The World Financial Report

World Financial Report – July 20th, 2017

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CHARTS OF THE WEEK-QUOTES-QUICK HITS

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Americans Feel Good About the Economy, Not So Good About Trump. Almost six months into Donald Trump’s presidency, Americans are feeling fairly optimistic about their jobs, the strength of the U.S. economy, and their own fortunes. That should be welcome news for the president, except for one thing: The public’s confidence largely appears to be in spite of Trump, not because of him. The latest Bloomberg National Poll shows 58 percent of Americans believe they’re moving closer to realizing their own career and financial aspirations, tied for the highest recorded in the poll since the question was first asked in February 2013. A majority expect the U.S. stock market to be higher by the end of this year, while 30 percent anticipate a decline.

Yet they don’t necessarily think Trump deserves credit for rising markets and falling unemployment. Just 40 percent of Americans approve of the job he is doing in the White House, and 55 percent now view him unfavorably, up 12 points since December. Sixty-one percent say the nation is headed down the wrong path, also up 12 points since December. Trump scored his best numbers on his handling of the economy, but even there the news for him isn’t great. Less than half of Americans 46 percent approve of Trump’s performance on the economy; 44 percent disapprove. He gets slightly better marks for job creation, with 47 percent approving. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uxcKWp

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Veteran Emerging-Market Investor Says EM Risk Could Be Higher Than in 2008. Since entering the world of emerging markets nearly three decades ago, Robert Koenigsberger has seen more than his share of changes. One of the most consequential is the migration of allocators from hedge funds to exchange-traded and mutual funds in recent years. That’s effectively made them one-day liquidity vehicles, versus the 90-day instruments leveraged funds typically offer. “We’re potentially sitting on one of the most illiquid market conditions in emerging markets that I’ve ever seen,” said Koenigsberger, who oversees $6 billion as chief investment officer at Greenwich, Connecticut-based Gramercy Funds Management. “This market isn’t well set up for outflows. It showed its stripes in the taper tantrum, and I think this will challenge the taper tantrum, if not 2008.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u60zge

-CHART OF THE WEEK: Italy’s Poor Almost Triple in a Decade Amid Economic Slumps. Italians living below the level of absolute poverty almost tripled over the last decade as the country went through a double-dip, record-long recession. The absolute poor, or those unable to purchase a basket of necessary goods and services, reached 4.7 million last year, up from almost 1.7 million in 2006, national statistics agency Istat said Thursday. That is 7.9 percent of the population, with many of them concentrated in the nation’s southern regions. As Italy went through its deepest, and then its longest, recession since World War II between 2008 and 2013, more than a quarter of the nation’s industrial production was wiped out. Over the same period unemployment also rose, with the rate rising to as high as 13 percent in 2014 from a low of 5.7 percent in 2007. Joblessness was at 11.3 percent at last check in May. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u5HElY

-“It’s time for investors to go into a defensive crouch by selling stocks and reallocating assets to cash, Treasury notes, gold and gold mining shares. In particular, gold will be the big winner when the Fed suddenly realizes its blunder and has to pivot quickly to ease, probably by late summer. The time to position in gold is right now.” Jim Rickards

-Retail sales unexpectedly dropped for a second month in June, signaling consumers are providing only modest support for the U.S. economy, Commerce Department data showed Friday. The figures suggest households remain cautious about spending and may provide less of a boost for the second-quarter economy after a weak start to the year. Receipts weakened at department store, sporting goods outlets and restaurants. Sales within the so-called retail control group have weakened for three straight months, and the decline in June indicates a weak finish to the first half of the year. Bloomberg

Americans experienced lower costs last month for some services as well as cheaper merchandise that limited receipts at retailers and showed a weaker trajectory for consumer spending entering the third quarter. While economists projected a slight increase, consumer prices were little changed in June and held back by cheaper home furnishings, cars and clothing. Households also enjoyed modestly priced airfare and hotel stays at the start of the summer, Labor Department data showed Friday. The discounts on merchandise may partly explain why the Commerce Department’s data on retail sales, which aren’t adjusted for prices, unexpectedly decreased for a second month. The back-to-back decline in retail sales, the first since July-August of last year, also show consumers remain hesitant to ramp up their spending as the economy enters its ninth year of expansion. Bloomberg

-There’s juice in the equity rally yet. A second-quarter earnings season that’s set to beat the consensus and reinvigorated faith in the Trump Administration’s policy objectives will spur the S&P 500 Index about 10 percent higher to a record 2,700 by the end of the year, according to Morgan Stanley Chief Equity Strategist Michael Wilson. “The U.S. equity market can continue to grind higher on the back of improving earnings as it has done for the past several months,” Wilson wrote in a note Monday. He reiterated his April call for the U.S. benchmark. Key to his bullish outlook: The S&P’s 12-month blended forward price-to-earnings ratio should move higher after softening since March as market confidence in the President Donald Trump’s ability to implement pro-growth measures dwindled. Bloomberg

-Real monthly federal spending topped $400 billion for the first time in June, when the Treasury spent a record $428,894,000,000, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today. Prior to June, the record for federal spending in a single month was held by March 2017, when the Treasury spent approximately $392,816,000,000. In August 2012, the Treasury spent $392,408,410,000 in constant 2017 dollars. As the Treasury was spending a record $428,894,000,000 in June it was taking in approximately $338,660,000,000 in taxes thus, running a deficit for the month of $90,233,000,000. cnsnews.com

