Asteria Colored Diamonds

Asteria Colored Diamonds

TechForm

TechForm Platinum Jewelry Casting

Leibish & Co

LovePendants

Monday, April 30, 2012

The $15 Million Diamond Cocktail Dress


A diamond wholesaler recently unveiled a $15 million custom-designed cocktail dress comprised of 100 3-carat round diamonds.

A total of 85 diamonds were located on the bodice of the “little black dress,” four diamonds on each sleeve and seven adorning the back.

The diamonds were provided by Tov International, a third-generation family owned and operated New York diamond wholesale business that specializes in 3-carat round brilliant diamonds. The dress was designed by Chloe & Reese, a New York based dress designer that specializes in custom cocktail dresses.

The dress was unveiled on April 25 during a fashion show at the American Gem Society 2012 Conclave, the annual tradeshow of AGS, a trade organization that specializes in the development and maintenance of superior gemological skills and knowledge.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

15-Carat Yellow Diamond Highlights Toronto Jewelry Store Exhibit


A collection of fancy yellow diamonds worth approximately $10 million will be exhibited at the Birks jewelry store on Bloor Street in Toronto from May 2 to 6. It will be the largest collection of yellow diamonds ever to be exhibited in the 133-year history of the Birks luxury jewelry chain.

A total of more than 60 diamond jewelry pieces will be on display, including a rare 15-carat internally flawless, fancy intense yellow radiant-cut diamond set in a platinum ring, with a trapezoid on each side.

“Yellow diamonds are some of the world’s most beautiful fancy color diamonds and have been the choice of royals and celebs throughout the ages,” said Jean-Christophe Bedos, president and CEO of Birks & Mayors Inc.

Birks is a manufacturer and retailer of fine jewelry in Canada. It is part of Montreal-based Birks & Mayors, a luxury jewelry retailer with 58 luxury jewelry stores in Canada and the United States. The company operates 31 stores under the Birks brand in Canada and 24 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia, two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand, and one retail location in Orlando under the Rolex brand.

40th Anniversary Auction Of Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Watches

Audemars Piguet Grand Complication, Piece Unique

Antiquorum Auctioneers’ May 13 sale of Important Modern & Vintage Timepieces at the Grand Hotel Kempinski in Geneva will include a special collection of Audemars Piguet Royal Oaks in honor of the iconic model’s 40th anniversary.

The Swiss luxury watch brand collaborated with Antiquorum on this sale by having each timepiece in this section sent to the manufacture in Le Brassus to be checked for authenticity. They will be delivered with an Audemars Piguet certificate of origin.

Highlights of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak sale include the following:


Royal Oak Jumbo “A Series,” No. 88. Produced in 1972, this example is a rare and octagonal, self-winding, water-resistant, stainless steel wristwatch with date and a stainless steel Audemars Piguet bracelet. The Royal Oak A series is the earliest serial number ever to be offered at auction. Estimate: $16,000 – $20,000.


Royal Oak Jumbo Skeleton. This watch, produced in 1991, is a rare, water-resistant, tonneau shaped, 18K yellow gold self-winding wristwatch with 18K yellow gold Audemars Piguet bracelet accompanied by the original warranty, instruction booklet and fitted box, and an Audemars Piguet Certificate of Origin. Estimate: $22,000 – $33,000.

Grand Complication, Piece Unique No. 1/1, 18k White Gold and Diamond (top picture). Produced as a unique piece in 1994, this timepiece is a large minute-repeating, water-resistant, self-winding, 18k white gold and diamond set wristwatch with co-axial round button split-seconds chronograph, register, perpetual calendar with indication of the weeks, moon phases, and an integrated 18k white gold and full diamond – set Audemars Piguet link bracelet. It is accompanied by an Audemars Piguet Certificate of Origin. Estimate: $650,000 – $1.1 million.

Other Audemars Piguet Royal Oak watches as part of the sale include:

* “Royal Oak Offshore, Automatic – End of Days,” No. 343/500. Estimate: $27,000 – $38,000.

* Royal Oak Chronograph, Giorgio Armani, No. 001, White Gold. Estimate: $45,000 – $65,000.

* Royal Oak Jumbo retailed by Bulgari, Former Property of President Venezuela Carlos Andres Perez. Estimate: $33,000 – $45,000.

