Precious Metal Can Hide in the Darndest Places

At MGS, we accept many different types of precious metal scrap. Since we’re in New York’s Diamond District, we have many jeweler clients who periodically clean off their workbenches and bring us their polishing material and filing dust. Recently, one such client of ours was doing some workplace renovations, when they came to us with an interesting proposition.

Ordinarily, your beat-up old carpet isn't worth anything. But if you're in the right line of work, old carpeting can pay for itself - and then some. This client was replacing their carpeting when they had the brilliant idea to bring the old carpeting to MGS. This was definitely something we're not used to people bringing in, but we wanted to see how we could help. After making some modifications to our standard refining process, we managed to extract a whopping 20 ozt. of gold scrap! That's more than $23,000 worth, just hiding in the carpet. And, it doesn't even account for the nice amount of platinum scrap we found in there...

So, here’s an idea for our jeweler friends, and others who work with small bits of gold: consider never cleaning your carpets. Every few years, rip them out, bring them to MGS, and we’ll see how much precious metal scrap we can extract.

Enormous White Diamond Sells at New York Auction

In recent jewelry news, Sotheby’s put a massive white diamond up for auction on April 21, but it fell short of earning the highest price ever paid for a white diamond.

The emerald-cut, completely flawless diamond from De Beers in Africa weighed in at an astonishing 100.2 carats. It weighed more than 200 carats when first mined, and took about a year to be cut into its current shape. With the bidding started at $12 million, three anonymous bidders made 14 offers over the course of almost 4 minutes ending with a final total price of $22.09 million – right in line with pre-sale estimates.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to break the record for highest price ever paid for a white diamond. That honor goes to a 118.28 carat diamond that went for $30.6 million during a 2013 auction in Hong Kong. However, this 100.2 carat diamond does have the distinction of being the largest emerald-cut diamond of clarity ever to be sold at auction.

Going with an emerald cut was an interesting choice for this diamond. When combined with the thickness and clarity, the emerald cut makes the diamond look like a pool of water. On the other hand, some think that the diamond’s size makes it look too gaudy. What do you think? Let us know on our Twitter channel.

The Ultimate Jewelry Discount

This news story making the rounds in Miami, FL should make some jewelers’ heads spin.

During a February 2013 Holland America Line cruise, retired antiques and jewelry dealer Thomas DePrince visited the onboard jewelry shop to see what kind of loose gemstones were available – particularly something between 15 and 20 carats. The salesperson contacted the cruise line’s corporate office (Starboard Cruise Services), who in turn contacted their supplier – Sophia Fiori Diamonds.

Sophia Fiori checked their stock and came back with a 20.64 carat diamond for $235,000. While probably struggling to keep a straight face, DePrince decided to get the professional opinions of his life partner and sister – a certified gemologist and gemology expert, respectively. At that price, they both thought there would be a profound downside to the diamond, and advised against purchasing it. But, DePrince couldn’t pass the deal up, signing a contract with Starboard Cruise Services and paying $235,000 in full.

Soon after, Starboard realized that the price Sophia Fiori Diamonds quoted them was $235,000 per carat. They’d just sold DePrince a $4.8 million diamond for 95% off! Five days later, Starboard informed DePrince about the error, cancelled the transaction, and refunded his money.

Of course, DePrince sued for breach of contract and other claims, but the case was thrown out. However, an appeals panel disagreed with that outcome, and now the case is returning to trial – so there is a chance that this deal from two years ago could still go through. Diamond District jewelers: we’re dying to get your thoughts on this case.