JNET banner ad

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Graff Honors Paris With Two Statement Jewels For La Biennale

Royal Star of Paris

The Biennale des Antiquaires at the Grand Palais in Paris hosts some of the top high jewelers in the world who release special collections every two years just for this event. Graff Diamonds marks its return to the show by unveiling a new collection led by two statement jewels centered by standout diamonds and gems: the “Royal Star of Paris,” and “Le Collier Bleu de Reve.”

The Royal Star of Paris, a brooch (which also can be worn as a pendant) has two diamonds of at least 100 carats each: the “Graff Sunflower,” a 107.46-carat fancy yellow cushion cut diamond and the “Graff Perfection,” a 100-carat D flawless pear shape diamond drop.

“We create legendary stones with remarkable stories to tell, one such diamond is the Graff Perfection, Graff said. “Following many hours of painstaking work, we unleashed the true potential of an incredible 225 carat rough diamond, transforming it from perfection to ultra-perfection.”

Le Collier Bleu de Reve

Le Collier Bleu de Reve is set with a 10.47 carat fancy vivid blue internally flawless briolette diamond. The other key stone is a 4.22 carat untreated old-mine Colombian emerald. The central element of the jewel can be detached from the beaded diamond necklace and worn alone as a brooch.

“I truly believe that when you are searching for the perfect precious gemstone you should look for an emerald greener than green,” Graff said. “The emerald in this necklace really is greener than green and incredibly clear.”

The remaining pieces in the Biennale collection continue the theme of stone-led design; with brooches made of rare colored diamonds and gemstones, necklaces depicting natural motifs using gemstones, and designs with beaded tassels all complemented by bracelets and earrings.

All of the jewels, including the statement pieces, are hand-crafted at Graff’s London atelier.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

3.37-Carat Pinkish Purple Diamond On View at Hong Kong Jewelry Fair

The "Purple Orchid" diamond

A fancy intense pinkish purple VS2 diamond will be shown to the public for the first time during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. The 3.37-carat gem, named the “Purple Orchid,” has an asking price of $4 million, or nearly $1.2 million per carat. Leibish & Co., an Israeli firm that owns the diamond, says it’s a “once-in-a-lifetime” find.

The diamond will be on view at the AsiaWorld-Expo near Hong Kong International Airport September 15 – 19. The jewelry tradeshow is only open to qualified jewelry professionals. The Hong Kong jewelry show is also located at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 17 – 21. 

Leibish & Co., which sells its fancy colored diamonds and jewelry online at www.leibish.com, says the gem originated from an unnamed South African mine, one of the very few in the world where purple diamonds can be found. The company purchased the diamond as a rough of more than 4 carats and spent four months cutting and polishing the gem.

Leibish Polnauer, president of Leibish & Co., says it is a “once-in-a-lifetime” find. “There is nothing more unique on the market right now than color diamonds, and this incredible purple diamond is more than a cut above the rest. There are very, very few diamonds on the market above 3 carats with purple as the main color, which is what makes this exquisite diamond so rare.”

There isn’t a lot of documentation on how purple diamonds get their color, but it is believed that it is the combination of crystal lattice distortion (which is also involved in the creation of pink diamonds) and high amounts of hydrogen.

Leibish & Co also views this diamond as a fashion-forward statement as it says the color of the diamond is associated with “Radiant Orchid,” the Pantone color of year for 2014.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

Friday, September 12, 2014

Anoop Mehta to Receive JNA Lifetime Achievement Award

Anoop Mehta

Anoop Mehta, president of the Bharat Diamond Bourse, will be presented the JNA Lifetime Achievement Award, during the September Hong Kong Gem & Jewellery Fair

The award is one of the highest accolades in the global jewelry and gemstone industry and the most esteemed tribute conferred by the JNA Awards—organized by trade publication, Jewellery News Asia—which honors innovators and leaders of the international jewelry industry in manufacturing, branding, retailing, best business practice, innovation, sustainability and outstanding contribution.

Mehta will receive the award at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on September 16 at the InterContinental Hong Kong. It is a ticketed event.

The Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes visionary leaders who have made significant contributions to the jewelry industry, particularly in Asia. Past recipients included Nicky Oppenheimer, former chairman of De Beers Group, and Leung Sik Wah, honorary life president of the Diamond Federation of Hong Kong, China and chairman of the Hong Kong Jewellers’ & Goldsmiths’ Association.

