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Leibish & Co

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

5-Carat Pink Diamond Fetches $5.7 Million, Natural Pearl Necklace Sets World Auction Record

A 5.29-carat purplish pink diamond sold for more than $5.7 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels sale Tuesday. The fancy intense gem was the top lot sold at the auction, surpassing its $5 million high estimate and fetching just under $1.1 million per carat.

Natural pearls were also in high demand Tuesday. The second-highest lot of the sale was a four-strand natural colored pearl necklace that sold for nearly $5.1 million, setting a world auction record for a natural colored pearl necklace. 

The necklace comprises four strands of 81, 76, 69 and 63 natural gray and brown pearls, measuring approximately 12.65 to 4.90 mm. The Swiss Gemmological Institute report confirms the authenticity of these saltwater natural pearls that, according to the report, have no indication of artificial color modification.

In addition, a single-strand natural pearl necklace was also among the top 10 lots. Designed as a graduated strand of 46 natural pearls, measuring 6.95 to 11.90 mm, they are joined by a marquise-cut diamond clasp, mounted in platinum, it sold for just over $1 million.

Rahul Kadakia, International head of Christie’s Jewelry, noted that colored diamonds and the jewelry creations of JAR also performed well with “spirited bidding.”

Graff Diamonds had two of its pieces sell among the top 10 lots. A pear-shaped D-color potentially internally flawless diamond pendant of 25.49 carats, was the third highest lot of the sale, fetching more than $3.4 million ($134,000 per carat) (pictured dangling from a diamond necklace); and a cushion-cut D-color potentially internally flawless diamond of 11.03 carats sold for more than $1.3 million ($120,000 per carat).

Whether diamonds or gems, color remains extremely popular on the auction market. Among the top sellers of the auction were a 5.04-carat circular-cut fancy gray-blue diamond that sold for nearly $2.3 million (pictured above); and a 9.40-carat cushion-shaped Burmese ruby that sold for more than $2.1 million, more than double its $1 million high estimate (pictured below).

JAR jewelry continues to command high prices. A pair of emerald, diamond and colored diamond ear clips sold for $845,000, smashing its $350,000 high estimate (below). It was the ninth highest selling lot of the auction.

Christie’s Magnificent Jewels sale totaled more than $41.9 million, with 77 percent sold by lot and 77 percent sold by value.

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Sultan of Brunei’s Son Is Married in Gold, Diamond and Emerald Splendor, Video and Pictures

Photo credit: The Brunei Times

The Sultan of Brunei, Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the wealthiest men in the world, showed off his abundance in an extravagant wedding for his youngest child, Prince Abdul Malik, held Sunday in the throne room of the Monarch’s 1,788-room palace. It was the highlight of a 10-day wedding celebration that ended April 15. 

The 31-year-old prince and his new wife, Dayangku Raabi'atul 'Adawiyyah Pengiran Haji Bolkiah, were officially presented to dignitaries around the world in gold, diamond and emerald splendor. 

Photo credit: The Brunei Times

According to the Daily Mail and other media outlets, the couple wore matching outfits made of gold. The outfit of the 22-year-old bride, reportedly a former data systems analyst, was studded with diamonds and large emeralds. She wore a sparkling diamond tiara embedded with six large pear-shaped emeralds along with a large diamond necklace with at least 15 emeralds of various sizes and what appears to be a diamond and emerald bracelet on each wrist and at least one diamond emerald ring. 

Her bouquet, instead of flowers, was made of gems and precious metals in the shape of flowers. She reportedly wore Christian Louboutin shoes encrusted with Swarovski crystals and finished with a gold ankle bracelet.

Her translucent veil was topped with a second diamond tiara, set with rubies and a scarlet gem in the center. She also reportedly had a second diamond rope-like necklace. 

This doesn’t count the gold and diamond embellishments worn by the prince nor the gold in the throne room where the couple were officially married. 

For the banquet following the wedding service, the bride wore a beaded purple gown and a diamond necklace and crown set with rubies.

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Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Ruby Jewels Among Highlights of Christie’s Geneva Auction

Van Cleef & Arpels ruby and diamond ear pendants and a matching ring from the property of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis will be one of the signature items at Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels sale on May 13. 

The jewels were presented as a wedding gift by Aristotle Onassis in 1968. Its estimate is $250,000 – $350,000.

A piece with even more historical significance and a higher price tag is the Maria Christina Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch. Another item that was presented as a wedding gift in November 1879 from King Alfonso XII of Spain to his wife, the Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria, soon to be Queen Consort and then Queen Regent of Spain. The brooch, currently in the collection of Baroness Thyssen-Bornemizsa, is expected to fetch $1.5 to $2 million, according to the auction house.

Maria Christina wearing the Royal Devant-de-Corsage brooch

While these two items have historical significance, they are by no means the most expensive of the auction of 351 jewels and gems that is expected to achieve more than $80 million.

