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Sunday, August 31, 2014

September Hong Kong Jewelry Fair is a Global Event and a Gateway to China

Registration during the opening day of the 2013 September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair.

The world’s largest jewelry fair is set to begin in two weeks and its organizers are still billing it as the entryway to the fastest growing jewelry market in the world: China. 

The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair will be held from September 15 – 19 at the AsiaWorld-Expo near Hong Kong International Airport; and September 17 – 21 at the at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in the heart of the city. 

AWE will display jewelry raw materials from over 1,700 exhibitors from around the world, while HKCEC will showcase fine finished jewelry from more than 1,900 exhibitors.

China Market Research Reports reveals that 2013 jewelry sales in Mainland China were approximately $75.8 billion, equivalent to 41.2 percent of total global consumption. UBM Asia, which organizes the fair, says that Hong Kong's location and its duty-free status makes it the “ideal gateway to China and the rest of the Asia." It's a claim UBM Asia has made since I started attending the event more than 10 years ago and it's even more true now than it was back then.

“The Fair occupies 135,000 square meters of exhibition space to accommodate more than 3,680 exhibitors from 51 countries and regions,” said Sunny Chan, Deputy Fair Manager, Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia. “We expect to welcome more than 52,000 visitors from around the world.” 

New attractions at the 32nd fair include exhibitors from Egypt, Kazakhstan, Norway and Tahiti. For the first time, coral exhibitors from Japan will exhibit under the banner of Japan Coral. Together with coral exhibitors from Taiwan and Italy, there are more than 60 coral exhibitors at AsiaWorld-Expo. 

In addition, the fair has 22 dedicated pavilions: Antwerp, Brazil, China, Columbia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the United States, and the International Colored Gemstone Association, UBM Asia said. This year's “Design Arena” has increased by 40 percent in terms of exhibition space and will relocate to the Chancellor Room and Mezzanine 4 of HKCEC. Also, the International Premier Pavilion is bigger by 8.6 percent in terms of exhibition area.

This outpouring of exhibitors and attendees solidifies its reputation as a truly global event.

The Alrosa Group, Russia’s leading diamond company and the world’s biggest diamond miner by volume, will again host a diamond auction, along with the Paspaley Pearl Auction. In addition, the fair will again feature the world’s largest diamond pavilion, Asia’s biggest gemstone marketplace and the biggest display of Hong Kong jewelry in the world.

Visitor pre-registration is available at this link  until 1st September. The fair mobile app is available for download at this link. More details of special events are available by at this link

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Monday, August 25, 2014

Fabulous Fall 2014 Jewelry Preview

Wendy Yue 18k rose gold "Madame Butterfly" necklace with purple sapphire, rhodolite garnet, pink sapphire, opal and tsavorite.

This is a group of 28 designers and manufacturers whose work I was able to view during the jewelry rtade shows in Basel, Switzerland, and Las Vegas. Although this is quite a large group, it wasn’t all the brands I was able to see. More will come soon.

Vianna Brasil 18k yellow gold bracelet set with milky aquamarine, praziolite, emerald quartz and diamonds.

In this selection pastel colors dominate. The next group will feature more bold colors and designs, although there are a few made it into this group as well. Pavé settings remain dominate in many designs and there appears to be no end to this “trend.”

Omi Prive platinum, sapphire and diamond pendant necklace.

There are a few new names in this group. Among them is Pınar Öner of Turkey who creates pieces based on the history and heritage of his country’s Anatolian region.

Roberto Coin Garden Collection rings in 18k satin yellow gold with colourless, brown diamonds and tsavorite. Amethyst, blue topaz and lemon quartz.

Many of the other names you will find familiar. They represent most parts of the world and use a variety of style, techniques and materials. Please view the remaining images below.

Temple St Clair 18k yellow gold Tree of Life bracelet with diamonds.

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Lagos 18k sterling silver statement ring centered with a citrine surrounded by a ring a ring of 18k yellow gold and blue sapphires. 

Goshwara Natural pink sapphire and mandarin garnet earrings in 18k from the G-One Collection.

Nurture By Reena, a new jewelry brand that features jewelry made with lab-grown diamonds by Reena Ahluwalia, known for her award-winning diamond jewelry designs. The Celestial Star pendant is set in 18k gold with colorless and pink lab-grown diamonds. The brand also employs QR Code technology that allows people to attach their “most precious moments to your jewel,” Ahluwalia says.

