What is the Difference Between Lithograph, Giclée, and Photomechanical Graphic Art?

For those exploring the idea of purchasing fine art, the plethora of terms for prints that may look very similar to one another at first glance can be confusing. However, those terms, strictly speaking, are not interchangeable. Knowing which is which will tell you how a particular piece of art was produced and can provide a clue as to the work’s potential value.

What is the Difference Between Lithograph Giclee and Photomechanical Graphic Art | Auction King

Lithograph: Lithography, which dates from 1796, is a method of printing from a plate directly onto a smooth surface. An artist paints an image onto the plate using a substance that will attract oil-based inks, while the other areas of the plate are dampened with water to repel the ink. The plate is then pressed onto paper to create the image. Old-fashioned methods of lithography used oil or wax to draw on a limestone plate, while modern methods use a polymer applied to a flexible aluminum plate. In fine art printing, a limited number of prints are usually made from a single plate, which may then be destroyed to permanently cap the number of artworks made from it.

Giclée: Giclée (pronounced zhee-clay), is a more modern technique of producing high-quality prints. The term was coined in 1991 to describe high-resolution fine art prints made on professional quality 8- to 12-color inkjet printers. This production process offers some significant advantages to artists. Because giclée prints are produced from digital files, artists can create original artworks directly in digital form and customize the sizes of prints made from that artwork. The technique can also be used to produce copies of original artworks in other formats from digital photos. It’s an excellent choice for producing just a small number of prints, since the technique essentially amounts to print-on-demand for fine art images. And when it is done on archival quality paper with pigment-based inks, giclée offers superior color reproduction and excellent longevity. A high-quality giclée can last 100 years or more if properly cared for.

Photomechanical graphic art: These types of prints are typically reproductions of artwork originally produced in another medium, such as a print of an oil painting. They may be produced by methods such as offset lithography, which combines lithographic plates with offset printing (where an inked image is transferred first to a rubber blanket and then to the final printing surface). Because of the significant time and expense involved in setting up a print run, printers will make hundreds of copies of the same artwork. The longevity of any given print depends greatly on the quality of the paper and inks used. This type of print is an affordable choice for those looking to enjoy art without the prohibitive cost of purchasing an original.

Purchasing at auction is a great way to begin or to add to a fine art collection without blowing your budget. Auction King has a frequently updated selection of lithographs, giclées, and photomechanical graphic art available. Register for a free account today, and you’ll be on your way to the art collection that expresses your individual style.

Top Status Symbols for Men

When men achieve success in their career or business and reap the financial rewards that go with it, they naturally want to acquire the luxuries that go along with that success. This isn’t simply a matter of buying cool things, though—the status symbols associated with wealth can affect how a man is perceived by those around him. Some of the items that traditionally send a message of prosperity and accomplishment are:

Top Status Symbols for Men | Auction King

Cars: Whether a man is into speed or just wants a luxurious ride, expensive cars are one of the most recognizable status symbols out there. Some men prefer traditional choices like Mercedes or BMWs—tricked out with all available upgrades, of course—while others opt for sportier choices like Ferraris or Lamborghinis. Recently, the top-of-the-line Tesla Model S has become popular with men who like stylish cars and green technology.

Watches: The status watch has a long history as a subtle symbol of both good taste and success. Wearing a Rolex, Cartier, or Breitling is about much more than having a convenient way to know the time. Since a watch is a classic accessory that gives a man an opportunity to convey a sense of style, successful men often own a wardrobe of different watches suited to a variety of occasions.

Clothing: Despite what some may say about eschewing formal styles of dress, designer suits and bespoke suits still mark a man as impeccably stylish. Leaders of industry have long known that to convey authority, you have to dress the part, which explains why this status symbol retains its popularity. The subtle but unmistakable differences between top-end suits and their off-the-rack counterparts lend their wearers an air of incomparable sophistication.