The sale includes a number of statement diamonds and gems led by a 55.52-carat pear shaped D-color, Flawless diamond that has an estimate of $8.5 million to $10.5 million (pictured above); a 5.18-carat rectangular-cut Fancy Vivid Pink diamond (estimate $9.5 million – $12.5 million) (pictured below); and a 21.75-carat Ashoka-cut D-color Flawless diamond ring (estimate: $2.8 million – $3.5 million).

Gemstone highlights include “The Pride of Burma,” a 6.25-carat cushion shaped Burmese ruby and diamond ring (estimate: $1.8 million – $2.5 million), a pair of antique emerald Indian bangles (estimate: $1.5 million – $2 million) (both pictured below), and a 35.09-carat, cushion shaped Kashmir sapphire (estimate: $3 million to $4.2 million).

Another highlight includes a large single-strand natural saltwater pearl necklace with an estimate of $2.5 million to $3.5 million (pictured below).

Among signature jewels is an early example of JAR’s work: a pair of tourmaline and agate camellia brooches, circa 1985 with an estimate of $140,000 – $170,000 (pictured below).

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Shenzhen Jewelry Fair To Open April 20

The 13th edition of the China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shenzhen, the jewelry trade event for Southern China, will be held April 20 to 22 at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center. 

The Shenzhen Fair, which occupies 22,000 square meters of exhibition space, brings together more than 380 exhibitors from 12 countries and regions, including Germany, mainland China, Dubai, Thailand, the United States, as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan. They will display jewelry, raw materials, and tools and equipment.

The Shenzhen Fair is timed for jewelers needing to replenish stock after a number of festivals and holidays. The dates for the fair over the past few years have been dependent on the Chinese New Year dates. But beginning this year, fair organizer UBM Asia will hold the event every April to enable buyers and exhibitors to plan in advance.

Participating jewelry companies include CHQ GmbH Fancy Gem House, KGE Rough & Gems HK Co Ltd, S. T. Trading STS Gems Ltd, Sunny Gem Co, Fai Dee Gems Co Ltd, Zhejiang Angeperle Co Ltd, Fai Po Group, Shanghai Kimberlite Diamond Co Ltd, Colorful Gems Ltd Divine Star (HK) Ltd, Rio Pearl, Shenzhen Himens Jewellery & Gold Co Ltd, and Vetorisn Jewellery Co Ltd.

As part of the Shenzhen Fair, Jewellery News Asia, the largest jewelry trade magazine in Asia, is presenting its second annual China Jewellery Market Summit, April 21 at 2:30 p.m. with its magazine. The Summit is divided into two main parts: 2015 New Products Launch - Jewellery Parade, and a dialogue with China jewelry brands and retailers.

This year, the Shenzhen Fair presents specialized pavilions to global buyers, including the China Gold Association Pavilion, the Baolin Pavilion, the Korea Pavilion and the Designer Pavilion.

The fair is open to jewelry trade buyers and the public.

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Change Brings Opportunity For US Jewelers At Baselworld 2015

Photo credit: Courtesy of Baselworld

By Lisa Nikfarjam of Lisa Nik, Inc.

Attendance was undeniably down this year at Baselworld. But what does this really mean? The buying habits of US retailers have become increasingly focused on commercialized and internationally advertised brands. Perhaps this is because these brands are also becoming increasingly demanding for in store space, purchase dollars, and marketing placement in order to maintain market share. Will this create an overly homogenized jewelry selection for consumers across the country? 

Many jewelers would argue that this industry dynamic is an opportunity to grow by further differentiating and focusing on newer and less commercialized brands. Several buyers that we spoke with at Baselworld stated that they need something different that everyone cannot find down the street at every department store and competing jewelry store. Niche designers have a tremendous opportunity to position themselves among the boutique and specialty retail stores that specifically target items that rebel the mainstream.  

For designers, the colored stone section offered better than usual deals this year, specifically because of the strength of the US dollar against the Euro. It was literally like shopping with a 20 to 30 percent discount compared to the previous few years. Colored stone prices in general are higher than in years past and buyers may consider this adjustment to price as balanced due to the exchange rates. Overall, the incentive to buy from European suppliers was present within the competitive landscape.  

Many European designers and manufacturers commented on the lighter international traffic with all eyes gazing upon the US buyers that were present. Although the strengthened dollar certainly stimulated US purchasing at the show this year, several retailers commented on the concern over experiencing a drop in existing inventory values because of the changed prices. Imagine owning $1 million of commoditized inventory that is suddenly worth 20 percent less because of a price change. This may not lead to a desire to purchase more just because of the drop in price.  

We can only hope that the continued strength of sales in the sector will allow these retailers to sell through their existing stock levels so they can purchase more and benefit from the price reductions and the preferred Euro and Swiss Franc exchange rates against the US dollar.

Lisa Nikfarjam was at Baselworld in search of gems and stories. She is founder of the jewelry design firm, Lisa Nik,  a company that combines colored gemstones, diamonds, and artful elements to create fashionable jewelry that women around the world can enjoy on any occasion.

