First moon landing log book, tapes, at auction

A lunar module timeline book used by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the first manned trip to the moon will be auctioned by Christie’s in New York. The auction house expects the book to fetch between seven and nine million dollars. (July 12)

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What It’s Like To Be The FDNY’s First Woman And Out Gay EMS Chief

Lillian Bonsingnore is the FDNY’s very first woman and openly gay EMS Chief. She started out as an EMT in the Bronx in 1991 and now runs the country’s largest EMS team.

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What It’s Like To Be The FDNY’s First Woman And Out Gay EMS Chief

Inside Italy’s $1 Billion Marble Mountains

A slab of Carrara marble can cost up to $400 per square meter. The luxury stone comes the Apuan Alps, a mountain range in northern Tuscany that stretches for 58 km and reaches 2,000 meters high. The Carrara quarries have produced more marble than any other place on Earth. The market as a whole is worth over €1 billion ($1.1 billion) and produces 4 million tons of marble every year, with 13,000 people involved.

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Inside Italy’s $1 Billion Marble Mountains

David Gilmour Pink Floyd guitars at auction in NYC

David Gilmour of the seminal rock band Pink Floyd will be auctioning off more than 120 guitars through Christie’s auction house in New York City on June 20. (June 14)

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Dagger, ring of Taj Mahal builder set for auction

A ring and a dagger once owned by the builder of the Taj Mahal were on display Thursday ahead of an auction of jewels and weapons from Indian royalty at Christie’s in New York. (June 13)

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How To Sell Multimillion-Dollar Art At Christie’s

John Hays has been an auctioneer for nearly four decades, and he’s brought in nearly $1 billion in sales. He showed us what it takes to be an art auctioneer at Christie’s.

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How To Sell Multimillion-Dollar Art At Christie’s

Why Single Malt Whisky Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Single Malt whisky is one of the most revered spirits in the world. It is exclusively made from barley, which is quite a cheap product. A bottle of The Macallan 1926 60-year-old recently sold for $1,512,000 in auction, marking the largest single sale ever for a bottle. Over the past 50 years, single malts have become increasingly popular. Scottish single malt exports grew by 14.2% in 2017 to reach nearly $1.5 billion.

Glenfiddich distillery in Scotland is the world’s largest exporter of single malt. Started in Dufftown in 1886, it ships 1.2 million 9-liter cases each year. 

Making single malt is a difficult and lengthy process. Barley is ground down and added to spring water. Heated to 64°C, it turns to sugar, dissolving into a fine sweet, tangy liquid called wort. The wort is drained, cooled, and passed into wash-backs. This is heated and condensed in copper wash stills for its first distillation, and a second time in spirit stills. This spirit trickles into the spirit safe, ready for maturation, and then is batched in casks with spring water. Casks spend years in the warehouse, maturing into a single malt.

An aged 30-year maturation can have 30% to 40% of the alcohol evaporated in the barrel, or over 1% each year of the whisky’s life. This is because of “Angel’s Share” — the natural evaporation of the liquid into the atmosphere over time. So older whiskies are expensive not because they’re old, but because they are rare. 

Fashion, and the collector’s market, also have something to do with the rise in popularity. Christie’s Director of Wine Tim Tiptree oversaw the sale in 2018 of The Macallan 1926 60-Year-Old, which sold for $1,512,000 to a private buyer. According to Tim, the collector’s market will continue to grow. 

India, China, and Japan, are now main players in the single malt market. Particularly successful is the Yamazaki distillery in Osaka prefecture. Rare whiskies from their collection of single malts now sell for thousands of dollars. 

We tried a 12 year-old single malt worth $36, and the 50 year-old bottle worth $30,000.

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Why Single Malt Whisky Is So Expensive | So Expensive

Einstein’s ‘God letter’ sells for $2.4 million

(5 Dec 2018) Christie’s auction house in New York City Tuesday sold a letter written by Albert Einstein in 1954 for $2.4 million. The letter gives a glimpse into the theoretical physicist’s opinion of God. (Dec. 5)

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