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Thursday, July 30, 2015

June Hong Kong Jewelry Fair Attracts 25,000 Buyers And 2,300 Exhibitors

Attendance at the June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair totaled 24,838 from 105 countries and regions who viewed 2,286 exhibitors from 45 countries and regions. The fair, which was held June 25 – 28, took place in more than 70,000 square meters of exhibition space at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The number of exhibitors is up 20 percent compared to last year. The 28th edition of the fair featured new pavilions, including the Fashion Jewellery Pavilion, the Stainless Steel Jewellery Pavilion and the Designer Arena. The Diamond Pavilion and the Gemstone Pavilion had more than 480 diamantaires and 500 gemstones suppliers. 

“The June Fair diversified its product offerings by adding new pavilions. There was positive feedback on the new pavilions and the international profile of exhibitors,” said Celine Lau, director of Jewellery Fairs, UBM Asia.

Mainland China, a key driver in the world’s jewelry market, accounted for 36 percent of the total number of visitors. The Top 10 sources of visitors from outside Hong Kong and mainland China were: India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Thailand, Japan, the United States, Singapore, Korea, Australia and Indonesia. Overall, the Top 10 visiting countries accounted for 19 percent of the total number of visitors.

Other highlights of the fair include:

* The press conference announcing the finalists for the JNA Awards 2015. The annual awards honors companies and individuals that have demonstrated excellence and innovation in the jewelry and gemstone industry, with a focus on their accomplishments in the Asian region.

* The 55th Paspaley Pearl Auction.

* Diamond auction by Alrosa Group, Russia's the leading diamond mining company

* Seminars conducted by leading international jewelry organizations and companies included Fukui Shell Nucleus Factory, the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong and GRS Lab (HK) Limited. 

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Danica Patrick Introduces Tissot 10th Anniversary Watch At Reis-Nichols Jewelers

Danica Patrick with the Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015. Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography 

Danica Patrick, the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing, celebrated her 10th anniversary as brand ambassador for Tissot on July 25 at the Reis-Nichols Indianapolis jewelry store. The watch brand and Patrick unveiled the Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015.

Patrick was in Indianapolis to compete in the Brickyard 400 NASCAR race the following day. Earlier in the day she drove in qualifying time trials.

The stainless steel 29 mm quartz powered watch features a mother-of-pearl dial adorned with round-cut diamonds in the shape of a large number 10 at the 10 o’clock marker. In addition to her years with Tissot, 10 also is her longtime number as a driver. The caseback is engraved with Patrick’s signature logo. The $725 watch is limited to 100 units.

The Tissot PR 100 Chronometer Danica Patrick Limited Edition 2015

Petite and fit—in a tight-fitting knee-high skirt, colorful top, high heels and curls on her normally straight long black hair—Patrick looked more like a glamorous fitness model than a world-class race car driver. This was underscored by her sculpted forearms when she wore the watch for photos.

“It’s dressy and casual,” she said about the watch. “Having something that bridge between the two is my style anyway. I travel so much. Do you know how much it weighs to carry all that jewelry and all those watches? So I have the perfect one to go with everything.”

From left: Justin Thompson, Tissot US Brand Manager, Danica Patrick and BJ Nichols, president of Reis-Nichols.  Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography

Patrick has had different levels of input over the design and functions of the 10 watches that bear her name during the decade-long period with Tissot. The timepieces over the years featured different technical functions and styles. However, she finds lots of similarities.

“They all feel like they were racy and sporty but there were some sort of elements whether simplified or glammed up just a little bit,” she said. “Even the second edition of the signature watch was similar to the first but it had diamonds on it.”

One of her favorites was the 2006 Tissot T-Touch, which had a range of functions, including an alarm that she used on the road for many years. “It’s just a cool watch with some neat features.”

Justin Thompson, Tissot US Brand Manager, and Danica Patrick. Photo credit: Harold Hinson Photography

She adds, “My style (for watches) would be a little bit sporty, classic, a little bit oversized. “I like diamonds in everything. If I could buy something with diamonds around the outside or not, I’d pick with.”

