402-Carat Stunner Highlights ALROSA’s Auction of ‘Special Size’ Rough Diamonds

Diamantaires from the four corners of the earth have converged on the picturesque Pacific port city of Vladivostok, Russia, to get a chance to bid on ALROSA’s “special size” rough diamonds, the largest of which tips the scales at 401.97 carats.

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Bidders are vying for 19 diamond lots boasting a total weight of 1,098 carats. What all the rough diamonds have in common is a weight of 10 carats or more and an origin at one of ALROSA’s diamond mines. The Russian diamond company currently operates 11 kimberlite pipes and 16 alluvial deposits, producing 38.3 million carats of rough diamonds annually.

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Running concurrently with the International Auction of Special Size Rough Diamonds will be ALROSA’s Polished Diamond Tender. The most coveted of the 28 diamonds up for sale is a 40.25-carat round. Eighteen of the 28 gems are fancy colored and five polished diamonds weigh more than 5 carats.

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A total of 30 companies from the U.S., Hong Kong, Israel, India, Belgium and Russia were handpicked to attend ALROSA’s diamond events in Vladivostok. It is the first time ALROSA has held its auctions in this city, which overlooks Golden Horn Bay, near the borders of China and North Korea.

Diamonds will be on display through September 2, with the Rough and Polished auctions taking place on September 3.

Credits: Diamond images courtesy of ALROSA. Map via GoogleMaps.com.

Polish Olympian With a Heart of Gold Sells Silver Medal to Fund a Child’s Cancer Treatment

Polish Olympian Piotr Malachowski, who won a silver medal at the 2016 Rio Games in the discus throw, put his cherished medal up for auction last week to help pay for the treatment of a three-year-old boy with a rare form of eye cancer.

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The boy, Olek Szymanski, has a condition called retinoblastoma, a malignant cancer that mostly affects children. Treatment of the cancer is very complex and demands the expertise of surgeons in New York City.

Malachowski hoped to raise $84,000, which is two-thirds of the $126,000 cost of the surgery. A Polish foundation called Siepomaga had pledged to pay one-third of the fee.

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On his Facebook page Malachowski wrote, “In Rio, I fought for gold. Today I appeal to everyone. Let’s fight together for something that is even more precious — the health of this fantastic boy.”

On Tuesday of last week, with the bidding at $19,000, Malachowski announced that he was closing the eBay auction.

Malachowski’s selfless efforts to assist the little boy had caught the attention of Polish billionaire siblings Dominika and Sebastian Kulczyk, who agreed to buy the silver medal and cover the costs of young Olek’s treatment.

“We were able to show that together we can do wonders,” the 33-year-old Malachowski wrote. “My silver medal today is worth a lot more than a week ago. It is worth the life and health of a small Olek. It is our great shared success.”

According to The Washington Post, Malachowski learned of the child’s illness from the boy’s mother, who wrote to him asking for his help.

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The giant man with a heart of gold is a two-time Olympic medalist. In 2008, he won a silver medal in the discus event at the Beijing Games.

Credits: Images via Facebook/Piotr Małachowski.

Eureka! 145-Ounce ‘Friday’s Joy’ Is the Latest Huge Nugget to Be Discovered in Australia’s Golden Triangle

An Aussie metal-detector enthusiast was sure he had discovered a piece of rubbish — possibly an old horseshoe — when his device signaled a sizable find in Central Victoria’s storied Golden Triangle last week.

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What he pulled from the ground was a 145-ounce (4.12kg) gold nugget worth nearly $200,000.

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“I really couldn’t believe my eyes,” said the amateur prospector, who wishes to remain anonymous. “This wasn’t an old piece of steel in front of me. I had just unearthed a colossal gold nugget – a once-in-a-lifetime find! I was in total disbelief as I didn’t think nuggets of this size were still around.”

The lucky Aussie named the nugget “Friday’s Joy” to honor the day on which it was discovered.

Only a day earlier, the same man had found a nine-ounce, near-round gold nugget using his Minelab flagship GPZ 7000 metal detector. Based on that success, he decided to return for more.

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Back in March 2015, we reported on a massive 87-ounce gold nugget that was also discovered in Central Victoria’s Golden Triangle. Metal-detector enthusiast Mick Brown named the nugget “Fair Dinkum,” an Aussie term that means “for real.” It had a precious metal value of $102,000, but eventually sold at auction for $175,000.

News of these incredible finds has sparked a mini Gold Rush in Central Victoria as weekend warriors are heading out to Victoria’s historic goldfields to test their luck. The Sydney Morning Herald reported a business surge for area hotels, restaurants and hardware stores, where amateur prospectors can source their own metal detectors. The area’s first Gold Rush period was in the 1850s.

“Friday’s Joy” is not the biggest gold nugget ever found in the Land Down Under. That distinction goes to “The Welcome Stranger,” which was discovered near Moliagul, Victoria, in 1869. That nugget weighed a staggering 2,300 ounces (143.75 pounds) and would have a precious metal value today of more than $3 million.

After finding the nugget during a prospecting outing with some friends, the anonymous owner of “Friday’s Joy” really didn’t know what to do with his miraculous find.

“It’s like catching a big fish and not knowing what to do with it! Where do we put it? I washed it in water, covered it in aluminum foil and kept it in my oven on the first night,” he reportedly said.

“Friday’s Joy” is now sitting safely in a bank vault while the owner is having a replica made.

Despite the huge windfall, the anonymous prospector has no plans of quitting his job or retiring, according to reports. Instead, he’ll invest some of the proceeds in a new van so he can spend more time traveling across Australia, mixing sightseeing excursions and gold prospecting along the way.

Credits: Friday’s Joy images courtesy of Minelab. Screen capture of Fair Dinkum via 9NEWS, Australia.