“Anoop Mehta is recognized for his vision and strong commitment to the growth of the diamond industry,” said Letitia Chow, chair of the JNA Awards Judging Panel. “He has stepped up to lead and steer the Bharat Diamond Bourse to a successful launch. The diamond exchange has since been branded as the world’s largest. This is an endeavor that requires exceptional leadership and great courage, and takes a pioneer to accomplish.”

“This award is testament to the remarkable teams of people that I have had the privilege to work with in order to bring the Bharat Diamond Bourse to full operation," Mehta said. "The diamond exchange is the result of the collective effort of many. I would like to dedicate this award to these exemplary individuals who have made a difference to the diamond industry.”

Mehta joined the jewelry industry at a young age through the family business. He has since worked to foster the growth of the industry by promoting and developing the diamond trade for more than 30 years, with the BDB being his most high-profile achievement.

Inaugurated in 2010, the bourse is a service-oriented, non-profit organization devoted to establishing infrastructural facilities for the promotion of diamond trading, as well as reinforcing India’s role as an international diamond trading hub for manufacturers, brokers and agents.

Mehta has also been associated with the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council for several years and is on the committee of the Diamond Exporters Association Ltd. He also serves as Chairman and Managing Director of Mohit Diamonds Private Ltd and is a partner at Mohanlal Raichand& Sons, one of the oldest diamond businesses in India.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

Monday, September 8, 2014

Montblanc Launches Bohème Watch Collection with Elegant, Elaborate Performance in Shanghai

Celebrities from around the world in attendance with Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc International CEO (fourth from left) at the Bohème ladies watch collection launch.

Luxury brand Montblanc chose Shanghai for the global introduction of its new Bohème ladies watch collection with a star-studded affair on August 28 at the Children’s Art Theatre attended by several hundred invited guests and media. 

In doing so the luxury brand showed to the world that the traditionally masculine brand is looking to the ladies market for growth, that it values its long relationship with China, and that it is able to create a buzz in one of the largest and fastest growing markets in the world.

Montblanc Bohème Perpetual Calendar Jewellery

The event itself was a large-scale production held in a circular theater setting with colorful performances that could rival Las Vegas in terms of spectacle with musicians, dancers and models rising up from beneath the floor of the theater in various places. Several celebrities from around the world strolled the red carpet outside the theater and participated in the performance’s grand finale. The guests of honor were Taiwanese-born actress and Montblanc Brand Ambassador Kwai Lun Mei and Australian actor Chris Hemsworth, a designated friend of the brand. Prior to the performance, watch making demonstrations were held in the lobby of the theater. 

The performance during the August 28 unveiling of the Bohème ladies watch line at the Children’s Art Theatre in Shanghai, China.

Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc International CEO, said the luxury brand’s relationship with China goes back to 1992 and has grown to become one of its top three markets. The company now has 105 points of sale, including 47 mono-brand boutiques. Needless to say the country is very important to the luxury brand.

Colorful Italian Leather Straps for Bohème Watches created by Montblanc’s leather manufacturing operation in Florence, Italy. In addition to traditional styles, the straps are available in yellow, orange, and two shades of blue. 

Then there are the female shoppers, whose appetite in China (and in much of the world) for luxury goods continues to grow. This is the where Montblanc, a traditionally masculine luxury brand, is focusing its efforts. 

Montblanc ambassador and actress Gwei Lun-Mei was the
guest of honor at the global launch of the Bohème watch collection.

“More than 35 percent of our clientele of Montblanc (worldwide) are ladies, but they are buying a lot for their husbands or boyfriends,” said Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc International CEO. “We do believe there is an opportunity to bring them along to the maison…. We know ladies are very determined when it comes to luxury goods these days in China. It’s a natural extension of the market.”

Models wear Bohème watches on stage during the Bohème global launch event at the Children’s Art Theatre in Shanghai, China

Lambert added that products for women now account for 20 percent of Montblanc’s inventory.

Bohème Date Automatic Jewellery

The Bohème ladies watch collection feature both a feminine exterior with precious gems and metals while inside it is powered by serious movements and complications. It is an extension of a feminine writing instruments collection under the same name. The lead item in this collection is the “Bohème Perpetual Calendar Jewellery.”

The Montblanc name and star logo clearly visible on the exterior of the Children’s Art Theatre.