At the racetrack her watch and sunglasses are the last things she removes before getting into the race car, she says. However, inside the car a watch has very limited use.

“I wish I had one on a bar in there or somewhere so I can see what time it was so I know how much practice time is left,” she says. “You’re sitting in the garage and the first thing they do is pop the hood so you can’t see the time anymore and you have no idea how much is left. I have to ask what time it is in the car.

“As far as lap times go I would have to manually hit the button and that would be a little distracting.”

Patrick began racing professionally in 1998 and moved up the ranks until reaching the prestigious IndyCar Series in 2005. It is where she has had her greatest success. In 2008 she became the only woman to win an IndyCar Series race at the Indy Japan 300. She finished third at the 2009 Indianapolis 500, the highest finish ever by a woman.

She began racing on the NASCAR circuit in 2010 where she has been struggling.

Prior to the event at Reis-Nichols, Patrick qualified at the 15th position for the Brickyard 400. The following day, she finished the race 27th.

When asked about her goals, she replied: “To win.” 

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Pilot Hong Kong Mineral And Gem Fair To Continue Under New Name

The first edition of Mineral & Gem Asia at the AsiaWorld-Expo, Hong Kong, attracted more than 4,600 local and overseas visitors. UBM Asia, which owns and organized the event, said more than 1,900 of the visitors were trade buyers, including exhibitors and visitors from UBM Asia’s June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, which ran simultaneously with the mineral fair. 

“The launch of Mineral & Gem Asia was an important milestone in UBM Asia’s fair history,” said Wolfram Diener, senior VP, UBM Asia. “It gave global buyers a platform to source effectively from suppliers from around the world without having to travel to many overseas shows.”

The fair featured 103 exhibitors from 27 countries and regions while the visitors came from 55 countries and regions in Asia Pacific, Africa, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, Central, North and South America.

Rare and preserved fossils from the Stephen Hui Geological Museum of The University of Hong Kong were among the exhibits at the fair, including Permian invertebrate fossils and Jurassic and Tertiary plant fossils unearthed from Lantau Island and Dong Ping Chau in Hong Kong.

Both the Hong Kong Geological Museum and the Mineralogy Society of Hong Kong hosted onsite educational activities.

Christoph Keilmann, CEO of Mineralientage München Fachmesse GmbH, the fair organizer of The Munich Show, gave the new fair early praise, saying “it was an excellent start with the potential to become Asia's leading mineral show.”

Hong Kong-based visitors totaled 2,981. The largest group of visitors from outside Hong Kong came from mainland China (835); followed by Taiwan (126), India (83), Thailand (82), Japan (62) and Australia (41).

The fair included a showcase of three dinosaurs—Tyrannosaurus rex-King Kong, the Allosaurus and the Suuwassea—which were displayed to the public for the first time in Asia; along with a three-dimensional model of the Thermopolis Archaeopteryx and an Archaeopteryx fossil.

Six seminars discussed a variety of topics, including minerals, gemstones and gold specimen collecting. 

The fair will be renamed Mineral, Gem & Fossil Asia and will be held June 25 – 28, 2016, at AsiaWorld-Expo. The June Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, meanwhile, will be held June 23 – 26, 2016, at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre. 

Holding the two fairs at the same time will enable gemstone exhibitors at the Hong Kong fair to attend the mineral and gem fair, UBM Asia said. In addition, there will be an enhanced advertising and promotion campaign to attract more trade buyers to the fair. 

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Gary Roskin Named ICA Executive Director

The International Colored Gemstone Association has appointed well-known gems and jewelry expert Gary Roskin as its executive director.

Roskin will start the new position August 4 and will work from ICA's New York office. He will be responsible for its day-to-day activities and development. He will report to the ICA Board of Directors.

Gary Roskin is a highly respected gemologist and journalist with extensive gems and jewelry industry experience. He established Roskin Gemological Services, which includes the well-known Roskin Gem News Report, and was the Gemstone Editor of BASELWORLD Daily News. In addition, he was formerly the senior gemstone editor of JCK magazine, and the executive director of the GIA Alumni Association.