* Royal Oak, Paris Boutique, Limited Edition of 50 pieces. Estimate: $27,000 – $38,000.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

JAR Diamond Ring, 6-Carat Burmese Ruby and Jade Necklace at Christie’s Hong Kong Auction

JAR three-diamond ring. Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

The upcoming Christie’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale is turning out to be something special in the quality and quantity of the items for sale. As previously reported, the May 29 sale at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, will have the largest round fancy intense pink diamond to ever appear at auction and a 11.85-carat D VVS1 potentially flawless round brilliant-cut diamond—both with Harry Winston pedigree. But there’s more.

The 1:30 p.m. sale, in the Woods Room of the convention hall, will include a three-diamond ring from JAR, a 6-carat, pigeon’s blood Burma ruby and diamond ring, and being Hong Kong, a superb jadeite bead necklace. The auction will also include natural pearls, Burmese sapphires, Colombian emeralds, rare period pieces, and selection of signed contemporary jewels.

The ring from JAR is set with three diamonds. They are a 10.67-carat D color, internally flawless, oval-shaped diamond at its center, flanked by two D color, internally flawless diamonds of 6.07 and 6.04 carats. The estimate is $2.5 million – $3.5 million. Perhaps the world’s most influential jewelry designer, Joel Arthur Rosenthal, along with his Swiss business partner, Pierre Jeannet, founded JAR in 1977. It is housed discreetly in an apartment boutique on Place Vendôme in Paris, only accepting clients by appointment. The one-of-a-kind and often made-to-order JAR creations are sought after by clients around the world and their appearance on the auction market marks an important event for collectors.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Also among the highlights of the auction is a 6.04-carat Burmese ruby and diamond ring by Etcetera (pictured above) with an estimate of $2.5 million – $3.8 million. This no heat cushion-shaped stone possesses the most desirable “pigeon’s blood red” color and an extraordinary degree of transparency. Burmese rubies over 5 carats, particular those gems that have not undergone any thermal enhancement are extremely rare.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Another item that will attract the attention of bidders is a jadeite bead necklace (pictured above) with an estimate of $3.2 million - $4.5 million. “Evenly and strongly saturated, each of the jadeite beads featured in this necklace exhibits the optimal combination of color, translucency and texture,” Christie’s says. “The beads display a vivid emerald green color with a desirable tone that is neither too dark nor light. Their fine texture and excellent glass-like translucency only bolsters the rareness of such high-quality material, resulting in one of the most anticipated jewels offered at auction this year.”

Harry Winston Diamond Earrings Could Fetch Nearly $4 Million at Christie’s Geneva Sale

Pear-shaped diamond earrings by Harry Winston estimated to fetch $3.2 million and $3.9 million. Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Pear-shaped diamond earrings by Harry Winston weighing 16.21 and 15.67 carats is the top lot of the May 16 Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues. The set of D/VVS2, potentially flawless diamond earrings is expected to fetch $3.2 million and $3.9 million.

More than 340 lots estimated to bring in more than $50 million will be offered by the auction house in Geneva, including a colored diamond ring (whose history is closely linked to Hollywood legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton), jewelry that once belonged to Mexian movie icon Maria Felix, a diamond tiara commissioned for the wedding of Count Carlo Raggio and Marchioness Tea Spinola in 1909, and a collection of Cartier cats.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

A 12.6-carat fancy brown-orange diamond ring (pictured above) that was offered to Elizabeth Taylor by Richard Burton in 1975 while they were in Africa is estimated at $600,000 – $800,000. Taylor refused the present, arguing that the money should be spent for building a hospital in Botswana.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Other significant items include a diamond flower brooch (pictured above) that is expected to fetch $2.5 million – $3 million and a 33.07-carat cushion-shaped Kashmir sapphire ring that is estimated to sell for 2.5 million – $3 million.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

A Belle Epoque old-cut diamond tiara (pictured above) was part of a large group of exceptional jewels, specially commissioned by Italian jeweler Filippo Chiappe (1863-1936), for the wedding of Count Carlo Raggio and Marchioness Tea Spinola in 1909. Appointed court jeweler to the Savoy House and official supplier to the Italian Royal Family in 1913, Filippo Chiappe is one of the most famous Italian jewelers of his time. It has an estimate of $320,000 – $530,000.

Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Jeanne Toussaint, appointed director of jewellery at Cartier in 1933, is credited with the creation of “Big Cat” jewelry. The Duke of Windsor commissioned a panther brooch in the late 1940s, and since then the panther has become an iconic Cartier motif. A great example of the legendary “Big Cat” series is a diamond, colored diamond, onyx and emerald tiger brooch created by Cartier in the 1960s. Designed as a tiger hanging from a baguette-cut diamond hoop, its body, tail and head set with yellow diamonds and onyx, its estimate is $290,000 – $380,000.