The 36mm watch features a silver guilloché dial that shows the month and leap year cycle at 12 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock, moon phases at 6 o’clock and day of the week at 9 o’clock. The bezel of the red-gold case is adorned with 60 diamonds and the winding crown is topped with a diamond in the shape of the Montblanc star emblem. 

Actor Chris Hemsworth, a friend of the Montblanc brand, attends the launch of the Bohème collection.

The watch is powered by the automatic caliber MB 29.15, which was introduced at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) in January for the Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Perpetual Calendar men’s watch, which distinguished itself as perhaps the first watch with a perpetual calendar and a moon phase for 10,000 euros. The perpetual calendar requires no manual adjustment until the year 2100. However, if a correction is needed, tiny controls hidden inside the watch allow for fast and easy adjustments.

Musicians perform at the global launch of the Bohème watch collection.

The Bohème Date Automatic features several styles of diamonds, gold and stainless steel with mother-of-pearl, diamond pavé or guilloche dial finishes. The 30mm watch features an elongated date display at 6 o’clock. The shape serves as the signature style of the Bohème collection.

Bohème was traditionally a collection of feminine writing instruments. It's fitting that new writing instruments would accompany the introduction of the Bohème watch collection.

Floral Arabic numerals with “filet sauté” minute scale, the blued or red gold-plated leaf-shaped hour-and minute-hand and the central second hand extended with the Montblanc star emblem. It is powered by a MB 24.14 automatic movement. The bezel of the jewelry version of the watch can be adorned with 62 diamonds and a dial topped with 8 diamonds. 

Celebrity blogger Chiara Ferragni

Lambert, who has led Montblanc for a little over a year has been credited with finding synergies between the brand’s various manufacturing facilities. In this case, he used Montblanc’s leather manufacturing operation in Florence, Italy, to create colorful watch straps for the Bohème collection, thus giving buyers more options when selecting watches. In addition to traditional styles, the wristbands are available in yellow, orange, and two shades of blue. 

Bohème red gold and silver jewelry collection to accompany the new watch collection.

“We believe that cross fertilization, in this case leather and watches, combines itself quite nicely,” Lambert said. “It’s a good way for us to sustain a better approach to a lifestyle.”


Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc International CEO

The Bohème collection also includes complementary jewelry and writing instruments. 

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

Sunday, September 7, 2014

DMCC’s Ahmed Bin Sulayem to Receive JNA Award For Outstanding Contribution

Ahmed Bin Sulayem

Ahmed Bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, will receive the 2014 Outstanding Contribution Award during the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner on September 16 at the InterContinental Hong Kong. The JNA Awards event, the culmination of a year-long process, will be held during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. The awards are organized by Jewellery News Asia, the leading trade magazine for the Asian jewelry industry. 

Bin Sulayem is the second individual to receive the Outstanding Contribution Award.

Bin Sulayem’s accomplishments have had a positive and enduring impact, not only on DMCC and Dubai, but on the global gemstone and jewelry industry, according to Letitia Chow, chair of the JNA Awards judging panel. 

“Under Ahmed Bin Sulayem’s leadership, DMCC has enhanced the flow of diamonds, precious metals, pearls and other commodities through Dubai—one of the world’s leading trade hubs. His vision and boldness in executing his role at DMCC has led to the expansion of the global commodities sector,” Chow said. “His leadership has not only established Dubai as a major commodities trading hub, but also promoted synergistic collaboration with trading partners in Asia.”

Under Bin Sulayem’s guidance, Dubai has become one of the leading diamond trading centers in the world.

“It is an honor to accept this prestigious award on behalf of DMCC and Dubai as testament to the strength and leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai,” he said. “It is his vision that has enabled DMCC to establish Dubai as the global hub for commodities trade and enterprise, and in doing so making the most of the Emirate’s geographical location between the jewelry and gemstone-producing and consuming countries.”

Under Bin Sulayem’s leadership, gold trade through Dubai has grown from $6 billion in 2003 to $75 billion in 2013. The diamond industry has grown to about $39 billion, and Dubai is now ranked among the world’s top three marketplaces for rough and polished diamonds. 

Since joining DMCC in 2001, Bin Sulayem oversaw the construction of the Almas Tower, the tallest commercial tower in the Middle East built for the diamond trade; and several products and services, including the establishment of the DMCC Free Zone, the Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, and the Dubai Diamond Exchange. He also played a leading role in reviving Dubai’s pearl industry by launching the Dubai Pearl Exchange in 2007. In just over a decade, DMCC has enabled the flow of trade through Dubai to grow immensely while positioning its free zone as the global gateway for commodities trade and enterprise. 