-A blow has been dealt to OPEC unity after Ecuador announced it will start increasing oil production this month, saying it needs the money. The announcement comes as the deal to cut output among members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries was already coming under pressure, with compliance falling below 100 percent in June. Bloomberg

-There is no argument for a big crash, the only question is when. Fitts says, “I think it’s more likely to happen in 2018. If you look at the stock market, we are way, and I am tired of saying this, we are way, way overdue for a major correction. If we do get this major correction, and that is perfectly natural, you don’t want to misinterpret that as a major crisis or event. I think we are way overdue for a major correction, and I give that a reasonable chance between now and November. If it doesn’t happen this year, it’s definitely going to happen next year.” Catherine Austin Fitts

-“I’ll tell you what concerns me. Despite the fact we have a stock market at a record high, housing near record high, interest rates near record lows, tax receipts are down, money velocity is near historic lows and our economy is stuck. So, without the Federal Reserve keeping their foot on the floor, and that’s what Janet Yellen is going to continue to do, this will all melt down in a blink of an eye. The Federal Reserve has got to keep the juice going. The moment they decide to take away the juice, all of this is going to correct to fair value. It’s going to do it no matter what. It will either do it when the Fed decides to pull their foot off the pedal, or it’s going to happen from some random event where people are going to start selling. I think it will begin in the debt market.” Gregory Mannarino

-Gold is one of the most unusual investments that anyone can make. It does not pay dividends, it does not produce earnings and it does not make promises about growth prospects like most firms do. But it does deliver returns, outperforming property and the FTSE 100 Index over the past ten years. If someone had put £1,000 into the FTSE in 2007 for example, it would be worth £1,640 today, while the same amount invested in 20-year gilts would be worth £1,350, or £1,190, if the cash had been ploughed into UK property. An equal investment in gold would be worth more than £2,300. Dailymail.co.uk

-The U.S. Falls in a Global Retirement Security Ranking. With sharp income inequality and too few workers to support its waves of retirees, America is demoted to No. 17. Retirement security in the U.S. took a significant hit in a global ranking, falling three notches to No. 17 among 43 developed countries. The fifth annual Global Retirement Index ranking from Natixis Global Asset Management has Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland holding on to the top three slots from 2016. The ranking creates an overall retirement security score for each country from 18 performance indicators that address finances, healthcare, material well-being, and quality of life. Countries are also ranked by those four sub-indexes. 

Of the 25 countries with the highest overall scores, the U.S. and Austria saw the biggest annual declines this year. The U.S. score is 72 out of 100, which puts it right below Belgium and the Czech Republic and just above the United Kingdom and France. The U.S. had the sixth-lowest score for income equality, which is part of the score for material well-being. That measure, designed to show how well a country’s population can provide for its material needs, combines an income per capita index, income inequality index, and unemployment index. Here are the countries that score the highest for how well their citizens are set up to enjoy a comfortable retirement. The arrows next to the 2017 ranking in the graphic show whether the country stayed the same (orange), moved up (green), or moved down (red) in the rankings, and by how many slots. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u8cwlQ

-New U.S. Subprime Boom, Same Old Sins: Auto Defaults Are Soaring. It’s classic subprime: hasty loans, rapid defaults, and, at times, outright fraud. Only this isn’t the U.S. housing market circa 2007. It’s the U.S. auto industry circa 2017. A decade after the mortgage debacle, the financial industry has embraced another type of subprime debt: auto loans. And, like last time, the risks are spreading as they’re bundled into securities for investors worldwide. Subprime car loans have been around for ages, and no one is suggesting they’ll unleash the next crisis. But since the Great Recession, business has exploded. In 2009, $2.5 billion of new subprime auto bonds were sold. In 2016, $26 billion were, topping average pre-crisis levels, according to Wells Fargo & Co. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u8bc2s

-Toronto Home Sales Plummet to a Seven-Year Low. Canada’s hottest housing market is definitely cooling down. Total home sales in Greater Toronto dropped to 5,977 in June, the lowest level since 2010 and down 15.1 percent from the month prior, data from the Canadian Real Estate Association show. Average prices are down 14.2 percent since March the fastest 3-month decline in the history of the data back to 1988 — while the ratio of sales to new listings sits at its lowest level since 2009.

The June data comes after a series of measures by policy makers to tighten access to the market and before the Bank of Canada hiked its benchmark interest rate last week, the first increase since 2010 that will further pinch mortgage eligibility. Prices and sales also fell in nearby regions such as Hamilton-Burlington and Kitchener-Waterloo, CREA data show. “Changes to Ontario housing policy made in late April have clearly prompted many homebuyers in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region to take a step back and assess how the housing market absorbs the changes,” Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, said in a written statement, referring to Toronto and its surrounding communities.

Sales also fell 4 percent from the previous month in Vancouver, the country’s other hot real estate market, to 3,047 residential units. Greater Vancouver remains Canada’s most expensive market with an average price of C$1.04 million, down 3.2 percent from May. Lawmakers, concerned that escalating prices could lead to a disorderly correction, imposed measures including tightened mortgage eligibility rules and a tax on foreign buyers. Toronto’s market has lost momentum, while in Vancouver sales plummeted last year on similar measures but have since rebounded. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uIyRJX

-Average Canadian house worth $504,458 in June, down 10% since April. Sales and prices have both declined since peaking earlier this spring. Home sales fell in June by their largest amount in seven years, the Canadian Real Estate Association said Monday, as nearly three-quarters of all markets slowed down during what is normally the most popular time of the year for real estate. CREA said home sales fell by 6.7 per cent last month compared to May the sharpest monthly decline since 2010 and the third straight monthly contraction.

Home sales have now fallen 14 per cent since peaking in March. The April to June period is typically a busy time for home sales as the warmer weather tends to bring out buyers. Prices have been skewed higher for a long time by the hot Toronto and Vancouver markets, but the price in both fell in June compared to May, dragging down the national figure. If those two cities are stripped out, the average Canadian house cost $394,660 in June. A year ago, that figure stood at $374,760, which means excluding Toronto and Vancouver, average Canadian house prices have increased by just over five per cent in the past 12 months. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2tqpcr1 and http://bit.ly/2vD0lNs

-Goldman Sachs: There’s one big difference between Canada’s crazy housing market and the US in 2007. Canada’s housing market has been red-hot. On a national level, home prices are up 14.22% versus a year ago and 76% since the world began to emerge from the global financial crisis in March 2009, according to the Teranet-National Bank House Price Index. Some local markets, like Hamilton and Toronto, have seen prices soar more than 25% year-over-year. The explosion in Canada’s home prices has caused many to draw parallels between it and the US housing market in 2007. However, according to Goldman Sachs’ Economics Research team of Marty Young and Michael Cahill, “One important difference is with respect to the mortgage lending standards prevailing in the two times and places.” Read more here-http://read.bi/2vCydtH

-Student Debt Is a Major Reason Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes. New York Fed economists blame student debt for homeownership woes. College tuition hikes and the resulting increase in student debt burdens in recent years have caused a significant drop in homeownership among young Americans, according to new research by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The study is the first to quantify the impact of the recent and significant rise in college-related borrowing student debt has doubled since 2009 to more than $1.4 trillion on the decline in homeownership among Americans ages 28 to 30. The news has negative implications for local economies where debt loads have swelled and workers’ paychecks aren’t big enough to counter the impact. Homebuying typically leads to additional spending on furniture, and gardening equipment, and repairs so the drop is likely affecting the economy in other ways. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2vg6u2r

-Social Security trust fund projected to tap out in 17 years. If Congress doesn’t act soon, tens of millions of Americans will only receive about three-quarters of their Social Security benefits when they retire in the future. In an annual report released Thursday, trustees of the government’s two largest entitlement programs Social Security and Medicare urged lawmakers to act quickly to assure Americans they’ll be able to get their full retirement benefits.

The trustees projected that the Social Security trust fund will be tapped out by 2034. While that projection is unchanged from last year’s annual report card, the trustees warned of persistent long-term challenges ahead if fixes aren’t made to pay for the program. “The trajectory is still alarming,” said Tom Price, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department in a joint press conference at the Treasury Department. “The bottom line is it must be addressed.” Read more here-http://cnnmon.ie/2tCVFWr

-In Urban China, Cash Is Rapidly Becoming Obsolete. There is an audacious economic phenomenon happening in China. It has nothing to do with debt, infrastructure spending or the other major economic topics du jour. It has to do with cash specifically, how China is systematically and rapidly doing away with paper money and coins. Almost everyone in major Chinese cities is using a smartphone to pay for just about everything. At restaurants, a waiter will ask if you want to use WeChat or Alipay the two smartphone payment options before bringing up cash as a third, remote possibility. Just as startling is how quickly the transition has happened. Only three years ago there would be no question at all, because everyone was still using cash. Read more here-http://nyti.ms/2uzKx0v

-Plastic-Versus-Cash Battle Heats Up After Visa, Mastercard Deals. The dollar bill, that long-time rival of credit-card giants, is under attack once again. After years of fighting to get their cards accepted in stores, Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. are stepping up efforts to get merchants and consumers to move to a cashless world. The idea is simple and potentially very profitable: Get people to use their credit cards rather than cash for more purchases and, eventually, all transactions. In that future, card networks and other electronic payment systems would essentially get a slice of every transaction. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uzPW8o and http://cnnmon.ie/2uKfdgH

-Bitcoin Falls Below $2,000. Bitcoin fell below $2,000 for the first time since May amid anxiety its dominant status is under threat. As enthusiasts consider adopting competing updates to the blockchain technology that underpins the exchange method by the end of July, it has raised the possibility of the cryptocurrency splitting in two. Bitcoin has lost about a third of its value since peaking at about $3,000 last month. Calls for a revamp of the software come as exchanges struggled to keep up with rising volumes while the price almost tripled this year. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u6Uke2 and https://bloom.bg/2uaoyMW and https://bloom.bg/2uzfeU7

