Christie's is a British auction house. It was founded in 1766 by James Christie, its main premises are on King Street, St James's, in London and in the Rockefeller Center in New York City. The company is owned by the holding company of François-Henri Pinault. Sales in 2015 totalled £4.8 billion. In 2017 the Salvator Mundi was sold for $450.3 million at Christie's, which at that time was the highest price paid for a single painting at an auction. The official company literature states that founder James Christie conducted the first sale in London, England, on 5 December 1766, the earliest auction catalogue the company retains is from December 1766. However, other sources note that James Christie rented auction rooms from 1762, newspaper advertisements for Christie's sales dating from 1759 have been traced. Christie's was a public company, listed on the London Stock Exchange, from 1973 to 1999. In 1974, Jo Floyd was appointed chairman of Christie's, he served as chairman of Christie's International plc from 1976 to 1988, until handing over to Lord Carrington, was a non-executive director until 1992.
Christie's International Inc. held its first sale in the United States in 1977. Christie's growth was steady since 1989, when it had 42 % of the auction market. In 1990, the company reversed a long-standing policy and guaranteed a minimum price for a collection of artworks in its May auctions. In 1996, sales exceeded those of Sotheby's for the first time since 1954. However, profits did not grow at the same pace. In 1993, Christie's paid $12.7 million for the London gallery Spink & Son, which specialised in Oriental art and British paintings. The company bought Leger Gallery for $3.3 million in 1996, merged it with Spink to become Spink-Leger. Spink-Leger closed in 2002. To make itself competitive with Sotheby's in the property market, Christie's bought Great Estates in 1995 the largest network of independent estate agents in North America, changing its name to Christie's Great Estates Inc. In December 1997, under the chairmanship of Lord Hindlip, Christie's put itself on the auction block, but after two months of negotiations with the consortium-led investment firm SBC Warburg Dillon Read it did not attract a bid high enough to accept.
In May 1998, François Pinault's holding company, Groupe Artémis S. A. first bought 29.1 percent of the company for $243.2 million, subsequently purchased the rest of it in a deal that valued the entire company at $1.2 billion. The company has since not been reporting profits, its policy, in line with UK accounting standards, is to convert non-UK results using an average exchange rate weighted daily by sales throughout the year. In 2002, Christie's France held its first auction in Paris. Like Sotheby's, Christie's became involved in high-profile private transactions. In 2006, Christie's offered a reported $21 million guarantee to the Donald Judd Foundation and displayed the artist's works for five weeks in an exhibition that won an AICA award for "Best Installation in an Alternative Space". In 2007 it brokered a $68 million deal that transferred Thomas Eakins's The Gross Clinic from the Jefferson Medical College at the Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia to joint ownership by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.
In the same year, the Haunch of Venison gallery became a subsidiary of the company. On 28 December 2008, The Sunday Times reported that Pinault's debts left him "considering" the sale of Christie's and that a number of "private equity groups" were thought to be interested in its acquisition. In January 2009, the company employed 2,100 people worldwide, though an unspecified number of staff and consultants were soon to be cut due to a worldwide downturn in the art market. With sales for premier Impressionist and contemporary artworks tallying only US$248.8 million in comparison to US$739 million just a year before, a second round of job cuts began after May 2009. Guy Bennett resigned just before to the beginning of the summer 2009 sales season. Although the economic downturn has encouraged some collectors to sell art, others are unwilling to sell in a market which may yield only bargain prices. On 1 January 2017, Guillaume Cerutti was appointed chief executive officer. Patricia Barbizet was appointed chief executive officer of Christie's in 2014, the first female CEO of the company.
