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Thursday, October 27, 2011

New Website, Book and Jewelry Line from Designer Turned Curator Elizabeth Galton

Elizabeth Galton

It’s been a very busy year for London-based jewelry designer Elizabeth Galton. The former creative director of Links of London quit her high-prestige job to start her own company where she serves as a curator, a champion if you will, for other contemporary and commercially viable designers. The result is the luxury jewelry and accessories website,

The site features collections for women and men from more than 60 contemporary luxury designers. The website allows users to easily view and purchase luxury jewelry, gifts and accessories from a new generation of design talent. Prices for gift, bridal and bespoke items range from $64 for soft accessories to $56,000 for fine jewelry designs to more than $100,000 for bespoke pieces.

The thing that’s novel about this venture, is that this well-known jewelry designer is using her stature in the industry and with consumers to bring other designers onto an online medium. It’s Galton’s name and face that brings credibility to the website.

Many of these designers worked either for Links of London while Galton was leading the design department or worked as designers with similar companies. For example, the Duppoini printed silk scarves that are sold on the site were created by Kate Llamas, formerly from Harrods whose designer, Polina Gineva, created the celebrated Alexander McQueen skull scarf. Jenny Mercian, founder of the Sahani Brand of Swarovski encrusted pieces, previously designed for Victoria’s Secrets. Her celebrity followers include Miranda Kerr, Cheryl Cole and Mary J Blige. Then there’s jewelry designer, Claire English, described by Stephen Webster as “Britain’s next big thing.”

Galton says she knows all of the designers on her website and relishes the opportunity to curate and promote their work.

“EG Studio was borne out of a desire to champion such talent, Galton says. “Their designs speak for themselves and present you with the inside track on unique creations—they are my edit of the best that young “Cool Britannia’ has to offer.”

Galton’s editing doesn’t stop on the design floor. She is in the early stages of publishing her first book. Its object is to be a comprehensive guide on jewelry design from a commercial aspect. Her book will include designers from Elizabeth Galton Studio as well as other designers. So again, she will be serving a curator’s role.

EG Classics bracelet

Finally, Galton has returned to the design floor to create an affordable, colorful line of fashion bracelets that will of course be sold on her website. Galton said her EG Classics bracelets are versatile and will add life to any outfit. They will sell for about $89.

ATM Dispenses Diamond Jewelry, Gold and Silver

Bollywood star Raima Sen unveils Luxury ATM in Mumbai.

Why accept money from an ATM when you can get diamond jewelry, gold or silver?

A company in India has built what it says is the world’s first machine that dispenses gold, silver, diamond jewelry and religious jewelry.

The Gitanjali Group, the machine’s creator, is calling it an ATM, but I think a vending machine would also be an apt description. These types of machines have been vending gold at certain places around the world for the past few years. But this is the first such machine that also dispenses other precious metals and jewelry.

The first ATM was recently placed at a Mumbai shopping center and introduced with a ceremony featuring a Bollywood star Raima Sen (pictured).

The machine dispenses gold and silver bars, coins, pendants with religious motifs and a range of diamond-studded jewelry. The convenience of this machine will especially come in handy for those last-minute gifts, the company said.

“It has a particular significance in India, where usually such items are purchased as tokens to observe traditions on auspicious days,” Sanjeev Agarwal, CEO, Gitanjali Export Corp. Ltd., said in a statement. “But it also offers choices for occasions like Valentine’s Day, or to a husband who forgot an anniversary or his wife’s birthday”

The ATM uses a touch screen interface and provides consumers a mix of up to 36 options in different sizes, price points and designs across the precious metals and jewelry categories. This may include coins in various grams, pendants with religious motifs, and heart shaped pendants and diamond studded pendants. Prices range from about $20 to $610. Credit and debit cards are accepted.

The ATM is a part of a larger “Go for Gold” umbrella brand initiative created by Gitanjali to promote the purchase of gold—whether in the form of jewelry or coins/bars—and focus attention on the company’s gold products.

It is appropriate that it is the Gitanjali Group that is introducing this ATM concept. The Mumbai-based company is the world’s largest integrated branded diamond jewelry manufacturer. It is one of India’s largest manufacturer of diamonds and diamond and gold jewelry. It has close to 40 brands in several categories, including lifestyle, watches and 19 jewelry brands. Most of its brands use a Bollywood star for its advertising and marketing. Many of its brands are retailed through company-owned branded stores. The company recently acquired several Italian jewelry and watch manufacturers that it has incorporated into its branded marketing concept. It also owns retail chains in the U.S.

The ATM seems to be just one more creative way for the company to sell its many products.

24-Ct. Graff Diamond Ring Could Fetch $3.5 Million at Auction

Graff diamond ring. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA

Superb jewels, top-quality colorless diamonds, rare gemstones, natural pearls, and signed jewels from Bulgari, Cartier, Boivin, Graff, JAR, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston will be part of Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on November 16.

