Spotlight on February’s Birthstone: Amethyst

Amethyst is the classic purple gem, a stone with a long history that starts with its prized status since ancient times. Associated with both royalty and with religious uses in both Eastern and Western faiths, amethyst was quite rare and therefore quite expensive until the 18th century, when it cost as much as diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Then the discovery of massive deposits of amethysts in Brazil brought the price down dramatically. For those with February birthdays, this means that owning a beautiful example of their birthstone is an affordable proposition.

Spotlight on February's Birthstone Amethyst

Amethyst’s use in many cultures has given rise to extensive legends and lore. In fact, its name comes from the Greek word “amethystos,” which means not drunk, referring to the ancient Greek belief that the stone would protect its wearer from becoming intoxicated. Amethysts also became associated with royalty due to their hue—purple cloth was once outrageously expensive to produce, due to the scarcity of the dye-producing materials for that color, and so was worn only by royalty, who were the only ones who could afford it. Thus purple amethyst became associated with royalty as well, and can still be found in the crown jewel collections of many royal families today.

300.00ctw Amethyst Parcel

Even though it is now more readily available than in antiquity, amethyst is still the most prized variety of quartz gem. With a Mohs hardness of 7, it is a relatively scratch-resistant stone suitable for use in all kinds of jewelry. Amethyst is found in South America, North America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

The single greatest factor in determining the value of an amethyst is its color. Amethyst frequently displays color zoning, which means that areas of a single stone may display different intensity of color. A stone with noticeable color zoning will be less valuable than a stone with consistent color throughout. Also, a stone with a strong purple or reddish-purple hue will be more valuable than a lighter-hued stone, as long as the color is not too dark. Exceptionally dark amethysts can lose some of their brightness, and even appear black in low light.

10.00ct Amethyst and 0.40ctw Sapphire Pendant Necklace

Faceted amethysts can almost always be found without eye-visible inclusions; such inclusions tend to reduce the value of the stone, unless the color is exceptionally superior. Amethysts with good color but which have many inclusions are usually cut as cabochons or beads. Amethysts are routinely cut into calibrated sizes and into all kinds of standard shapes. Its price does not rise dramatically as its carat size increases, which makes it a popular choice for a piece of jewelry with a large center stone.

If you’re looking to add amethyst to your jewelry wardrobe, your budget will go further at Auction King. Our convenient online format gives you the experience of participating in a live auction from the comfort of your own home (or on the go, if you download our app). With bids starting as low as $1, you can find extraordinary deals on amethyst pendants, necklaces, rings, and more. Sign up for a free online account today to get started.

The Easy Way to Do Good: Hosting a Live Online Charity Auction on Auction King

Whether they are supporting a local animal shelter or providing fresh water to underprivileged communities in foreign countries, nonprofits large and small all face the same challenge—how to raise the funds to continue their mission. Donors can tune out repeated appeals for direct donations over time, which makes it crucial to come up with alternative ways to both raise money and engage your donor community at the same time.

Hosting a Live Online Charity Auction on Auction King

Charity auctions are an exciting way to get your supporters involved, but historically they’ve had limitations. In the past, to hold an auction, you’d usually have to host an event, which could be an expensive proposition in its own right, and gather the items to auction off, which is both time-consuming and difficult. After all of that, your auction participants would be limited to people who were able to attend in person, leaving out anybody who didn’t live in your area or who had a scheduling conflict.

Thankfully, technology has offered a solution to the limitations of an in-person auction. Online auctions now allow charities to reach out to more of their supporters through the internet, giving them an opportunity to bid that they might have missed out on before. However, many such auctions only offer the online equivalent of a silent auction, where attendees bid on an item by writing their name down on a bid sheet with a competing bid for a set period of time. These are easier to run, because they don’t require a skilled auctioneer conducting the bidding, but they tend to have a lower rate of return than a live auction. And they still require your organization to provide whatever is to be auctioned off, which can be a strain for volunteers and staff alike.

