzanite caused by its unusual geological origins are an important part of its beauty. The blue-violet stone exhibits pleochroism, which means that an individual stone will show different colors depending on the direction from which it is viewed. A fine tanzanite will show flashes of blue, violet, and burgundy. As with most colored stones, saturated color and superior clarity considerably increase the value of tanzanite.

Given its unusual characteristics and rarity, you would expect tanzanite to easily surpass diamonds in price. In the short time it has been available, it has already become the second-most popular blue gemstone, behind only sapphires. Currently, though, even top-quality tanzanite in sizes of 3 carats or more is only around $750 per carat, whereas a one-carat diamond will fetch thousands of dollars, and larger high-quality diamonds can be tens of thousands of dollars per carat. This means that the price of tanzanite does not truly reflect the reality of either its relative scarcity or the imminent disappearance of its source.

While it may be easy for interested buyers to find attractively priced tanzanite at the moment, that won’t always be the case. With the supply of unmined tanzanite decreasing and the Tanzanian government enacting tighter controls over what remains, tanzanite prices are already showing signs of going up. Collectors can expect that the tanzanite they own will increase in value over time, as the inevitable tightening of supply occurs. If they have not yet obtained this lovely stone, time is running out for buying one at artificially low prices.

At Auction King, our selection of tanzanite rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings is constantly updated with new and beautiful finds. Our live online auction gives our bidders the opportunity to purchase independently appraised fine jewelry at a fraction of retail prices, all from the convenience and comfort of their own homes. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning!

Those who appreciate fine jewelry know that gemstones can be found in a rainbow of different colors. Some, while beautiful, are widely available and therefore inexpensive, even in larger sizes. Others are extremely rare and costly. The law of supply and demand dictates that stones that are both attractive and scarce will be more pricey, because there simply won’t be enough to go around for everyone who wants one. Somehow, however, that rule has not yet caught up to tanzanite, one of the premier gemological finds of the twentieth century.

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in the Mererani foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Named for the country of its origin by Tiffany & Co., who recognized the commercial potential of the find, tanzanite has a similar hardness to emeralds (without that stone’s brittleness) and is a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Experts believe that the geologic conditions that formed tanzanite in the roughly four-square kilometer area where it is found are unlikely to be duplicated anywhere else on earth. This means that when this source is completely mined, collectors will lose the ability to buy tanzanite on the primary market. While there is disagreement on when this will occur, even optimists concede it will happen within the current generation.

The properties of tanzanite caused by its unusual geological origins are an important part of its beauty. The blue-violet stone exhibits pleochroism, which means that an individual stone will show different colors depending on the direction from which it is viewed. A fine tanzanite will show flashes of blue, violet, and burgundy. As with most colored stones, saturated color and superior clarity considerably increase the value of tanzanite.

Given its unusual characteristics and rarity, you would expect tanzanite to easily surpass diamonds in price. In the short time it has been available, it has already become the second-most popular blue gemstone, behind only sapphires. Currently, though, even top-quality tanzanite in sizes of 3 carats or more is only around $750 per carat, whereas a one-carat diamond will fetch thousands of dollars, and larger high-quality diamonds can be tens of thousands of dollars per carat. This means that the price of tanzanite does not truly reflect the reality of either its relative scarcity or the imminent disappearance of its source.

While it may be easy for interested buyers to find attractively priced tanzanite at the moment, that won’t always be the case. With the supply of unmined tanzanite decreasing and the Tanzanian government enacting tighter controls over what remains, tanzanite prices are already showing signs of going up. Collectors can expect that the tanzanite they own will increase in value over time, as the inevitable tightening of supply occurs. If they have not yet obtained this lovely stone, time is running out for buying one at artificially low prices.

At Auction King, our selection of tanzanite rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings is constantly updated with new and beautiful finds. Our live online auction gives our bidders the opportunity to purchase independently appraised fine jewelry at a fraction of retail prices, all from the convenience and comfort of their own homes. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning!