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Jeweler Faces 33 Felony Counts for Alleged Fraud, Theft

She’s accused of passing off less expensive stones as real diamonds.

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A jeweler in Indianapolis has been arrested on 33 felony counts for allegedly selling imitation diamonds as the real thing.

Charges against 41-year-old Lora Richards, owner of Iconic Brilliance, include  theft and fraud, as well as corrupt business influence, the Indianapolis Star reports.

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Sixteen people told authorities they’d been cheated by Richards, according to the newspaper. In many instances, the stones they took home were actually moissanite.

At times she swapped out diamonds for cheaper stones when she was was supposed to be resetting the stones or putting them into a custom piece, authorities say.

The complaints against Richards date back to late 2015. In addition to diamonds, some of them involve other gems, such as emeralds.

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Richards told WTTV-TV that a broker was at fault for many of the problems.

“I bought from a broker and I was just negligent on knowing what I was buying,” she was quoted saying.

Read more at the Indianapolis Star

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Coin Found in a Field Sells for $695,000

It was discovered by a metal detectorist.

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A rare Roman gold coin dating from AD 293-296 sold for about $695,000 at an auction held by Dix Noonan Webb, the London-based international coin, medal, banknote and jewelry specialists.

The coin, found in a newly plowed field in Kent, England, had been estimated to fetch between $88,000 and $125,000.

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It was bought by private collector bidding on the telephone.

The coin, known as an aureus — a gold coin of ancient Rome — is relatively small: only 4.31 grams and slightly larger than a current penny. Dating from the reign of Allectus, it was found by a 30-year-old metal detectorist and his brother near Dover in March this year, adjacent to a Roman road.

The detectorist, who has followed the pursuit for seven years, wishes to remain anonymous but commented after the sale: “I cannot believe it, we are ecstatic! We expected it to sell for a little over estimate, but not five times the estimate! We are sharing the money with the farmer, who is also thrilled!”

Christopher Webb, director and head of DNW’s coin department, said: “I am delighted with the phenomenal price achieved in today’s sale. This is the most expensive coin that we have ever sold at Dix Noonan Webb – as well as being one of the world’s most expensive Roman coins, it is the most money ever paid for a coin of Allectus and it is now the most valuable Roman coin minted in Britain to have been sold at auction. It was a unique opportunity to acquire a stunning coin and the only other one known struck from the same pair of dies is in the British Museum.”

He continued: “There are only 24 aurei of Allectus known worldwide. Gold coins were initially produced to pay an accession donation in AD 293 but continued to be issued throughout his reign and were probably demonetized after his death in AD 296, as no coins of Carausius or Allectus are found in later hoards.”

Allectus is described as the minister of finance, praetorian prefect, ally and co-conspirator under the usurper Carausius. This new independence of Britain was based on a strong naval force of at least two fleets controlling the English Channel and the North Sea.

As a result of the loss of Boulogne in Gaul on 1 March AD 293 to the emperor Constantius Chlorus, it is believed that Carausius was then murdered by Allectus. Little is known from historical records about Allectus; his name in Latin translates as chosen or elected, but his well-produced coinage indicates a smooth transition and the issue of a new denomination, decorated with a series of war galleys as the reverse design which was seen as innovative.

In early AD 296 Constantius, together with the praetorian prefect Julius Asclepiodotus, sailed in two separate fleets, one from Boulogne, the other from the mouth of the Seine, which slipped past the Allectan ships waiting by the Isle of Wight (Vectis) in a sea fog. Allectus was defeated and killed in a land battle, probably in Hampshire, by Asclepiodotus, and Constantius arrived in London to reclaim Britain.

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Retail Giant Begins Selling Bridal Jewelry

It’s being sold at SamsClub.com.

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Sam’s Club has added bridal pieces to its jewelry offerings.

Its new S Collection rings range in price from $3,000 to $6,000, according to a blog post on the retail giant’s website.

The center stones come with International Gemological Institute appraisals.

The S Collection, available only at SamsClub.com, is the retailer’s in-house collection. It also includes other pieces, including earrings and bracelets.

Most of the bridal rings are available in white, yellow and rose gold options. They’re shipped within five days of being ordered.

The company notes that jewelry, ranging from solitaire rings and wedding bands to gemstones and pearls, is also available at Sam’s Club locations.

“You can even work with our associates to have a custom engagement ring created to match your style and budget,” the blog post states.

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100-Year Anniversary of ‘Most Iconic’ Diamond Cut Celebrated

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It maximizes fire, brilliance and sparkle.

Exactly 100 years ago, a 19-year-old Antwerp engineer named Marcel Tolkowsky perfected a mathematical formula for the 57-facet “brilliant-cut” diamond. Tolkowsky’s accomplishment prevails as the most iconic and successful cut in history due to its ability to maximize a diamond’s fire, brilliance and sparkle.

The Antwerp World Diamond Centre recently held a street fair and ceremonial diamond cutting to honor Tolkowsky and the 100th anniversary.

“In 1919, my uncle Marcel unlocked the secret of light within a diamond,” said Gabi Tolkowsky, one of the world’s most renowned diamond cutters. “He figured out how to get the greatest amount of light to shine out of a diamond, calculating the number and arrangement of facets to maximize the light return. This was Marcel’s gift to the world, perfecting the journey of light, giving all those who came after him the knowledge of how to turn a diamond into a unique beauty.”

Marcel Tolkowsky proved that if a diamond was cut too deep or too shallow, the light coming down from the top would escape out the sides or bottom, resulting in a loss of brilliance. His solution: 57 precisely placed facets cut to exacting proportions so the light coming into a diamond is refracted up through the table and crown to the viewer’s eye.

During the celebration, the AWDC launched its unique “100 Years Brilliant” project, during which 57 well-know (and lesser known) Antwerp residents were invited to polish a single diamond — one person for each facet of a brilliant.

“In this way, ‘t Steentje – which is how the diamond industry is referred to in the local vernacular – will represent the multicultural character and diversity of the Antwerp diamond industry,” explained AWDC CEO Ari Epstein.

Once the stone is finished, it will be exhibited in Antwerp’s DIVA diamond museum.

The first facet was polished by guest of honor Gabi Tolkowsky, who famously spent three years cutting the 273.85-carat Centenary Diamond.

The second facet of the stone was polished by Constantinus ‘Stan’ Hunselmans, who shares his birth year with the brilliant.

“I celebrated my 100th birthday on January 14, and it is an honor that I was chosen,” Hunselmans said. “It went really well. If I were a little bit younger, I might have considered a career switch.”

Since 1447, Antwerp has laid claim to the title of the “World’s Diamond Capital.” It should come as no surprise that Tolkowsky’s brilliant cut was developed in this city.

Credit: Image courtesy of Petragems [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons. Diamond proportions graphics by Jasper Paulsen CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
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