The highlight of a section dedicated to antique Indian jewels is the set of diamond, enamel and gold jewelry from the collection of Mexican movie legend María Félix (1914-2002). Comprising of a brooch designed as a Mughal tulip set with table-cut diamonds, a bracelet set with octagonal and pear shaped table-cut diamonds, a necklace centering upon a table-cut diamond flower-head with old-cut diamond leaves, and a pair of modern ear pendants, designed as diamond flower-heads, this set dates back to the 19th century and will be offered as a single lot with an estimate of $1 million to $1.5 million.

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, May 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Viewings in Geneva will be held May 11 till May 16.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Judges named for JNA Awards

From left: Albert Cheng, MD of World Gold Council - Far East, James Courage, CEO of Platinum Guild International, Matthew Runci, president & CEO of Jewelers of America, and Wilson Yuen, president of International Colored Gemstone Association

Jewellery News Asia, has revealed the names of the international panel of jewelry industry experts who will serve as judges for the JNA Awards.

The panel consists of:

Albert Cheng, managing director, World Gold Council - Far East
James Courage, CEO, Platinum Guild International UK Ltd
Matthew Runci, president and CEO, Jewelers of America
Wilson Yuen, president, International Colored Gemstone Association

"It is exciting to have these authoritative leaders representing various sectors of the industry and different corners of the world serving as judges in our inaugural event," said Letitia Chow, founder of Jewellery News Asia and director of business development. "It is important that the process is robust, transparent and intellectually rigorous."

The JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honors and recognizes excellence and achievement in the Asian jewelry trade. The awards ceremony and gala dinner will be held on September 20, during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The event, the first of its kind in Asia, is organized by Jewellery News Asia, a subsidiary of UBM Asia, in collaboration with UBM Awards.

The competition is open for entries until May 4. Interested parties may obtain details on the award categories, rules of entry, judging criteria and judging process by logging on to www.JNAawards.com. Entry forms are available online.

JNA Awards Categories are:

* Manufacturer of the Year
* Retailer of the Year
* Employer of the Year
* Brand of the Year
* Industry Innovation of the Year—Manufacturing
* Industry Innovation of the Year—Retail
* Sustainability Initiative of the Year
* Young Leader of the Year (Age 30 or below)
* 3 Decades of Excellence Award
* Outstanding Contribution to the Industry of the Year
* Lifetime Achievement Award
* Wonder of the World Award

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Diamonds, Gems Share the Sparkle with Natural Pearls at Christie’s Auction

'The Perfect Diamond'

NEW YORK — The collection from the estate of Huguette M. Clark got most of the attention at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale Tuesday, but among the 305 lots were important diamonds and gemstones and signature jewelry pieces that received a great deal of attention among bidders.

It was standing room only in Woods Room at Christie’s headquarters as those in the room competed with phone and Internet buyers from around the world. It was a very competitive environment with lengthy, spirited bidding for many of the lots.The sale fetched a total of $70.7 million, with 95 percent of the items sold by lot and 97 percent of the estimated price realized.

View the major items from the sale by following this link.

In addition to large diamonds, which always do well in this environment, sapphires were very popular. There were several extremely strong natural pearls sales, as they appear to be poised for a comeback on the international luxury jewelry market. Among the top items sold were:

* “The Clark Pink,” a 9-carat, cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish pink diamond ring by Dreicer & Co., circa 1910, from the Huguette M. Clark estate, sold for $15.7 million, making it the most valuable pink diamond ever sold in the United States.

* “The Perfect Diamond,” a 44.09-carat rectangular-cut diamond ring (top picture); D-color, internally flawless clarity, Type IIa, with excellent polish and excellent symmetry. The estimate was upon request. It was the last lot of the evening but did not get the highest total (The Clark diamond was the winner). However, it sold for an impressive $7.4 million.

* “The Clark Diamond,” a 19.86-carat rectangular-cut D color potentially IF diamond ring by Cartier, from the Huguette M. Clark estate, sold for $3.1 million.


* One of the big surprises of the sale was a 31.53-carat sugarloaf cabochon Kashmir sapphire ring (above) by Van Cleef & Arpels, which sold for $2.65 million—a world record price for a cabochon sapphire. Its estimate was $300,000 – $500,000.

