How Long Do Online Auctions Last?

The rise of the internet has taken many activities that once required a physical presence into the realm of the digital. It has also opened up activities that were once the province of a knowledgeable and well-placed few, by removing barriers of access and distance. Auction sales are one of these activities, and as a result they’ve become a popular way to shop online, with a plethora of sites devoted to just about any kind of consumer goods you can think of. Bidding on items, rather than simply purchasing them at retail prices, can give you the opportunity to score big savings. Online auctions come in different forms, however, and it’s helpful to know what to expect when you start looking around.

Timed auctions: This is the form of online auction that we’re all most familiar with. Exemplified by sites like eBay, the timed auction runs for a specified period of time, most often a week. This doesn’t mean that prospective buyers are actively bidding during that entire time period. On the contrary, timed auctions tend to attract bidders who either bid high early, attempting to scare off other bidders, or those who wait until the final moments of the sale, hoping to land the item at the lowest possible price. These tend to be fully automated, with no human interaction between the bidding site and the bidders.

90-second auctions: This format adds a twist to the concept of the timed auction, by making the bidding window lightning-quick. Such auction sites tend to move a large quantity of goods at low prices—each high bid extends the bidding window for a few seconds, but once the time ticks down, the highest bid wins. Fans of these quick auctions tend to like them as much for the entertainment value as for the shopping experience, because you get instant gratification. Some sites that offer such auctions are what’s known as “penny auctions,” because they charge bidders a small fee for each bid they place, while others offer unlimited free bidding.

Online live auctions: In a traditional live auction, bidding lasts as long as people are actively placing bids on the item in question. Once the auctioneer has determined the highest possible bid has been reached, the lot is closed. This is also true in a live online auction, which combines the format of a live auction with the accessibility of an online auction. While lots tend to be listed online ahead of the auction for bidders to view, ask questions about, or place proxy bids on in advance, active bidding takes place at a set time, with a skilled auctioneer monitoring the action. This format combines the best features of live and online auctions—you get the thrill of bidding in real time, without having to wait around for days to find out if you have the winning bid, but you have the convenience of bidding from your own home.

Understanding the format of the auction you’re participating in will help you know how long you can expect to wait to find out if you have a winning bid. If you crave the excitement of a genuine live auction, AuctionKing.com is dedicated to providing the most authentic live-auction experience available online. Our site is built on the knowledge  of three generations of auctioneers, combining scrupulously authenticated goods, the most up-to-date technology, and a secure bidding process. Register for a free online account today to experience the Auction King difference.

5 Pieces of Jewelry Every Girlfriend Will Love

Fine jewelry is a classic gift for the woman you love—not only is it beautiful, but there are also endless options to fit her style and taste. Of course, having that much choice can be intimidating for the men doing the shopping. How do you know the right piece to get? Fortunately, there are some useful tips for those who are just venturing into getting their girlfriend a piece of fine jewelry.

Certain perennially popular types of jewelry provide a good jumping-off point for figuring out the right gift for your girlfriend. Having a sense of her style and the type of jewelry she already owns will also be helpful for getting the perfect match.

A birthstone pendant: This piece comes with instant personalization, as well as giving you a way to narrow down your search to a gem that will have special meaning for her. Think about whether this is a piece that you want her to be able to wear every day—in which case you might want to opt for something a little more understated—or a statement gem that will be a knockout for special occasions.

Pearls: Pearls have long been associated with elegance, and they’re one gem that never seems to go out of style, no matter how tastes change. A simple strand of perfectly matched pearls, if she doesn’t already have one, is a gift she’ll wear again and again. If that part of her jewelry wardrobe is already covered or if her taste is more eclectic, consider getting her black Tahitian pearls, golden South Sea pearls, or a piece featuring a unique baroque pearl.

Gemstone bracelet: What’s your girlfriend’s favorite color? A gemstone bracelet in that hue will be the dazzling statement piece she needs to complete her favorite ensemble. Colored gems can be found in every shade of the rainbow, in both light and saturated hues, so you can select the exact color that strikes her fancy.

Diamond studs: Diamond studs are the little black dress of jewelry—perfect for every occasion. She’ll be able to wear them to the office, out to drinks with her friends or to a night at the theater with you, or just running around on errands. Look for a pair that are well-matched and make sure the setting (yellow or white gold) matches the metal she wears most frequently.

Statement earrings: Earrings featuring gorgeous gems, surrounded by glimmering accent stones, are one of those things that women love but that they don’t often buy for themselves. Indulge her with a wow-worthy pair of dangle earrings featuring one of the big three gemstones or a hot trending stone like morganite or tanzanite.

AuctionKing.com is your source if you’re looking for unique pieces of fine jewelry at below-market prices. We regularly stock a varied assortment of necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings sourced from all over the world, all carefully authenticated so that you can bid with confidence. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning.

What Are the Different Types of Pearls?

