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Image caption: White gold earrings by VAK Fine Jewels featuring vivid green Colombian emeralds certified insignificant oil, with rose-cut diamonds. Since time immemorial, emeralds have captured our imagination like no other gemstone. Whether their historical association to the exotic Cleopatra, the belief of native Colombians in their divinity or the Mughals who carved emeralds with prayers hoping for heavenly protection, each generation has discovered a facet of this verdant gem that transcends the tangible. It is this heady combination of history, mysticism and beauty that has and continues to drawSEE DETAILS

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Image: Shirley Temple Blue Bird diamond, Windsor JewelersProvenance can enhance the value of extraordinary jewels enabling the owner to possess a unique piece of history or to prize an exceptionally rare origin.At the coming edition of GemGenève (May 9-12, 2019) some pieces of jewellery and gemstones have an unusual story of ownership or origin which will make them even more desirable.“Historical provenance (an emerald brooch belonging to Liz Taylor, for example) and geological origin (a Burmese ruby from the legendary mines of Mogok) can rocket standard quality criteria through theSEE DETAILS

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“Cameos are my first love,” says Ida Faerber, who works alongside her father Thomas, at the Faerber Collection, Geneva. “They were my first discovery in the world of jewellery. I remember thinking how extraordinary it was to be able to tell a story out of stone, how amazing to create magnificent art from stone or shell, what imagination, what skill.” The art of gem-engraving is one of the earliest of all art forms, reaching back to Mesopotamia, to the great civilisations of antiquity, when engraved cylinder seals were essential instrumentsSEE DETAILS

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When I first started collecting coloured gemstones, I came across an extraordinary book by Richard W. Wise called ‘Secrets of the Gem Trade’. While there were many nuggets of knowledge embedded in the book, there were three, in particular, I continue to employ as my guiding principles. The first, ‘light equals colour’, referring to the variable hues of sunlight and how it impacts coloured gemstones. Mindful of this, I try to view coloured gems between 11.30 am to 2.00 pm when the light is ideally colour balanced.The second, ‘value beauty,SEE DETAILS

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March 2019 – Rare and exquisite natural blue diamonds are among the most sought-after gems, seen in recent auctions vying with pinks and achieving world record prices, with premiums built in for exceptional provenance and freshness to the market.The Cullinan mine near Pretoria is the world’s only notable blue diamond producing mine. Blue diamonds are extremely rare and, like pinks, are among the most prized by connoisseur collectors.The rarest colour is the red, which seldom comes to the public auctions market.Some of the rarer colours are so unusual and hardSEE DETAILS

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Of all the captivating diamonds fashioned by the legendary New York diamantaire, William Goldberg, the Ashoka is the stone that became his enduring legacy. With a deep affinity to diamonds and his love of diamond legends, Bill Goldberg was particularly inspired by the tale of the ancient Ashoka diamond: a 41.37 carat Golconda stone, a treasured talisman, named for Ashoka Maurya, the 3rd century Buddhist warrior-emperor. The Ashoka was passed down through the centuries, like so many historic Indian diamonds, and in 1947 fell into the hands of Harry Winston.SEE DETAILS

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One of the highlights on show during the Hong Kong press event, on February 28th was the mesmerizing Pink Paradise pendant and necklace, loaned for the evening by Dehres, a new exhibitor at this year’s GemGenève.  The centerpiece drop-shaped pendant set with an exceptionally rare 15 carat fancy pink pear-shaped diamond, framed in white diamonds was suspended from a necklace composed of 40 pear-shaped diamonds, all D-F colour, totaling over 50 carats.  Dehres’ CEO, Ephraim Zion, explained that the design of the necklace was carefully and strategically planned to drawSEE DETAILS

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It has been a busy year for Kazumi Arikawa, Chairman of the Albion Art Company, Tokyo, one of the most important collectors of historic jewellery in the world and an enthusiastic visitor to last year’s inaugural GemGenève. Since his visit, the Albion Art Company has sponsored the blockbuster Jewellery exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, while L’Ecole, the Paris-based, Van Cleef & Arpels-supported school of Jewelry Arts organised an exhibition, in Tokyo, in late February and early March, of Art Nouveau jewels from Mr Arikawa’s collection. The ArtSEE DETAILS

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The GemGenève team got their show on the road once again, and organised a lively, interactive press conference and cocktail party in the Grand Hyatt hotel, Hong Kong during the Hong Kong Jewellery show in late February. In a room themed with this year’s campaign, “Find and Feel”, referring to the sense of discovery at GemGenève and the importance of learning, feeling and discovering gemstones and jewels, the founders, Thomas Faerber and Ronny Totah, held a press conference, explaining their mission in establishing GemGenève and their expectations for this year’sSEE DETAILS

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Ming Lampson is one of the new names in this year’s  Designer Vivarium, presenting the work of individual, independent designer-jewellers from around the world. Based in London, Ming was born in Hong Kong – hence her name – and drawn to gemstones from an early age, as so many of the designers were, she went on to study gemmology and learn about stones in Jaipur. She set up her own business, in 1998, as a bespoke jeweller, only working on commission, but in the last few years she has createdSEE DETAILS

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Vivienne Becker
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Vivienne Becker is a jewellery historian, journalist and author of some 20 books on the history of jewellery design and contemporary jewellery, including Art Nouveau Jewelry, the standard work on the subject and The Impossible Collection of Jewellery, the 100 most important jewels of the 20th century.

She is a Contributing Editor to How To Spend It, the Financial Times’ luxury magazine, has a regular column in Sotheby’s magazine, and contributes to newspapers and specialist magazines around the world. Vivienne also works as a trend-forecaster and creative consultant to the jewellery industry and lectures extensively and passionately on her subject in Europe, Asia and the United States.