“It is indeed an honor to be the new executive director of the ICA,” Roskin said. “ICA is a not-for-profit organization which promotes the understanding and appreciation of all aspects of the colored gemstones and jewelry industry. This is in line with my personal beliefs and relates to all of the things I have written about and have taught for decades.”

ICA President Benjamin Hackman said: “We are delighted that Gary will be joining the ICA in such an important position. There is no doubt that this pivotal role will enhance the work of the ICA, which is the leading worldwide organization in the field of colored gemstones and jewelry. ICA will benefit from Gary's vast experience in the industry: from jewelry to gemology and gemstones to diamonds. ICA’s Board of Directors and I are happy to welcome Gary to his new position.” 

The International Colored Gemstone Association, a non-profit organization, is the only worldwide body specifically created to benefit the global colored gemstone industry. ICA was founded in 1984 and is now comprised of over 600 gemstone dealers, cutters, miners and retailers from 47 countries who are devoted to advancing and promoting the knowledge and appreciation of colored gemstones.

ICA’s global network works to develop a common language for promotion and consistent business standards necessary to improve international communication and trade of colored gemstones.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Faberge’s Summer in Provence High Jewelry Collection

Fabergé Summer in Provence earrings

Provence, with its colorful landscapes that has attracted artists for centuries, is one of the most sought out places in the world to spend the summer. Natalia Shugaeva, Fabergé’s head designer, interpreted a traditional summer in the French region through a collection of high jewelry and watches.

Fabergé’s Summer in Provence collection features textured and layered jewelry that resemble the landscapes and floral patterns of the region with a contrast of colors—particularly blues, greens and pinks with a sparkle of diamonds. The collection of necklaces, earrings and rings combines turquoise beads, pearls, polished enamel, baguette emeralds, diamonds and extremely rare Paraiba tourmalines.

Fabergé Summer in Provence multi-coloured sapphire ring

The pieces are tied together with a floral ribbon, which serves two purposes. Primarily, it represents the Provence region’s summer bounty of flowers and plants; and it interprets the ribbon on traditional, long, flowing summer dresses.

The high watch portion of the collection uses the same color palette, materials, design codes and ribbon motif as the high jewelry collection. There are three variations of the 37 mm watch ranging from a model in all white diamonds to pieces adorned with emeralds and multi-colored sapphires. Turquoise, pearls, enamel and Paraiba tourmalines are also included in two models.

The watches are powered by an automatic movement made for Faberge with a 50-hour power reserve.

Fabergé Summer in Provence emerald and turquoise timepiece

The top model is the Summer in Provence Emerald watch with an 18k white-gold case decorated with 374 diamonds, 17 Paraiba tourmalines, 10 emeralds and a ribbon-like turquoise-colored enamel strip and a crown topped with an emerald.

The dial is paved with 332 diamonds, 10 Paraiba tourmalines and 15 emeralds. Flowers scattered on the dial and bracelet are made of freshwater mother-of-pearl. Green leaves on the dial are made of chrysoprase and finished with the continuation of the ribbon-like turquoise-colored enamel strip. It is limited to five pieces.

The brand first unveiled the collection at the Baselworld watch and jewelry tradeshow in March. The collection will be available worldwide in September. 

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Latest Timepiece Offerings For ‘Only Watch’ Charity Auction

Only two of the 44 unique timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction remain to be seen. Recently, five watches for the biennial event, being held November 7 in Geneva, were unveiled. They are from Ulysse Nardin, Hermes, Breguet, Vacheron Constantin and Vulcain. It’s a diverse offering that feature sounds, various artistic applications and of course fine movements. 

Ulysse Nardin
The Stranger timepiece (top photo) is a music box that plays the song “We Are the Champions” by Queen, inspired by the Monaco Association against Muscular Dystrophy, which Patrik Hoffmann, Ulysse Nardin CEO, says is, “led by champions for champions.” The song written by Freddie Mercury plays on the hour and on request. The luxury watch brand is able to use the song through a copyright exception granted by EMI Music Publishing Germany GmgH company, sub-editor of Queen Music Ltd.