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Application Deadline for JNA Awards in 2 Weeks

The JNA Awards is calling for qualified organizations and individuals to take part in this highly-regarded awards program in the jewelry and gemstone trade. Organized by JNA (Jewellery News Asia), this annual awards event honors and recognizes companies and industry players from around the world for unique innovation, outstanding achievements and a commitment to best business practices, with a focus on their contribution in Asia.

The deadline for applications is midnight (Hong Kong time) on April 30.

The JNA Awards offers a chance to do the following:

• Raise your profile through the awards public relations and communication campaigns
• Gain excellent recognition as an industry leader and innovator in your field
• Celebrate and acknowledge your team’s efforts, commitment and excellence
• Be part of the leadership group to uphold excellence and promote best practices
• Impress partners, clients and investors by through the recognition 

The JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner will be held on September 20 during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2015.

The awards categories are as follows:

1. Lifetime Achievement Award (nominated by the organizer)
2. 3 Decades of Excellence
3. Brand of the Year – Retail
4. Employer of the Year
5. Industry Innovation of the Year
6. Manufacturer of the Year – Colored Gemstone Cutting & Polishing
7. Manufacturer of the Year – Diamond Cutting & Polishing
8. Manufacturer of the Year – Gem-Set Jewelry
9. Manufacturer of the Year – Precious Metals-Only Jewelry
10. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – ASEAN Countries
11. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – India
12. Outstanding Enterprise of the Year – Mainland China
13. Retailer of the Year (450 outlets and below)
14. E-tailer of the Year
15. Sustainability Initiative of the Year
16. Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Age 40 and below)

Entries will be judged in mid-May till June. Finalists will be named June 25 and the winners will be announced September 20 at the Awards Ceremony & Gala Dinner

For more information, visit www.JNAawards.com.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

The Best of The Best Jewelry At Baselworld 2015

Fabergé Secret Garden necklace

Baselworld is known as a watch show but it is also one of the best places in the world to see the newest and best in jewelry from around the world, particularly at the luxury end. 

Among the brands that really made an impression this year was Fabergé. Not only with its first Imperial style jeweled egg in nearly a century. I already featured its Pearl Egg but the company exhibited several high jewelry collections reminiscent of the Fabergé of old, including a candy-colored collection of jewels called “Secret Garden (top photo).” Natalia Shugaeva, Fabergé’s head designer, said she wanted to create a collection of jewels that are opulent and refined. She succeeded.

From friends to those who actually work for the brand the word most used to describe the work of Fawaz Gruosi and his high jewelry brand, De Grisogono, is “crazy.” It is meant in the best possible sense. His singular creative designs have won the brand fame throughout the world and this year at Baselworld there were several ultra-imaginative masterpieces on displays. It’s almost become typical to expect the wonderfully unexpected from De Grisogono. Yhe De Grisogono High Jewelry necklace picture is a perfect example in 18k white and rose gold, 12 briolette-cut emeralds, 19 round-cut rubies (approximately 12.66 cts.), 29 marquise-cut white diamonds (approximately 11.01 cts.), 1,366 emeralds (approx. 60.20 ct s ) and 2603 white diamonds (approximately 137.54 cts.).

Chopard unveiled its High Jewelry Collection at Baselworld and even among the selection of jewelry destined for Red Carpet events one piece stood out. An ocean blue ring featuring a 41.57-carat oval shaped paraíba tourmaline from Mozambique and 8.8-carats of diamonds set in a lace-work of 18k white gold.

Georg Jensen and its managing director of jewelry, Meeling Wong, created several collections of refined jewelry that reinterpret the traditional designs of the famed silversmith brand. Among the items that stood out was a collection of pieces in collaboration with colored gemstone mining company, Gemfields.

Graff Diamonds also provided an exceptional jewelry not only in terms of size but in nuanced ways, showcasing several pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways or with clever use of material. The latter could be seen in the diamond tassel necklace pictured above.

Antonini, introduced a number of new collections with what it calls “natural” white gold, which is more like white mixed with a grey or yellow tint. It is used in a matte finished. Meanwhile more traditional rhodium-finished white and black gold is creatively used as a background for rough-textured pavé settings.

Pasquale Bruni introduced a number of colorful items led by Fiori in Fiore (Flowers in Bloom), featuring diamonds mixed with pink sapphires and morganite. 

Roberto Coin made a statement with its steely-eyed Falco (hawk or falcon, take your pick) ring and bracelet.  

Brumani was again as always a great designer of multi-colored stones that reflect the vibrancy of its home country Brazil and this year was no different as with these pastel colored earrings show. 

Like few other brands, Sutra brought color to the party with exceptional gemstones and creative designs as with these turquoise, diamond and gold earrings. 

More color was provided by Yoko London through its pearl-centric designs. 

Spanish brand Carrera y Carrera celebrated its 140th year anniversary with a collection of delicate, hand-made gold pieces. 

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