Several private collections also will be part of the auction at the Four Seasons Hotel des Bergues, including the collection of Richard Burton’s former wife, Susan Hunt Burton, and a private collection featured in a separate catalog: “Timeless Elegance - Important Jewels from the Collection of a European Family.” (Follow link to read more about this collection).

The top piece among the 360 lots for sale is a 24.30-ct. oval cut diamond ring by Graff. The D color, internally flawless gem is estimated to fetch $2.9 million to $3.5 million (top picture).

The auction of haute joaillerie is expected to fetch more than $50 million.

Diamond “en tremblant” flower brooch, by Bulgari, 1960s. Estimate $110,000 - $220,000. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA

Bulgari will command its own section of more than 40 lots in the upcoming sale. It amounts to the largest sale of Bulgari jewels since a Christie’s Geneva auction in 1993. Among the highlights is an emerald, ruby and diamond sautoir suspending a hexagonal-shaped emerald of 44.90 carats, dated from the 1970s and estimated at $270,000 – $360,000. Also for sale will be a diamond and yellow gold necklace estimated at $73,000 – $89,000.

Diamond and yellow gold necklace by Bulgari. Estimate $70,000 - $90,000. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA

Among the colored gemstones and diamonds to be offered are an 8.11-carat, oval-cut Burmese ruby estimated at $2 million – $2.5 million, a pair of Colombian pear-shaped emerald and diamond earrings, weighing 23.66 and 23.55 carats, estimated at $1.8 million – $2.5 million, and a 55.98-carat Kashmir cabochon sapphire mounted with diamonds as ring by Mouawad, estimated at $800,000 – $1.2 million. A 30.15-carat, D color, VS1 clarity, Type IIa pear-shaped diamond with an antique cut is estimated to sell at $1.9 million to $2.3 million.

Pair of detachable 7.60 & 7.57cts pear-shaped diamond and diamond ear pendants by Van Cleef & Arpels has an auction estimate of $1.5 million - $2 million. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA

Richard Burton, the Welsh actor of stage and screen, was at the height of his fame when he married Susan Hunt, an international model, in August 1976. Among the jewels from the Susan Burton collection are 6.17 carats oval-cut diamond ring (estimate: $56,000 – $78,000), an emerald and diamond necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels (Estimate: $45,000 – $67,000) and a two row cultured pearl, pink tourmaline and diamond necklace with cultured pearl, sapphire and ruby ear pendants (Estimate: SFr. $40,000 – $63,000).

Emerald, ruby and diamond sautoir suspending an hexagonal-shaped 44.90-ct. emerald by Bulgari has an auction estimate of $260,000 - $360,000. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA

From the “Property of a Royal House, Christie’s November sale will present three fancy yellow diamonds: a 79-carat cushion-shaped diamond ring weighing estimated $1.5 million – $2 million, a 67.54-carat, brilliant-cut diamond brooch estimated $1.4 million – $1.5 million and a 32.62-carat brilliant-cut diamond ring with an estimate of $700,000 – $800,000.

From what is billed as the “Estate of a Gentleman,” a selection of 19 jewels created by the famous Swiss jeweler Meister mainly in the 1960s and 1970s. Among the highlights are a diamond fringe necklace estimated at $230,000 – $330,000) and a gold, diamond ruby and emerald snake bracelet estimated at $14,000 – $17,000).

Mystery-Set sapphire and diamond leaf brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels, circa 1930s, has an auction estimate of $300,000 - $500,000. Photo credit: Denis Hayoun - Diode SA
A group of Period and Art Deco jewels featured in the sale is highlighted by a diamond necklace created by René Boivin, circa 1960, (estimate: $340,000 – $440,000) and an emerald and diamond bracelet mounted in platinum, 1930s, estimated at $400,000 – $600,000.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hong Kong Trade Fair Attendance Up 16%

The ceremony at the opening of the fair at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre.

The world’s largest jewelry trade fair has lived up to its billing by smashing attendance records.

The September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which concluded September 25, saw its attendance increase by 16.3 percent, according to its organizer, UBM Asia. A total of 51,500 trade professionals from 155 countries and regions had the opportunity to view the product and services of more than 3,450 exhibitors from 46 countries. It was the largest exhibitor and visitor turnout in the Fair’s history.

Buyers from China formed the biggest group of visitors from outside Hong Kong with 11,483, up 45 percent from last year. Buyers from India followed with 3,519 visitors, up 12 percent from last year. The United States placed third with 2,423, up 29 percent from last year.

“The strong visitor attendance from China and India was not surprising, considering that these two markets are the main drivers of jewelry demand today. What was even more encouraging was the growth in visitor attendance from the United States and Italy—29 and 42 percent, respectively,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia. “There was also notable growth in visitor numbers from Brazil, Israel, Iran, Russia, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. This tells us clearly that apart from traditional and mainstream jewelry markets, there are emerging markets that show great potential to become a force of growth in the future.”

The September fair was held in two venues: AsiaWorld-Expo from September 19 to 23, and the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre from September 21 to 25.