The watch is powered by the Ulysse Nardin manufacture caliber 690. It’s housed in a 45-mm black titanium case, with anthracite dial and cherry red blades of the musical mechanism. The Only Watch logo, also in cherry red, is above the seconds subdial at 6 o’clock.

The luxury brand released a unique version of its “In the Pocket” watch for the charity in red leather. The unusual timepiece can be worn as a pocket watch or a wristwatch through the use of a versatile hand-made leather case and cord. The watch was first created in 1912 for Jacqueline Hermès, a child at the time, so the young horsewoman could ride without having to attach her watch to her clothing or slip it into her pocket. 

The watch and leather case and cord were first reissued in 2012 and a second model was released in June. The Only Watch version is in a rose gold case and buckle, and clad in “H red Swift calfskin.” The H1837 mechanical self-winding movement is made at Hermès manufacturing facility in Switzerland. The watch showcases the luxury brand’s traditional skill in leather goods and its newfound skill as a movement manufacturer. 

The Swiss luxury watch brand reached to its past as a supplier of chronographs to the French air force and navy to introduce the Type XXI 3813. It’s equipped with the same flyback function featured on the original 1950s model. Another characteristic of this one-of-a-kind model lies in its central chronograph minutes counter ensuring instant readability. It’s also equipped with a date aperture, 12-hour counter at 6 o’clock, a day/night indicator and small seconds subdial.

For the first time, the mechanical self-winding 584Q/1 caliber is housed in a platinum case (42 mm), fitted with a bidirectional rotating bezel. Its matt slate grey dial, crafted in an exclusive execution for Only Watch, bears stylized Arabic numerals composed of a white transferred base coated with Superluminova, enhanced by luminescent hands and hour markers.

Vacheron Constantin
The unique Métiers d’Art Mécaniques Ajourées timepiece for Only Watch combines the luxury watch brand’s skill in openwork engraving and in Grand Feu enamelling. The manually-wound openworked Calibre 4400SQ took hundreds of hours to achieve the proper balance between airy aesthetic appeal and optimal functionality, according to the luxury watch brand. Artisans removed about half of the caliber 4400 to create a piece of 3D sculptural art. 

The watch is further enhanced through Grand Feu enamelling. In-house enameling artisans have created a red ring topping the caliber. The ring is accentuated by Roman numerals, evoking those of the central clocks in the large railway stations of late 19th century Europe. The openworked Only Watch logo appears on the ring at 3 o’clock.

The independent luxury watch brand chose the winged stallion, Pegasus, to grace the dial of its Only Watch submission. Renato A. Vanotti, Vulcain CEO, says the divine symbol emphasizes the “heightened power of the natural forces—the innate capacity for spiritualization and for inverting evil into good.”

The stallion in an action pose on its hind legs is backed by scene in which the top half is lit by fiery red and yellow colors and the bottom in cool blue. The entire scene is created with hand-made grand Feu cloisonné enameling and is unique to Only Watch and topped with 12 diamond cabochons used as hour markers. The 42 mm pink gold case houses the Vulcain automatic cricket-caliber V-20 movement. The caseback is engraved with the Only Watch logo.

Only Watch is an auction of unique timepieces created and donated by watchmakers for research on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This will be the sixth edition of the auction, which began in 2005. All the funds raised by the watches will go toward finding a cure for the disease, which affects 1 in 3,600 boys, resulting in muscle degeneration and premature death. 

For the first time the auction will move from its traditional home in Monaco to Geneva. It will be held November 7, marking the start of the week of watch auctions in the Swiss city. Also for the first time, the event is organized by Phillips auction house in association with Bacs & Russo, along with traditional organizers the Monegasque Association against Muscular Dystrophy and the Monaco Yacht Show. 

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s New Master Ultra Thin Squelette

Jaeger-LeCoultre wasn’t satisfied with one high watchmaking skill in its latest timepiece. It had to combine no fewer than four of these skills with its Master Ultra Thin Squelette: skeleton working, guilloché engraving, enameling and gem-setting. 