She replaced Steven Murphy, hired in 2010 to develop their online presence and launch in new markets, such as China. In 2012, Impressionist works, which dominated the market during the 1980s boom, were replaced by contemporary art as Christie's top category. Asian art was the third most-lucrative area. With income from classic auctioneering falling, treaty sales made £413.4 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 53% on the same period last year. The company has promoted curated events, centred on a theme rather than an art classification or time period; as part of a companywide review in 2017, Christie's announced the layoffs of 250 employees, or 12 percent of the total work force, based in Britain and Europe. From 2008 until 2013, Christie's charged 25 percent for the first $50,000. From 2013, it charged 25 percent for the first $75,000. Christie's main London salesroom is on
A diamond cut is a style or design guide used when shaping a diamond for polishing such as the brilliant cut. Cut does not refer to shape, but the symmetry and polish of a diamond; the cut of a diamond affects a diamond's brilliance. In order to best use a diamond gemstone's material properties, a number of different diamond cuts have been developed. A diamond cut constitutes a more or less symmetrical arrangement of facets, which together modify the shape and appearance of a diamond crystal. Diamond cutters must consider several factors, such as the shape and size of the crystal, when choosing a cut; the practical history of diamond cuts can be traced back to the Middle Ages, while their theoretical basis was not developed until the turn of the 20th century. Design creation and innovation continue to the present day: new technology—notably laser cutting and computer-aided design—has enabled the development of cuts whose complexity, optical performance, waste reduction were hitherto unthinkable.
The most popular of diamond cuts is the modern round brilliant, whose facet arrangements and proportions have been perfected by both mathematical and empirical analysis. Popular are the fancy cuts, which come in a variety of shapes, many of which were derived from the round brilliant. A diamond's cut is evaluated by trained graders, with higher grades given to stones whose symmetry and proportions most match the particular "ideal" used as a benchmark; the strictest standards are applied to the round brilliant. Different countries base their cut grading on different ideals: one may speak of the American Standard or the Scandinavian Standard, to give but two examples; the history of diamond cuts can be traced to the late Middle Ages, before which time diamonds were employed in their natural octahedral state—anhedral diamonds were not used in jewelry. The first "improvements" on nature's design involved a simple polishing of the octahedral crystal faces to create and unblemished facets, or to fashion the desired octahedral shape out of an otherwise unappealing piece of rough.
This was called the point cut and dates from the mid 14th century. By the mid 15th century, the point cut began to be improved upon: a little less than one half of the octahedron would be sawn off, creating the table cut; the importance of a culet was realised, some table-cut stones may possess one. The addition of four corner facets created the old single cut. Neither of these early cuts would reveal. At the time, diamond was valued chiefly for its adamantine superlative hardness. For this reason, colored gemstones such as ruby and sapphire were far more popular in jewelry of the era. In or around 1476, Lodewyk van Berquem, a Flemish polisher of Bruges, introduced the technique of absolute symmetry in the disposition of facets using a device of his own invention, the scaif, he cut stones in the shape known as briolette. About the middle of the 16th century, the rose or rosette was introduced in Antwerp: it consisted of triangular facets arranged in a symmetrical radiating pattern, but with the bottom of the stone left flat—essentially a crown without a pavilion.
Many large, famous Indian diamonds of old feature a rose-like cut. However, Indian "rose cuts" were far less symmetrical as their cutters had the primary interest of conserving carat weight, due to the divine status of diamond in India. In either event, the rose cut continued to evolve, with its depth and arrangements of facets being tweaked; the first brilliant cuts were introduced in the middle of the 17th century. Known as Mazarins, they had 17 facets on the crown, they are called double-cut brilliants as they are seen as a step up from old single cuts. Vincent Peruzzi, a Venetian polisher increased the number of crown facets from 17 to 33, thereby increasing the fire and brilliance of the cut gem, properties that in the Mazarin were incomparably better than in the rose, yet Peruzzi-cut diamonds, when seen nowadays, seem exceedingly dull compared to modern-cut brilliants. Because the practice of bruting had not yet been developed, these early brilliants were all rounded squares or rectangles in cross-section.