Rolex DateJust Watch

Now, Auction King gives your charity the easiest and best possible way to host a charity auction—a live auction in an online format, where we provide the high-quality items known to produce the best returns at auction, and which are often the hardest for nonprofits to get donated. Our experienced auctioneers heighten the excitement to encourage your supporters to bid more often. The competition of head-to-head bidding also tends to inspire bidders to bid higher, netting you more for your charity. You collect a percentage on all items sold.

Dwight Howard Signed Basketball

When you work with Auction King to host your charity auction, we set up a dedicated URL for you to direct supporters to your auction. We can also help you send an email blast out to let your donors know about your event. Our secure, easy-to-use proprietary bidding platform makes it convenient for your supporters to participate with confidence from wherever they are. Most importantly, our experienced live auctioneers run your auction from start to finish, using their expertise to keep the bidding lively, fun, and lucrative for your nonprofit.

Our goal is to give our charity auction clients the same superior customer service and satisfying live-auction experience that we provide for all of our customers. If your organization is interested in hosting a live online auction with Auction King, contact us today with your information and preferred date. We look forward to helping your nonprofit meet its goals.

What is Morganite?

Discovered in 1910, morganite is a relatively new addition to the ranks of precious gems you’re likely to find offered at a jewelry store. Like other recently discovered stones, morganite’s qualities are less well known than that of popular gems like opals, rubies, or topaz. However, it is only a matter of time before morganite’s reputation as a lovely and durable stone grows.

What is Morganite | Auction King

Morganite is a rare pink variety of the mineral beryl, the same mineral as emerald and aquamarine. It was originally called “pink beryl,” but George F. Kunz, a gemologist and buyer for Tiffany & Co., renamed it “morganite” in 1911 in honor of J. Pierpont Morgan, the famous American banker, who was also a noted gemstone collector. Today the principal source of morganite is Brazil, although deposits have also been found in Afghanistan, China, Mozambique, Namibia, Russia, Zimbabwe, California, and Maine. Some of the finest morganite comes from Madagascar, one of the first places it was discovered.

Morganite is distinguished by its color, which can range from pale pink to light salmon. Gemologists believe that its color comes from trace amounts of cesium or manganese in its makeup. Most morganites are very pale; the strongest colors are exhibited in larger stones. The stone has a 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, like other beryls, which makes it durable enough to use in all kinds of jewelry. (There’s even a growing trend to use a morganite center stone in engagement rings as an alternative to diamonds, although if you are particularly hard on your hands you may want to consider if it is tough enough for daily wear.)

Morganite and Diamond Ring

Unlike emerald, morganite tends to have few eye-visible inclusions. Morganite crystals can also grow quite large, which makes it is easier to cut large faceted stones. The pink and rose varieties of morganite have tended to be more popular than those with a more salmon or peach tint. Morganites may be heat-treated to reduce any orange or yellow tinge. This treatment is undetectable and permanent, resulting in a stable color that will not fade.

14.26ct Morganite and 0.92ctw Diamond Ring

When you are judging a morganite for quality, color is the most important factor. Larger sizes tend to show deeper color, and thus are likely to be more valuable than smaller, paler stones. Morganite displays pleochroism, meaning that the shade can vary depending on the angle from which it is viewed, so it is important that the cut of the stone be oriented correctly to enhance the brilliance and hue. The presence of large or numerous inclusions can reduce morganite’s value; morganites with many inclusions may be cut as cabochons or carved into fancy designer cuts.

While morganite is relatively affordable at the moment, it is likely that prices for this rare stone will rise as its qualities become better known. Auction King offers beautiful examples of morganite rings, pendants, and loose stones at the best possible value for its bidders, with starting bids as low as $1. Sign up for a free online account today and discover the opportunities in store.

Spotlight on January’s Birthstone: Garnet

The stone we know as garnet, January’s birthstone, is not a single mineral, but a set of closely related silicate minerals with slight variations in chemical composition and trace elements. Prized since antiquity, garnets have been found in Egyptian tombs and Roman archeological sites. While red garnets are the most well-known type of this gemstone, garnets can also be found in other colors, such as green and orange. This gives those who have January birthdays some intriguing options for birthstone jewelry.