Other highlights of the trade fair, include:

* More than 114,000 daily visits were recorded during the Fair.

* Hong Kong-based visitors totaled 16,931, accounting for about 33 percent of the total number of visitors. The rest of the visitors: 34,569, or about 67 percent of the overall total, were from overseas.

* The trade fair organized 27 buyers’ delegation comprising a total of 1,300 buyers from China, Finland, India, Israel, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mexico and Russia. Members of the China delegation came from 14 provinces and cities.

* The number of overseas visitors grew by 21.4 percent from last year.

2012 AGTA Spectrum Award Winners

Best of Show winner from Todd Reed. Photography by Sandro Art & Photography

The American Gem Trade Association unveiled its 2012 Spectrum Award winners Monday in Manhattan. Scores of jewelry and fashion journalists had the opportunity to view not only the winners, but the hundreds of entries to what is considered by many to be the most respected and prestigious creative award for the jewelry design industry.

Launched in 1984 by the American Gem Trade Association, the awards honor, recognize and promote designers whose work uses natural colored gemstones and cultured pearls in finished fine jewelry design. All of the jewelry designers in the competition used colored gemstones and cultured pearls in their work.

What follows is list of the winners along with photographs when available. The AGTA was able to get some professional quality photographs taken and some of the other photographs were taken by me (a few poorly done, I apologize in advance) at the event.


Best of Show
Todd Reed, Todd Reed, Inc.
Palladium and 22K yellow gold locket featuring blue Moonstones, grey Diamonds (24.51 ctw.), blue sapphires (17.34 ctw.) and white diamonds (5.10 ctw.) opening to reveal a 76.03 ct. Moldavite Buddha (top photo).

Photography by Sandro Art & Photography
Best Use of Color
Deirdre Featherstone, Featherstone Design
Platinum earrings featuring removable Opal enhancers (15.64 ctw.) accented with blue zircons (3.27 ctw.), tanzanites (3.53 ctw.), paraiba tourmalines (.40 ctw.) and diamonds (5.79 ctw.).

Best Use of Platinum and Color
Michael Endlich, Pave Fine Jewelry
Platinum ring featuring a 19.05 ct. cushion-cut aquamarine with pave-set diamonds (0.41 ctw.).

Best Use of Palladium and Color
Dennis de Jonghe - Dennis de Jonghe
Palladium pendant featuring a 16.39 ct. aquamarine accented with a 2.09 ct. Moonstone, diamonds (.26 ctw.) and pearls.

Best Use of Pearls
Anil Maloo, Baggins, Inc.
18K white gold and black rhodium plated earrings encrusted with light cognac diamonds (8.16 ctw.) and 13.3mm cultured South Seas pearls.

Fashion Forward
Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke Designs, Inc.
Oxidized sterling necklace featuring an approximately 30 ct. blue chalcedony cabochon accented with diamonds (.55 ctw.).

Category Winners

Bridal Wear Category

Photography by Robert Weldon
First Place
Maria Canale, Richard Krementz Gemstones - Platinum "Lace" ring featuring a 4.10 ct. blue sapphire accented with diamonds (.77 ctw.).

Second Place
Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney – 18k yellow gold earrings featuring diaspore (2.99 ctw.), demantoid Garnets (2.71 ctw.) and Diamonds (2.81 ctw.).

Third Place
Craig Slavens, AuRTWORK Jewelry - Platinum and 18k yellow gold pendant featuring a 3.92 ct. rose-cut black diamond accented with black and white diamond melee (.52 ctw.) on an 18k white gold chain set with black and white Diamonds (0.71 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Platinum Honors
James Currens, J.W. Currens, Inc. - Platinum ring featuring a 16.80 ct. sugarloaf ruby accented with diamonds (4.54 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Entry Platinum Innovation
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design - Platinum ring featuring a 1.81 ct. round blue sapphire accented with white diamonds (.14 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Palladium Prestige Award
Mirjam Butz-Brown, Adorn Gallery - Palladium and 14k yellow gold earrings featuring quartz and mother-of-pearl accented with diamonds (.16 ctw.) with detachable mirror-cut amethyst drops (21.50 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Manufacturing Honors
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design - Platinum earrings featuring 12mm black Tahitian Pearls and 8mm cultured freshwater pearls accented with white diamonds (0.99 ctw.) and black Diamonds (.53 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Honorable Mention
Leonard McCue, L.A.M. Goldsmiths - Platinum "Hearts and Arrows" ring featuring a 19-ct. pear-shaped moonstone accented with diamonds (2.37 ctw.).

Bridal Wear - Honorable Mention
Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs - 18K white gold "Baroness" earrings featuring trillion-cut tanzanites (10.15 ctw.) accented with diamonds (5.29 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear Category

First Place
Belle Brooke Barer, Belle Brooke Designs, Inc. - Oxidized sterling necklace featuring an approximately 30 ct. blue chalcedony cabochon accented with Diamonds (.55 ctw.).