-CoinDash Says Hacker Stole $7 Million at Initial Coin Offering. Does this support the notion that there’s a bubble in digital currencies and initial coin offerings? CoinDash, a blockchain technology startup that bills itself as a social-trading platform, said that its website was hacked Monday and $7 million was stolen from investors trying to participate in the company’s initial coin offering. Investors had been instructed to pay with ethereum and send funds to the token sale’s smart contact address. In an email, CoinDash said it appeared that the sending address was hacked and changed to a fraudulent address. The company doesn’t know who is responsible for the attack, which is still ongoing, according to a statement on its website. CoinDash has terminated the coin sale and asked investors to stop sending ethereum to the site. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2tDd4hB

-Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme ignited a $363 billion exodus by investors. Bernie Madoff’s first conviction for financial crimes nearly a decade ago rattled the financial-services industry. Researchers at Cornell University set out to quantify just how much of an impact the largest Ponzi scheme in history had on the industry. They found that people who knew victims of Madoff’s fraud or lived in areas where they were concentrated pulled $363 billion from investment funds. “The withdrawals were so hefty in some areas that some investment firms ended up shutting their doors and going out of business,” said Scott Yonker, an assistant professor at Cornell and co-author of the report, in a statement. Read more here-http://read.bi/2tD6Mi4

-U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Iran After Saying It Meets Nuclear Deal. President Donald Trump’s administration said Iran is complying with an international accord to curb its nuclear weapons program but isn’t living up to the spirit of the pact, and it imposed new sanctions on the Islamic Republic to punish what it calls persistent efforts to destabilize the Middle East. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uw6rlH

-Who Pays for the Rising Cost of Natural Disasters. The force of Mother Nature cost mankind $175 billion in 2016, enough money to rebuild New York’s One World Trade Center 44 times. About 8,700 people globally lost their lives or went missing in disasters that included earthquakes in Japan, New Zealand and Ecuador, floods in the U.S. and China, and Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean. That compares with $380 billion in 2011 when earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand pushed economic disaster losses to a record. In both years, less than a third of the damage was covered by insurers. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uzHK7H

-Global Cyber Attack Could Cost $121.4 Billion, Lloyd’s Estimates. A global cyber attack could result in damages of as much as $121.4 billion in an extreme event, comparable to economic losses caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Lloyd’s of London said in a report. Average losses from a scenario where an attack would cause a widely-used cloud-service provider to fail would be $53 billion, depending on organizations involved and the length of the data storage disruption, Lloyd’s said in the report. Insurers could face total claims in that scenario ranging from $620 million to $8.1 billion, according to the report. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2td587e

-American Health Care Tragedies Are Taking Over Crowdfunding. Sites such as GoFundMe and YouCaring are poised for a wave of medical appeals if Trumpcare leaves millions uninsured, and even if it doesn’t. At industry leader GoFundMe, medical is one of the biggest fundraising categories. CEO Rob Solomon has said it’s what “helped define and put GoFundMe on the map” and has called the company, founded in 2010, “a digital safety net.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2vyIQ0K and https://bloom.bg/2uFmRsi

-Canada’s net worth at all-time highs, despite record debt. While Canada’s average household debt continues to climb so, too, is the country’s net worth. A report released Tuesday by the Fraser Institute points out that while Canada boasts $2 trillion in total household debt, Canadian household assets including real estate, pensions, investments and more was $12.3 trillion in 2016. The $10.3-trillion gap between the two figures is Canada’s household net worth and it, too, hit an all-time high last year. “Despite alarmist headlines, concerns about Canadian household debt levels can be overblown,” Livio Di Matteo, senior fellow with the Fraser Institute, wrote in the report. “When looking at debt levels it’s important to consider the degree to which Canadians are also using it to increase their net worth.” Read more here-http://bit.ly/2uFxzPE

-Millennials Are Helping America Save More Money. Young workers prepare for a rainy day while Generation X and Baby Boomers struggle to rebuild their bank accounts. After almost a decade, Americans may finally be turning the corner on saving money. More than 30 percent of them say they have enough tucked away to cover six months’ worth of expenses a seven-year high for this measure of financial calamity preparedness, a financial planning favorite. Meanwhile, the percentage who concede in an annual survey that they have no savings fell to a six-year low of 24 percent, down from 28 percent last year. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2u7gRar

-Americans Say U.S. Moral Values at a Seven-Year Low. Americans may be split between warring political and cultural camps, but there is something most of them can agree on: They share a dim view of their country’s moral values. More than 80 percent of people polled rate moral values in the U.S. as fair or poor a seven-year low, and 77 percent of respondents to a new Gallup poll say the state of moral values will continue to get worse. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2vyGmzd

-How to Outsmart the Slump in the Classic Car Market. Recent auctions of vintage automobiles have shown a softening of prices in the blue chip category. But there are still some chances to make a buck on a beautiful car. Bernie Ecclestone, the flamboyant former owner of the Formula One racing franchise, has simple advice for those who want to make money in classic cars: “Buy cheap.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2tdmUaD

-The 13 highest-paid musicians of 2016, according to Billboard. Beyoncé was far and away the highest-earning music artist of 2016, according to Billboard’s annual “Money Makers” list. Billboard’s ranking combines artists’ US sales, streaming, publishing, and touring revenues for a composite look at who’s dominating the music industry each year. Read more here-http://read.bi/2tE01MK

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RARECOLOREDDIAMONDS.COM

Rarecoloreddiamonds.com Featured Diamond of the Week. This week’s Diamond is a 0.24 Carat Round Brilliant Cut Fancy Vivid Yellow Green. Harold Seigel-Watch here-http://bit.ly/LIsp98

-Fancy Coloured Diamonds: The 17th century French merchant and adventurer, Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, was among the first to be intrigued by fancy coloured diamonds. In 1669, he sold the ‘Tavernier Blue Diamond’, also called the ‘French Blue’, to Louis XIV.  In the first half of the 17th century, he was the first who made a reference to pink diamonds. Moreover, in 1642, he mentioned a very large rough pink diamond, weighing over 200 carats, shown to him by Moghuls in the Kingdom of Golconda.

