A Treasure Hunt's Jewels To Go Up For Auction
The rare stone in question was a .59 carat red diamond from Australia's famous Argyle mine and it will be auctioned on September 16, 2009, in New York. Colored Stone Magazine reports that a winning bid at a September 16th auction in the Penthouse of the International Diamond Tower includes four other treasures, rings holding a .54 carat oval blue diamond, another with a 1.01-carat yellow diamond, a pink diamond ring and an enameled ladybug ring. The collection was created for Donald Palmieri of the Gemological Appraisal Association in New York who chose and bought the stones for the author's collection.
As the story goes by the time Palmieri had bought the raw materials for the collection, he had spent close to $1 million but the five-ring collection only has a minimum reserve of $400,000. In May 2006 the collection was appraised at $1,195,500 with the red diamond ring estimated at being worth $1 million.
Why did the jewelry never end up in the hunt? It's a curious tale. Software genius Michael Stadther had self-published the best-selling fantasy novel, "A Treasure Trove: A Fairy Tale About Real Treasure for Parents and Children of All Ages." Clues in the book led to a 18K gold tokens buried at various U.S. national parks which were then redeemed for fine jewelry pieces related to the book. The sequel called for clues hidden all over the world and Stadher wanted even more extravagantly enticing prices, hence the gathering of rare colored diamonds. Palmieri bought the diamonds and designer Aaron Basha began to create the pieces. But something happened on the way to the treasure hunt, Stadther and his publisher fell out and the treasure hunt was canceled.
A recent bankruptcy document on the Tweleve forum shines further light on the situation including the fact that the sequel was a failure, $200,000 was owed to Simon and Schuster and a movie deal with Paramount fell through. Now the rings are up for sale so that some money can be recouped. The rings were available at the JCK Show in Las Vegas earlier this month but did not sell there and so the auction has been scheduled for this fall.