Given the general name of cushion—what are known today as old mine cuts—these were common by the early 18th century. Sometime the old European cut was developed, which had a shallower pavilion, more rounded shape, different arrangement of facets; the old European cut was the forerunner of modern brilliants and was the most advanced in use during the 19th century. Around 1900, the development of diamond saws and good jewelry lathes enabled the development of modern diamond cutting and diamond cuts, chief among them the round brilliant cut. In 1919, Marcel Tolkowsky analyzed this cut: his calculations took both brilliance and fire into consideration, creating a delicate balance between the two. Tolkowsky's calculations would serve as the basis for all future brilliant cut modifications and standards. Tolkowsky's model of the "ideal" cut is not perfect; the original mo
A chemically pure and structurally perfect diamond is transparent with no hue, or color. However, in reality no gem-sized natural diamonds are perfect; the color of a diamond may be affected by chemical impurities and/or structural defects in the crystal lattice. Depending on the hue and intensity of a diamond's coloration, a diamond's color can either detract from or enhance its value. For example, most white diamonds are discounted in price when more yellow hue is detectable, while intense pink diamonds or blue diamonds can be more valuable. Of all colored diamonds, red diamonds are the rarest; the Aurora Pyramid of Hope displays a spectacular array of colored diamonds, including red diamonds. Diamonds occur in a variety of colors—steel gray, blue, orange, green, pink to purple and black. Colored diamonds contain interstitial impurities or structural defects that cause the coloration, pure diamonds are transparent and colorless. Diamonds are scientifically classed into two main types and several subtypes, according to the nature of impurities present and how these impurities affect light absorption: Type I diamonds have nitrogen atoms as the main impurity at a concentration of 0.1%.
If the nitrogen atoms are in pairs they do not affect the diamond's color. If the nitrogen atoms are in large even-numbered aggregates they impart a yellow to brown tint. About 98% of gem diamonds are type Ia, most of these are a mixture of IaA and IaB material: these diamonds belong to the Cape series, named after the diamond-rich region known as Cape Province in North Africa, whose deposits are Type Ia. If the nitrogen atoms are dispersed throughout the crystal in isolated sites, they give the stone an intense yellow or brown tint. Synthetic diamond containing nitrogen is Type Ib. Type I diamonds absorb from 320 nm, they have a characteristic fluorescence and visible absorption spectrum. Type II diamonds have no measurable nitrogen impurities. Type II diamonds absorb in a different region of the infrared, transmit in the ultraviolet below 225 nm, unlike Type I diamonds, they have differing fluorescence characteristics, but no discernible visible absorption spectrum. Type IIa diamond can be colored pink, red, or brown due to structural anomalies arising through plastic deformation during crystal growth—these diamonds are rare, but constitute a large percentage of Australian production.
Type IIb diamonds, which account for 0.1% of gem diamonds, are light blue due to scattered boron within the crystal matrix. However, a blue-grey color may occur in Type Ia diamonds and be unrelated to boron. Not restricted to type are green diamonds, whose color is caused by GR1 color centers in the crystal lattice produced by exposure to varying quantities of radiation. Pink and red are caused by plastic deformation of the crystal lattice from pressure. Black diamonds are caused by microscopic black or gray inclusions of other materials such as graphite or sulfides and/or microscopic fractures. Opaque or opalescent white diamonds are caused by microscopic inclusions. Purple diamonds are caused by a combination of high hydrogen content; the majority of diamonds that are mined are in a range of pale yellow or brown color, termed the normal color range. Diamonds that are of intense yellow or brown, or any other color are called fancy color diamonds. Diamonds that are of the highest purity are colorless, appear a bright white.
The degree to which diamonds exhibit body color is one of the four value factors by which diamonds are assessed. Diamonds have a color grading system; this system goes from D to Z. The more colorless a diamond is, the rarer and more valuable it is because it appears white and brighter to the eye. Color grading of diamonds was performed as a step of sorting rough diamonds for sale by the London Diamond Syndicate; as the diamond trade developed, early diamond grades were introduced by various parties in the diamond trade. Without any co-operative development these early grading systems lacked standard nomenclature, consistency; some early grading scales were. Numerous terms developed to describe diamonds of particular colors: golconda, jagers, blue white, fine white, gem blue, etc. Refers to a grading scale for diamonds in the normal color range used by internationally recognized laboratories; the scale ranges from D, colorless to Z, a pale yellow or brown color. Brown diamonds darker than K color are described using their letter grade, a descriptive phrase, for example M Faint Brown.
