Sign up for our newsletter


ModernJeweler.com |

Home Page

  


What's New
Modern Jeweler’s Editors Bring You Some Of The Most Interesting And Unusual Products Launched In Las Vegas


What was really new in Las Vegas this year? Here we bring you some of the most innovative new collections and fresh new ideas that we saw at the JCK shows and at Couture. Last month, in our July issue, we highlighted some of the great new silver we found. We also met a lot of great new designers and a great selection of new men’s collections which we will show you in coming months. Although the shows this year were a bit conservative, there were some great new collections. Here, we bring you some of the ones you really shouldn’t miss.


agate, 18k gold, and diamond bracelet
The new precious: agate, 18k gold, and diamond bracelet by Vancox of Brazil, (55) (31) 3225-0650.
citrine turns red and green, thanks to small rubies and emeralds

Optical Revolution
Jewelry and gem designer Chi Galatea Huynh is no stranger to innovation. His best-selling signature piece, a diamond set in a carved pearl, is instantly recognizable. Last year, he launched the revolutionary “Mercy Pearl,” a natural black pearl grown on a gemstone bead, with the pearl carved away to expose the gem inside. When Tahitian government regulations prohibited the export of these pearl-on-gem wonders because the country’s export law requires a shell bead nucleus, Huynh started his own pearl farm in Vietnam to produce his innovation.

Then, just as you have him pegged as a pearl savant, he launches a patented new gemstone cut that turns the tradition of gemstone cutting inside out, or, more precisely, upside down. Inspired by the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci, and named with a combination of da Vinci and Chi, the gem is based on da Vinci’s maxim: Be a mirror, reflect all the colors around you.

Throughout history, gemstones have been cut to reflect light that comes in from the table back to the eye. But the new Davinchi cut reflects light, or an image, from the culet of the gem up to the eye. As Huynh puts it, “I broke all the rules.”

This results in some very unusual optical effects. For example, a single initial placed below the culet is reflected in every facet. Setting colored gemstones below the culet in red and green makes the whole gem change color in a flash from red to green when it is rocked back and forth. The patented cut’s angles are adjusted meticulously for the refractive index of each gem material.

The new cut is now available in blue and white topaz and citrine. Huynh has also polished diamonds in the new shape, allowing him to create diamonds that change color, too.

How did Huynh come up with such an innovative idea? He loves the rainbow effect created by the diffraction grating of a CD. When studying optics in order to apply the effect to jewelry, he became fascinated with the possibilities of prisms. “I visualized that I can capture light and I can bend light. And if I can create facets on a stone and then direct it in a certain direction then I can capture colors and light from underneath the stone,” he says.

Galatea has a line of jewelry pieces that maximize the optical fireworks of the new cut, setting the gem high with open sides revealing the colorful gems set below, allowing you to see behind the curtain to understand how the magic works.
— Cheryl Kremkow

See the new Davinchi cut change color in the trunk show channel of Modern Jeweler’s new Jewelry Video Network at www.modernjeweler.com/videonetwork.

The new patented Davinchi cut changes color at different angles. Here, a citrine turns red and green, thanks to small rubies and emeralds set below it. Pendant by Galatea, (800) 609-6888. Davinchi cut blue topaz pendant by Galatea, (800) 609-6888.

citrine lariat and green quartz and diamond ring

A New Krementz
At 130 years, the venerable Krementz jewelry brand is among the nation’s oldest. Now owned by Colibri, the brand has been given a facelift to appeal to a younger, more upscale consumer. The renovation goes beyond a new logo, imagery, displays, and packaging to include a sleek new selection of products to supplement the basics like initials that have long been the brand’s staples. The new pieces are larger in scale and more modern in execution. Precious symbol pendants accented with diamonds feature trendy motifs, like peace symbols, keys, crowns, and fleur-de-lis. Retail price points range from $1,000 to $2,000, with symbol pendants starting at $399. A new black and white group features bold onyx, white agate, and white topaz. “We want to give the brand a fashion image,” says Jimmy Miudo, advertising director of The Colibri Group. “Focus groups wanted bigger gemstones.” — Jeff Prine

Focused on fashionable styling: citrine lariat and green quartz and diamond ring from Krementz, suggested retail for the ring $1,095 and necklace $855, (800) 556-7354.

enamel tank pendant with titanium tire rings

Chop Shop
Spectore Corporation now has an exclusive license to create jewelry and accessories under the Orange County Choppers brand. Spectore plans to launch the new collection in the third quarter of 2007.