Let’s not forget that being ultra-thin is the watch’s greatest achievement. With a total thickness of 3.6 mm, it is one of the thinnest watches ever made. The hand-wound Jaeger-LeCoultre Caliber 849ASQ with 119 components is a mere 1.85 mm thick, while providing a 33-hour power reserve. To further complicate things, the movement was carefully skeletonized into a work of art that can be viewed on both sides of the watch. 

The timepiece is available in four models: pink gold, pink gold set with brilliant cut diamonds, white gold, or white gold set with brilliant cut diamonds

The gold surrounding the skeletonized movement is first adorned with a guilloché motif. Then enamel is applied in either a deep blue for the white gold model or a “frosted chestnut brown” for pink gold version. For one white-gold model, mother-of-pearl is applied. The gold chapter ring is divided into 12 zones that make it easy to view the numerals within its limited space. The motif, the enamel or mother-of-pearl application, and the 12-zone chapter ring is also on the reverse side of the timepiece.

With all the different hand-crafted art and technical acrobats that went into a watch with such a small size, it seems a bit underwhelming to mention the gem-setting technique that went into this timepiece. In this instance it’s brilliant-cut diamonds that adorn the bezel of two of the models. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre is producing some of the most elegant watches being made today. Despite all of the techniques used in the Master Ultra Thin Squelette, the Swiss luxury watch brand didn’t sacrifice the watch’s elegance. 

The only question is its durability. A watch this thin with a skeletonized mechanical movement and housed in very thin gold case could have issues. But that’s down the road. 

The watch reportedly costs from $59,000 to $76,000. 

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Friday, July 17, 2015

Piaget Launches ‘Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey’ High Jewelry Collection

18k white gold cuff set with a cushion-cut emerald (3.46 cts), 8 marquise-cut emeralds (4.80 cts), 8 marquise-cut blue sapphires ( 7.66 cts), 10 brilliant-cut diamonds (1.08 cts) and feathers

Venice and Samarkand are different and unique in so many ways. But what the two cities do share a connection to one of the world’s most storied trading routes in history: The Silk Road.

Secret ring in 18k white gold set with a cushion-cut blue sapphire (1.43 cts), 71 marquise cut diamonds (4.83 cts), 78 brilliant cut diamonds (approx. 2.67 cts) and enamel. the top slides open to reveal a night blue sky crafted in Grand Feu champlevé enamel

The diverse 4,000 mile network of trade routes on land and sea were crucial not only for the exchange of goods from away places, but for its interaction with a myriad of cultures. The Swiss luxury brand, Piaget, used this dynamic environment as the inspiration for its latest high jewelry collection: “Secrets & Lights – A Mythical Journey.”

18k pink gold necklace set with a cushion cut emerald (4.18 cts), 84 marquise-cut diamonds (9.30 cts), 208 turquoise beads (16.22 cts) and 430 brilliant-cut diamonds (7.44 cts)

The collection was unveiled a week ago during the haute couture shows in Paris.

18k pink gold bracelet set with 105 marquise-cut diamonds (5.18 cts), five turquoise beads (4.50 cts) and 717 brilliant-cut diamonds (9.36 cts)

The Swiss luxury brand created 94 jewels using a variety of colorful gems combined with diamonds and gold to recreate this cultural mix. However, the most attention is paid to perhaps two of the most legendary cities along the 4,000 mile trade route: Venice and Samarkand.

18k pink gold ring set with a round-cut red spinel (6.31 cts), 12 round-cut red spinels ( 0.44 ct), eight pear-shaped red spinels (0.80 ct), 16 pear-shaped diamonds (3.20 cts), 14 princess-cut diamonds (0.88 ct), six marquise-cut diamonds (0.60 ct) and 150 brilliant cut diamonds (0.80 ct)

Piaget says the two cities were chosen for their cultural wealth, architecture and creativity. “Each place provides a remarkable field of expression from which the exceptional artisans in the workshops of the Piaget manufacture have been inspired,” the company said in a statement.