* A fancy yellow and fancy light yellow diamond cluster necklace by Graff received a lot of attention from bidders. It sold for $2.3 million.

* A pear-shaped D color potentially IF diamond ring of 16.33 cts by Van Cleef & Arpels sold for 2.1 million.

* A cushion-cut fancy intense yellow VS1 diamond ring of 43.49 cts by Graff sold for 1.87 million.


* A five-strand natural pearl necklace (above) sold  for $1.67 million, more than double its high estimate of $800,000. A single-strand natural pearl and diamond necklace by Tiffany & Co., from the Huguette M. Clark estate, sold for $362,000, shattering the estimate of $20,000 to $30,000. Earlier in the day a single-strand natural pearl necklace sold for $266,500, also smashing the estimate of $20,000 – $30,000.

* A 15.08-carat oval-cut F color IF diamond sold for $1.4 million.

* A 15.58-carat rectangular-cut E color VS1 diamond sold for $1.3 million.

Girard-Perregaux Presents a Youthful Look in New Campaign


For all of its success, the Swiss luxury watch industry has a bit of an image problem. The tradition of watchmaking that the industry uses so well to sell its high-end timepieces also lends itself to the criticism that it is a business that lacks the energy of youth. Girard-Perregaux is trying to dispel this image by telling the stories of its younger watchmakers and the diversity they offer the industry.

The La Chaux-de-Fonds-based brand recently launched the print and online journal, The New Face of Tradition, Eight Young Watchmakers and the Art of Making Time. The campaign shows a dynamic image of the young watchmakers behind the brand, featuring their interests outside of their jobs, such as music, sports and hobbies. 


On May 1, Those in New York will have a chance to meet four of the young watchmakers during an event at Cipriani Dolci. In addition to revealing their journals, the watchmakers will be giving one-on-one workshops to watch connoisseurs and guests for insight on watchmaking and what goes into creating these complicated timepieces.


“We are proud of the young artists we share our passion for watchmaking with and are excited to show to the world who they are,” said Michele Sofisti, CEO of Sowind Group (the parent company of Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard). “The New Face of Tradition seeks to break away from the current image many people have of the craft. It is not an antique and certainly not a dead art; it is young, revitalized and constantly evolving, much like the people behind it."


New York City is the first stop of The Girard-Perregaux Young Watchmakers Tour. Later this year the tour will move on to Beijing, Paris and other international cities.

The Clark Pink Diamond Sells for Record $15.7 Million

The 9-ct. Belle Epoque cushion-cut, fancy vivid purplish pink diamond ring from the estate of Huguette M. Clark sold for $15.7 million.

NEW YORK — A 9-carat pink diamond from the estate of Huguette M. Clark sold for more than $15.7 million, after intense, competitive bidding that led to an eruption of applause on the crowded auction floor at Christie’s Tuesday. It is the most valuable pink diamond ever sold in the United States at auction, according to the auction house.

The Belle Epoque cushion-cut, fancy vivid purplish pink diamond, known as “The Clark Pink,” was estimated to fetch $6 to $8 million. Clark, one of the last heiresses of America’s Gilded Age, died in May, 2011, at the age of 104. Her collection of 12 lots drew intense intentional attention because she lived a reclusive life in her later years and her jewels were believed to have been kept in a vault unseen since the 1940s.

The entire collection, which included picture frames, a clock, an American flag lapel and jewelry pieces by Cartier and Tiffany, took in a total of $20.8 million against a presale estimate of $9 million. Other significant items from the estate sale included:

* A 19.86-carat rectangular-cut diamond ring by Cartier that sold for $3.1 million;
* An Art Deco diamond bracelet by Cartier that sold for $578,500; and
* A ruby, sapphire, emerald and gold bracelet by Tiffany & Co. that sold for $266,500.

More images of the Clark estate jewelry can be found by following this link.

The collection was part of Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale Tuesday that had 305 lots that included signature jewels, items from several estates and serious diamonds. It took in a total $70.7 million, with 95 percent of the items sold by lot and 97 percent of the estimated price realized.

More on other significant sales from the auction later today.

Friday, April 13, 2012

I’m Back


I haven’t posted anything new in about a week. It wasn’t planned. Somehow spending time with my family this past weekend extended into taking care of personal things that I’ve neglected and trying to get back to a scheduled since I broke my arm two months ago. Just like that the week was over. I think it’s the longest I’ve gone without posting a story (although I did post earlier today).