Second Place
Michele Mercaldo, Michele Mercaldo Contemporary Jewelry - Palladium ring featuring a 2.64 ct. pink sapphire accented with diamonds (.17 ctw.).

Third Place
Heather Moore, Heather B. Moore, Inc. – 14k yellow gold "I Love You More than the Moon, the Stars and theSun" necklace featuring a 54.70 ct. rubellite tourmaline cabochon accented with Diamonds (3.50 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Platinum Honors
Leon Mege, Leon Mege, Inc. - Platinum ring featuring a 16.76 ct. paraiba tourmaline cabochon accented with antique cushion-cut diamonds and diamond melee (3.10 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Entry Platinum Innovation
Susan Drake, Spectrum Art & Jewelry - Platinum and yellow gold ring featuring a 1.08 ct. emerald-cut red spinel accented with diamonds (.18 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Palladium Prestige Award
Dawn Muscio, D. Muscio Designs - Palladium and 14K rose gold "Isis" ring featuring a 19.98 ct. buff-top chrysocolla accented with peridots (.36 ctw.) and diamonds (.11 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Manufacturing Honors
Norman Turgeon, Turgeon-Raine Jewellers – 18k rose gold earrings featuring "passion-flower"-cut amethysts (6.92 ctw.) accented with chrome tourmalines (.34 ctw.) and diamonds (.40 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Honorable Mention
Pamela Froman - Pamela Froman Fine Jewelry – 18k yellow and pink gold "Crushed Frame" ring featuring a 14.11 ct. opal accented with diamond pave (.32 ctw.).

Business/Day Wear - Honorable Mention
Sylva Yepremian, Sylva & Cie. - 18K yellow gold necklace featuring a cross pendant of trapiche emeralds (54.65 ctw.) accented with diamonds (2.5 ctw.).

Classical Category:

Photography by Sandro Art & Photography
First Place
James Currens, J.W. Currens, Inc. - Platinum ring featuring a 14.25 ct. unheated ruby cabochon accented with diamonds (7.97 ctw.).

Second Place
Ashok Sancheti, Pioneer Gems - Platinum earrings featuring emerald cabochon drops (18.45 ctw.) accented with emeralds (18.21 ctw.) and diamonds (4.81 ctw.).

Third Place
Jeffrey Bilgore, Jeffrey Bilgore, LLC - Platinum pendant featuring an 11.80 ct. pear-shaped morganite accented with fancy-colored and white Diamonds (7.09 ctw.).

Classical - Platinum Honors
Erica Courtney, Erica Courtney - Platinum ring featuring an 11.19 ct. imperial pink topaz accented with diamonds.

Classical - Entry Platinum Innovation
Steph Farber, LeRoy Jewelers - Platinum "Waterfall" pendant featuring a 16.9 ct. carved rutilated quartz and three rainbow moonstones accented with diamonds (.25 ctw.).

Classical - Palladium Prestige Award
Dennis de Jonghe, Dennis de Jonghe - Palladium ring featuring a 16.5mm white South Seas pearl accented with round diamonds (.71 ctw.).

Classical - Manufacturing Honors
Ricardo Basta, E. Eichberg, Inc. – 18k yellow gold and platinum tri-color eternity set bands featuring rubies (0.34 ctw.), tsavorite garnets (0.28 ctw.) and sapphires (0.21 ctw.).

Classical - Honorable Mention
Frank Caballero, Frank Caballero – 18k white and yellow gold ring featuring a 9.11 ct. round madeira citrine accented with white round diamonds (.62 ctw.).

Classical - Honorable Mention
Christo Kiffer, Sissy's Log Cabin - Platinum art-deco ring featuring a 4.84 ct. oval black opal cabochon accented with Emeralds (1.0 ctw.), blue sapphire melee (.88 ctw.) and diamonds (.93 ctw.).

Evening Wear Category

Photography by Sandro Art & Photography
First Place
Ion Ionescu, Ionescu Design, Inc. - Palladium and black rhodium "Pillow for Dreaming" ring featuring a 36 ct. carved labradorite accented with paraiba tourmalines (1.50 ctw.).

Second Place
Adam Neeley, Adam Neeley Fine Art Jewelry – 14k black rhodium-plated white gold ring featuring an 11.54 ct. peridot accented with blue sapphires (12.01 ctw.).

Third Place
Robert Pelliccia, J.R. Dunn Jewelers – 18k white gold dangle earrings featuring natural blue jade accented with sapphires (6.76 ctw.) and diamonds (1.18 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Platinum Honors
Evelyn Clothier, Evelyn Clothier Jewelry - Platinum butterfly brooch featuring brown diamond slices (104.42 ctw.) accented with a 5.06 ct. brown diamond and white diamonds (3.04 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Palladium Prestige Award
Naomi Sarna, Naomi Sarna Designs - Palladium ring featuring a 35.0 ct. carved topaz accented with diamonds (.63 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Manufacturing Honors
Yehouda Saketkhou, Yael Designs – 18k white gold "Lave" ring featuring a 5.49 ct. Mexican fire opal accented with diamonds (0.90 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Honorable Mention
Colette Steckel, Colette Jewelry – 18k blackened yellow gold pendant featuring a 6.03 ct. blue checkerboard moonstone accented with diamonds (3.59 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Honorable Mention
Michael Hezar, Michael John IMAGE - 18K white gold bracelet featuring aquamarines (37.0 ctw.) and diamonds (9.75 ctw.).