Pınar Öner Chora ring draws its inspiration from the mosaic ceiling of the Chora church in Istanbul. The entire ring is a large floral blossom with undulating walls of pave diamonds set in blackened 18k yellow gold with enamel accents in blue, green, yellow and red.

Amrapali Black Arabesque ruby, diamond and emerald earrings.

Antonini Vulcano bracelets in 18k yellow gold, white gold, black rhodium, white diamonds and champagne diamonds.

Borgioni 14k rose gold and silver stud handcuff with brown diamond roses and black diamond leaf.

Brumani diamond and translucent quartz earrings.

Carla Amorim Basilica ruby and tsavorite earrings.

Chimento Armillas rings in white gold with diamonds, yellow gold with diamonds, and white gold with diamonds.

Le Vian Exotics Chocolate covered Blackberry ring in 14K Strawberry Gold featuring Blackberry Diamonds, Vanilla Diamonds and Chocolate Diamonds.

MCL pave Lux bangle in black rhodium plated sterling silver with mixed color sapphires and black spinel.

Sethi Couture Ombre orange, yellow and green diamond pave drop earrings.

Sutra 18K black gold, sapphire and tanzanite cuff with diamonds.

Suzanne Kalan 18K white gold pear-shaped London Blue Topaz ring with white diamond baguette.

Larkspur & Hawk 14k rose gold earrings with pink amethyst.

Lexmond vs Lexmond 18k gold Strawberry pendant with diamonds and rubies.

Royal Asscher Stars of Africa ring in 18K rose gold with floating diamonds in a sapphire globe.

Rina Limor Carved jade earrings with 18k yellow gold set with diamond pave. 

Casato Dragon Eye bracelet in 18k rose gold with emerald and white diamonds.

Stefan Hafner White gold and white diamond necklace seems to be woven from flowers touched with tiny buds of blue marquise-cut sapphires.

Ivanka Trump 18k yellow gold and white diamond pave bracelet, part of the Athénée collection.

Mireya is a new bridal jewelry brand that offers brides-to-be with options of what to choose with its “pick-a-head” Mireya Fit System. Interchangeable diamonds can be inserted into the shank of the ring. The collection, consisting of 20 variations of this signature style and 185 styles in total are all handmade of 14k, 18k or platinum, in the US.


A Once in a ‘Blue Moon’ Diamond to Make a Public Appearance

Photo credit: Cora International/Tino Hammid

Sometimes my job is pretty good. For example, on Friday I had the opportunity of seeing what is considered to be one of the rarest blue diamonds on the planet up close. 

Appropriately named the “Blue Moon” (as in “once in a blue moon”), the diamond will make its first and likely only public appearance at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County in an exhibition from September 13 – January 6. 

Blue diamonds are rare enough but what separates this diamond from so many of its peers are its color saturation and shade, its clarity and its size. The 12-carat cushion-cut diamond has been given a color grading of “fancy vivid” with an “internally flawless” clarity grading from the Gemological Institute of America

In addition, its color was further tested under ultraviolet light by the Smithsonian Institution under the supervision of Jeffrey Post, curator of the National Gem and Mineral Collection. The trace element Boron within the carbon structure of the stone is responsible for the color of a blue diamond. Boron also produces unique phosphorescence red glow under ultraviolet light.

Under ultraviolet light testing the gem produced an orangey-red glow for 20 seconds, longer than most blue diamonds, showing that the blue in the Blue Moon diamond is true and saturated throughout the stone with no other colors—such as grey, which is common for blue diamonds, said Suzette Gomes, CEO of Cora International, a diamonds and jewels manufacturer known for working with statement diamonds. Also, blue diamonds are known to exhibit a blue-green glow under ultraviolet light.


“What’s exciting is that the phosphor is orange red. That for us was a big thing because it gives you the purity of the diamond,” Gomes said on the other side of a desk with the Blue Moon between us on a grey felt tray inside Cora’s office in New York. “Other blues also glow phosphor red but it doesn’t last as long.… This was orange red for 20 seconds.”

There is no one more excited about this gem than Gomes who has called the Blue Moon her career highlight and a privilege to work with. Few have spent more time with the gem as well. 

“The fact that you could buy it rough, plan it and cut it is special,” she said. “This is a billion years old and it’s going to be here long after we’re gone. That’s the beauty of diamonds.”