Diamonds with more depth of color than Z color fall into the fancy color diamond range. Diamond color is graded by comparing a sample stone to a master stone set of diamonds; each master stone is known to exhibit the least amount of body color that a diamond in that color grade may exhibit. A trained diamond grader compares a diamond of unknown grade against the series of master stones, assessing where in the range of color the diamond resides; this process occurs in a lighting box, fitted with daylight equivalent lamps. Accurate color grading can only be performed with diamond unset, as the comparison with master
A mineral is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound that occurs in pure form. A rock may consist of a single mineral, or may be an aggregate of two or more different minerals, spacially segregated into distinct phases. Compounds that occur only in living beings are excluded, but some minerals are biogenic and/or are organic compounds in the sense of chemistry. Moreover, living beings synthesize inorganic minerals that occur in rocks. In geology and mineralogy, the term "mineral" is reserved for mineral species: crystalline compounds with a well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure. Minerals without a definite crystalline structure, such as opal or obsidian, are more properly called mineraloids. If a chemical compound may occur with different crystal structures, each structure is considered different mineral species. Thus, for example and stishovite are two different minerals consisting of the same compound, silicon dioxide; the International Mineralogical Association is the world's premier standard body for the definition and nomenclature of mineral species.
As of November 2018, the IMA recognizes 5,413 official mineral species. Out of more than 5,500 proposed or traditional ones; the chemical composition of a named mineral species may vary somewhat by the inclusion of small amounts of impurities. Specific varieties of a species sometimes have official names of their own. For example, amethyst is a purple variety of the mineral species quartz; some mineral species can have variable proportions of two or more chemical elements that occupy equivalent positions in the mineral's structure. Sometimes a mineral with variable composition is split into separate species, more or less arbitrarily, forming a mineral group. Besides the essential chemical composition and crystal structure, the description of a mineral species includes its common physical properties such as habit, lustre, colour, tenacity, fracture, specific gravity, fluorescence, radioactivity, as well as its taste or smell and its reaction to acid. Minerals are classified by key chemical constituents.
Silicate minerals comprise 90% of the Earth's crust. Other important mineral groups include the native elements, oxides, carbonates and phosphates. One definition of a mineral encompasses the following criteria: Formed by a natural process. Stable or metastable at room temperature. In the simplest sense, this means. Classical examples of exceptions to this rule include native mercury, which crystallizes at −39 °C, water ice, solid only below 0 °C. Modern advances have included extensive study of liquid crystals, which extensively involve mineralogy. Represented by a chemical formula. Minerals are chemical compounds, as such they can be described by fixed or a variable formula. Many mineral groups and species are composed of a solid solution. For example, the olivine group is described by the variable formula 2SiO4, a solid solution of two end-member species, magnesium-rich forsterite and iron-rich fayalite, which are described by a fixed chemical formula. Mineral species themselves could have a variable composition, such as the sulfide mackinawite, 9S8, a ferrous sulfide, but has a significant nickel impurity, reflected in its formula.
Ordered atomic arrangement. This means crystalline. An ordered atomic arrangement gives rise to a variety of macroscopic physical properties, such as crystal form and cleavage. There have been several recent proposals to classify amorphous substances as minerals; the formal definition of a mineral approved by the IMA in 1995: "A mineral is an element or chemical compound, crystalline and, formed as a result of geological processes." Abiogenic. Biogenic substances are explicitly excluded by the IMA: "Biogenic substances are chemical compounds produced by biological processes without a geological component and are not regarded as minerals. However, if geological processes were involved in the genesis of the compound the product can be accepted as a mineral."The first three general characteristics are less debated than the last two. Mineral classification schemes and their definitions are evolving to match recent advances in mineral science. Recent changes have included the addition of an organic class, in both the new Dana and the Strunz classification schemes.