Evening Wear - Honorable Mention
Lawrence Gordon, Aspire Designs, Ltd. - 18K white gold ring featuring a 17.62 ct. moonstone cabochon accented with blue sapphires (2.28 ctw.) and diamonds (1.59 ctw.).

Men's Wear Category

Photography by Sandro Art & Photography
First Place
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design - Platinum engraved ring featuring channel-set ruby melee (0.59 ctw.) and yellow Diamonds (0.115 ctw.).

Second Place
Ryan Roberts, Ryan Roberts, Ltd. – 18k yellow gold and platinum ring featuring a 6.42 ct. indicolite tourmaline and a 0.59 ct. tsavorite garnet accented with diamonds (.19 ctw.).

Third Place
Llyn Strelau, Jewels by Design – 19k white gold "Green Arrow" cufflinks featuring bezel-set black onyx and Gibeon meteorite carvings centered by tsavorite garnets (.90 ctw.) and accented with black Diamonds (0.15 ctw.).

Men's Wear - Platinum Honors
Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design - Platinum ring featuring a 15 ct. shield-cut rubellite tourmaline accented with white diamonds (0.90 ctw.) and yellow diamonds (0.22 ctw.).

Men's Wear - Palladium Prestige Award
Evelyn Huang, evelynH. Jewelry, Inc. - Palladium "Zultan" ring featuring a 12.54 ct. color-change diaspore accented with radiant-cut diamonds (.43 ctw.).

Men's Wear - Manufacturing Honors
Ashleigh Branstetter, Ashleigh Branstetter - Sterling silver cufflinks featuring 10mm grey Tahitian pearls and round blue sapphires (1.34 ctw.).

Men's Wear - Honorable Mention
Link Wachler, Link Wachler Designs - Silver and 14k rose gold "Eye to Eye" ring featuring the fish versus the worm. The ring has a 4.5mm Pearl and is accented with sapphires (.38 ctw.), rubies (.22 ctw.) and emeralds (.07 ctw.).

Men's Wear - Honorable Mention
Matt Conable, William Henry - Pocketknife with wave damascus blade. Frame is carved 22K yellow gold over sterling silver inlaid with fossil walrus Ivory accented with rubies on the button lock and thumb stud.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Chopard’s Spring 2012 Collection Warms the Autumn Chill

Imperiale Full Set ladies watch.

The mid-point of autumn seems like an inappropriate time to talk about spring collections but the fashion industry moves to its own schedule—even when it comes to high-end watches and jewelry. And in this realm of what is known as “hard” luxuries there are few more fashionable companies than Chopard.

The Swiss luxury brand recently released its spring collection of eloquent and innovative watches, refined jewelry pieces and even a surprise offering. These collections just may have enough sparkle and brilliance to keep one warm during the coldest winter nights.

Items from the new collections are listed below:

Imperiale Full Set (top picture)
This is the first Chopard timepiece with a movement made in its Fleurier Ebauches watch workshop in the Neuchâtel Jura region of Switzerland. Code-named calibre CHOPARD 01.03-C, this ladies watch beats at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hertz), while its barrel ensures a 60-hour power reserve. The 40 mm case in 18k white gold is entirely paved with diamonds and rubies and appears like an extension of the dial, which is also diamond-set and punctuated with baguette-cut ruby indexes at 3, 6, 9 and 12 o’clock. A red alligator leather strap matches the rubies of the case.

Imperiale Jewelry Collection
Chopard created a jewelry line to accompany its Imperiale watch collection. The Imperiale pendants and earrings come in 18k white gold and are either partially or entirely set with diamonds. The combination of white gold with diamonds naturally catches and holds the light without blinding observers. They are resolutely contemporary and easy to wear.

Happy Sport Oval Full Set
This is the newest entry for one of the brand’s most successful watch lines since it was introduced in 1993. This extremely feminine watch features a new case with modern proportions, displaying elegant and ergonomic lines. The Happy Sport Oval Full Set comes in 18k white gold and is fully set with diamonds along with seven moving diamonds that playfully whirl and twirl around its dial.

This new edition of Chopard’s classic men’s watch is crafted in 18k white gold with a satin-brushed, silver toned dial. The self-winding movement is endowed with two barrels and a 65-hour power reserve within an ultra-thin case, which is due to a clever design created at Chopard’s Fleurier watchmaking facility. The designers also devoted their talents to the shape and proportions of the round large-diameter case (39.50 mm) featuring a flat bezel and an extremely slender middle.

