Juno, Alaska, USA
A gemstone, listed as one of the largest gem-quality opals in the world, sold for $ 143,750 in Alaska on Sunday.
According to Alaska Premier Auctions and ratings, the Opel, nicknamed the “Americanus Australis”, weighed more than 11,800 carats. This too has a long history.
Until recently, Fred von Brand kept it in a home linen closet in the Big Lake north of Anchorage. Von Brandt is a gold miner in Alaska, and his family has deep roots in the gem and rock business.
Von Brand says that opal is bigger than a brick and broken into two pieces, a procedure used decades ago to demonstrate the quality of a gemstone.
Van Brand said he has had the stone in his family since the late 1950s, when he bought it from his grandfather, John Altman, an Australian opal dealer.
Van Brand pointed out that Opal had been in the care of his father’s van brand for decades, adding that it was “locked up for a long time; it’s time to bring it back into the world and see what interest it can generate.”
“He commissioned me to find out which direction we want to go to separate us from the stone,” Van Brand told the Associated Press.
He said the family, which is rooted in California, exhibited Opel at gemstone exhibitions for many years until the 1980s. Then his father decided to dedicate himself to furniture and displayed it in his shop. Guy Van Brand eventually moved to Oregon and kept the stone “hidden” for many years, Van Brand said.
He said he brought it with him to Alaska a year ago, while weighing the best approach to potential sales. He said he chose Alaska Premier Auctions & Appraisal because it would receive more attention from the new company than from a larger auction house. The sale is scheduled for Sunday.
Nick Klein, a partner and rating expert at Alaska Premier Auctions and Appraisals, said the family has documents on Opal’s evidence. As part of his investigation, he contacted Fiona Altman, the granddaughter of John Altman and CEO of Altman + Cherni in Sydney, Australia.
Aldman said his grandfather made regular trips to Europe and the United States in his business.
When Kline emailed her, she also pointed out that she was suspicious; The name of the stone, in particular, confused her. But he began to study, saying, “I found something in my grandfather’s handwriting with the image of the opal and the word ‘American Australis.’
“I am 100% sure that their information about its origin is 100% accurate because it matches the information she has,” he said.
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