Collectibles: With financial means comes the ability to indulge your passions, which is why one-of-a-kind collectibles are coveted status symbols. A basketball fan’s collection of signed jerseys or a film buff’s memorabilia speak to the owner’s personality and interests while also clearly conveying their value.

Fine art: A peerless fine art collection is a favorite status symbol of the wealthy man. Well-known collectors such as J. Paul Getty and, more recently, Eli Broad have even turned their private collections into museums open to the public. Those with the means have long favored art not only as a way to display their interest in culture, but also as an opportunity to invest in a manner more enjoyable than purchasing additional stocks and bonds.

In fact, many of these status symbols can be acquired by knowledgeable buyers at a fraction of their retail value if you purchase at auction. That means auction shoppers can enjoy all the benefits of success and keep more money in their pockets at the same time. The live online auction at AuctionKing.com offers a constantly updated inventory of high-end goods certain to appeal to the discerning man.

Top 10 Jewelry Gift Ideas for Your Wife or Girlfriend

It’s no wonder jewelry is a classic gift from a man to the woman he loves. Combining beauty, durability, and style, an exquisite piece of jewelry shows just how much he values her. You can find many pieces on the market, but if you want to get your wife or girlfriend jewelry that she’ll treasure forever, you’ll want to consider one of the items on this list.

Top 10 Jewelry Gift Ideas for Your Wife or Girlfriend | Auction King

  1. Hoop earrings – A classic pair of hoops can dress up a casual outfit or lend flair to business attire. Consider a delicate pair for a particularly feminine appeal.
  1. Long necklace – A stylish pendant on a long chain is just the statement piece she needs to set off that simple sheath dress or sleek top. She’ll especially love it if it includes a gemstone in her favorite color or her birthstone.
  1. Delicate pendant – An exquisitely made short necklace is another must-have piece every woman craves for her jewelry wardrobe.
  1. Chandelier earrings – These dramatic earrings are a popular statement piece, and you can find them set with a variety of different semiprecious and precious gemstones.
  1. Channel-set ring – Whether set with diamonds or a colored gemstone, these classic rings can be stacked, worn with other rings, or worn separately, giving her options for changing up her look.
  1. Tennis bracelet – The diamond tennis bracelet is the quintessential example of bling she can enjoy wearing every day, whether she’s heading to a gala or going to the grocery store.
  1. Diamond solitaire necklace – You can find many variations on the concept of a necklace highlighting one single exquisite diamond. Prong or bezel-set; white, yellow, or rose gold; round, marquise, or princess cut—the options are endless.
  1. Cocktail ring – A gemstone cocktail ring is a gorgeous gift the special woman in your life can enjoy and flaunt. Look for one with a special stone, such as tanzanite or alexandrite, that has an interesting story, and she’ll have a conversation piece as well as a lovely ring.
  1. Pearls – Coco Chanel considered pearls an essential for any woman, and they have traditionally been associated with icons of fashion like Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Whether traditional creamy white or exotic black from Tahiti (or any of a variety of natural shades), pearls have an unmatched elegance that make them essential for any woman of style.
  1. Diamond earrings – A dazzling pair of diamond stud earrings are the little black dress of jewelry, the go-to piece that is perfect for every occasion. Invest in high-quality stones with plenty of fire, and know that she’ll wear and love this gift for a lifetime.

If you’re looking for high-quality jewelry that reflects the depth of your feeling for the woman in your life, you can find amazing pieces available at auction through AuctionKing.com. Not only will you find unique pieces that you won’t see at any mall store, the incredible deals will let you get more for your money. Register now to browse their regularly updated inventory, and discover how you can give her a surprise she’ll never forget!

How Does a Live Online Auction Work?

Live auctions have long been known as a great way to get below-market prices on a wide range of goods, from real estate to fine jewelry. However, one significant disadvantage of live auctions was the location—bidders had to be present at a certain spot in order to take part. For potential bidders who weren’t close by, that meant missed opportunities. However, live online auctions are now bringing the format of a live auction to the internet, bringing the auction to bidders in the convenience and comfort of their own homes.