Auction king january birthstone - garnet

Because there is so much variation in the chemical composition of garnets, they are divided into categories called species. Of the twenty species of garnet, only a handful are used as gemstones—almandine, andradite, grossular, pyrope, rhodolite, and spessartine. A species may be further broken down into varieties, based on color. For example, green tsavorite is a variety of grossular, and rhodolite is a purplish variety of pyrope-andradite. With a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7.5, garnet is sturdy enough for use in most jewelry, with the exception of rings that will be worn on a daily basis.

The value of a garnet depends on the usual four factors that influence any transparent gemstone’s worth—color, clarity, cut, and carats—but how each of those factors comes into play can vary with the type of garnet in question. In general, the more vibrant and saturated the hue of a garnet, the more it is worth. However, a superior example of a rare hue will bring a much higher price than a more widely available color such as traditional red.

Expectations of clarity in a garnet vary by the species. Red garnets can be readily found without eye-visible inclusions. However, some orange types of garnets are usually found with eye-visible inclusions, which means that having such inclusions will not dramatically affect their price. One variety of green garnet, known as demantoid, is sometimes found with hair-like inclusions called horsetails, which are actually considered to increase its value.

Auction king january birthstone

The influence of cut and carat weight on a garnet’s value is also affected by a garnet’s species. Garnets are often cut into standard shapes and sizes for setting into jewelry, although the rarer types will usually be cut according to the shape and cutting style that allow more of the stone’s weight to be retained, or which will best display the characteristics of its variety. Whatever the cut, it should enhance the stone’s brilliance. Some varieties like demantoid and tsavorite are usually found only in smaller sizes, which means that their value goes up dramatically as their size increases. However, most garnets are widely available in larger carat sizes, so the per-carat cost does not go up as much for bigger stones.

Whenever you’re in the market for fine jewelry, it pays to check out purchasing at auction. Auctions give you the opportunity to buy at prices significantly below retail, while offering options you won’t find at a mall jeweler. You can bid on a constantly updated selection of quality pieces in Auction King’s live online auction from the convenience of your own home. Sign up for a free online account today to get started.

You Need Artwork for These 4 Rooms

Artwork is the soul of your décor—while the type of furnishings you own may establish the outlines of your style, it is the artwork you choose that defines the nuance and the individuality of your space. A home without art feels impersonal, so you shouldn’t skimp in selecting pictures, paintings, or prints that reflect your aesthetic. The four rooms you should start with are:

You Need Artwork for These 4 Rooms - auction king

  1. The living room: Whether you have a formal living room or you keep things more casual, your living room is often one of the larger rooms in your house and the place you are most likely to entertain guests. Thus, it is a great canvas for multiple pieces of art and for larger artworks. Over the sofa is a favorite spot for art, but you should be sure that it is in the correct proportion for the best effect. The overall display should be about two-thirds of the width of the sofa, whether you’re displaying one large painting or print or an arrangement of smaller artworks.
  1. The dining room: As another room where you’re most likely to spend time with guests, your dining room is another ideal spot for artwork. If you have detailed artwork that benefits from observation at a closer vantage point, a smaller dining room is a great place to put it. Keep in mind that art should be hung with its center point at about sixty inches off the ground, which is the average eye level for most people.
  1. The bedroom: When you think of pleasant ways to start your day, waking up to a view of a beautiful drawing or etching should easily make the list. Hang your favorites on the wall where you can easily see them from your bed for maximum enjoyment. Artwork is a fun way to personalize your children’s rooms as well. A framed sericel from their favorite animated movie or a lithograph of a beloved character makes a nice addition that’s appealing for very young children but doesn’t seem childish as they mature.
  1. The entry hall: Whether your home has a modest entrance or a sweeping hall, this room creates the first impression for anyone who enters. An abstract modern print can add a zingy pop of color, or a graphic art print of a well-known painting can invite the viewer in for a closer look.

Frankly, adding color and beauty to your surroundings is a plus for any room in your house. Don’t be afraid to mix types and styles of artwork—in fact, experts recommend doing just that for a uniquely appealing look (and to avoid the sensation that your art collection is hanging in a gallery instead of a home!).

