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Leibish & Co

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Jewels For Mother’s Day

There’s still time to buy an exceptional jewelry gift for Mother’s Day and in the spirit of gift giving five designers have ideas on what you can purchase for this special day. 

Zorab Creations
This three-gem ring may threaten the budget of last-minute gift givers but it’s worth it. The crossing white gold and palladium mounting houses a green tourmaline, tanzanite and spessartite garnet, each surrounded by a sprinkling of white and colored diamonds. Find retailers in the U.S. by following this link.

Etienne Perret
This pendant features 14mm blue-grey Tahitian pearl rests comfortably in its circular 18k rose gold frame. It’s made by jewelry designer Etienne Perret. His jewels are available at a number of independent retailers around the country

Alex Soldier 
The colorful Astra collection (including the ruby and diamond rings pictured), are well-designed and crafted by the jewelry artist. You can contact the jeweler directly to learn where to purchase.

Jewels With A Message
The U.S. jewelry brand, Lagos, now provides engraving services with its Caviar line of jewels. The customer has the option to engrave a monogram, significant date or message on the inside of select Caviar pieces. The brand’s products are available at major department stores around the country but the engraving service is offered exclusively through Lagos.com.

Colorful Flower Earrings
These earrings by Rita Fusaro are made of 18k white gold with yellow or pink –pear-shaped sapphires and diamonds. They can be ordered by contacting the company directly through its website

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$70 Million Auction Estimate For 1,100-Carat Rough Diamond

Photo credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's

Using over-exuberant superlatives is commonplace among international auction houses but the item that Sotheby’s will be auctioning in London on June 29 may defy ordinary words.

Calling it “one of the greatest finds of the century,” the auction house is offering a 1,109-carat rough diamond in a standalone auction. Is it hyperbole? Not likely. It is the largest gem-quality rough diamond to be discovered in more than a century and the largest rough diamond in existence today, the auction house said.

Named the “Lesedi la Rona,” it is estimated to sell for more than $70 million.

Photo credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's

The gem was unearthed by Lucara Diamond Corp., a Canadian diamond mining company, in November 2015, at its Karowe mine in Botswana. Described as being about the size of a tennis ball (measuring approximately 66.4 x 55 x 42 mm), this rough diamond of “exceptional transparency and quality” is around 2.5 to more than 3 billion years old, the auction house said.

Sotheby’s said it has been more than 100 years since a diamond of this size and quality of the Lesedi La Rona has been found. Its size is exceeded only by the legendary Cullinan Diamond, mined in South Africa in 1905. The 3,016.75-carat diamond produced nine major diamonds that are part of the historic Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom, including the Great Star of Africa—considered to be the largest top-quality polished diamond in existence, weighing 530.20 carats.

Photo credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's

According to Sotheby’s, the Gemological Institute of America said the Lesedi La Rona’s “top color and transparency has the ‘limpid’ appearance commonly associated with type IIa diamonds,” which accounts for fewer than 2 percent of all gem-quality diamonds. They are considered “the most chemically pure and often show extraordinary optical transparency,” according to the GIA.

Sotheby’s adds that, according to independent reports, it has the potential to yield the largest top-quality diamond that has ever been cut and polished with an additional “high probability” that the resulting polished diamonds will be “D” color—the highest color classification for white diamonds.

Photo credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's

“The Lesedi la Rona is simply outstanding and its discovery is the find of a lifetime,” said David Bennett, worldwide chairman of Sotheby’s Jewellery Division. “Every aspect of this auction is unprecedented. Not only is the rough superlative in size and quality, but no rough even remotely of this scale has ever been offered before at public auction.”

“We are very excited to be partnering with Sotheby’s on this landmark auction,” added William Lamb, president and CEO of Lucara Diamond Corp., “The forthcoming sale presents a unique opportunity to present this extraordinary diamond to a worldwide audience.”

Photo credit: Donald Bowers/Getty Images for Sotheby's

The Lesedi la Rona will be on view at Sotheby’s New York on May 7 and at Sotheby’s London from June 18 - 28.

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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Montblanc Unveils Peggy Guggenheim Pen While Celebrating 25 Years Of Arts Patronage

Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim 888 limited edition writing instrument

Each year Montblanc creates “Patron of Art” limited edition writing instruments to honor an historical figure noted for his or her patronage to the arts. This year the honoree is Peggy Guggenheim, the late American heiress who spent her last 30 years in Venice displaying her modern art collection in her residence, which is now home to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Guggenheim is credited with advancing the careers of several important modern artists including the American painters Jackson Pollock and William Congdon, the Austrian surrealist Wolfgang Paalen, the sound poet Ada Verdun Howell and the German painter Max Ernst, whom she married in December 1941. 

Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim 4810 writing instrument

In addition, the German luxury brand presents the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Awards to individuals in 16 countries (including its newest countries Greece, Brazil and Colombia) who are currently supporting arts and cultural programs and making them more accessible to larger audiences. 

This year’s award winner in Italy is Giorgio Marconi, founder of the historic Studio Marconi in Milan, who established the Marconi Foundation for Contemporary and Modern Art in 2004, a non-profit institution for the promotion and diffusion of contemporary art and culture through exhibitions, publications, cultural events and meetings. It publicizes and promotes contemporary art and enhances important archives and art collections of the 20th century. In conjunction with Expo 2015, Giorgio Marconi celebrated fifty years of activity with a group exhibition and with a tribute to Lucio Fontana at the recently renewed and extended Marconi Foundation’s premises.

The Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage awards cocktail reception on the roof of Peggy Guggenheim Collection overlooking the Grand Canal of Venice. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Both Guggenheim and Marconi were honored at a cocktail reception April 26 on the rooftop of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, overlooking The Grand Canal of Venice, followed by tour of a new museum exhibition, “Imagine: New Imagery in Italian Art, 1960–1969” and finally a dinner for 130 guests in a candlelit room inside the historic Palazzo Polignac. Guests included socialite Chloe Delevingne, model Amber Le Bon, designer Jasmine Guinness, actress Camilla Rutherford with Dominic Barker, and actor Jack Guinness.

Guests receiving a tour of the exhibition, “Imagine: New Imagery in Italian Art, 1960–1969,” inside the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

In addition to being the home of Guggenheim, Venice also served as Montblanc’s 25th anniversary celebration for this award. Since 1992, when the award was first handed out (in the neighboring Italian city of Florence), Montblanc has presented more than 240 awards along with more than four million euros in prize money, which is donated to a cultural project of the winner’s choice. 

Dinner inside the Palazzo Polignac. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

Montblanc created three writing instruments to honor Guggenheim. The Limited Edition 888 that features a geometric art deco-inspired pattern on the cap and barrel, accented with red lacquer. The engravings of lion heads on the red gold cap ring are inspired by the exterior of the “Palazzo Venier dei Leoni,” the historic name of Guggenheim’s home and museum. The cap ring is embellished with 10 garnets—the eyes of the lions—and the end of the barrel is reminiscent of the red and white striped mooring pillars found on the Venice waterways. The Montblanc snow-cap emblem, in white marble, crowns the cap. The paws engraved on the gold nib of the fountain pen recall the affection she had for her 14 Lhasa Apso dogs.

The two Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim writing instruments on display at the cocktail event. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

The Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim Limited Edition 4810 series (comprising 4,810 pieces) features the geometric art deco design on a black lacquered and platinum-coated cap and barrel, contrasting with the red and platinum-coated stripes on the end of the barrel. The platinum-coated cap ring is elegantly embossed with lion heads, while the Montblanc emblem that crowns the fountain pen is made of the traditional black and white resin.

A third limited version of the pen comprises 81 pieces, representing the age at which Guggenheim died, is crafted in gold with a “skeletonized” façade.

A wax of the Montblanc Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim writing instrument on display at the event. Photo by Anthony DeMarco

“We are very excited to host the first of the 16 international award ceremonies here in Venice, being a city of particular significance for the arts, culture and architecture with a flourishing artistic community since many centuries,” Jérôme Lambert, Montblanc CEO, said on the rooftop of the Guggenheim. “Furthermore, Venice became the home of Peggy Guggenheim, one of the great patrons of the 20th Century, a pioneering woman who understood the cultural importance of nurturing creative talent just like the outstanding patrons we will be honoring around the world this year.”

From left: New co-chairs of the Montblanc Foundation, Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, and Montblanc CEO, Jérôme Lambert. Photo by Daniele Venturelli

Lambert also used the stage to announce new directions for the awards program and to announce new co-chairmen for the Montblanc Cultural Foundation, which oversees the awards program and other cultural and arts initiatives funded by the company. 

“It is a good thing when you are a German company that you have a common sense of what is consistency,” Lambert said. “After 25 years we understood it is necessary to give the award a new dimension a new energy.”

Giorgio Marconi (left) receives the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award for Italy from Till Fellrath and Sam Bardaouil. Photo by Daniele Venturelli

In a private interview Lambert said that for the Patronage Awards, it means creating ways to make the winners more visible and providing more resources to attach Montblanc products to the awards program. The same holds true for the foundation’s other projects, including its “Cutting Edge Art Collection” and “Young Directors Award.”