How Does a Live Online Auction Work? | Auction King

How does it work? For most online auction sites, you will need to create an account in order to take part in an auction. You can also use your account to observe an auction in progress, if you’d like to familiarize yourself with how it works before you dive in. In most cases, such as at AuctionKing.com, creating an account is free. Prior to the start of the auction, you can familiarize yourself with the lots up for bid by browsing the site, and place absentee bids on any item of interest. An absentee bid allows you to specify the maximum amount you would be willing to pay for the lot of your choice, which is a great way to participate in an auction if you anticipate you won’t be able to bid in real time for either part or all of the live-auction period.

During the live auction, your account will give you access to an online bidding console that lets you follow along with the progress of the auction in real time. AuctionKing.com’s site also includes a live auctioneer conducting the auction, who you can watch via streaming. Our chat module allows you to interact with the auctioneer in real time, so you can get instant answers to any questions you might have about items up for bid. This allows participants to place bids on items with the confidence that they have all the information they need to bid wisely. The auctioneer proceeds through the auction lot by lot, as they would in an in-person auction.

At the close of the auction, the highest bidder on each item is responsible for purchasing that item. The exception is if the item had a reserve (a set minimum price that the seller will not below). For an online auction, keep in mind you will also be responsible for shipping fees for getting the item(s) you won at auction to your location. For AuctionKing.com, shipping is a low flat fee of $14.99 in the U.S. and $63.95 for international shipments.

A live online auction offers the personal interactive experience of an in-person auction combined with the convenience of online shopping. At AuctionKing.com, anyone can get a great deal on high-end jewelry, luxury watches, collectibles and fine art. Sign up, check out our fabulous assortment of goods, and start bidding!

The Difference Between a Live Online Auction and a Timed Online Auction

Online auctions have become an increasingly common option for people shopping online. However, not all online auctions are the same. Many of the commonly known websites such as eBay are what’s known as “timed” online auctions. Live online auctions are rarer, and offer a completely different bidding experience. Not sure about the difference? Here are some key points to know:

The Difference Between a Live Online Auction and a Timed Online Auction | Auction King

 

A timed online auction is automated. It’s set up to run a certain period of time, regardless of how frequent or sparse the bidding is, and the entire process is run by a computer. A live online auction, by contrast, is monitored and conducted by an auctioneer. The auction proceeds lot by lot, with the bidding for each lot closed when competition ends. With a timed auction, the competition ends when the preset time is up.

Live online auctions, such as the one at AuctionKing.com, can offer the chance to watch the auctioneer in auction via streaming. Auction King also includes a chat module that allows auction participants to relay questions to the auctioneer in real time, getting their queries answered on the spot.

As a focused event, a live online auction brings together serious bidders in a shorter defined time period. While you can place an absentee bid ahead of time if you expect to miss part or all of the live event, bidding in real time gives you the opportunity to focus on the lots you want and know immediately if your bid has been countered.

Timed auctions, on the other hand, practically invite bidders to “snipe” the auction. In this tactic, a bidder sits out the auction until the last possible moment and then places a competing bid so late that other bidders do not have time to try to outbid them. It’s a frustrating experience to be outbid at the last second for an item you’ve been monitoring for days. Some people even use sniping software or services, and while some websites take steps to discourage or prevent this, other major auction sites do not.

Timed auctions may also set a reserve price, which is the minimum price the seller is willing to accept for an item. If the amount of this reserve is hidden, it is possible that you can end up with the highest bid at the end of an auction but still not get the item you bid on, as the seller is not required to sell if the reserve is not met. In a live online auction, you’re less likely to encounter these hidden reserves. When that gavel goes down and the auctioneer declares “sold!”, you’ll know that you’re the winner.

AuctionKing.com offers a fully interactive personal auction experience providing bidders great opportunities to purchase a wide variety of goods at below-market prices. Register for a free account and come see the difference for yourself.