Jacky Ickx Edition V
Limited to 2,000 pieces, this watch is an anthem to classic racing. Its 24-hour counter, the flyback chronograph function and the tachometric scale are designed for drivers. Developed in cooperation with Jacky Ickx (most known for winning the 24 hours of Le Mans endurance race six times), this edition features a stainless steel 42.4 mm case and a black dial with two silver-toned counters and one black counter. The timepiece has a 6/24 inscription on the case-back, symbolizing the Ickx’s accomplishments at Le Mans.

Haute Joaillerie Writing Instrument
Chopard used the expertise of its workshops to create a range of elegant and precise instruments, crafted in 18k white gold and entirely set with diamonds.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Christie's Geneva Auction to Include Private Jewelry Collection

Ruby and diamond jewelry set mounted by Cartier.

A highlight of Christie’s Geneva Magnificent Jewels auction on November 16 is a sale of an “extraordinary” group of jewels from a private collection.

Harry Winston
“Timeless Elegance – Important Jewels from the Collection of a European Family,” has 67 jewels gathered together in the mid-20th Century, bearing the style and signature of some of the most talented jewelry houses during the period, including Boucheron, Cartier, Mauboussin, Ostertag, Tiffany & Co, Van Cleef & Arpels and Harry Winston. The family that owns the collection isn’t identified.

The collection, featured in a separate catalog, will be sold at 3 p.m.

“During my entire career I have never been asked to sell a group of jewels of such variety and outstanding beauty,” said Jean-Marc Lunel, Head of Christie’s Geneva Jewellery Department. “(It) will, no doubt, be among the very highlights of this auction season in Geneva. Unquestionable quality is behind every piece, each of them is a work of art in its own right.”

Diamond flower brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Dating from the early 1900s to the present day, the collection contains all of the major periods and styles of the 20th Century, covering every type of jewel and gemstone.

Highlights from the collection include a timeless diamond necklace by Harry Winston from 1964 (estimate: $1.5 million – $2.5 million), a set of ruby and diamond jewelry, mounted by Cartier in 1951 ($800,000 – $1.2 million) and a mystery-set ruby and diamond flower brooch by Van Cleef & Arpels (estimate: $300,000 – $500,000).

Belle Epoque emerald and diamond brooches.

Among the period highlights are an Art Deco diamond, emerald and onyx bracelet by Gattle (estimate: $ 200,000 – 300,000) and a pair of Belle Epoque emerald and diamond brooches (estimate: $ 200,000 – $240,000).

Art Deco diamond, emerald and onyx bracelet by Gattle.

Two Flawless Diamonds May Fetch $18 Million at Hong Kong Auction

Leading Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels is a pair of unmounted round brilliant-cut D flawless diamonds, weighing 35.77 and 35.61 carats each. The auction house said it is the largest pair of its type to ever be offered at auction.

The diamond pair—each roughly the size of a cherry tomato—received a “Triple Excellent” rating for their polish, symmetry and cut grade. Adding to their allure is that they have also been determined to be Type IIa, the most chemically pure form of diamond showing exceptional appeal transparency. The Steinmetz Diamond Group, a leading diamond manufacturer and trader, cut this pair of diamonds, both of which were uncovered in South Africa.

“To find large pieces of colorless rough within the same timeframe represents an extremely rare occurrence,” Christie’s said. “To combine that with the vision to obtain a closely matched pair raises the project to new heights.” This pair was exhibited by Steinmetz at the Guggenheim in New York in December 2010.

Offered separately, the pre-auction estimate is $7 million to $9 million each.

The November 29 auction at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre will feature diamonds, colored gems, rare jadeite and signed jewels and is expected to bring in $75 million, said Vickie Sek, director of the Jewellery and Jadeite Department, Christie’s Asia.

Jewels by Harry Winston will be prominent in the sale. Leading the selection is an emerald and diamond brooch, originally purchased by a Texas oil-man and personal client to Mr. Winston who called upon the jeweler for a significant gemstone. Mr. Winston offered the man and his wife a choice: The 68.90 carat emerald or a 69.42 carat pear-shaped diamond. The wife chose the emerald, and the diamond went on to be acquired by Elizabeth Taylor and subsequently known as Taylor-Burton Diamond. For the emerald, Mr. Winston had his legendary designer, Ambaji Shinde, create the jewel. Auction estimate: $2 million – $3 million.

Among the selection of natural pearl jewels offered is a necklace of saltwater natural pearls boasting 16 matching button-shaped pearls of impressive size. Assembling such a finely-matched selection of natural pearls of this size and quality is rare and likely took decades, the auction house said. Estimate: $1.6 million to $2.25 million.