This diamond, named ‘The Grand Table’ and valued at 600,000 rupees at the time, is still the largest pink diamond recorded to date. The French merchant also purchased two pale pink diamonds around 1668 and drew pictures of the stones in his travel book. Since the 17th century, the value of coloured diamonds increased considerably. Fancy coloured diamonds are rarer than their near colourless counterparts as their hues come from a disturbance during the formation process of the stone deep in the earth.

For all coloured diamonds except pinks, the colour comes from trace elements that interfere during the formation of the crystal. A diamond is composed of pure carbon; it is the intrusion of another atom that causes the colour: nitrogen for yellows, boron for blues. Concerning pink diamonds, the colour is a consequence of a distortion of the crystal structure during the formation of the stone. Although other rare coloured diamonds, such as pink and red, are found in India, Brazil and Australia, blue diamonds are primarily recovered from the Cullinan mine in South Africa. sothebys.com

-Fancy coloured diamonds are exceedingly rare in nature, but the intensity of the colour is also an important quality of the stone. The Gemological Institute of America grades fancy coloured diamonds as such: Faint, Very Light, Light, Fancy Light, Fancy, Fancy Intense, and Fancy Vivid. Fancy vivid colours are the most sought-after. The amazing stone offered in this auction displays a very bright and deep fancy vivid blue colour. Even in the category “Fancy Vivid”, one can find different levels of intensity; the saturation and hue of this stone are absolutely mesmerising.

“Diamonds obtain their colour from so-called “colour centres”. They are single or multiple non-carbon atoms that replace carbon in the structure of the diamond, causing a disturbance in the structure and sometimes giving rise to the colour. The distinctive blue colour in diamonds is attributed to trace amounts of the element boron in the crystal structure. Minute traces of boron are required to create the colouration. Less than one boron atom per million carbon atoms is sufficient to produce the blue colouration.” Excerpt from the Natural History Museum website

-Sotheby’s Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels, May 16 2017, Geneva Switzerland. Auction Results Here-http://bit.ly/2vkLXdt and http://bit.ly/2qyGmjB

-World’s Most Expensive Earrings Fetch $57.4 Million At Auction. A mismatched pair of fancy colored diamond earrings sold for more than $57.4 million a world record for earrings sold at auction. Sold separately, they were the top two lots at Sotheby’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels sale Tuesday. Named Apollo and Artemis after the twin brother and sister who are among the most widely venerated of the Ancient Greek deities Sotheby’s said they are world’s most valuable pair of earrings ever offered at auction. No word if the same buyer purchased both lots. Sotheby’s said later in the evening that both diamonds were purchased by the same person, who was not identified.

“I am delighted that the stones will remain together as earrings,” David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division and chairman of Switzerland, said following the sale. The 14.54 carat, pear-shaped Apollo Blue was the big prize of the pair. It sold for more than $42.08 million (including buyer’s premium), within its estimate of $38- $50 million. It is the largest internally flawless fancy vivid blue diamond ever to be offered at auction, Sotheby’s said. It was graded as a Type IIb diamond, which amounts to less than 1% of all diamonds. In recent years, the only mine to produce blue diamonds with any regularity is the Cullinan mine in South Africa.

When in full production, less than 0.1% of diamonds sourced showed any evidence of blue color, according to the Gemological Institute of America, which graded both diamonds and issued reports on them. An infinitesimally small percentage of those is graded Fancy Vivid Blue. The 16-carat, pear-shaped Artemis Pink, sold for more than $15.3 million (including buyer’s premium), within its estimate of $12.5-$18 million. The fancy intense pink diamond was graded by the GIA as a Type IIa diamond, describing this category as “the most chemically pure type” of diamonds. The occurrence of pink diamonds is rare. According to the GIA, of all diamonds it grades each year, “no more than 3% are classified as colored diamonds; less than 5% of those colored diamonds are predominantly pink.” Read more here-http://bit.ly/2trQtsY

-Lot 377: Superb and extremely rare fancy vivid blue diamond. The pear-shaped fancy vivid blue diamond of truly and outstanding colour and purity weighing 14.54 carats, mounted as an earring with a pear-shaped and a brilliant-cut diamond, post fitting. Accompanied by GIA report no. 1176680448, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Blue, Natural Colour, Internally Flawless, together with a type IIb classification letter. Estimate 38,329,731-50,429,359. Lot Sold 42,087,302 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2tgRBM9

-Lot 378: Very important fancy intense pink diamond. The pear-shaped fancy intense pink diamond of fine colour weighing 16.00 carats, mounted as an earring with a pear-shaped and a brilliant-cut diamond, post fitting. Accompanied by GIA report no. 1172688201, stating that the diamond is Fancy Intense Pink, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity, together with a Type IIa classification letter. Estimate 12,612,367-18,156,982. Lot Sold 15,338,176 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2gLMiTh

‘The Artemis Pink’ has been determined as type IIa. “According to the GIA Laboratory, the 16.00 carat Pear Modified Brilliant diamond has been determined to be a type IIa diamond. Type IIa diamonds are the most chemically pure type of diamond and often have exceptional optical transparency. Type IIa diamonds were first identified as originating from India (particularly from the Golconda region) but have since been recovered in all major diamond-producing regions of the world”. Excerpt from the Type IIa classification letter.