“We want the foundation to be more present as a source of inspiration, particularly when it comes to writing instruments,” he said. 

The new foundation co-chairs are Sam Bardaouil and Till Fellrath, co-founders of Art Reoriented, a multidisciplinary curatorial platform based in Munich and New York. They both spoke at the event.

“The art of patronage award is actually quite visionary,” Fellrath said. “It was started at a time when it was not (fashionable) to talk about what is a patron and how can we support them and what is the role of such patrons.”

Bardaouil added, “A true patron is someone who really takes risks and allows an artist to flourish and allows an arts community to develop a discourse with a platform and with all the things that is required to be really thriving and healthy. That is what we think the arts patronage award stands for and we are happy to be a part of it and see it move forward to the future.”

A calligrapher demonstrating the art of writing. Photo by Anthony DeMarco
Marconi received a Patron of Art Peggy Guggenheim limited edition fountain pen encased in a trophy and 15,000 euros ($17,160) to be donated to a cultural project of his choice.

He joins a long diverse list of honorees presented with the award that includes Prince Charles, British maestro Sir Simon Rattle, Italian architect Renzo Piano, American recording artist Quincy Jones and Japanese artist Yoko Ono. 

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Industry Experts Return to JNA Awards, Entry Deadline Extended To May 8

From left: Albert Cheng, advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East, James Courage, former chief executive of Platinum Guild International, Lin Qiang, president and managing director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of Gemological Institute of America, India and the Middle East; and Yasukazu Suwa, chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc in Japan

Five respected names in the international jewelry industry will return as judges for the fifth annual JNA Awards.

Organized by JNA, the flagship jewelry publication of UBM Asia, the awards recognizes and celebrates excellence and achievement in the jewelry and gemstone industry, with a focus on the advancement of the trade in Asia. 

The JNA Awards 2016 is now accepting entries and interested parties can access the entry forms on the JNA Awards official website. Due to the high level of interest among first-time entrants, the organizer has extended the deadline to May 8, at 11:59 p.m., Hong Kong time. The judging process will commence immediately after the deadline until mid-June.

An independent panel of distinguished industry leaders and veterans from different countries representing key sectors of the industry is carefully selected to ensure that the judging process is fair, transparent and intellectually rigorous.

The judges for the fifth edition of the JNA Awards are: Albert Cheng, advisor to the World Gold Council, Far East, James Courage, former chief executive of Platinum Guild International, Lin Qiang, president and managing director of the Shanghai Diamond Exchange, Nirupa Bhatt, managing director of the Gemological Institute of America in India and the Middle East, and Yasukazu Suwa, chairman of Suwa & Son, Inc in Japan.

Three of the experts have committed to their judging role since the inauguration of the Awards in 2012.

The judging panel is chaired by Letitia Chow, founder of JNA and director of Business Development – Jewellery Group at UBM Asia Ltd. 

“The JNA Awards is celebrating a five-year milestone this year, and it is my greatest pleasure to invite back this group of distinguished experts to our judging panel,” Chow said. “This year stands to be more challenging than before since we are anticipating a record number of entries, requiring even more attention and expertise from our judges.”

The JNA Awards 2016 has Rio Tinto Diamonds and Chow Tai Fook as its Headline Partners, with Diarough Group, Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies, Shanghai Diamond Exchange (SDE), and Guangdong Land Holdings Limited serving as Honoured Partners.

The shortlisted entrants will be announced on June 23 at a press conference held on the first day of the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, and will be feted on September 14 at the JNA Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. 

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4,000 Buyers Attend Jewellery & Gem Fair – Europe 2016

The third edition of Jewellery & Gem Fair – Europe brought 4,000 buyers from 77 countries and regions to Freiburg, Germany, according to UBM Asia, which owns and operates the four-day trade fair that ended March 22. 

“The sluggish world economy makes a significant impact on jewelry industry, thus buyers are prudent about choosing which fairs to visit,” said Wolfram Diener, senior VP, UBM Asia. “According to some exhibitors, the quality of buyers at JGF Europe is good; visitors came to the Fair determined to place some orders.” 

The Top 10 sources of visitors were: Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Austria, Brazil and India. About 86 percent of visitors were from Europe, primarily Germany, which accounted for almost half. The rest of the visitors came from other parts of the world.

The Packaging, Tools & Equipment pavilion was popular among the visitors, according to UBM Asia. Compared to last year, this pavilion was 80 percent bigger in terms of exhibition space. 

“We received numerous positive feedbacks about the Packaging, Tools & Equipment pavilion. We are now working on a plan to enhance this pavilion even more in order to answer market demand,” Diener said.