“The Orange County Choppers license adds an important name to our portfolio of branded products,” says Brian Nohe, president of Spectore.

Founded in 1999, Orange County Choppers is the country’s best known builder of custom motorcycles after being featured on the TLC cable network in the cult series, “American Chopper.” OCC has built custom theme bikes for some of the biggest names in corporate America such as Hewlett Packard, Lincoln, and Intel. Founded in 1983, Spectore is a leading marketer and manufacturer of titanium and steel jewelry. In addition to its Edward Mirell men’s brand, Spectore also markets collections by Porsche Design, Lanvin, Nina Ricci, and Civico. — Cheryl Kremkow

Prototypes of the new Orange County Chopper collection: enamel tank pendant with titanium tire rings by Spectore, (800) 422-0220.

Botswana Diamonds

Botswana Diamonds
Botswana is the poster child for demonstrating the positive impact of diamonds in Africa. But today, it isn’t possible to choose to buy diamonds that can be certified as being mined and cut in Botswana, the world’s largest diamond producer by value.

Although cutting factories have existed in the country for more than 15 years, and many more have opened in the past year, the DTC has been mixing diamonds mined in Botswana with diamonds from other origins in its sightholder boxes, even for sightholders with Botswana diamond cutting factories.

But with the opening of the new DTC Botswana next year, this will change. The new operation will handle the valuing and sorting of rough that now takes place in the DTC in London. And some diamonds mined in Botswana will be supplied directly to Botswana cutting factories, allowing for the first Botswana origin brands. In a few years, the 16 or so planned factories in Botswana will be allocated an estimated $300 to $500 million worth of rough annually.

Even before the first diamond goes directly from mine to cutting factory, sightholders are gearing up for this powerful new marketing opportunity. The first Botswana brand, appropriately named and trademarked Botswana Diamonds, was launched at JCK by Taché Company. The branded diamonds will be mined in Botswana and cut in the Diamond Manufacturing Botswana cutting factory, DMB.

Botswana Diamonds will be distributed exclusively by Star Diamond Group, DMB, and the Taché Alliance. Taché will market the brand in the U.S. with a retailer partner who has not yet been selected. The brand will have a complete marketing program.

“Botswana Diamonds can help the jeweler compete. They won’t be sold on-line. Unlike other brands, we won’t charge a premium. But we will be able to guarantee the origin of the goods,” says Marc Lévy of Taché. “We are happy to distribute diamonds processed in the country where they are mined. It adds a social responsibility and sustainable development to the diamond.”

Taché, Star Diamond, and DMB are modeling the new brand on Taché’s successful “SA Birth Certificate” program for diamonds mined and cut in South Africa which has been successful in Japan for the last two years. Each diamond will be individually tracked and inscribed so it can be traced back to an individual Botswana sight. The new Botswana Diamonds brand is expected to launch in 2008. — Cheryl Kremkow

Brand imagery and logo from the new Botswana Diamonds brand by Taché Company, (212) 371-1234.

diamond and 18k gold bracelet

Floating Jewels
The folks at Charade, a Valenza, Italy-based family company, proudly say the diamonds in their jewelry are a cut above. That’s due to their proprietary cut called “Air” which allows their black, gray, and icy colored diamonds to seemingly “float” atop earrings, bracelets, and rings without the anchor of prongs or bezel settings. Their diamonds are attached with hidden wires permitting the faceted stones to sparkle unencumbered, nearly 360 degrees around. One of the partners, Linda Tehraninan, says “We want people to see and feel diamonds that are beautiful beyond white.” The designers wanted diamond jewelry to be versatile and many pieces convert into even more pieces. For example, a pair of diamond double hoop earrings turns into a pair of earrings with matching rings, and a cross pendant turns into a bracelet and ring. Retail price points range from $3,000 to $9,000. — Jeff Prine