Another thing that makes this diamond interesting is that it was a recent discovery. The Blue Moon was produced from a 29.62-carat rough diamond unearthed at the Cullinan mine in South Africa in January. The mine is known for producing the most blue diamonds in the world but these gems still only accounts for 0.1 percent of its total diamond output, Gomes said. As mentioned earlier, its clarity and color makes the gem even rarer. 

Cora acquired the rough for approximately $26 million in February and went right to work, finishing the piece only three weeks ago. All of the testing results from the Smithsonian and GIA were not completed as of Friday. 

The fact that the origin of the diamond is known makes this special as well, Gomes said.

“A lot of time with diamonds you don’t know what the origin is,” she said. “Someone has a one-carat vivid blue that their grandmother had and nobody knows where it comes from.”

The Blue Moon in the Cora International office. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

Sitting flat on a pad under normal office lighting didn’t provide the best view of the diamond but its shade of blue is unmistakable. Unlike the Hope Diamond, which has a blue that is deep, dark and rich, the Blue Moon is closer to an aqua blue. Gomes refers to it as "ocean blue." The facets appear as if they are wavelets on water. Finally, it’s transparent. You can see clear through the diamond. So picture a lake with sunlight dancing on its rippled surface and that is the color of the Blue Moon.  

Gomes said the cushion cut makes it most ideal to be used as a brooch or a ring, although she would display it on a wall as art. 

Gomes refuses to discuss its value and will not compare it to other stones. But I can. The largest known fancy vivid, flawless diamond (one grade over the IF clarity grade the Blue Moon received) is a pear-shaped, 13.22-carat stone purchased by the Harry Winston luxury jewelry brand for $23.8 million at Christie’s Geneva in April. Renamed the “Winston Blue,” the nearly $1.8 million-per-carat price paid is a world record for a blue diamond.

Gomes said she would rather focus on getting the Blue Moon to L.A. for the exhibition at the Natural History Museum. 

“We just want to get through the exhibition in the hope that it raises its profile because they are not the level of the Smithsonian,” she said. “I want to help them. What they do is awesome and they always struggle for money. They need funding and this will raise their profile too so it’s good for everyone.”

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Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – September is Set to Begin

Asia’s Fashion Jewellery & Accessories Fair – September (9FJ) will be held from September 15 - 18 at the AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong. It will feature suppliers showcasing a range of novel and chic fashion jewelry and accessories as well as classic bestsellers. Buyers from around the world can preview and acquire fashion jewelry and accessories for Spring/Summer 2015 long before they make it to retailers.


The fair, which runs alongside the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, occupies 11,360 square meters of exhibition space and will house more than 410 exhibitors. Among them are companies from mainland China, France, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong and Taiwan regions. Nearly 80 percent of exhibitors are from outside Hong Kong, fully embodying the fair’s international status.

Visitors to the accessories fair can update their admission for free access to the September Hong Kong Fair, giving them a chance to explore business opportunities for both fairs, which are owned and operated by UBM Asia.

“(It) is one of the most popular marketplaces for buyers from around the world to preview trends for the coming Spring/Summer. Each year, the fair builds a high-efficiency business platform for the exhibitors and buyers to conduct business with each other and explore opportunities,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs at UBM Asia Ltd.

In addition, there are five group pavilions from mainland China, India, Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan region; and an expanded Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion, housing more than 40 exhibitors.

9FJ will be held alongside the world’s biggest fine jewellery fair, the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. 

UBM Asia has arranged a free continuous bus service running directly from Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (the other site of the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair), Tsim Sha Tsui and Tung Chung to AsiaWorld-Expo. For detailed shuttle bus schedule and pick-up points, visit: http://exhibitions.asiafja.com/9fj/Transportation/.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

8.41-Carat Purple-Pink Diamond May Set Auction Record


An 8.41-carat pear-shaped internally flawless fancy vivid purple-pink diamond is being priced to set a world-auction record for price per carat. It will appear as the top lot at the Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels and Jadeite Autumn Sale on October 7. 

The diamond is expected to fetch $12.8 to $15.4 million, or a high estimate of more than $1.8 million per carat, the highest per-carat pre-sale estimate for any pink diamond to date, according to the international auction house.

It is “arguably the most desirable pink diamond to appear at auction in recent years,” Sotheby’s said in a statement. Internally flawless vivid or fancy intense pink diamonds of more than 8 carats are “virtually unseen.” 

