The GemGenève DNA
GemGenève is organised by esteemed and established Geneva-based industry experts who understand the needs and aims of the exhibitors, the individual characters and personalities that make up the global “family” of gem and jewellery dealers.
Thomas Faerber heads the world-renowned fourth-generation family business, specialising in exceptional gemstones, diamonds and antique jewellery. In 1999, he was joined by his daughter, Ida, in Geneva, and his son, Max, in New York; today the company has offices in Geneva, New York, Antwerp, Paris and Hong Kong.
The Faerbers’ reputation is built on their acquisition over the years of important historical gems and jewels. In 2004, Thomas Faerber sold a historic emerald and diamond necklace with matching earrings to the Louvre in Paris. Now displayed alongside the French Crown Jewels in the Galerie Apollon of the museum, the suite was commissioned in 1810 by Emperor Napoleon from François Regnault Nitot (founder of what is now the Maison Chaumet) as a wedding gift for his second wife, Archduchess Marie-Louise.
In 2004, in recognition of his contribution to French culture, Thomas Faerber was awarded the medal of Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Over the years, Faerber has added to important private and public collections around the world including those of Albion Art, Japan, and to the heritage collections of Cartier, Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels and Tiffany. He has made loans to museums including the Kremlin Museum, Moscow, the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the Natural History Museum, Paris. The company’s own collection, The Faerber Collection, is renowned for the exceptional beauty, rarity and historical significance of its jewels and gems.
Ronny Totah was born in Egypt and moved with his family to Paris in 1962 and then to Geneva in 1968. He studied civil engineering in Lausanne, Switzerland, before deciding to join the gem and jewellery company established by his father and the two brothers, Oscar and Teddy Horovitz.
Ronny Totah tells how he was captivated by the legendary Teddy Horovitz, both by the merchant’s innate affinity with gemstones and by the revered position he occupied in the industry. Horovitz, he recalls was the king of gems, godfather to Geneva’s gem-dealing community. At the same time, Ronny Totah was intrigued by the world of jewellery and gem dealing, by the way in which the business was based on relationships, instinct and most of all trust. He worked with his father and the Horovitz family from 1980 to 1990, during which time the company handled some of the world’s most famous and historic stones, as well as rare and record-breaking coloured diamonds.
In 1990, Ronny Totah joined forces with Eric Horovitz, Teddy’s nephew, to establish their own company Horovitz & Totah. In 2008, Eric Horovitz retired. Today, working with his daughters, Nadège and Sandrine, and his nephew, Stéphane, Ronny Totah continues to source extraordinary diamonds and coloured stones, which he sets into jewels, characterised by a blend of magnificence and classicism. He is known for his expertise, and for his twin passions for Kashmir sapphires and natural pearls.
Ronny Totah has been active in various industry organisations, including the International Colored Gemstones Association, (ICA) and the Swiss Gemmological Laboratory, (SSEF); he is the Vice-President of the Swiss Association of Precious Stone Merchants. In these positions of authority, he has pushed towards the full disclosure of gemstone treatments, working tirelessly to ensure and enhance the ethics and integrity of the industry he loves.