18k white gold necklace set with a pear shaped ruby (4.41 cts), 45 pear-shaped rubies (48.90 cts), a princess-cut diamond (1.77 cts) and 158 brilliant cut diamonds

Samarkand, on the plain of Zarafshan in Uzbekistan, whose Persian name means “supplier of gold,” is an ancient desert city. Piaget’s jewelry reflects the colors of the city’s public square (the Registan) and the desert.

18k white gold earrings set with four pear shaped rubies (4.23 cts), two princess-cut diamonds (1.41 cts) and 38 brilliant cut diamonds (4.42 cts)

For example, a long necklace with cascading turquoise beads is contrasted by emerald-heart flowers and a scattering of diamonds throughout. A four-leaf flower-ring is centered with a Colombian emerald. An arabesque-style bracelet made of sculpted yellow gold that takes the appearance of fabric is punctuated by turquoise beads. Prong-set marquise-cut stones, taking the appearance of lacework, light up an airy necklace. Ear pendants with cascading diamond motifs punctuated by sapphires reflect light as it moves.

18K white gold earrings set with 40 marquise-cut blue sapphires (4.50 cts), 16 marquise-cut blue diamonds (8.78 cts) and 154 brilliant-cut diamonds (5.59 cts)

Meanwhile, the Venice portion of the collection is inspired by the light, water, architecture, art and mystery of the famed Italian city.

18k pink gold cuff set with a cushion-cut ruby (5.01 cts), eight marquise-cut rubies (3.38 cts), six marquise-cut pink spinels (7.20 cts), eight marquise-cut mandarin garnets ( 4.08 cts), 10 marquise-cut yellow beryls (4.66 cts) and 20 brilliant-cut diamonds (2.37 cts)

For example, a signature white gold cuff bracelet is adorned with a “bird-flower” that mimics the famous Venetian masks worn at balls. The central design includes a flurry of turquoise feathers in a marquetry pattern created by award-winning feather artist Nelly Saunier. An emerald serves as the heart of the design amid a constellation of sapphires and diamonds.

18K white gold emerald necklace set with a cushion-cut emerald (11.16 cts), 12 marquise-cut diamonds (4.20 cts), 32 turquoise beads (11.10 cts) and 151 brilliant-cut diamonds (9.86 cts)

A “secret” ring echoes Venetian celebrations. The sliding diamond and gold cover reveals a night blue sky crafted in Grand Feu champlevé enamel. The Palazzo ring uses interlacing red spinel and diamond motifs to evoke the flashing camera bulbs on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival, or the royal box at the Teatro La Fenice. Long earrings with geometrically arranged rubies are inspired by Byzantine windows of the palazzos lining the Grand Canal. An embroidered pink gold cuff bracelet is topped with marquise-cut diamonds are reminiscent of the stone bars on the windows of the Bridge of Sighs.

18k white gold ring set with a cushion-cut emerald (7.29 cts), 12 marquise-cut diamonds (1.20 cts), four turquoise beads (approx. 0.50 ct) and 130 brilliant-cut diamonds (3.12 cts)

Along with the jewelry, the collection includes 38 new timepieces.

18k white gold earrings set with two pear shaped rubies (4.13 cts), two fancy-cut ruby roots (12.88 cts), two princess-cut diamond (1.41 cts) and 120 brilliant cut diamonds (2.93 cts)

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18k pink gold bracelet set with 88 marquise-cut diamonds (20.24 cts) and 776 brilliant-cut diamonds (10 cts)

Friday, July 10, 2015

Artcurial To Hold Three Days Of Jewelry And Watch Auctions in Monaco

Fancy light pink pear-cut diamond in a pink gold mount (estimate: $260,000 - $290,000) 

For the 10th consecutive year, the Parisian auction house, Artcurial, will be holding a summer sale of luxurious collectibles at the Hôtel Hermitage in Monte Carlo, July 20 - 22. The three-day sale includes 11 limousines and sport cars owned by famed opera singer Maria Callas and a selection of rare Vintage Hermès handbags. 

The auction also includes enough valuable jewelry and watches to make the international auction houses envious. 

More than 500 lots of jewelry will be offered at the auction with a focus on signed pieces from the most renowned Parisian jewelry houses, statement sapphires from Burma and Kashmir, and lots of yellow gold. Jewels from Boucheron, Cartier, Raymond Templier and Van Cleef & Arpels along with Italian luxury house, Bulgari, will be among the highlights. 

“This year, our selection reflects the history of jewelry by bringing together some wonderful Art Deco pieces, rare items from the 1960s and some more contemporary jewelry by the well-known names in the market,” said Julie Valade, director of Artcurial’s jewelry department. “For enthusiasts, there will be some less serious pieces.”

Among the top lots are a fancy light pink pear-cut diamond in a pink gold mount with an estimate of $260,000 – $290,000 (top photo); and a ring adorned with a 22.80-carat royal blue sapphire from Kashmir (estimate : $450,000 - $560,000). 

Other jewelry highlights include: 

* A Van Cleef & Arpels brooch (pictured above) in platinum and 18k white gold that represents a poppy flower. It’s made using the mystery setting, the signature technique of the luxury jeweler. The six petals are laid with sapphires, while the pistil, the curved stem and the undulating leaves are set with diamonds (estimate : $45,000 – $56,000).

* A 1960s wrap around style necklace (pictured above) from the house of Marchak, in 18k yellow gold and platinum. It is formed from two flexible intersecting chains and two cascades of emeralds, each one holding a sapphire at its extremity, of which the largest is 27.83 carats. (estimate: $22,500 – $34,000).

* A 1920s Art Deco double-clip (pictured above), made by the jeweler Raymond Templier, in platinum and 18k white gold. The fashionable appeal of this stylized knot set with diamonds has been highlighted several times in reference works such as Le Bijoux Moderne, published by Editions Norma in 2005 (estimate: $45,000 – $56,000).

In addition, 300 vintage and collector watches will be offered, including many of the best-known brands, such as Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Audemars Piguet, Breuget and Vacheron Constantin. 

Among the top lots is a 2007 Patek Philippe chronograph bracelet watch with a perpetual calendar in white gold (estimate: $145,000 - $200,000).

The other exceptional lot has two Breguet subscription watches numbered 8/300 (pocket watch and wrist watch pictured above), signed with estimates between $220,000 - $280,000). These two watches were part of the 1991 exhibition celebrating the 200 years of the Maison Breguet. The pocket watch in particular represents the link between the first models of Abraham-Louis Breguet watches and the Breguet firm today.

Rolex, in particular, will be celebrated with a set of watches from the 1930s through to present day. Estimates range from $2,200 to $112,000. However the collection that is likely to arouse the most attention among bidders is seven Rolex models such as Daytona “Paul Newman” from 1971 (pictured above), a rare chronograph with a black dial (estimate : $67,000 – $101,000) ; and a Cosmograph Daytona model (estimate : $45,000 - $67,000).

Cartier tank watch, 1971

Finally, almost 50 signed pieces by Cartier, from the 1930s to present day, will be on offer in the sale.

The watch sale will be held July 20 and 21 and the jewelry sale on July 22 – 23. 

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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Hélène Poulit-Duquesne Named CEO of Boucheron

Photo credit:

Kering has appointed Hélène Poulit-Duquesne chief executive officer of Boucheron, effective September 28. 

The Parisian luxury jewelry brand is owned by Kering, the Paris-based apparel and accessories conglomerate. Poulit-Duquesne will report to Albert Bensoussan, CEO of Kering Luxury - Watches and Jewelry division. Bensoussan is the acting CEO of Boucheron following the April resignation of Pierre Bouissou, who held the position since 2011.

Poulit-Duquesne was previously the International Business and Client Development, director and member of the Executive Committee of Cartier International. The French luxury jeweler is owned by Swiss luxury conglomerate, Richemont.

In her role as CEO of Boucheron, her mission will be to pursue the development of the brand on an international scale and to reinforce its position among the most prestigious high jewelry houses worldwide, Kering said in a statement.

“I am convinced that her expertise in international development along with her extensive knowledge of the jewelry and watchmaking industries will greatly benefit Boucheron in its international reach,” Bensoussan said. 

Poulit-Duquesne, a French national, began her career at LVMH. In 1998, she joined Cartier International, where she gained growing responsibilities in marketing and business development in the watchmaking sector. In 2010, she was named international marketing director and member of the Executive Committee of Cartier (jewelry, watches and accessories). Since June 2014, she has held the position of International Business and Client Development director of Cartier International. She holds a degree from the French business school, ESSEC.

Kering owns brands in the luxury, sport and lifestyle retail categories. They include Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Christopher Kane, McQ, Stella McCartney, Tomas Maier, Sergio Rossi, Dodo, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Pomellato, Qeelin, Ulysse Nardin, Puma, Volcom, Cobra and Electric. Kering is present in more than 120 countries, generating revenues of  approximately $11 billion in 2014.

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Pearl Jewelry Sheds Its Old Image

Qayten Twist necklace made with baby Akoya pearls

There has been talk recently about the return of pearls as a fashionable and trendy choice for fine jewelry. My question is why now? Designers have been creating vibrant and fresh jewels with pearls for at least the past three years and little has been written about it.

But now that some writers have seen the light will retailers and consumers follow? Currently, I don’t see it.

Baroque pearl bracelet with 18k yellow gold and a touch of diamonds by Mizuki

Natural pearls are among the most sought after items on the auction market today, generating high demand and prices due to their rarity. But it accounts for less than 1 percent of the pearl market. Maybe that is what’s driving this narrative in the broader market.

Pasquale Bruni Sissi Lunaire ring

Outside of the rare and natural, pearls suffer from being perhaps the most complex category of product in the jewelry industry. They are grown from live oysters, which makes them prone to the same dangers that threaten any agricultural product (such as disease, hostile weather and overproduction). The sales and distribution system is a tangle web of complexity and inefficiency. Pearls have many different origins, shapes and a range of quality variations that are difficult to judge with the naked eye. This makes it very confusing not only to consumers, but to many retailers.

Emerald ring with curved rows of micropearls by Suzanne Syz

Many consumers, particularly in the US, are stuck with the perception that pearl jewelry lacks a modern appeal, most closely associated with a string of white pearls for a mature woman. This is despite the explosion of cultured pearls in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes and that the jewelry being created is as fashionable and contemporary as any being made today.

While I’m not convinced that this perception has changed, I am convinced that if people are able to see the designs their inhibitions would melt away. Designers are making everything from fine jewels to high jewels that are innovative and creative. They are using all the pearls available in all of their colors and shapes.

Celestial Spell Charm tassel necklace in 24k gold by Gurhan

Suzanne Syz introduced me to “micropearls,” the tiniest of pearls, and how they can be used for extremely complex high jewelry. For a ring, tiny curved rows of these pearls extend outward from an emerald. In another use, these pearls encase sapphire earrings in an elaborate egg-shaped cage that is both airy and delicate in appearance while being durable and flexible.

Italian jeweler, Qayten, specializes in Akoya pearls big and small and does extremely creative thigns with them, from large, multi-layered bib necklaces to delicate jewels mixed with gold and precious gems.

A pearl necklace by Paul Morelli. Photo credit: Anthony DeMarco

New York-based Mizuki pairs large baroque pearls with thin gold chains and touch of diamonds for delicate, refined bracelets and necklaces with a touch of boldness.

Italian designer, Pasquale Bruni, launched the Sissi Lunaire collection featuring white and champagne-colored pearls in crowns of pink gold and white and brown diamonds set in gold.

A high jewelry necklace using colorful pearls matched with diamonds and colored gems by Yoko London

Yoko London makes all kinds of pieces from high jewelry to fashion pieces using all types and colors of pearls, mixed with precious materials, such as high-karat gold, diamonds and colored gems.

There are many more exciting designs in the photographs.

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