On 4 April 2017, Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold the ‘Pink Star’, a magnificent Fancy Vivid Pink Internally Flawless diamond weighing an outstanding weight of 59.60 carats, for a record price for any diamond, any gemstone and any jewel at US$ 71.2 million. The current record price ever paid at auction for a fancy intense pink diamond is ‘The Graff Pink’, a superb 24.76 carat Fancy Intense Pink diamond, which sold at Sotheby’s Geneva in November 2010 for US$46.16 million.

-Lot 371: Superb fancy intense purplish pink diamond ring, Piaget. Set with a modified rectangular brilliant-cut fancy intense purplish pink diamond weighing 7.04 carats, between triangular diamond shoulders, size 51, signed Piaget. Accompanied by GIA report no. 2185179812, stating that the diamond is Fancy Intense Purplish Pink, Natural Colour, VS1 Clarity, together with a type IIa classification letter. Estimate 8,073,121-12,104,655. Lot Sold 13,245,750 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uB5hFF

-Lot 363A: Important fancy vivid blue diamond ring. Set with a step-cut diamond weighing 3.32 carats, between triangular diamond shoulders, size 511/2. Accompanied by GIA report no. 11892488, dated 12 March 2002, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Blue, Natural Colour, Internally Flawless; together with an updated report, dated 18 April 2017, stating that diamond is Fancy Vivid Blue, Natural Colour, Internally Flawless. Estimate 6,087,515-8,113,336. Lot Sold 6,798,815 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uEqgH2

-Lot 364: Attractive fancy pink diamond ring. Set with a cushion-shaped fancy pink diamond weighing 21.11 carats, the mount highlighted with brilliant-cut diamonds of near colourless and pink tints, size 541/2. Accompanied by GIA report no. 15270288, dated 15 November 2006, stating that the diamond is Fancy Pink, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity; together with a working diagram stating that the diamond is improvable. Estimate 3,026,164-5,041,931. Lot Sold 5,441,565 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uE7SOy

-Lot 374B: Fancy yellow diamond ring. Set with a pear-shaped fancy yellow diamond weighing 6.34 carats, within a frame of brilliant-cut diamonds, size 57. Accompanied by GIA report no. 1186227533, stating that the diamond is Fancy Yellow, Natural Colour, VS2 Clarity. Estimate 42,226-72,387. Lot Sold 87,970 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2vEd82a

-Lot 84: Fancy vivid yellow diamond ring, De Beers. Set with a cut-cornered square modified brilliant-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 3.48 carats, the mount highlighted with brilliant-cut diamonds, size 511/2, signed De Beers, numbered, case stamped De Beers. Accompanied by GIA report no. 2181285065, stating that the diamond is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VVS1 Clarity. Estimate 52,279-82,440. Lot Sold 113,104 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2uKHBiI

-Lot 121: Fancy vivid yellow diamond and diamond ring, Tabbah. Of toi et moi design, set with an oval fancy vivid yellow diamond weighing 2.27 carats and a similarly cut near colourless diamond weighing 2.08 carats, the mount pavé-set with brilliant-cut diamonds, size 51, signed Tabbah, French assay mark. Accompanied by GIA report no. 2181104439, stating that the diamond weighing 2.27 carats is Fancy Vivid Yellow, Natural Colour, VVS2 Clarity, together with a working diagram stating that the diamond may be internally flawless after minor repolishing. Estimate 48,258-68,365. Lot Sold 87,970 USD. See more here-http://bit.ly/2tI4MVU

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GOLD

-Sprott Sees Next Gold Bull Market Driven by Stock Correction. Sprott Inc., the precious metals-focused money manager, sees gold rising by the end of 2017 as weaker-than-expected economic growth drives stock prices lower. “The next move on gold will be driven by an equity market correction,” Chief Executive Officer Peter Grosskopf said in an interview at Bloomberg headquarters in New York. “It’s a pretty safe bet that if equity markets start to look volatile and dangerous then a lot of money will flow into gold as a hedge to that.”

A recent spate of hawkishness from global central banks has pressured gold prices, which have fallen about 5 percent since early June. The Bank of Canada raised rates on Wednesday for the first time since 2010 and other central banks from the U.S. Federal Reserve to the European Central Bank have indicated their willingness to tighten monetary policy. Gold tends to weaken in periods of rising interest rates, which bolster the U.S. dollar. Yet Grosskopf said developed economies aren’t as strong as some economists are forecasting, and rate hikes may not come as quickly as the market believes. “We think the underlying economies and the strength of the economies can be debated,” he said.