What You Can Do with Loose Stones

It’s not unusual to see loose gemstones for sale at your local jeweler or up for auction. In fact, it’s fairly common for those shopping for an engagement ring to select a diamond separately from a setting. But the options for loose gemstones go well beyond that scenario alone. Loose gemstones offer a great opportunity for jewelry buyers looking to get great value, to design completely unique pieces, or both.

What You Can Do with Loose Stones | Auction King

Loose stones offer value in two ways. First, it is much easier to appraise the worth of a stone when it is not in a setting, as the setting can hide flaws in a stone or make it hard to judge its transparency. Thus, you’ll know more precisely what you’re getting when you buy a loose stone. Some especially great values can be found if you purchase stones at auction rather than buying from a retail outlet. Second, when you’re buying already-set jewelry, you may be paying just as much (or more!) for a designer name or a brand-name markup as you are for the value of the piece itself. Buying a stone separately eliminates the price increases that come from such intangible factors.

If you’re the type of person who enjoys expressing their creativity, loose stones also offer you a chance to create a piece of jewelry all your own. Jewelry sold in traditional retail outlets often incorporates stones cut in standard sizes and shapes. The settings themselves are typically mass-produced—you can be certain that other people will be wearing the exact same designs. When you have a piece of jewelry custom-designed starting with a loose stone, perhaps one in an unusual size and cut, you can be sure that the end result will be completely unique.

For those who have an interest in do-it-yourself jewelry making, loose stones easily lend themselves to popular techniques such as wire-wrapping. This can be an especially striking way to show off a stone with unusual patterning or an irregular shape. While DIY jewelry frequently uses semiprecious stones, there’s no rule that says you have to restrict your creativity by limiting your materials.

Finally, loose gemstones in exceptionally large sizes may be suitable as display items in your home in their own right. Jade, turquoise, and other opaque gemstones can be found in artfully carved shapes and figures. In such cases, all you need to do is find the one that strikes your fancy at your desired price, and then enjoy.

In short, loose gemstones are a natural choice for those looking for something out of the ordinary. Exploring the possibilities can unlock your imagination and result in an unexpected treasure for you to enjoy.

Tanzanite Jewelry Designs

From its popularity, you might not realize that tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery among gemstones. The blue-violet gem was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, for which it is named, and is found in only one small area in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is known both for its deep, gorgeous color and its trichroism—when tilted in different directions, the stone gives flashes of blue, violet, or burgundy. Its beauty has made tanzanite a natural choice for fine jewelry, and you will readily find it in necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

Tanzanite Jewelry Designs | Auction King

Tanzanite is most often set in gold (white or yellow) or platinum. Silver is not recommended for setting tanzanite because the metal lacks the strength to properly protect the stone. Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it somewhat vulnerable to scratching, and it has one direction of perfect cleavage, which could result in chipping should the stone be struck sharply. Because of this, jewelers suggest that tanzanite rings not be worn for daily wear, unless the setting is designed to protect the stone, such as in a bezel setting.

Tanzanite can be found in almost any shape you desire, although cushion and oval cuts are very popular, as they show off the stone’s color well. The rough stone itself can dictate the shape of the final cut, as jewelers seek to craft the largest and most beautiful finished gem possible from the raw material. The most saturated and desirable color will be found, naturally, in the largest stones. Most cut tanzanite stones are relatively small, and their value increases dramatically as their size increases.

Tanzanite is frequently surrounded in diamonds or set with diamond accents, as the cool brilliance of diamonds contrasts dramatically with tanzanite’s velvety blue. For the same reason, white gold and platinum are popular choices for settings. The stone appears in all kinds of settings, though, from sleek and modern to ornate, so the main factor in dictating your choice should be your personal preference. Because tanzanite can vary in color, you’ll want to take care in matching pieces you intend to wear together, such as earrings and a necklace.