Now in its third year, the JNA Awards is an industry-wide event that honors and recognizes excellence and achievement in the global jewelry trade with an Asian focus. In 2013, it conferred the Outstanding Contribution of the Year Award to celebrated jewelry master and sculptor Wallace Chan. 

For the Awards’ 2014 edition, a total of 29 companies and six individuals from 11 countries and regions have been shortlisted across 16 categories.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Belated 2014 Emmy Awards Jewelry Roundup

Jessica Pare wears Fred Leighton platinum and diamond pendant necklace from the 1950's and platinum and diamond stud earrings (two carats each).

I’m going to blame it on the people in charge of the Emmys and on NBC, the network owned by the Evil Empire of Comcast, for the delay in presenting this roundup of red carpet jewelry. Holding the broadcast of the Primetime Emmys on the last week of August when people are either on vacation or preparing a return to school seemed ill conceived to me.

Lucy Liu wears Lorraine Schwartz yellow gold and canary yellow diamond earrings and ring. The jewelry was provided by LoveGold.com

I was neither on vacation nor have family members of school age. But I had to travel for work (more on that soon). Anyway, the weird decision of televising the awards shows on August 25 (a Monday for crissakes) turned out well enough, or “OK,” as USA Today put it, with a viewership of 15.6 million people, according to Neilsen.

Christina Hendricks in 18k Yellow Gold Jewelry by Neil Lane that includes: a diamond and gold lovebird bracelet; a rose-cut mogul diamond gold bangle; a pair of ornate gold bangles; a garnet, pearl, and gold Victorian bracelet; a  crimson garnet, diamond, and gold ring; and carved gold girandole earrings. The jewelry was provided by LoveGold.com.

I was unable to see the red carpet parade and only saw a portion of the telecast as I had to prepare for my trip. I didn’t need to watch to know that Breaking Bad (Best Show Ever) won another 100 or so awards.

Laura Prepon sparkles in Simon G Diamond Jewelry that included the following: 18k white gold earrings with 3.16-carats of round white diamonds; an 18k white gold bangle with 7.98-carats of round white diamonds; an 18k white gold ring with 1.37-carats of princess diamonds and 1.53-carats baguette diamonds; An 18k white gold bangle with 2.17-carats ofround white diamonds; an 18k white gold bracelet with 1.63-carats of round white diamonds and 5.84-carats of baguette diamonds; and an 18k white gold ring with a 1-carat round white diamond.

So like I said I’m blaming the Evil Empire of Comcast and the Emmy committee for the week-plus delay in putting this roundup together. That’s it, no more excuses.

January Jones wears Jack Vartanian diamond ear climbers.

The Emmys' Red Carpet parade had familiar faces and familiar designers along with new faces and new designers. There was classic diamond jewelry on white gold or platinum that, like a wedding, is always part of the red carpet. There were also more modern pieces, such as ear climbers and multiple-finger rings. There were colored gemstones, some quite unusual. And there was the annual attempt of LoveGold, the jewelry fashion division of the World Gold Council, to place yellow gold on everyone on the red carpet. To their credit there was plenty of yellow gold.

Downton Abbey actress Joanne Froggatt wearing Brumani earrings.

Oh, and the women of Mad Men women looked great. So did Lucy Liu.

Zooey Deschanel wears Forevermark diamond jewelry by Maria Canale Aster Collection that incldues ring, earrings and bracelet adorned with round brilliant Forevermark diamonds set in 18k white gold.

So without further complaints, here are my selections of the most interesting jewelry (from the available pictures I have) worn by those who were chosen to take that lovely red carpet stroll.

Betsy Brandt wears a Kallati pave diamond cocktail ring from the brand's True Couture collection. The ring features 2.25 carats of pave set brilliant white diamonds in 14k white gold.

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website

Michelle Dockery wears Ana Khouri jewelry, including a yellow gold grey pearl Patricia ear cuffs, yellow gold and white diamond Lucky bracelets, yellow gold and grey pearl Charlotte ring, white diamond Isabel four finger ring, gold Wave tiara. The jewelry was provided by LoveGold.com.