The organic class includes a rare group of minerals with hydrocarbons. The IMA Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names adopted in 2009 a hierarchical scheme for the naming and classification of mineral groups and group names and established seven commissions and four working groups to review and classify minerals into an official listing of their published names. According to these new r
The Daria-i-Noor (Persian: دریای نور which means “Sea of light” in Persian. Its colour, pale pink, is one of the rarest to be found in diamonds; the Daria-i-Noor is in the Iranian Crown Jewels of Central Bank of Iran in Tehran. It is 41.40 x 29.50 x 12.15 mm and weighing around 182 metric carats, the world's largest known pink diamond. This diamond, like the Koh-i-Noor, was mined in India, it was owned by the Kakatiya dynasty it was looted by the Khalji dynasty and to Mughal emperors. In 1739, Nader Shah of Iran invaded Northern India, occupied Delhi; as payment for returning the crown of India to the Mughal emperor, Muhammad, he took possession of the entire fabled treasury of the Mughals, including the Daria-i-noor, in addition to the Koh-i-noor and the Peacock throne. After Nader Shah's death in 1747, the diamond was inherited by Sharukh Mirza. From there, it fell into the hands of the Lotf Ali Khan. After Lotf Ali Khan's defeat at the hands of Mohammad Khan Qajar, who established the ruling Qajar dynasty of Iran, the Daria-i-Noor entered the Qajar treasury.
During this time, Naser al-Din Shah Qajar was said to be fond of the diamond wearing it as an armband, aigrette, or a brooch and maintenance of the diamond was an honor bestowed upon higher ranking individuals. The diamond resides with the National Jewels of Iran. In 1965, a Canadian team conducting research on the Iranian Crown Jewels concluded that the Daria-i-Noor may well have been part of a large pink diamond, studded in the throne of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, had been described in the journal of the French jeweller Jean-Baptiste Tavernier in 1642, who called it the Great Table diamond; this diamond may have been cut into two pieces. Elizabeth II's jewels Golconda Diamonds Great Table diamond Koh-i-Noor diamond Noor-ul-Ain List of diamonds List of largest rough diamonds Treasury of National Jewels of Iran
Harry Winston, Inc.
Harry Winston, Inc. is an American luxury jeweler and producer of Swiss timepieces. The company was founded in 1932 as Harry H. Winston Jewels, Inc. and changed its name to Harry Winston Inc. in January 1936. The company is named after its founder, Harry Winston, called by many as the "King of Diamonds". Harry Winston is regarded as one of the most prestigious jewelry manufacturers in the world; the company has its headquarters in New York City, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss Swatch Group, which acquired it from the Toronto based Harry Winston Diamond Corporation in January 2013. American jeweler Harry Winston opened his first store under name Harry H. Winston Jewels, Inc. in 1932. In 1936, the company changed its name to Harry Winston Inc.. Harry Winston was the first jeweler to loan diamonds to an actress for the Academy Awards, in 1943. After the death of the company's founder, Harry Winston, the company went to his two sons and Bruce, who entered into a decade-long battle over the control of the company.
In 2000, along with new business partner, Fenway Partners, bought Bruce out from the company for $54.1 million. In 2010 -- 2011, the company's sales were € 36 million in watches; the company got a new CEO, Frederic de Narp of the Cartier North America. He succeeded Tom O'Neill. On January 14, 2013, Harry Winston, Inc. announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell its luxury brand diamond jewelry and timepiece division, Harry Winston Inc. to the Swiss Swatch Group. The transaction included the brand and all the activities related to jewelry and watches, including the 535 employees worldwide and the production company in Geneva, Switzerland; the company bought the flawless blue diamond The Winston Blue on 15 May 2014. List of watch manufacturers Manufacture d'horlogerie New York Times article on Harry Winston Paris store heist
De Beers Group is an international corporation that specialises in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail, diamond trading and industrial diamond manufacturing sectors. The company is active in open-pit, large-scale alluvial and deep sea mining, it operates in 35 countries and mining takes place in Botswana, South Africa and Canada. Until the start of the 21st century, De Beers had total control over the diamond market as a monopoly. Competition has since dismantled the complete monopoly, though the De Beers Group still sells 35% of the world's rough diamond production through its global sightholder and auction sales businesses; the company was founded in 1888 by British businessman Cecil Rhodes, financed by the South African diamond magnate Alfred Beit and the London-based N M Rothschild & Sons bank. In 1926, Ernest Oppenheimer, an immigrant to Britain and South Africa who had earlier founded mining company Anglo American plc with American financier J. P. Morgan, was elected to the board of De Beers.