Tanzanite jewelry is best cleaned with mild soap and warm water, and then dried with a soft cloth. Ultrasonic cleaning and steam cleaning is not recommended, and you should avoid exposing tanzanite to high temperatures, sudden temperature changes, or strong acids. However, with a little care, your tanzanite jewelry can be a joy to you and an heirloom to pass down.

If you’re looking for a special tanzanite piece, you can find necklaces, pendants, bracelets, earrings, and rings at AuctionKing.com. We constantly seek out the highest quality jewelry and regularly update our inventory with new finds. Our live online auctions bring these treasures to you at below-market prices every day.

The Rarest Gemstone You’ve Never Heard of is About to Disappear

Tanzanite, the “gemstone of a generation,” will soon come to an end. Tanzanite mines are close to depletion.  This generation will most likely be the last one able to buy newly mined tanzanite.

The Rarest Gemstone You’ve Never Heard of is About to Disappear Auction King

 

In fact, as the gemstone becomes more scarce, the independent miners who once busily dug for tanzanite have started to give up on finding more of the rare stone. Many have drifted away to pursue other, more readily available gemstones elsewhere. In 2014, Richland Resources sold TanzaniteOne, the largest commercial tanzanite mining operation, to turn its attention to more profitable ventures. It is clear that they have seen the research: the remaining tanzanite supply is running dangerously low.

Investors have enjoyed the rising price of tanzanite in the past, which had previously grown at a rate of 400%. Now that the mines are emptying out, another spike in price is expected in the near future. Investors have said that the time to buy tanzanite is now. The current price of tanzanite generally falls between $550 and $700 per carat, and is expected to go up to $1,000 in a relatively short amount of time.

Though tanzanite is quite rare, it is a surprisingly new find. The gemstone was discovered in 1967 in the city of Mererani, Tanzania. Located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, this small region is the only known source of tanzanite. The extremely tiny area where the gem has been mined is only one and a half square miles. Analysis of the composition and properties of tanzanite have led experts to conclude that the creation of this beautiful stone has not been replicated anywhere else on earth.

Tanzanite ranges in color from blue to violet, with the deepest color stones considered the most valuable. Due to its crystalline structure, it can appear to show different colors when it is viewed in different directions, displaying an array of blue and violet hues or even flashes of red when it is rocked back and forth. The supply of darker, more valuable stones is expected to be depleted long before mining ceases altogether, making these gemstones some of the rarest.

The effect of a dwindling supply of tanzanite on the market is already being felt. With demand rising above the availability of new, high-quality stones, prices have begun to rise. This trend of rising prices will only increase as extraction of any remaining stones in Tanzania becomes more difficult. While consumers in the past have enjoyed relatively low prices for beautiful specimens of tanzanite, it will soon be nearly impossible to find tanzanite of good quality at anything other than premium prices.

Opportunities to invest in tanzanite at attractive prices still exist. Hard to find in stores, many quality stones can be found at auctions. Those auctions specializing in seized assets and estate sales in particular, such as sites like AuctionKing.com, have high grade tanzanite.  Although tanzanite production is coming to a close, it isn’t too late to invest in one of these uniquely beautiful gems.

The Secrets to Buying Fine Art

Fine art may be an investment, but it’s one with an obvious difference from stocks or bonds. A work of art’s value is based in part on the aesthetic pleasure it gives to the viewer, so savvy collectors know they shouldn’t just buy artwork because it seems like it will appreciate in value, but because they like it. The idea of buying fine art and starting one’s own collection may seem intimidating, but there are some guidelines to follow to buy with confidence.

Secrets to Buying Fine Art | Auction King

Start with what you like—The best way to start collecting is to begin with artwork that appeals to you. If your initial budget is low, begin by purchasing prints, which are usually less expensive than original artworks, or by purchasing from auctions. Look around at various galleries and art sites to get a sense of what is out there—this is easy to do without even leaving home, thanks to the internet—and do some research on the artists, periods, or styles you like.