“This color is one of the most beautiful and concentrated shades of pink in diamonds that I have seen and, combined with the exceptional clarity, it is not surprising that it would command the highest per-carat pre-sale estimate for any pink diamond to date,” said Quek Chin Yeow, deputy chairman, Asia, and chairman international Jewellery, Asia.

The unmounted purple-pink diamond was cut from a 19.54-carat rough mined by De Beers, with the final cutting completed in New York. It will tour Singapore, Taipei, New York, London, Geneva and Hong Kong prior to the auction.

The current record price ever paid at auction for a diamond, or any gemstone, is the Graff Pink, a 24.76-carat, Fancy Intense pink diamond, purchased by Lawrence Graff in November 2010 for more than $46.1 million. The record price per carat for a fancy vivid pink diamond is more than $2.1 million per carat set by a 5-carat diamond, sold in Hong Kong in January 2009 for more than$10.7 million

Pink diamonds have been coveted by rulers and prized by connoisseurs since they were first discovered in the mines of India centuries ago. Many of the great gems of history are pink diamonds, including the Williamson presented to Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding, the Hortense from the Crown Jewels of France, the Darya-i-Nur from the Iranian Crown Jewels and the Agra documented as having belonged to Babur, founder of the Mogul Empire.

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Friday, August 15, 2014

Global Gold Jewelry demand Fell 30% While Sales in the US and UK Improve

Yellow and white gold bracelets by Italian jewelry brand, Antonini. There was increase in Italian gold jewelry exports for the second quarter of 2014. 

Plummeting gold jewelry sales in India and China led to a 30 percent year-over-year drop in gold jewelry demand for the second quarter of 2014, the World Gold Council said Thursday. The loss was slightly offset by increases in consumer demand in the US and UK. 

Gold jewelry demand fell to 509.6 tons in the second quarter of 2014 compared with 726.7 tons in the same period of 2012, the WGC said in its quarterly report, “Gold Demand Trends.” Officials for the gold industry market development organization said the decline was expected due to the strength of 2013 demand and a natural annual weak period for such demand. In addition, the organization (which also tracks gold demand in investment, among central banks and for technology uses) notes that jewelry demand historically has accounted for more than half of global gold demand and the second quarter of 2014 was no different at 53 percent. 

“In what is traditionally a quiet quarter for gold jewelry demand, Q2 2014, was unsurprisingly lower,” said Marcus Grubb, WGC managing director of Investment Strategy, said in a video addressing the report. “However, jewelry has been extending its broad upward trend from the base established in the depths of the financial crisis in early 2009.”

Nearly all Asian and Middle-Eastern countries experienced double digit declines in demand, while western markets either remained flat or fared better, according to the report. The exception is Italy, where consumer demand was down 8 percent. However, the country, known as a gold jewelry manufacturing hub, saw gold jewelry exports improve due to increased demand in the US and other key markets.

This decline in gold jewelry demand helped to influence a 16 percent drop in overall gold demand (investment, central banks and technology) to 963.8 tons, which the WGC described as “not surprising … given the stark contrast in conditions in the global gold market between the two time periods.” 

Grubb added, “Global gold market continues to recalibrate in 2014 following an exceptional 2013 for gold buying.” 

By country, China was the market most affected by the comparison with the second quarter of 2013, WGC said. Gold jewelry demand fell 45 percent to 143.4 tons. Hong Kong also experienced a similar decline (52 percent to 9.1 tons) due to a drop in mainland China consumers.

“The second quarter began as the first had ended, with consumers adopting a more cautious, considered and ‘occasion driven’ approach to gold jewelry buying,” according to the report. 

Grubb added, “Price sensitive consumers … held back from purchasing more due to uncertainty around the future direction of the gold price and the fact that purchases have been made in 2013 instead.” 

In India, jewelry demand fell by 18 percent to 154.5 tons. The WGC said holiday and wedding purchases remained steady but the drop was primarily because of the recent general election that culminated in the victory of Narendra Damodardas Modi who took office as India’s 15th prime minister in May. High value purchases were restricted by the previous government in the run up to the election, the WGC explained. Now consumers are waiting to see whether Modi will remove those restrictions.

“Consumers held back from buying on the expectation that restrictions on gold would be relaxed by the new government,” Grubb said. “No substantial changes have been made by the Indian government to date.”

