Tag Archives: diamond

The Rare Farnese Blue Diamond: Fit for a Queen

On Tuesday evening, May 15, the hammer fell at a staggering $6.7 million at Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva for the extraordinary and magnificent Farnese Blue diamond. The sparkling pear-shaped diamond weighs 6.16 carats and is encircled by a crown of cushion-shaped diamonds. The Fancy Dark Grey-Blue gemstone had been in private hands for over three hundred years, hidden away inside the jewelry boxes of European kings and queens alike.

The exquisite diamond symbolizes the history and legacy of the European nobility, as the Farnese Blue is named after Elisabeth Farnese, wife of King Philip V and Queen of Spain. The first historical record of this illustrious diamond is dated approximately 1714, the year French prince Philip V married Italian princess Elisabeth and bestowed this one-of-a-kind stone on her as a wedding present.

Elisabeth, whose father was the Duke of Parma, had a small estate, and, as Spain’s finances were in a strapped at the time, the government ordered the individual Spanish colonies to send wedding gifts to Madrid in order to provide a dowry for the new queen. Twelve ships from Cuba filled with gold bullion and emeralds were sailing back to Spain, but were tragically intercepted by a hurricane that destroyed the entire fleet, save one ship. Unfortunately, all the emeralds in cargo were lost with the sunken ships. Fortunately, one soon-to-be legendary blue diamond made its way back to the new Spanish Queen.

Whether you have rare colored diamonds, a ruby brooch, or a sapphire bracelet, New York Loan Company is ready to assist in turning your jewelry into secure and easy funding. Our GIA-trained loan officers have the expertise to evaluate even the most complicated and precious collateral. Call 212-997-5626 or email info@newyorkloan.com to set up an appointment today!

What is an Appraisal?

An appraisal, either for art, jewelry, or memorabilia is a document that helps determine value. Different types of appraisals include fair market value, liquidation value and replacement value. These can all vary significantly– but the most typical appraisal is for replacement value, which reflects a “retail replacement price”. These appraisals are sent to an insurance company if the piece is damaged, stolen, or lost. These appraisals are supposed to represent a true replacement value, but are often severely inflated.

New York Loan Company, Manhattan’s luxury pawn shop, is often asked about appraisals and if they are required for a collateral loan. The answer is that while it is not necessary, it certainly can’t hurt. The loan officers at New York Loan will gladly take into consideration any appraisals, insurance documents, or point of sale documents (receipts, invoices, etc.); however, they may not necessarily have the impact on the loan that you would expect.

“The retail price of an item, like a diamond engagement ring, is very different than what the diamond trades for on the secondary market – or the wholesale market,” said Jordan Tabach-Bank, owner of New York Loan and its west coast counterpart Beverly Loan Company. “These documents are necessary for insurance purposes – but in terms of valuing a loan, particularly against jewelry and watches, our gemologists are the best in the business.  I have seen us loan a fraction of the insured value, and, believe it or not, we have loaned double the insured value; our team is more qualified than your average appraiser.” The exception to this rule, as Tabach-Bank clarified, is if a piece of jewelry is signed. “The retail price of a signed piece of jewelry, often reflected on the appraisal, from Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., Graff, Cartier, or David Webb is much more significant than it is for an unsigned piece.”

In the world of fine art having provenance, or documents that confirm authenticity, is incredibly important and that provenance can include appraisals from reputable companies. Other forms of documentation for fine art include gallery receipts, certificates of authenticity, and auction records. This is especially important for popular household name artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst, John Baldessari, or Keith Haring.

Specific requirements must be met for a pawn loan against numismatic coins, sports and entertainment memorabilia, luxury handbags, and rare wines, all of which are outlined on the New York Loan Company website .   In addition to an appraisal, authentication from a trusted source is also extremely helpful, including a GIA certificate for a diamond, or a PCGS report for a coin

New York Loan Company recommends bringing all relevant documents when pawning an item – but it’s important to know that replacement value and retail price are very different than what the item may actually trade for. 

For any questions or to make an appointment with a loan officer at New York Loan Company, please call 212.997.5626 to stop by their offices in midtown Manhattan.