It wouldn’t be a Hong Kong auction without a strong selection of important jadeite. This sale is led by, “Three Friends of Winter,” a jadeite pendant necklace featuring a carved jadeite plaque that provides a rare balance of color, texture and translucency, the auction house said. Estimate: $2 million – $3 million.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Flaming Yellow 32-Ct. Diamond Sells for $6.5 Million at Auction

A rare vivid yellow, 32.77-ct.diamond sold for more than $6.5 million at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels auction held Tuesday. The golden yellow hue of the pear-shaped gem is so intense and so deep that the Gemological Institute of America ranks it among the rarest of gemstones in its class.

The unmounted diamond, about the size of a guitar pick, was the top lot of Christie’s first major jewelry sale of the fall season. The auction fetched $46.6 million with 83 percent sold by lot and 93 percent by value.

“Despite recent volatility in the financial markets, the jewelry world continues to hold strong with active participation from top private collectors and members of the trade for superb gems and jewels,” said Rahul Kadakia, head of Jewelry at Christie’s New York. “At $201,000 per ct., the 32.77-ct. Vivid yellow diamond achieved a sensational price.”

Diamonds of all colors stole the show at Christie’s Rockefeller Plaza flagship, but there were some fine jewelry pieces that caught the attention of buyers. Top sellers include:

An oval-cut D color, potentially flawless diamond ring of 25.74 cts. by Graff sold for nearly $3.9 million.


A modified pear-shaped 3.21-cts., fancy vivid blue VS2 diamond sold for more than $2.7 million.

A rectangular-cut D color VS1 diamond ring of 20.43 cts., by Cartier, 1940, fetched $2.1 million.

A pear-shaped fancy purplish pink internally flawless diamond ring, of 8.20 cts., by Tiffany & Co. sold for more than $2 million, exceeding auction estimates.


A diamond line necklace of fifty-seven graduated pear-shaped D-color diamonds, weighing a total of 123.22 cts.sold for more than $1.4 million, shattering its estimate of $600,000 - $800,000. 

An 11.05-ct., pear-shaped D color, potentially internally flawless diamond fetched more than $1.3 million. 

An 11.11-ct., cushion-cut D color, potentially internally flawless diamond sold for nearly $1.4 million, exceeding auction estimates.

A natural pearl and diamond necklace of forty-nine graduated natural pearls sold for more than $1 million.

An Art Deco diamond and multi-gem "Tutti Frutti" bracelet, by Cartier, circa 1930, topped estimates, selling for $962,500.

Jewelry and Watch Brands Digital Media Efforts get Failing Grades

Brands held by public companies have a sigificant advantage online, arguably as a result of the emphasis placed on innovation, L2 says. Public comapnies not affilated with a larger organization demonstrated the biggest Digital IQ gains.

The world has largely turned to digital mediums for their consumer information, to purchase products and to share their thoughts about these products and brands with others. Most industries have learned how to harness the power of the Internet, social media and wireless mediums to build their brand image and increase sales. But according to one study, the luxury jewelry and watch industries are lagging far behind nearly all others in using these digital platforms to gain a presence in an area where consumers continue to turn.

Nearly two-third of the jewelry and watch brands surveyed were classified as “Challenged” or “Feeble,” based on the findings of the Digital IQ Index: Watches & Jewelry. Only two brands, Tiffany & Co. and Swarovski, achieved “Genius” and “Gifted” classifications, (respectively).

“Gray market concerns, counterfeit fears, limited pricing transparency, and retailer conflict all present obstacles for organizations in this category to build and sell their brands online,” the survey by L2, a membership-based consultancy that bills itself as a “think tank for digital innovation.” “However, with 67 percent of consumers in the EU and half of those in the U.S. indicating that they research luxury goods online before making a purchase, do watches and jewelry brands really have a choice?”

The top ten brands in the study are:

1. Tiffany & Co.

2. Swarovski

3. Jaeger-LeCoultre

4. David Yurman

5. Cartier

6. Omega

7. TAG Heuer

8. Longines

9. Montblanc (tied)

9. Pandora (tied)

Other key findings in the study of 35 jewelry and watch brands:

* Just 29 percent of brands in the Index boast e-commerce capabilities. In a category where third-party distribution is not going away anytime soon, the missed opportunity online to drive customers to offline retail is even more disappointing.

* All but three brands in the Index maintain a presence on Facebook, with communities averaging more than 200,000 fans. Mobile site adoption is up from just seven percent in 2010 to 39 percent this year. In addition, brands are beginning to abandon flash-heavy sites that are difficult to navigate in favor of more streamlined experiences that are more searchable, shareable and product-centric.

* With a YouTube channel launch and updates to its iPad, Cartier is one of this year’s biggest winners; however, the brand still only notches an Average IQ classification. The biggest disappointment is industry heavyweight Rolex, which has fallen from Gifted in 2009 to Feeble this year. Iconic brands are falling behind.

* Less than half of brands included in the study are purchasing their own brand keywords, and thus fail to appear in the top-three paid ads of their search pages. Instead, e-tailers, flash-sale sites, and discounters are seizing this valuable search engine real estate. Google is another “door to the store.” By not addressing paid ads, brands are essentially displaying discounted merchandise in the windows of their largest retail locations.