It’s been spring here for a while now and the weather is finally catching up to the season. With the warmth comes a very busy time for the jewelry industry and for me. On Tuesday, I’ll be live tweeting from Christie’s Magnificent Jewels Auction. The following week I’ll be in Europe at the headquarters of one of the world’s best-known luxury brands (more on that soon). I am also working on an in-depth piece about luxury brands and digital media. It’s a continuation of a story I wrote for the Financial Times.

There are other things on the horizon as well. In the meantime I’d like to point you to a story by Sílvia Taveira on her blog titled, Adventures in the world of jewelry. The Portuguese resident is not only an excellent writer but she is also a skilled fine jewelry designer. It’s easy to see that she has a passion and strong understanding when it comes to design, fashion and individual style. In this story, “The 5 things I don’t know about JAR,” Sílvia examines her fascination with one of the world’s most successful and most reclusive luxury jewelry designers.

Enjoy

Robert Procop Designs Engagement Ring for Angelina Jolie

A closeup of what is reported to be Angelina Jolie's engagement ring during an April 11 trip to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art with Brad Pitt and their son Pax. Photo credit: Access Hollywood and Credit: The Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Exclusive jeweler Robert Procop says he designed an engagement ring for Angelina Jolie, according to a report in The Hollywood Reporter.

The former CEO of Asprey & Garrard told the publication that Brad Pitt was involved in the design of the ring. She was seen wearing it on April 11 at a private viewing of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's Chinese Galleries, the publication reports.

The Style of Jolie ring worn by Brad Pitt
The couple has been collaborating with Procop for about a couple of years. Jolie and Procop released the “Style of Jolie” jewelry collection in April, 2011. More recently, Pitt wore a “Style of Jolie” ring during the 84th Academy Awards in February.

The engagement ring news comes at the same time  that the couple are reported to be starring in a Ridley Scott film together.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Call for Entries for Inaugural JNA Awards


The inaugural JNA Awards, which honors and recognizes excellence and achievements in the jewelry trade with a focus on contribution and advancement in the Asian region, will be held during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair (September 19 – 25).

Award winners will be honored at a ceremony and gala dinner on September 20 at The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. The awards are organized by Jewellery News Asia, a subsidiary of UBM Asia, in collaboration with UBM Awards.

The event is calling for entries until May 4. Companies and individuals interested in submitting an application can visit www.JNAawards.com for entry forms and to obtain details on the awards categories, rules of entry, judging criteria and judging process.

JNA Awards Categories include:

* Manufacturer of the Year
* Retailer of the Year
* Employer of the Year
* Brand of the Year
* Industry Innovation of the Year—Manufacturing
* Industry Innovation of the Year—Retail
* Sustainability Initiative of the Year
* Young Leader of the Year (Age 30 or below)
* 3 Decades of Excellence Award
* Outstanding Contribution to the Industry of the Year
* Lifetime Achievement Award
* Wonder of the World Award

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

44-Ct. ‘Perfect Diamond’ Up for Auction at Christie’s

'The Perfect Diamond,' a 44.09-Carat rectangular-cut diamond ring; D-color, internally flawless clarity, Type IIa, excellent polish and excellent symmetry; Estimate on request.  Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Christie’s New York will hold its Magnificent Jewels auction on April 17 at its Rockefeller Center headquarters. The sale features more than 300 individual jewels, including top-quality diamonds, gemstones, natural pearls and signed pieces, with estimates ranging from $2,000 to $8 million. The total sale is expected to surpass $40 million.

16.33-Ct., pear-shaped diamond ring by Van Cleef & Arpels; D-color, potentially internally flawless clarity, Type IIa; Estimate, $1.85 million - $2.5 million. Photo Credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

The sale features no less than 10 top-quality D-color diamonds. The assortment is led by what is known as “The Perfect Diamond,” (top photo) a 44.09 carat D-color internally flawless, emerald cut diamond (estimate upon request). Christie’s says the diamond exhibits excellent polish and symmetry with no fluorescence. It is certified as a type IIa diamond, the most chemically pure classification prized for its exceptional optical clarity.