“If you look at the underlying statistics, it’s a lot less evident that the economy is strong.” Coordinated global rate hikes amid low inflation could pressure stock markets and currencies, said Whitney George, chairman of Sprott USA. “When you look at the history of the last 20 years, every time central banks have decided it was time to take the punchbowl away we’ve had quite a dislocation,” George said. Strategists from Toronto-based Sprott see the potential for gold prices to break past $1,400 an ounce by the end of the year under the right conditions.

“People haven’t placed a high priority on having a hedge because the punch bowl seemed to be relatively full,” Grosskopf said. “Gold is vastly under-invested by most investors, so it’s got a lot of growth ahead of it.” Besides physical gold, Grosskopf also likes emerging producers such as Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. He also sees potential upside in other metals, including silver, platinum, palladium, cobalt and lithium. Sprott is in the midst of returning to its roots as an investor in precious metals, natural resources and real assets. The company said in April that it will sell its diversified Canadian mutual fund business to a management-led group for C$46 million ($36 million). Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2vk2X3i

-Clive Maund: Precious Metals Sector the Biggest Opportunity Since Late 2015 and the Last Chance at These Prices. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2uKpA3V

-Hedge Funds Are Losing Faith in Precious Metals. Gold is out of favor with money managers and it’s not the only precious metal facing investor exodus. Hedge funds and other large speculators are hitting the exit as they brace for monetary tightening in the U.S. and Western Europe. Money managers are not waiting around for signs that the Federal Reserve may change its rate trajectory, as they turn bearish on precious metals. These charts show the trend in sentiment.

In the week ended July 11, the net-long position in gold fell to the lowest in 17 months, before the metal posted its first weekly gain in six weeks. The changes came just before government data showed consumer prices were little changed, fueling speculation the Fed may take longer to meet its goal, especially after Chair Janet Yellen said earlier in the week she sees uncertainty over inflation.

Silver is also losing its luster in the eyes of hedge funds. The position in gold’s cheaper cousin swung to a net-short from a net-long and is the most bearish since August 2015. Investors concerned by the prospect of higher interest rates exited in droves just as the metal capped its biggest weekly advance in six months on dovish U.S. economic data. Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uKeA6H

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SILVER

Gold to silver ratio at 80 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $25.00

Gold to silver ratio at 70 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $28.57

Gold to silver ratio at 60 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $33.33

Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00

Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00

Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67

Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00

Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33

-Investors Are Pouring Money Into Silver ETFs. Silver, known for being a market of extremes, is living up to its reputation this year. Prices rallied 17 percent in the first four months of the year, only to reverse and wipe out those gains. Despite the selloff, investors are pouring money into exchange-traded funds, and assets have reached a record 21,211 metric tons, valuing the holdings at $11 billion. At the same time, the picture is bearish in the futures market, where hedge funds now hold the first net-short position in two years. Different kinds of investors are driving the opposing trends, according to George Coles, an analyst at research firm Metals Focus Ltd. Large, active hedge funds shorted Comex futures because of the risk of higher U.S. interest rates, driving silver prices lower, he said. ETF buyers tend to be smaller traders that use silver for long-term diversification of their portfolios. They’ll be rewarded for their bullishness as slower U.S. economic growth spurs demand for haven assets, Coles said.

This may be a case of the smaller investors versus the big guys,” Coles said in a phone interview from London. “In this case, the smaller guys may be right.” He’s predicting that silver prices have probably bottomed and will rebound from current levels. Prices will reach $20.25 an ounce in the next 12 months, an increase of 25 percent from the current value of $16.164. U.S. economic growth won’t be as robust as some people think, and that’ll likely lead to a slower-than-expected increase in interest rates, Coles said, which would benefit precious metals. Short covering by Comex speculators could also help fuel the rally, he added.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s testimony to Congress last week dimmed hopes for another rate hike this year and an index of U.S. economic surprises sits near the most negative level since May 2016. Precious metals tend to do well in low-rate environments because they don’t pay interest. Silver prices have suffered since April as investors bet that central banks are preparing to tighten monetary policy.

Silver is down 12 percent in the past three months, the biggest drop among metals in the Bloomberg Commodity Index. Gold declined 4 percent. The recent losses are overdone, according to David Govett, head of precious metals trading at Marex Spectron Group Ltd. in London, adding that he would “be a buyer on dips.” “Silver always overreacts, so when you have large moves, it goes far further than gold,” he said. There’s plenty of speculation that silver is due for a recovery. In a Bloomberg survey of 13 traders and analysts, the majority were bullish. 11 people said prices would rise and two predicted declines. Among the seven respondents that provided estimates, the median 12-month forecast was $20 indicating a 24 percent rally from current levels.

Assets in exchange-trade funds backed by silver have risen 6.6 percent since April 24 to 21,211 tons, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. In the same time, hedge funds turned negative as prices tumbled. In the week ended July 11, hedge funds were net short by 5,402 contracts, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data. Short positions have tripled since the week of April 25 to 60,775 contracts. Silver tends to outperform gold when there’s a rush in haven demand, making the metal more attractive for investors looking to hedge against surprise events, according to John Butler, head of wealth services for Toronto-based GoldMoney Inc., which manages a platform for investing in precious metals. “Silver is a coiled spring ready to bounce,” Butler said by phone. “The Fed is getting ready to blink on rates, and that should be positive for all the precious metals, but especially for silver.” Read more here-https://bloom.bg/2uJHRhJ

-Gary Christenson: National Debt Too High, Silver Price Too Low. Read more here-http://bit.ly/2uEktl2

-“History shows that not only are the commercials zooming the technical funds, they have just done so in a manner of unprecedented proportions. Never have the commercials snookered the technical funds in COMEX silver and gold as has just occurred. While I suppose it’s always possible for the commercials to snooker and hoodwink the technical funds into selling even more silver and gold contracts, thus setting the bullish stage even more extreme, that’s not the odds-on bet. The odds-on bet is that the commercials will now look to maximize in monetary terms what they have just created in positioning terms. In other words, it’s time for the commercials to ring the cash register.”