“The Watches & Jewelry industry is running out of time online,” says Scott Galloway, L2 founder. “Although these brands are beginning to invest in social media and mobile, transaction-orientation and digital marketing competence such as search, email, and retargeting lag other industries.”

For the survey, L2 used a four-tier ranking methodology: Website functionality, content and brand translation accounts for 35 percent; digital marketing, 25 percent; social media, 25 percent; and mobile, 15 percent.

Jewelry and Watch Sales Sparkle for LVMH

LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, the world’s leading high quality products group, said revenue for the first nine months of 2011 rose 15 percent year-over-year to 16.3 billion euros ($22.3 billion). Organic revenue growth was 15 percent after the currency impact was compensated by the June 30 consolidation of Italian luxury jeweler, Bulgari, into the LVMH structure.

The third quarter continued the trend of strong growth evident since the start of the year, the Paris-based conglomerate said. The momentum continued in Asia, Europe and the United States, while Japan returned to growth over the period. In its outlook, the company said it expects the same revenue growth to continue till the end of the year.

The Watches & Jewelry division (which includes the brands TAG Heuer, Zenith and Hublot), while fifth among the company’s six business units in overall income, was the strongest performer for the nine-month period, recording a 76 percent revenue increase (26 percent organic growth) to 1.2 billion euros ($1.7 billion). The third quarter was marked by the public offer for the outstanding minority shares in Bulgari, which the company said, is performing well across all product categories. TAG Heuer enhanced its feminine product offering with a new jewelry extension to its Formula 1 line and has expanded its presence in Asia. Hublot continues the successful roll-out of the Classic Fusion collection. Driven by the excellent progress of its El Primero and Captain ranges, Zenith continues to demonstrate the strong appeal of its high quality chronographs. The other jewelry brands, Chaumet, Fred and De Beers continued their positive momentum through their own store network, the company said.

Results for its other businesses during the nine month-period are as follows:

Revenue for the Wines & Spirits group (which includes Moët & Chandon, Dom Pérignon, and Jas Hennessy & Co.) increased 7 percent (11% organic) to 2.3 billion euros ($3.2 billion), led by champagne and premium alcohol sales.

Fashion & Leather Goods group (which includes Louis Vuitton, Thomas Pink and Marc Jacobs) grew 13 percent (15% organic) to 6.2 billion euros ($8.5 billion).

Perfumes & Cosmetics group (Christian Dior, Guerlain and Parfums Givenchy) saw its sales rise 3 percent (10% organic) to $2.3 billion euros ($3.2 billion)for the period, led by the sustained growth of its flagship product lines.

Selective Retailing group (which includes DFS, Sephora and La Samaritaine) sales increased 18 percent (19% organic) to $4.3 billion ($5.9 billion), benefiting from the expansion of Asian tourism, which was particularly strong in Hong Kong and Macao.

Its businesses listed as “other activities,” recorded a slight loss.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Jewelry and Watch Sales Drive Global Luxury Consumption

Double-digit growth in jewelry and watch sales, strong demand in China and Latin America, and resurging U.S. and European markets have all contributed to what is expected to be a growth of 13 percent in worldwide luxury consumption in 2011, according to a recently released report.

Consulting firm, Bain & Company, which created the report, revised its overall 2011 growth projections from the 8 percent growth in luxury consumption it predicted in May.

Jewelry and watch sales are expected to grow by 18 percent year-over-year in 2011, driven by self-purchasing women in emerging markets, according to the report. Accessories sales are expected to increase by 13 percent and apparel by 8 percent for the year.

The annual study was done for Altagamma, a trade organization that represents the largest luxury goods companies in Italy. The organization released the report in Milan on Monday.

Luxury sales growth in the Americas for 2011 is expected to be 8 percent, led by 20-percent growth in Brazil. Europe is expected to show a 7 percent growth rate for the year. Asia again is the engine that is driving the luxury economy. 2011 sales are expected to grow 25 percent, year-over-year, “with no sign of slow down,” according to the report. “China remains the champion of the region,” with an expected 35 percent rate of growth in 2011, equaling the prior year’s consumption growth. “Chinese customers already account for more than 20 percent of total worldwide luxury consumption,” according to the report.

In a separate report by Bain for Altagamma, also released Monday, it predicts that the growth of the luxury market will decline, but sales will still be strong in many luxury goods categories and geographical regions.

The jewelry, watches, pens and lighter category is expected to grow by 10 percent for 2012—the same rate of the growth is projected for leather goods, shoes and accessories. Apparel is expected to rise by 6.5 percent; followed by fragrances and cosmetics (4.5%); and tableware (2%).

The strongest geographical region for luxury goods and services will again be Asia, which is expected to grow by 16 percent, and Latin America, with 10 percent growth predicted. Expected growth in luxury sales for other regions is as follows: Middle East (8.75%), North America (6%), Europe (3.75%), and Japan (1.75%).