He built and consolidated the company's global monopoly over the diamond industry until his death in 1957. During this time, he was involved in a number of controversies, including price fixing and trust behaviour, was accused of not releasing industrial diamonds for the U. S. war effort during World War II. In 2011, Anglo American took control of De Beers after buying the Oppenheimer's family stake of 40 percent for US$5.1 billion and increasing its stake to 85 percent, ending the 80-year Oppenheimer control of the company. In 2018, De Beers became the first diamond company to announce that it would track its diamonds using blockchain technology, though this technology has not yet been rolled out; the name'De Beers' was derived from the two Dutch settlers and brothers Diederik Arnoldus De Beer and Johannes Nicolaas De Beer, who owned a South African farm named Vooruitzicht near Zandfontein in the Boshof District of Orange Free State. After they discovered diamonds on their land, the increasing demands of the British government forced them to sell their farm on July 31, 1871, to merchant Alfred Johnson Ebden for £6,600.
Vooruitzicht would become the site of the Big Hole and the De Beers mine, two successful diamond mines. Their name, given to one of the mines, subsequently became associated with the company. Cecil Rhodes, the founder of the British South Africa Company, got his start by renting water pumps to miners during the diamond rush that started in 1869, when an 83.5 carat diamond called the'Star of South Africa' was found at Hopetown near the Orange River in South Africa. He invested the profits of this operation into buying up claims of small mining operators, with his operations soon expanding into a separate mining company, he soon secured funding from the Rothschild family. De Beers Consolidated Mines was formed in 1888 by the merger of the companies of Barney Barnato and Cecil Rhodes, by which time the company was the sole owner of all diamond mining operations in the country. In 1889, Rhodes negotiated a strategic agreement with the London-based Diamond Syndicate, which agreed to purchase a fixed quantity of diamonds at an agreed price, thereby regulating output and maintaining prices.
The agreement soon proved to be successful — for example, during the trade slump of 1891–1892, supply was curtailed to maintain the price. Rhodes was concerned about the break-up of the new monopoly, stating to shareholders in 1896 that the company's "only risk is the sudden discovery of new mines, which human nature will work recklessly to the detriment of us all"; the Second Boer War proved to be a challenging time for the company. Kimberley was besieged as soon. Rhodes moved into the city at the onset of the siege in order to put political pressure on the British government to divert military resources towards relieving the siege rather than more strategic war objectives. Despite being at odds with the military, Rhodes placed the full resources of the company at the disposal of the defenders, manufacturing shells, defences, an armoured train and a gun named Long Cecil in the company workshops. In 1898, diamonds were discovered on farms near Transvaal. One led to the discovery of the Premier Mine.
The Premier Mine was registered in 1902 and the Cullinan Diamond, the largest rough diamond discovered, was found there in 1905. However, its owner refused to join the De Beers cartel. Instead, the mine started selling to a pair of independent dealers named Bernhard and Ernest Oppenheimer, thereby weakening the De Beers stronghold. Francis Oats, who became Chairman of De Beers in 1908, was dismissive of the threats from the Premier mine and the finds in German South West Africa. However, production soon equalled all of the De Beers mines combined. Ernest Oppenheimer was appointed the local agent for the powerful London Syndicate, rising to the position of mayor of Kimberley within 10 years, he understood the core principle that underpinned De Beers' success, stating in 1910 that "common sense tells us that the only way to increase the value of diamonds is to make them scarce, to reduce production". During World War I, the Premier mine was absorbed into De Beers; when Rhodes died in 1902, De Beers controlled 90% of the world's diamond production.
Ernest Oppenheimer took over the chairmanship of the company in 1929, after buying shares and being appointed to the board in 1926. Oppenheimer was concerned about the discovery of diamonds in 1908 in German South West Africa, fearing that