If you’re looking to build an art collection, offers a wide selection of giclees, lithographs, sericels, mixed media artwork, and more, with new finds constantly added to their offerings. The deals you’ll find will stretch your budget further and beautify your environment faster. Sign up for a free online account and start bidding today.

What to Buy for the Man Who’s Hard to Shop For

The holidays should be a time of joy, but they can also be a time of stress. Getting the perfect gift for the ones you love can seem like an impossible quest. We all have that one man in our life—father, husband, brother, son—who’s impossible to buy for. They may have everything they need and most of what they want. Worse yet, they probably shrug and say, “You don’t have to get me anything,” when you ask them for a wish list. If this sounds familiar, don’t despair. Here are some ideas for gifts you’ll love giving and they’ll love getting.

Auction king - what to buy for the man who is hard to shop for Display

Collectibles: The best gifts, big or small, are the ones that have personal meaning. A collectible item is a great way to show that you notice what he’s into. For example, if that hard-to-shop-for man in your life is a baseball fan, consider a ball signed by a favorite player, an autographed photo of his hometown team, or a personalized jersey. Or maybe he’s into films, or music, or comics. Whatever his interest, there are unique items geared to his taste. (Be sure to check out reputable auctions, rather than retail stores, to get the best value.)

Luxury items: Even if he has everything, chances are he would enjoy having a nicer replacement for something he already owns. If he’s still rocking the Timex he bought when he was fresh out of school and couldn’t afford anything better, surprise him with a Breitling or a Rolex. (Again, there are great deals to be had at auction, so shop there first.) Or take him out for a fitting to have some custom-tailored shirts made to wear to the office. These kinds of gifts tell him how much you think he deserves the finer things in life.

Relaxation: For the highly stressed man in your life, whether he’s an executive or a student, a gift that encourages him to slow down and take care of himself (even if only briefly!) is a great option. A gift certificate for a massage or a facial at your favorite local spa, or to have a professional shave or beard trim, is just the nudge he needs to indulge. Pair one of these gifts with shave balm, a quality razor, aromatherapy lotions, or other related items to help extend the experience and give him something fun to unwrap.

Experiences: Maybe it’s that new restaurant that opened up downtown. Maybe it’s that race driving course he saw an ad for. Maybe it’s that cruise or camping trip you’ve been talking about taking, or the paintball outing he’s wanted to put together with his buddies. If he doesn’t need more stuff, then arranging for him to do something he’s always wanted to try, or that he hasn’t made the time for lately, is the perfect gift to bring a smile to his face.

The bottom line is that it really is the thought behind the gift that counts, no matter your budget. Knowing you took the time to consider what he enjoys will make whatever you get him extra special.

Spotlight on December’s Birthstones: Tanzanite, Zircon, and Turquoise

For those lucky enough to be born in this festive month, December has three birthstone options to choose from: tanzanite, zircon, and turquoise. They are all known for their beautiful blue shades, and they are all relatively affordable, but each has distinctive features that make it unique. Here’s what you need to know to decide which is the best fit for you.

December birthstone

Tanzanite: Discovered in 1967, this rare variety of the mineral zoisite is found in only one spot in the world, near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It is prized not only for its rich blue hue, which rivals that of sapphire, but for its pleochroism, which means the stone can display different colors when viewed at different angles. This gem has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7, which makes it most suitable for use in earrings or necklaces, or in rings worn for special occasions. When you’re purchasing, look for stones with a deeply saturated hue, as color is the most important factor in determining tanzanite’s value. Due to the extremely limited source for this gemstone, experts expect its price to rise in the years to come.

Decembers birthstones - auction king

Zircon: Zircon is the oldest mineral on earth, at more than 4.4 million years old. While the blue variety of this stone is the most popular with collectors, accounting for about 80 percent of the zircon sold, it comes in a variety of shades that are used as gems. This gemstone has high luster and double refraction, which gives it a pronounced fire—it is often cut in the brilliant style to enhance this effect. In the Middle Ages, it was believed that zircon could ward away evil spirits and bring prosperity to its owner. Blue zircon was also particularly popular in Victorian times. Zircon is a 7.5 on the Mohs scale, but it is somewhat brittle, so it can be prone to chipping. As with other types of transparent gems, the most valuable zircons have deep color and no eye-visible inclusions.