In the Middle East gold demand saw a 25 percent decline to 47 tons. The WGC says the escalation of violence in Iraq had a “deleterious impact” on demand across the region. In addition, demand slowed ahead of Ramadan. “Nevertheless, the region as a whole remains relatively healthy, particularly as non-resident Indians provide a steady source of demand for the 22k segment.” 

While the east and Middle East markets are in decline, western markets are continuing to rebound from the 2008-09 recession, with the most notable increases in the US and UK. 

Gold jewelry demand in the US for the second quarter increased 15 percent to 26.1 tons as the country is taking in more imports from India, China and Italy. It was the country’s fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth. In the UK, demand increased 21 percent to 3.6 tons. 

Gold jewelry demand in other key markets is as follows:

* In Turkey, demand fell 20 percent year-over-year due to a clampdown on credit card purchases and ongoing political turmoil, WGC said. The lower end market took the brunt of the decline while larger, more established brands were “relatively resilient.” 

* Thailand experienced a 60 percent decline in demand due to recent political instability and high comparisons to the second quarter of 2013, the WGC said.

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Sunday, August 3, 2014

'Keep Memory Alive' Foundation Honors Founder of Lagos Jewelry

Steven Lagos, founder of the Lagos jewelry brand, was honored for his 18-year commitment to the “Keep Memory Alive” foundation. He and his staff were feted at the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, a building in downtown Las Vegas dedicated to finding a cure for degenerative brain diseases and helping families to cope with caring for those suffering from debilitating neurological disorders. Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

Downtown Las Vegas is still a work in progress. On one stretch of near barren land there have been plans to open several landmark facilities as a way to revitalize the area and create a more diverse economic base for the city. Several projects have been completed but one stands out for its architecture of bent, twisted and curved metal that seems to grow out of the desert. It’s the iconic work of architect Frank Gehry and the building in question is the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health

Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, designed by Frank Gehry. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

The center provides out-patient care for those suffering from a number of brain ailments, including experimental treatments, and research into various brain diseases. Equally important for the principals involved is that it provides help for the family of those suffering from debilitating neurological disorders. 

The $80 million structure is the crowning achievement of “Keep Memory Alive,” a Las Vegas-based foundation dedicated to finding a cure for degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington 's, Multiple Sclerosis and ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). One person who has been there from the beginning, 18 years now, is Steven Lagos, founder of the Lagos jewelry brand. 

Lagos has been quiet about his longtime commitment to Keep Memory Alive. But his contribution came to light in late May when the foundation decided to place his name on the Ruvo Center’s “Honor Wall” by the entrance of the facility, which recognizes those most responsible for its success. The annual jewelry tradeshows in Las Vegas provided a chance for Lagos to share the honor with his staff who were in Vegas supporting the brand. 

Steve Lagos on the ladder with his staff, family and friends. Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

So on May 30 there was Lagos standing on a ladder outside the Lou Ruvo Center removing the gift wrapping (bow and all) of a plaque revealing his name while his staff looked on. He received a bottle of Beluga vodka from Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Lou Ruvo Center. Guests received a tour of the spotless, family-friendly facility; pictures were taken with staff, family members and friends; followed by a caviar and champagne reception in the facility’s “Event Center,” with an interior view of Gehry’s iconic twisted and curved walls. The reception was a gift from the foundation to Lagos but he insisted on paying for it.

Steve Lagos after unwrapping his plaque on the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health "Honor Wall." Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

“Let’s make an event out of it and we’ll pay for the evening,” Lagos said. He also added a donation to the foundation.

Steven Lagos receives a bottle of Beluga vodka from Jeffrey Cummings, director of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. The vodka was a gift from Larry Ruvo, co-founder and chairman of the Keep Memory Alive foundation. Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

The foundation and building is dedicated to Lou Ruvo, the well-known owner of The Venetian restaurant in Las Vegas, which opened in 1955 and closed after 43 years. A well-known person in “Sin City,” in 1992 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and died two years later. 

Larry Ruvo, co-founder and chairman of the Keep Memory Alive foundation.

A year after his death his only son, Larry Ruvo, the successful and well connected senior managing director of Southern Wine & Spirits of Nevada, the largest spirits distributor in Nevada (the gift of Beluga vodka was from Larry Ruvo who was unable to attend the event), held a dinner that served as a memorial service with about 30 close friends and family. 

