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Saturday, June 12, 2010

New Stars of Africa Jewelry Unveiled

As reported earlier, Royal Asscher selected Toronto jewelry designer Reena Ahluwalia to create five new jewelry designs to complement its Stars of Africa rings, which were released last year. The new jewelry line of pendants, necklaces and earrings was unveiled during jewelry week recently held in Las Vegas.

The diamond and 18k gold and platinum rings incorporated a clear half-sphere made of sapphire crystal filled with small diamonds. The crystal half shells are filled with a clear silicone, which allow the diamonds to float inside the ring in the same manner that paper confetti floats inside a snow globe. Of course the diamonds have a lot more sparkle.

Ahluwalia took that half-sphere concept and using what she calls a combination of mechanics and geometry (let’s not forget exceptional design) expanded it into full globes. In some cases, as with the pendants and earrings, the entire globe rotates inside the housing. The new designs incorporate diamond micro pavé in a way that appears to orbit the globes. With one of the necklaces, the orbiting ring spins around the globe. All of the pieces are substantial, in particular the earrings, and all are variations and even advancements of the design theme introduced by Royal Asscher last year.

The collection is available in pink, yellow and white 18k gold and in platinum.

The jewelry is being used to raise funds to support children’s programs in Africa through its Star of Africa initiative. Much of the world’s diamonds are mined in Africa but in many cases the local population do not benefit. A portion of all sales will go toward the Diamond Empowerment Fund, the organization founded by entrepreneur Russell Simmons, which has two beneficiaries: CIDA City Campus and ALA, both of which are based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Lita Asscher president of Royal Asscher of America Inc. was recently named an advisory board member of D.E.F.

Lita and her brother Mike Asscher, vice president of Royal Asscher in Europe and Asia (sixth generation representatives of the famed Amsterdam-based diamond company) said they wanted to show the industry how it can have a positive impact on Africa, particularly Sierra Leone, which Lita visited in 2008. They came away with a strong belief in "diamonds for development" that became the main goal of the Star of Africa initiative.

In keeping with the theme of the jewelry collection, one of Ahluwalia’s new designs includes three diamond micro pavé satellites circling the diamond globe, which she says represent education, healthcare and empowerment.