This Blue Diamond Will Make Someone Happy!

This blue diamond broke records Tuesday in Geneva at Sotheby’s “Spring Sales of Magnificent and Noble Jewels” in yet another display of the strength of natural colored diamonds at auctions worldwide.

A 7.64-carat, cushion-shaped fancy intense blue diamond mounted in a ring sold for $8.03 million, or $1.05 million per carat, following fierce competition from three buyers. According to a news release from Sotheby’s, the sale sets a new record per-carat price for a blue diamond sold at auction.

McClaren Race Cars Getting The Bling Treatment: Diamonds!

The helmets and steering wheels of both McLaren drivers will be adorned with Steinmetz Diamonds for the Monaco GP, to add that extra ‘bling’ to the most glamourous sporting event in the world.

The helmets of both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton will feature diamond encrusted crests in the shape of their championship winning years, Button 09 and Hamilton 08 – they will also sport new helmet liveries.

The steering wheels, which are manufactured from carbon fibre by the team, have also been customised by Steinmetz master craftsmen using beautifully cut white diamonds.

They will be unveiled at Monaco’s exclusive Villa la Vigie on Wednesday evening.

Broken Engagement: Does She have To Give Back The Diamond Engagement Ring?

The Staten Island, New York woman who made headlines by refusing to return a $17,500 engagement ring to her former fiance after breaking off the wedding is taking her story to the talk-show circuit.

Colette DiPierro, 28, appeared on the “Wendy Williams Show” recently to tell her side of the story.

“I paid for everything, the whole time we were living together,” she said on the show. “I paid for the rent. We had an oral agreement that said if I paid for the rent, all the household utilities, the chores, did everything, and paid for the down payment for the wedding hall and started paying for the monthly payments, he’d be able to save for this ring.”

Banished beau Christopher Reinhold, 25, says Ms. DiPierro kept the sparkler after breaking off their engagement in September. Reinhold had given her the ring four months earlier “in contemplation and consideration of marriage,” according to a lawsuit he recently filed in state Supreme Court, St. George. He is seeking the return the ring or its cost, as well as $5,000 for fees and legal expenses.

Gals, what do you think? Does she have to give back the ring?

Will China Cause a Shortage of Diamonds for the Rest Of Us?

We have previously blogged on China’s emergence as a world economic power and the update is that China’s economy is growing at an incredibly clip at the rate of close to 12%.

Lawrence Roulston writing today in in Resource Opportunities indicates that the biggest European economy—Germany—saw a rise in consumer confidence, buoyed by strength in exports. Volkswagen, Europe’s biggest car maker, is now building two big new plants in China to keep up with Chinese consumers demand there. Other companies are also planning expansions, to meet an expected 20% growth in the Chinese auto market this year. Last year, China became the world’s largest market for automobiles.

Chinese consumers are forecast to increase their buying of gold in tandem with their increasing prosperity. Already the second largest consumers of gold (after India), the Chinese are expected to further boost spending on jewelry. Investment demand for gold in China is still low, but that could also rise with growing wealth.

Some analysts suggest the expansions may lead to overcapacity in the coming years. Industry executives point out that there are now 41 cars per 1,000 Chinese residents. That compares to 500 automobiles per 1,000 population in the US. No one has any notion that China will ever come anywhere close to the US love affair with the automobile. Even getting a few percent of the rapidly growing middle class into cars will maintain a strong auto industry for many years.

Rapidly rising demand for diamonds in China is leading to forecasts of a shortage of gems in the not too distant future. Fifteen years ago, there was no diamond culture in China. Today, 40% of brides in the three biggest cities are getting diamond engagement rings. China has another 100 cities with more than a million people.

India, which now leads the world in diamond cutting and polishing, is growing concerned at Chinese efforts to secure supplies of raw diamonds as a basis for starting its own diamond cutting industry. In anticipation of growing internal demand, the Chinese government is including diamonds in its shopping list of commodities. The government is working hard to establish relationships with other nations to pave the way for Chinese corporations to gain access to a wide range of raw materials.

China has overtaken Germany to become the world’s largest exporter, with 10% of global exports. The country is the second largest importer (with 8% of global imports), exceeded only by the United States. World trade is projected to grow 9.5% this year, after shrinking 12.2% last year.

What should concern us here in the USA is the fact that China holds a large amount of US Treasury IOU’s. What happens to the US economy and the mounting pile of accrued debt if and when China calls in these markers?

NYC Bomb Suspect Sought Jewelry Store Job.

The New York Daily News reports today that Faisal Shahzad, the man who was arrested for attempting to set off a car bomb in New York City’s Times Square last week, recently sought a job at a Connecticut jewelry store.

Sylvia Lee of Dynasty Jewelry, which has locations in Connecticut, told the Daily News that Shahzad, who had worked at the store during college, telephoned her in February to ask for work. After she told him she was not hiring, Shahzad subsequently made two follow-up phone calls to check back, and politely thanked Lee each time.

“It was very strange, but I remembered him,” Lee told the newspaper. “I told him we were very slow and didn’t have any job opportunitys open…I was so surprised to hear from him.”

The jewelry store job Shahzad, 30, had held in his college years paid $10 an hour. After graduation, Shahzad had worked as a budget analyst for a marketing firm in Norwalk, Conn., but gave that job up, stopped paying his mortgage, and told a real estate agent to let the bank take the house because he was returning to Pakistan.

Two months after approaching Lee for a job, Shahzad was able to pay $1,300 cash for the explosives-packed SUV that was seized from Times Square, and he also bought an international plane ticket to Dubai, United Arab Emirates–a trip he never took, because at that point authorities swept in to arrest him.

Investigators believe Shahzad may have gotten financial help from foreign sources and they are eyeing potential ties to Islamist terror networks in Pakistan where Shahzad reportedly claimed to have received bomb-making training.