Business or pleasure?—Know your primary purpose for buying fine art. If you are buying with the idea of reselling at a profit later on, know that it can take time for artwork to appreciate, so make sure you will enjoy what you’re buying while you own it. In addition, the value of artwork can fluctuate as certain styles go in and out of fashion. If you view your growing collection as an investment portfolio, it should be diversified in different styles and types of art. You don’t need to consider this factor as much if you are purchasing primarily for your own enjoyment.

Authentication—Original artwork and limited edition prints should come with certificates of authenticity that describe the artwork and verify that what you are purchasing is the artwork in question. Reputable dealers will routinely offer such confirmation. Such dealers, whether they are auction houses or galleries, will also be happy to answer any questions you might have about a particular piece of art as you contemplate purchase.

Getting it home—Buying your fine art is just the first step. Once you have it, make sure you take good care of your print or original to preserve its value. Keep your artwork out of direct sunlight, and do not use any cleaning products on its surface. Artwork doesn’t actually require much care—just running a soft duster over it occasionally is enough to keep it looking beautiful.

If the idea of collecting fine art appeals to you, it is easier than ever to get started. AuctionKing.com offers collectors a constantly updated inventory of fine art prints and originals. You can bid from the comfort of your own home in real time and take advantage of the opportunity to find your next treasured artwork at below-market prices.

Rare Alexandrite for Auction: Unbelievable Sizes, Unbelievable Prices

A large collection of alexandrite, a rare and valuable color-changing gemstone, will soon be available to purchase at auction through AuctionKing.com. The collection, acquired by a Japanese billionaire, was entrusted to the popular site last month for sale due to Auction King’s expertise in fine jewelry and rare collectibles. Lab certification of the stones is now complete and the collection will be posted to the website for public view prior to auction.

Alexandrite, discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1830, is an extremely rare variety of chrysoberyl with unique color-changing properties. In daylight, alexandrite appears green, but in incandescent light, it is red. Stones can fall in a range from blue-green to yellow-green in daylight and orange-red to purple-red in artificial light. The dramatic color change of alexandrite when viewed in natural versus artificial light is caused by trace amounts of the element chromium in the crystal structure of the gemstone. In addition, alexandrite is pleochroic, meaning that it also exhibits different colors depending on which direction it is viewed from.

The gem was named after Alexander II, heir apparent to the Russian throne. Imperial Russian military colors were green and red, so alexandrite naturally became the national stone of czarist Russia. The original deposits of alexandrite in Russia have long since been depleted, but it can still be found in Sri Lanka, East Africa, and Brazil, albeit often at lower quality than that displayed in stones from the Urals. The unique chemical makeup and geological properties necessary to produce alexandrite mean it is rarer than diamonds, and the best gem-quality alexandrite remains a rare find to the present day.

The current auction of alexandrite represents an unparalleled opportunity for aficionados of fine and rare gemstones to buy high-quality stones. Alexandrite is most often seen in stones ranging from .5 to 2 karats. However, the collection of GIA-certified stones coming up for auction includes stones ranging to 30 karats and more. The average price for alexandrite is typically $5,000 per karat, with some high-quality stones going for as much as $50,000 per karat. At AuctionKing.com, opening bids start as low as $1, offering collectors the chance to purchase at below-market prices.

Collectors interested in purchasing from this one-of-a-kind collection of alexandrite can view available stones at www.AuctionKing.com. Auction King specializes in fine jewelry, luxury watches, fine art, and other high-end collectibles. Their online live auction format allows bidders from all over the world to take part, either by submitting an absentee bid prior to the start of an auction or by participating in real time. Customers may also request additional information on any item prior to the start of bidding.

Alexandrites enjoy a storied history and rare beauty that make them a valuable addition to the collection of any connoisseur of precious stones. The auction of this rare collection is expected to attract the interest of savvy buyers and dedicated collectors eager to take advantage of the opportunity to own an unbelievable stone at an unbelievable price.