JGF Europe attracted around 280 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions in 15,000 sqm of exhibition space. Five group pavilions (Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Mauritius and Thailand) showcased their market specialties. 

Dates for the 2017 trade fair have been set for March 25 – 28. 

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Friday, April 22, 2016

World of Diamonds To Unveil ‘The Jane Seymour’ Blue Diamond Ring

“The Jane Seymour,” a platinum ring set with 2.08-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid blue diamond

The World of Diamonds Group, one of the world’s largest privately held diamond corporations, will unveil “The Jane Seymour,” a platinum ring plated with rose gold set with a rare 2.08-carat cushion-cut fancy vivid blue diamond. The jewel has been named after the internationally renowned British-American star and will be presented April 25 during a private dinner party honoring her at CÉ LA VI Singapore. 

Seymour will wear the ring at the event and then the jewel will become part of the World Diamond Group's private collection.

From the mining of the diamond in Russia, to the crafting of the jewel in Geneva, all of the work was done by the international diamond company.

Blue diamonds of this size and saturation are among the rarest and most sought after gems in the world, commanding extremely high prices at auctions the past few years. However, World of Diamonds Group claims this ring is priceless due to its association with the multitalented actress, producer, philanthropist, painter and businesswoman. The jewel is accompanied by a handcrafted leather “treasure chest.”

“The invitation to behold this creation would rather you not compare The Jane Seymour to anything else in the high jewelry world,” said Karan Tilani, director of World Of Diamonds Group. “It is a celebratory treat, more comparable to a mega-yacht or a ticket to the moon.”

The handcrafted leather “treasure chest” that houses the ring

At the same event in the restaurant and nightclub Seymour will receive an amethyst (her birthstone) weighing more than 20 carats.

Seymour is in Singapore to star in the British Theatre Playhouse’s production of “The Vortex” by Noel Coward, at Jubilee Hall Theatre inside Raffles Hotel, Singapore. As a key supporter of the play, World of Diamonds Group will host a VIP showing on April 29, followed by the “Art For Charity” gala at Raffles. The event is titled “Great Gatsby, Red Carpet Glamour,” and guests include Singapore President Tony Tan and his wife, Mary Tan, the EU Ambassador to Singapore, Michael Pulch, and the British High Commissioner Scott Wightman.

The Ville de Genève diamond necklace

At the event Seymour will wear the Ville de Genève diamond necklace, boasting an18.18-carat Fancy Vivid Pink Diamond. The handcrafted 18k white gold jewel, modeled after coniferous trees in the Alps, is additionally adorned with 456 round brilliant diamonds, (D-F, VVS, 37.70 total carat weight); and 55 marquise brilliant diamonds, (D-F, IF-VVS, 1.65 total carat weight). The necklace is valued at approximately $24.3 million, according to the company, which again was involved in every stage of creating the jewel. The Jane Seymour blue diamond ring will also be on display.

Jane Seymour

Seymour has received an Emmy Award, two Golden Globe Awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She is distinguished as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Among her acting accomplishments, she was a “Bond Girl” in “Live and Let Die,” played Queen Marie-Antoinette in “La Révolution française,” appeared in “Young Winston” as Winston Churchill's lover, and starred on the American television series “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman.”

The World Of Diamonds Group specializes in the mining, manufacturing, distribution and marketing of diamonds and diamond jewelry. It is based in Russia with offices for its various operations throughout the world.

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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Shenzhen Jewelry Fair Welcomes Buyers

The 14th China International Gold, Jewellery & Gem Fair – Shenzhen opened Wednesday at the Shenzhen Convention & Exhibition Center with more than over 300 exhibitors from 13 countries.

The trade fair, which runs till Friday, is scheduled to allow buyers to restock on inventory following a number of festivals, according to UBM Asia, which owns and operates the show. 

“The Fair offers jewelry trade buyers a timely opportunity to source from quality local and overseas exhibitors,” said Joe Ho, Fair manager, China – Jewellery Fairs of UBM Asia. 

For the first time the Antwerp World Diamond Centre has its own pavilion, which houses about 10 diamond suppliers from Belgium. Other specialty areas include the Korea Pavilion, Taiwan Pavilion, China Gold Association Pavilion, Baolin Pavilion and Liyang Pavilion.

Ho added that the fair includes the “China Jewellery Market Summit,” which will help the country’s jewelry market navigate through a tough economy.

“In addition, seminars covering hot topics will discuss how lab-grown diamonds impact the industry; the development of the colored gemstone market; and amber jewelry,” Ho said. 

For details of the special events, visit the fair website

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