December birthstone - Auction king

Turquoise: Turquoise has been prized throughout history in both the Old World and the New, from Egypt and Persia to the pre-Columbian Americas. This opaque mineral, which ranges from sky-blue to green in color, is a compound of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate. Its relative softness on the Mohs scale (5 to 6) has made it an attractive material for carving as well as for jewelry. Turquoise usually forms within a host rock, limonite or sandstone, which may create markings called matrix within the stone. Turquoise can also vary in porosity and texture depending on the exact conditions of its formation. Turquoise that is dense, finely textured, and has no inclusions of host rock will command a higher price than a coarser stone or one with significant matrix. A bright, even, robin’s egg blue is considered the most valuable color for this stone. Turquoise is vulnerable to chemicals and high heat, so it should be worn with extra care.

December Birthstone - auction king

No matter which December birthstone you decide on, Auction King regularly stocks a variety of rings, pendants, bracelets, and more. Their live online auction format gives you the opportunity to purchase high-quality jewelry at below-market prices from the comfort and convenience of your own home. Sign up for a free account today and start browsing.

How to Get a Great Deal on a Remington Bronze Statue

Frederic Remington (1861-1909) was an American artist who specialized in scenes of the Old West. Through his paintings, illustrations, and sculptures, he depicted images of cowboys, Native Americans, and the U.S. Calvary, capturing a way of life that was rapidly disappearing as civilization marched westward across the continent.

bronze statue - auction king

Remington created his first statue, Broncho Buster, in 1895, after he had already established his reputation as an illustrator and painter. From 1895 to 1909 he created 22 sculptures, including a larger revised version of his original Broncho Buster. The original bronze casts were made from the clay models that he produced. Bronzes of his first four sculptures were made using the sand-casting method, while his later bronzes were made using the lost-wax method. Like his illustrations and paintings, his sculptures showed dynamic images of the West that sparked the imagination of his audience back in the eastern United States.

An extremely limited number of authorized bronze castings were made of Remington’s original sculptures, and the ownership, location, and provenance of these pieces is, for the most part, well known. These pieces sell for $75,000 or more—for example, an authentic casting of The Broncho Buster was sold by Christie’s in 2009 for $482,500. However, the popularity of Remington’s work was such that additional, unauthorized castings were made before the works lost copyright protection in the 1960s. Now that the works are out of copyright, many companies produce replicas of varying degrees of quality.

auction king - bronze statue

So the good news and the bad news is that you don’t need to worry about whether the Remington bronze you see up for sale is an “original”—it is almost certainly a reproduction. That does not mean, however, that it is of poor quality or that it is an unwise purchase. Remington’s art has been reproduced over the years precisely because of its appeal, and many companies making reproductions work carefully to capture the artistic detail that won Remington his well-deserved reputation as a master of his craft. However, you should be wary of any seller making dubious claims of authenticity, as they are highly unlikely to be true.

If you are a fan of Remington’s sculpture, you can purchase replicas of his works directly from manufacturers or from museums that offer high-quality reproductions for sale. The cost for one of these replicas can range from hundreds of dollars for small-scale models to thousands for those recreated at original size or larger. However, there is no need to buy at retail price. High-quality Remington bronzes can readily be found at auction, which gives buyers the opportunity to own the artworks they love at a more budget-friendly price.

Auction King specializes in luxury goods, fine art, and high-end collectibles. We thoroughly vet our goods for quality to help ensure that our bidders have the best possible auction experience. Browse and bid from the comfort of your own home, using our live online bidding platform. Sign up for a free online account today.

Auction King Releases a New Mobile App

Since its inception, Auction King has been dedicated to bringing the superior experience of a live auction to its customers wherever they happen to be. The foundation of their business is the knowledge of three generations of auctioneers, but their passion is combining that expertise with the most up-to-date technology to recreate the excitement and opportunity of a live auction online. Now Auction King is excited to announce that its new mobile app makes it more convenient than ever to stay in the action, even when you’re on the move.

auction king mobile app

The Auction King mobile app brings you the same great live online auctions as at, now at your fingertips. It combines the convenience and security of their online bidding platform with the helpful features you expect in a mobile app to help raise your experience to the next level of ease and accessibility.