The Ruvos friends include billionaire casino owners, successful entrepreneurs in the food and beverage industry, and world class entertainers. For example, the dinner was held at Spago restaurant in Caesars Palace, owned and operated by lengendary chef, Wolfgang Puck, a friend of Ruvo. At some point during the evening Ruvo said that John Paul DeJoria, a founder of Paul Mitchell hair products, announced he will donate $5,000 to Alzheimer’s research. By the end of the night about $35,000 was raised. 

Steve Lagos and guests received a tour of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

The impromptu fundraiser for Alzheimer’s research became a more formal annual dinner at Spago that eventually grew to a star-studded gala with the specific purpose of raising funds for a center for brain health and continuing its ground-breaking mission. Guests and performers for the April 2014 edition of the gala included Gloria Estefan, Jon Secada, Michael Caine, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Andy Garcia, Sharon Stone, Christopher Meloni and Steve Schirripa. The more than 800 auctions items ranged from a cruise on the Mediterranean to a private dinner inside Siegfried & Roy’s Jungle Palace with the meal cooked by Japanese Iron Chef, Masaharu Morimoto, to a songwriting and recording session with Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. 

Lagos and Ruvo stress that 100 percent of the money raised goes to the foundation. 

Lagos was first introduced to Ruvo prior to the first formal dinner in 1995 through Bobby Baldwin, a casino executive, and a professional poker player. The two hit it off immediately. 

“He (Baldwin) said Larry was starting this charity and asked if I would get involved,” Lagos said. “I got involved and just really believed in it and stayed involved.”

At one of the early dinners, Lagos was thrown into action.

“In the world of jewelry he’s a celebrity. They know who Steven Lagos is,” Ruvo said. “I came up to him and said, ‘Steven I hate to put you on the spot but do you mind coming up here in front of 1,400 people and donate one of your great pieces?’”

Steve Lagos and Gloria Estefan, at the 2014 "Power of Love" gala, the annual Las Vegas fundraiser for the Keep Memory Alive foundation.

Lagos auctioned off a personal consultation at anyone’s home to design and make a bespoke piece of diamond jewelry with his own materials that he donated. The bidding was fierce and finally fell to two people and the price reached upwards of $250,000. Lagos agreed to make a piece for each bidder. 

“He was gracious and generous and sincere,” Ruvo said. “Every year he’s there financially and with jewelry. This year he created an iconic set of necklaces for ladies and cufflinks for the gentlemen resembling Frank Gehry’s structure (for large donors who purchased entire tables for the evening). He puts a lot of time in it and makes things that are very unique.”

Lagos said over the years he has raised and contributed about $1 million for the charity. He’s seen the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s in his family, not only with the person inflicted with the disease, but with the family members who provided care. He says with the aging of the Baby Boomer generation and people living longer, it’s going to get worse unless something is done. 

Lagos and invited guests were treated to a caviar and champagne reception at the "Event Center" of the Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. Photo credit: Cashman Photos Enterprises, Inc.

“The whole family gets involved and it’s kind of debilitating for everybody,” Lagos said. “It’s really become an epidemic.”

Lagos is hesitant to discuss why he hasn’t better promoted his involvement with the charity. His reasons sway from not wanting to draw attention to himself to not finding the time to create a marketing program that truly reflects his belief in the charity. 

“This has been a personal thing and a company thing. We probably haven’t touted it as much as we should,” he said. “I try to participate fully with this particular charity. I try to be there and support what they’re doing. We’re believers in it. When you have a lucky life like I have and good fortune it’s important to give back.” 

But that is changing. Next year he will offer jewelry on his website dedicated to the Keep Memory Alive foundation with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the cause.

Over the years the relationship between Lagos and Ruvo also evolved. 

“At this point we’re personal friends,” Lagos said. “We see each other a couple of times a year. It’s his enthusiasm, it’s the power of love and I kid it’s the power of Larry. He is such an engaging person.”

For Ruvo the feeling is mutual and that is why he wanted to place Lagos on the Honor Wall. 

“We wanted to do something for Steven Lagos with his friends and some of our donors there,” Ruvo said. “Steven was just somebody I had to pay respect to and thank. No matter when I called him or what I asked him it’s always yes.”

For Lagos’ part, he says he is more interested in the cause rather the recognition. 

“He called me and said they wanted to do this. It’s really never been about that for me,” he said. “It’s about raising awareness and getting involved. They are doing wonderful work out there at the Cleveland Clinic. They’re going to find a cure and remedies. They already are.”

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