Black, gray, and icy diamond and 18k gold bracelet from Charade, (39) (131) 927731.

horn ring in 18k yellow and white gold with diamonds

Tribute to Ava
Hollywood’s legends from Elizabeth Taylor to Marilyn Monroe and Lauren Bacall all have inspired fine jewelry collections. To hail its comeback in the U.S. market, Spanish jeweler Carrera y Carrera has introduced its “Ava” collection in honor of American screen legend, Ava Gardner, a sometime resident of the brand’s hometown, Madrid, Spain. The tribute collection for Gardner consists of 18k yellow and white gold pieces decorated with shaded or polished filigree resembling lace. A bull’s horn shape derived from Gardner’s paramour, a Spanish matador, is the iconic shape used in the line. Retail price points range from $5,000 to $15,000. — Jeff Prine

Bull’s horn ring in 18k yellow and white gold with diamonds honoring screen siren Ava Gardner from Carrera y Carrera, (212) 753-8877.

18k white or rose gold with ebony and diamonds

Cameos With an Edge
DiLuca, a Torre del Greco, Italy-based cameo manufacturer, doesn’t want to sell you your grandmother’s cameo. Instead, the company is charting new territory in the cameo world. DiLuca mixes the traditional bas relief carved seashell pieces in 18k yellow, white, or rose gold with woods like ebony and white maple. “It’s sort of a marriage between the sea and land. The concept is to take what has been a classic in fine jewelry and push it into the 21st century,” says Marco Frascá, sales director. Like many suppliers in Torre del Greco, DiLuca also puts a contemporary twist on its carved Mediterranean coral pieces, too. — Jeff Prine

“Lady Hook” cameo collection in 18k white or rose gold with ebony and diamonds from DiLuca, (39) (831) 882-4666.

ebony and diamond ring

Natural Demographic
The 6.7 million people who read National Geographic, 5.2 million of them in the U.S., don’t just admire the high-end magazine, they belong to the National Geographic Society, overall for an average of ten years, supporting the society’s research around the world.

The depth of this commitment makes the brand powerful. And its association with natural history and archeology makes it a good match for jewelry.

So it’s not surprising that there is now a global National Geographic jewelry brand, created by global jewelry manufacturer Zen Diamond of Istanbul, the largest jewelry producer in Europe with a capacity of 150,000 pieces a year. The two new licensed National Geographic jewelry collections had their American debut at the JCK show.

The first collection is “Animals in Nature,” 30 intricate enamel brooches inspired by animals, nature, and National Geographic’s 119-year history of wildlife photography and research. The pieces are set with diamond, ruby, sapphire, topaz, and emerald. Each piece has a gold map of the country the creature comes from on the back. The collection will expand in the coming months to include earrings, rings, and necklaces.

The 20-piece “Ottoman” collection, created by designer Hasan Kale, was inspired by life behind the castle walls of the Topkapi Palace centuries ago. Pieces include diamond and pearl earrings inspired by horse head armor, made using the 16th century Tombac technique; a necklace inspired by a silk caftan with Çintamani design worn by Sultan Murat IV; and an ebony ring set with diamonds inspired by a light fitting in a room where sultans used to hold parties. Each piece is a limited edition.

“Each animal design in the collection is approved by National Geographic to make sure that the species is correctly depicted,” says Marco Mehmet Diribaş of Zen Diamond. “They are very involved in upholding the quality of the collection and marketing materials to keep everything up to the National Geographic standard.”

Net proceeds from sales of the jewelry collection will support National Geographic’s exploration, conservation, research, and education programs. — Cheryl Kremkow

National Geographic enamel fish brooch from the “Animals in Nature” collection, and ebony and diamond ring from the “Ottoman” collection by Zen Diamond, (212) 302-4242.