  • Live auction action: With our app, you’ll enjoy real-time bidding with an experienced live auctioneer. Unlike timed auctions, which impose an artificial limit on the length of bidding, a live auction is open as long as bidders are interested—giving you more opportunity to win!
  • Alerts: Always know your bidding status with our app. You’ll receive alerts when you’re the highest bidder on an item, and push notifications when you’ve been outbid, so you can jump back into the action in time to bid again.
  • Notifications: Never miss out on a deal! Our app sends you notifications for upcoming auctions, so you can browse the selection in advance.
  • Search: Our app gives you easy ways to check out what’s available. Use our quick item search to find the best values. You can also view the most popular items at a glance, from Rolex watches to Chanel handbags, to stay up on the hottest finds.
  • Mobile checkout: When you’ve won your bid, you can close the deal directly from your phone. Get your items shipped as quickly as possible so you can start enjoying them!
  • Security: Our secure server provides the protection you expect from an Auction King transaction in the mobile environment. Bid with confidence no matter where you are.

auction king mobile app

Auction King brings the unique, the exquisite, and the exceptional to its clients from all over the world. Whether you’re looking for deals on high-end jewelry, luxury watches, fine art, collectibles, designer handbags, or sports memorabilia, Auction King is the place to find items that have been scrupulously checked for quality and authenticity at prices far below retail. Now its mobile app makes this extraordinary collection available to you wherever you go.

The Auction King app is available free of charge for iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. Download it today to bring opportunity to your fingertips.


Spotlight on November’s birthstone: Topaz and Citrine

November is another month that has more than one birthstone to choose from: topaz and citrine. In the time before modern gemological analysis made it possible to distinguish between similarly colored gemstones, these golden stones were frequently mistaken for one another. While each is a beautiful and affordable addition to your jewelry collection, there are differences worth noting before you make a choice.

Spotlight on November's Birthstone: Topaz and Citrine

Topaz has been used as a gemstone since the classical era. Its name is thought to derive either from the word Topazios, the ancient Greek name for the island Zabargad, or the Sanskrit word “topas,” for “heat” or “fire.” Topaz is a silicate mineral with a Mohs hardness of 8 (the hardest of any silicon-based mineral), which makes it suitable for use in any type of jewelry. It is also pleochroic, which means it displays different colors in different crystal directions.

While topaz in its natural state is golden-brown to yellow, it can take on a variety of different colors (such as red, pale green, pink, or blue) from impurities or heat or radiation treatments. Blue topaz is a popular alternative to sapphires, due to its relatively affordable price. Topaz gemstones are usually free of visible inclusions or flaws, and they are often found in emerald or oval cuts that take advantage of the naturally elongated crystal shape of the mineral. The most important factor in a topaz’s value is its color. Highly saturated color is more prized, and the rarer the hue, the more valuable the stone.

Citrine, a pale yellow to brownish orange mineral, has been used as a gemstone since 300 B.C. It is a variety of quartz that gets its color from trace amounts of iron. Its Mohs hardness of 7 makes it durable enough to use in most types of jewelry, even rings. It was particularly popular in Victorian times and in the Art Deco period. Its name comes from the French word “citron,” which means “lemon.”

The color of citrine ranges from a pale yellow to a brownish orange. Natural citrines—i.e., those that have not been treated in any way to change or enhance their hue—are becoming rare. Many citrines on the market are heat-treated amethysts (another gemstone form of quartz). This treatment is common, permanent, and stable.

Like topaz, citrine is widely available without any eye-visible inclusions—any such flaws would reduce the value of a stone significantly. Color is key to a citrine’s value, with the finest stones exhibiting a rich saturated yellow to reddish-orange color free of brown tones. Even larger stones tend not to be marked up significantly on a per-carat basis, making them a good choice for bold jewelry designs.

Auction King regularly stocks topaz and citrine necklaces, pendants, rings, and more. Our live online auction format allows you to bid on items from the comfort of your own home, obtaining quality jewelry at below-market values. Sign up for a free online account to get started!