“Now that the technical funds are more short in silver than ever and close to the least net long they have been in both silver and gold in history, the best way for the commercials to ring the cash register would be to let prices rip higher. Nothing would hurt the managed money traders or benefit the commercials more at this time than sharply higher prices. Those sharply higher prices will, obviously, also benefit gold and silver investors and producers, but that’s beside the point in the exclusive private COMEX paper betting game. What happens to the rest of the world doesn’t matter to the big COMEX betters, nor does it matter to the regulators (much to their great shame).”

“All that matters is that the COMEX commercials appear to be on the verge of extracting great sums of money from the technical funds as silver and gold prices move higher. As I indicated previously, no one appears better positioned than JPMorgan for a price explosion in silver. In fact, I am truly in awe of what this crooked bank just pulled off, as much as any criminal act could ever inspire awe. I know how they did it and why they did it, but I am still amazed that JPM actually did it.” Silver analyst Ted Butler July 15 2017 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN

-But there are other factors that may play into the only question that matters, namely, will JPM add to shorts or not. Among those factors are the widespread and growing attention to the extreme COMEX positioning changes and otherwise unexplainable and weird price action in silver, which can only be explained by COMEX positioning. Throw in the wildcard of the new Enforcement Director at the CFTC, James McDonald, and the game’s outcome goes beyond interesting.

As far as I’m concerned, we’re on the verge of discovering if McDonald will go down as perhaps the regulatory hero of all time or if we’ll be calling for his head on a spike. Again, it all comes down to whether JPMorgan adds or doesn’t add to its silver short positions whenever the next price rally commences. I can’t get more specific than that. As far as what Friday’s COT report will indicate, the dramatic downside price action and extremely high trading volume point to yet another week of significant improvement big commercial buying and managed money selling. This is also supported by an increase in total open interest in the reporting week (4,000 contracts in silver and 18,000 in gold).

We may even see improvements on the scale of last week’s report, but regardless of whatever the actual reported numbers may be, it sure feels to me that we’re at or passed the point of a downside climax, particularly in terms of extreme contract positioning. Full and maximum exposure is warranted, particularly in silver. Silver analyst Ted Butler July 12 2017 via Ed Steer edsteergoldandsilver.com subscribe here-http://bit.ly/1fdAByN

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Investing In Fancy Colored Diamonds

Investing in rare colored diamonds is a long-term investment. The economic cycles of the past 15 years have seen colored diamonds reach new heights in value as price records were broken.

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The Investor Learning Center was created to provide investors with the tools to make the right decision when it comes to investing in Rare Colored Diamonds.
Access our archives of exciting documentary video, informational content, historical pricing, and much more.
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The GIA report for this diamond is not posted on the website at this time however it is available. Please fill out a form to inquire or call us directly at 800-456-3934 for more information.

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $50,000
  • Price per Carat: $50,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $150,000
  • Price per Carat: $150,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $500,000
  • Price per Carat: $500,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,090,500
  • Price per Carat: $1,090,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $2,828,187*
  • Price per Carat: $2,828,187*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Pink

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $4,361,506*
  • Price per Carat: $4,361,506*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $1,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $3,000
  • Price per Carat: $3,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $9,000
  • Price per Carat: $9,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $23,500
  • Price per Carat: $23,500
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $26,300
  • Price per Carat: $26,300
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2012
  • Total Price: $32,000
  • Price per Carat: $32,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $53,993*
  • Price per Carat: $53,993*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Intense Yellow

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $74,873*
  • Price per Carat: $74,873*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1980
  • Total Price: $60,000
  • Price per Carat: $60,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 1990
  • Total Price: $200,000
  • Price per Carat: $200,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2000
  • Total Price: $600,000
  • Price per Carat: $600,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $1,350,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,350,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $1,494,000
  • Price per Carat: $1,494,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $4,555,497*
  • Price per Carat: $4,555,497*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Vivid Blue

  • Year: 2025
  • Total Price: $7,561,708*
  • Price per Carat: $7,561,708*

*Estimated value based on current market trend

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1950
  • Total Price: $13,800
  • Price per Carat: $13,800
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 1987
  • Total Price: $927,000
  • Price per Carat: $927,000
  • Source: Auction

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2008
  • Total Price: $2,000,000
  • Price per Carat: $2,000,000
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2009
  • Total Price: $2,074,600
  • Price per Carat: $2,074,600
  • Source: Private Sale

1 Carat Radiant Cut Fancy Red

  • Year: 2020
  • Total Price: $3,103,720*
  • Price per Carat: $3,103,720*

*Estimated value based on current market trend