Taylor Schilling in Forevermark Exceptional Diamond Jewelry by Premier Gem, including a diamond ring with 10.39-carat pear diamond set in platinum; cuff earrings with pear and round brilliant diamonds set in 18k white gold; Forevermark Martini Set Diamond Stud with 5.20 carats of round brilliant diamonds set in platinum; a bracelet with 28.02 carats of round brilliant diamonds; a lattice bracelet with round brilliant diamonds set in platinum; and an Eternity Band with round Brilliant diamonds set in 18k rose gold.

Taryn Manning wears Suzanne Kalan smoky quartz earrings and ring.

Melissa McCarthy wears Le Vian diamond ring and a Doves by Doron Paloma African sapphire ring.

Halle Berry wears Doves by Doron Paloma amethyst and mother of pearl earrings.

Giuliana Rancic in Forevermark diamond jewelry by Jade Trau that includes a Name Plate Bangle with a round brilliant diamond set in 18k yellow gold; a pear cuff with pear diamonds set in 18k yellow gold; “Star” cuffs with round brilliant diamonds set in 18k rose gold and yellow gold; “Halo” cuffs with round brilliant diamonds set in 18k rose gold and yellow gold; “Knife Edge” cuff with round brilliant diamonds set in 18k yellow gold; diamond stud earrings with round brilliant diamonds set in platinum; and a 13.56-carat radiant cut diamond set in platinum.

Kelly Osbourne wears Beladora that includes 18k yellow gold, citrine and topaz ring; a Gemstone Flower ring in 18k yellow gold with yellow and white diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds; an 18k gold and diamond ring; an 18k yellow gold antique Edwardian spinel and diamond ring; 18k rose gold earrings with diamonds; 14k rose gold bracelet; 14k yellow and rose gold bracelet with rubies and diamonds; 14k rose and yellow gold bracelet; and 14k yellow gold moonstone bracelet. The jewelry was provided by LoveGold.com.

Lisa Rinna wears Suzanne Kalan earrings and three Le Vian diamond rings.

Sarah Silverman wears Pasquale Bruni diamond earrings and a Le Vian diamond ring.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pandora Names Anders Colding Friis as CEO, Peder Tuborgh as Board Chair

Anders Colding Friis 

Danish jewelry company Pandora is going through another round of leadership changes as it plans to appoint a new CEO and board chairman in the coming months. 

The company said Thursday that it will name tobacco company executive Anders Colding Friis as its fifth CEO since the company went public in 2010. He will succeed current CEO Allan Leighton in March 2015. 


Allan Leighton

In addition, Pandora said it plans to make Peder Tuborgh chairman of its board of directors in October. He will replace Marcello Bottoli, who announced previously that he will step down due to other professional commitments. 

The Denmark-based company with manufacturing facilities in Thailand is known for its popular charm jewelry and other affordable jewelry pieces. It is also known for raising approximately $2.1 billion in its IPO in October 2010, for incredible sales growth during its first three quarters as a publicly traded company followed by a sudden approximate 65 percent decline in its stock price based on a company report that dramatically reduced its outlook. 

The company has experienced steady growth in sales and stock value since then but its top executive position continues to be in constant change. 


Peder Tuborgh

In this case it appears Leighton’s turn as CEO was planned as a temporary move. He was already chairman of the jewelry company when he replaced Bjørn Gulden as CEO in July 2013. Gulden accepted a position as CEO of athletic apparel company, Puma. Bottoli also served a stint as CEO during the company’s time of turmoil.

Friis, 51, is a Danish citizen and since 2006 has been the Group CEO of Scandinavian Tobacco Group, the world’s largest manufacturer of cigars and pipe tobacco. He also is chairman of Monberg & Thorsen, deputy chairman of IC Companys, board member of Topdanmark and Confederation of Danish Industry.

Marcello Bottoli

Leighton will step down from his role as CEO after reporting Pandora’s full year results for 2014. At the next annual general meeting, Leighton is expected to be named the company’s co-deputy chairman of the board.

Tuborgh, 51, is a Danish citizen who holds an MBA from Odense University and has held a series of management positions in Arla Foods, an international dairy company, before becoming group CEO in 2005. He is also deputy chairman of Aarhus University and board member of Royal Greenland.

“A managed succession at the top of the company, at a time when its performance and opportunities have never been stronger, has been a key objective for the board,” Bottoli said. “I am delighted with the result and to have been an active part of this.”

Please join me on the Jewelry News Network Facebook Page, on Twitter @JewelryNewsNet and on the Forbes website