15.08-Ct. oval-cut diamond ring; F-color, internally flawless clarity, Type IIa; Estimate, $1.25 million - $1.55 million. Photo credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Also among the top lots of the evening, as previously reported, are “The Clark Pink,” an extremely rare 9-carat pink diamond ring, and The Clark Diamond, a 20-carat D-color diamond ring. Both items are part of the sale from the estate of Huguette M. Clark, one of the last heiresses of America’s Gilded Age. Ms. Clark’s personal jewelry collection, which is believed to have been stored in a bank vault since the 1940s, includes signed Art Deco jewels by Cartier, Dreicer & Co. and Tiffany & Co. The complete collection of 17 jewels is expected to fetch up to $12 million.

A Colored Diamond Necklace, by Graff; Estimate $1.5 million - $2.5 million. Photo credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

The sale also includes a selection of signed jewels from the Estate of Lucille E. Davison, a prominent collector, philanthropist and long-time trustee of Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. Her jewelry collection includes more than 40 signed jewels that represent the best in modern design, including several “mystery set” jewels by Van Cleef & Arpels, and a selection of bracelets and brooches conceived by the legendary designer Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. The total collection is estimated to reach $1 million. 

Cushion-cut Colombian emerald ear pendants of 26.03 and 25.32 cts. $1 million - $1.5 million. Photo credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

The April 17 sale is the first jewelry auction since the record-breaking $137.2 million jewelry sale of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor in December—which served as the final note on a record $600 million in jewelry sales worldwide for the auction house that was “shaped by continuing demand for top colored and colorless diamonds with exceptional provenance,” said Rahul Kadakia, Head of Jewelry at Christie’s New York.

View all the major sale items by following this link.

From the Estate of Lucille E. Davison, a 'Mystery-Set' ruby and diamond “Pavot” flower brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels; Estimate $60,000 – 80,000. Photo credit: CHRISTIE'S IMAGES LTD. 2012

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Edmonton Jeweler to Display 10-Ct. Pink Diamond


Canadian fine jewelry retail chain, Birks, will showcase a 10-carat fancy light purplish pink diamond at its Edmonton store at Manulife Place, 10180 - 101st St., from April 13-17. The radiant cut diamond with SI1 clarity is owned by a private collector and is available for $2.5 million CAD ($2.52 million). 

The pink diamond originated from a rare rough stone of 21.35 carats found in a South African mine, making it one of the world’s largest pink diamonds ever mined, Birks said in a statement. Because of its large size, it took 3½ months to cut and polish the stone. The pink diamond, with its purple and pink hues, is set on a platinum ring.

Pink diamonds of this size, as regular readers of this blog know, are extremely rare. The auction house Christie's – one of the most important resellers of diamonds in the world—has reportedly auctioned 18 polished pink diamonds over 10 carats in its 244-year history. The South African 10-carat stone, made from a 21.35-carat rough stone, is even larger than Australia's biggest rough pink diamond weighing 12.76 carats, recently unearthed at its Argyle mine, the most famous mine in the world for pink diamonds.

Monday, April 2, 2012

It's Official: Jean-Christophe Bédos Now Head of Birks & Mayors

Jean-Christophe Bédos

Jean-Christophe Bédos officially became the president and CEO of North American luxury retailer and manufacturer, Birks & Mayors Inc., Monday. The appointment was first announced in January.

Bédos replaces Thomas A. Andruskevich who announced his retirement in September, 2011. Bédos, who is based at the company’s headquarters in Montreal, Canada, was transitioning to the leadership position under Andruskevich since January.

Birks & Mayors operates 59 luxury jewelry stores in Canada and the United States—32 stores under the Birks brand in most major markets in Canada and 24 stores under the Mayors brand in Florida and Georgia. The company also operates two retail locations in Calgary and Vancouver under the Brinkhaus brand and one retail location in Orlando under the Rolex brand.

“The Company has deep roots in Britain and since its founding in Montreal in 1879, has built a solid reputation in Quebec and across Canada,” Bédos said. “The company’s history is rich and vibrant, and its creations are today cherished by many generations, including royalty and celebrities. I look forward to building on the Company’s successes and strong design heritage and brand image.”

Prior to his current appointment, Bédos was president and CEO of Parisian luxury jewelry house, Boucheron Intl., from 2004 to 2011. Previously, he was managing director of Cartier from 2002 to 2004, and international executive manager alongside the president of Richemont International from 2000 to 2002. He started his career in the jewelry industry at Cartier in 1988.

Bédos holds a Sloan Master of Science in Management from the London Business School, a LLB in International Law from Université Paris I Sorbonne, a BA (Honors) in European Business from Trent University, Nottingham and a Bachelor of Arts, European Business, from Toulouse Business School.