Pearls have been prized since antiquity, and fashion designers consider them an essential part of a well-dressed woman’s collection. However, the classic strand of perfectly matched white pearls that we might think of when this gem is mentioned is only one example of the colors and forms that pearls can be found in. To get a true sense of the variety available, it’s helpful to be familiar with the terminology you might hear applied to pearls:

Natural pearls: All pearls are formed when an irritant works its way into a mollusk (an oyster, mussel, or clam). To protect its soft body, the mollusk coats the irritant with nacre, an iridescent material that also lines the inside of their shell. Over time, layers of this material build up, forming a pearl. A natural pearl is one where the irritant is accidentally introduced. These are extremely rare and correspondingly expensive.

Cultured pearls: Cultured pearls are formed through the exact same process as natural pearls, the difference being that to make a cultured pearl, the irritant that forms the core of the pearl is deliberately inserted by a pearl farmer. This process makes it possible to have greater control over the size, color, and quality of the pearls produced, as well as bringing the price to more affordable levels. Make no mistake, however—cultured pearls are not imitation pearls. They are just as real as natural pearls.

Saltwater pearls: Pearls can come from several different species of mollusks. A saltwater pearl is one that was produced by a species of mollusk that lives in the ocean. The main types are:

  • Akoya (from Japan and China): These produce pure white pearls that range from 2 to 9 millimeters in diameter.
  • Tahitian (from the French Polynesian islands): Tahitian pearls range from light grey to pure black, and average 9 to 13 millimeters in diameter. Many Tahitian pearls may be found in baroque shapes as well as perfectly round beads.
  • South Sea (from Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines): The largest pearls on the market, these can be white or golden and up to 15 millimeters in diameter. They have a unique satiny look due to their thick layers of nacre.

Freshwater pearls: These pearls form in mussels that live in bodies of fresh water such as lakes or rivers. They can appear quite similar to saltwater pearls, and come in a variety of different shades. While most freshwater pearls are produced in China, they can also come from Japan or the United States.

Baroque pearls: This term refers not to the origin of a pearl, but to its shape. Baroque pearls are irregularly shaped rather than being perfectly round, and their individual variation gives them a dramatic flair that has become quite popular in contemporary jewelry. Designers have been known to craft unique pieces to showcase particularly interesting baroque pearls.

You can find gorgeous pearls for below-market prices at AuctionKing.com every day, from timeless strands of creamy white pearls to stunning golden South Seas or lustrous black Tahitian pearls. Every piece is accompanied by a gemological report verifying its authenticity, so you can bid with confidence. Register for a free online account today to find your next treasure.

Are Orange Sapphires Valuable?

The precious gem sapphire is so closely associated with the color blue that the word “sapphire” itself is considered a synonym for the hue. However, blue is far from being the only color that sapphires can be found in. In fact, the term “sapphire” can be applied to any gem-quality mineral of the corundum family that isn’t red—because red corundum is ruby. Sapphires in non-traditional shades are collectively known as “fancy” sapphires. The discovery of new sources of these gems in East Africa and Madagascar has increased the popularity of unusual sapphire colors such as pink, violet, green, yellow, and orange. Stones can even be found with blends of multiple shades, or in color change varieties that display different colors under natural and artificial light.

Sapphires owe their popularity as a gemstone not merely to their beauty, but also to their durability. Sapphires are the second-hardest gemstone next to diamond, which makes them suitable for daily wear in any type of jewelry. Jewelry designers have embraced fancy sapphires as a means of expanding their color palette without sacrificing the exceptional core qualities of the stone that have made it a perennial favorite.

In its purest form, corundum is colorless—in fact, white sapphire, as it is known, is widely used as an accent stone with other colored gems. The various hues of sapphire gems are produced by trace amounts of other minerals in the aluminum oxide crystals. Blue, produced by a combination of iron and titanium, is the most common. Orange sapphires, which are considerably rarer, are believed to be produced by trace amounts of chromium that is missing an electron.

Orange sapphires have been found in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Tanzania, although most on the market today come from Australia and Madagascar. Factors that affect the value of an orange sapphire are size, clarity, and color. These are almost impossible to find in large sizes, so a larger stone will command significantly higher prices than a comparable smaller stone. A clearer stone will also be valued more highly than a stone with significant numbers of eye-visible inclusions. Finally, it is quite common for orange sapphires to be heat-treated to improve their color. An orange sapphire with a deeply saturated hue that has not been treated will be quite expensive.

As with any gem of high value, buyers in the market for an orange sapphire should be careful to get independent verification of the authenticity and characteristics of the stone they are considering purchasing. If the seller hesitates to supply such verification, it is often a sign that what they have for sale isn’t as valuable as they claim it is.

At AuctionKing.com, our jewelry offerings feature a wide selection of genuine sapphires, both in traditional blue and a rainbow of fancy colors, with bids starting as low as $1. From pendants and earrings to bracelets and rings, we have sapphires for every taste, and we constantly update our inventory with new and unique finds. We authenticate every piece so you can bid with confidence. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning.