1 Yeliow-andwhite-diamond pendant necklace, at Graff
2 Square-cut diamond ring, at Cartier
3 Black-, pink- and white-diamond ring, £155,000, at De Beers 4Sapphireanddiamond pendant, at Buigari 5Diamond pendant on platinumand diamond chain, at Harry Winston, Paris
6 Moonstone ring with yellow-sapphire and beryl band, at Dior Fine Jewellery
7 Rubeiiite and diamond pendant necklace, £33,500, at Tiffany
8 Diamond ring, atVanCleef&Arpels All price on application, unless otherwise stated
Rock your world
Precious stones have just got bigger and bigger, and more and more dazzling. Celebrate the good news by making yours a large one. By Carol Woolton
“People are buying bolder looks in jewels these days,” says Melvyn Kirtley, senior gemologist at Tiffany in New York. “They’re not afraid of wearing bigger pieces.” Illustrating his point, Kirtley waves a hand in the direction of a breathtaking flower brooch featuring a 55-carat citrine rock surrounded by clusters of sapphire and
diamond berries, which sits alongside a mouthwatering pair of 16-carat ruby cabochon drop earrings that look like jellybeans. Tiffany’s new focus on single-stone pendants is evident all around us, the glass cabinetsintheFifthAvenuestoreshimmering with huge mandarin garnets, rubellites, pink topaz and brightly coloured tourmalines set in wreaths of white diamonds. “We mount each stone to bring out its beauty, as well as its size,” says Kirtley.
And that’s not all. In response to the “phenomenal growth” in diamond jewellery sales and the demand for big coloured stones, Tiffany has doubled the size of its Bond Street store, expanding the Georgian > Diamond ring, price on application, at David Morris Emerald and diamond necklace, price on application, at Chatila Rubyand diamond ring, £500,000, at Moussaieff Emerald ring, £140,000, at Chopard Amethyst and sapphire ring, £19,850, at Lorenz Baumer, Paris.
“Diamonds have shrunk in women’s eyes. What was considered a big stone five or 10 years ago is nowjust the size of an average engagement ring” townhouses it occupies through to Albemarle Street. Part of the makeover, due to be unveiled in May, will be an entire floor dedicated to “statement jewellery”.
Creating luxurious environments for big jewels is the big trend on Bond Street. Women are taller and larger than they used to be as the latest SizeUK survey showed and a taller and larger frame demands bigger and brighter jewels. What used to be considered a sizeable rock might now be dismissed as mere garnish for a stone of more carats. “Diamonds have shrunk in women’s eyes,” says Marwan Chatila of Chatila. “What was considered a big stone five or 10 years ago is now just the size of an average engagement ring-but, luckily, men’s pockets seem to be deepening to match.” At Graff, the average engagement ring sold has a 1- to 2-carat stone – and the store says that it’s not unusual for women to then return to the shop to buy themselves a right-hand dress ring with a 4- to 5-carat stone.
“Diamonds of 10-20 carats are very sought-after,” says Chatila, “which makes them increasingly difficult to find.” Not to mention, a very good investment. And as their value increases, so does the number of people who can afford them. Philip Beresford, compiler of the Sunday Times Rich List, says that in recent years the wealth of the 1,000 richest in Britain has increased by about 15 per cent year on year, so it’s not surprising that Bond Street boasts
the highest concentration of fine jewellers in the world. Graff is intent on providing the newly wealthy with treasures suitable for their new status by doubling the size of its workshops. Marketing and PR manager Fiona Spence shows me a diamond necklace. “This is not just a beautiful necklace,” she tells me, “it’s also a subtle symbol of wealth.” “Subtle” is an understatement – it has a rare and stunning 90-carat yellow diamond.
In keeping with its French heritage, Cartier uses the “couture” approach to selling special loose stones, inviting clients to its London boardroom to peruse yellow, pink, purple and green diamonds, for which they have a waiting list.
Ritz Fine Jewellery which has opened a second boutique, on Bond Street – is also leading on big stones. “We’re raising our profile for fine stones because it’s the sort of thing our customers want,” says managing director Paul Carter, showing me a 20-carat yellow diamond. And, over at Harry Winston, it’s business as usual. “Winston isn’t Winston without big rocks,” says Susie Korb, communications director of Harry Winston New York. To capture a share of London’s diamond dash, Harry Winston is opening on Bond Street on July 4 with a star-spangled party.
Tempted? Well, for inspiration, why not visit the Faberge and the Russian Jewellers exhibition at Wartski on Grafton Street (May 10-20; Wartski.com)? There, you can marvel at show-stopping Siberian sapphires and a 30-carat amethyst mounted by Faberge for Catherine the Great. “Then, the highest quality craftsmanship and design was mandatory,” says Geoffrey Munn, curator of the show. If you’re after a more modern look, there’s plenty of choice – from Chaumet’s elegant 35.4-carat ring with green beryl, kunzite and tanzanite stones on a delicate spider’s web of diamonds, to Dior’s magical “Coffret de Victoire” collection, designed by Victoire de Castellane, who uses myriad colours, motifs and stones to dazzling effect. The new “Pierres de Caractere” collection by Van Cleef & Arpels, created for its centenary celebrations this year, might feature a knock-out 120-carat emerald and 25-carat aquamarine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t also beautifully designed. “They are not just big rocks,” says Eric Jacolliot, international communications director. “With us, they have to become real jewels.”
Just as the Graff yellow diamond has travelled the world, the Pierres de Caractere pieces have visited New York, Hong Kong, the Middle East and Tokyo before coming to Europe. That’s because, these days, big rocks are like big rock stars, making a couple of world tours before settling down with a beautiful woman.
Jewelry Trends Fashion Summer Spring 2015 Photo Gallery
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