June Birthstones: Alexandrite, Moonstone and Pearl

Alexandrite,

A relatively modern gem, Alexandrite, was first discovered in Russia in 1831 during the reign of its namesake, Czar Alexander II, and is an extremely rare chrysoberyl with chameleon-like qualities.  Its color is a lovely green in both daylight and fluorescent light; it changes color to a purplish red in incandescent light.

Alexandrite Diamond White Gold RingWhite gold diamond and 1.20 ct Alexandrire emerald cut ring

 

Due to its rarity, some jewelers stock synthetic versions of this enchanting gemstone.  (Synthetic gemstones are man-made alternatives to the natural material, possessing the same physical, optical, and chemical properties as the natural gemstone.)

Moonstone,

The third birthstone for June is the Moonstone.  It was given its name by the Roman natural historian Pliny, who wrote that moonstone’s appearance altered with the phases of the moon — a belief that held until well after the sixteenth century.  A phenomenal gemstone, moonstones show a floating play of light (called adularescence) and sometimes show either a multirayed star or a cat’s eye. Considered a sacred stone in India, moonstones often are displayed on a background of yellow (a sacred color) and are believed to encapsulate within the stone a spirit whose purpose is to bring good fortune.  Part of the family of minerals called feldspar, moonstone occurs in many igneous and metamorphic rocks and comes in a variety of colors such as green, blue, peach, and champagne.

 

PLATINUM MOONSTONE DIAMOND EARRINGS Mauboussin

Mauboussin pair of platinum earrings with eight cabochon moonstones weighing approximately 23.75 carats, accented by round diamonds weighing approximately 8.45 carats (Click photo to enlarge).

The most prized moonstones are from Sri Lanka; India, Australia, the United States, Mayanmar, and Madagascar are also sources.

 

Pearl,

Historically, pearls have been used as an adornment for centuries.  They were one of the favorite gem materials of the Roman Empire; later in Tudor England, the 1500s were known as the pearl age. Pearls are unique as they are the only gems from living sea creatures and require no faceting or polishing to reveal their natural beauty.

Coco Chanel & Serge Lifar, 1937

Coco Chanel’s favorite: Pearls

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan Yvette Labrousse

Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan and her famous pearl necklace

cartier Pearl Ruby Nacklace Elizabeth Taylor

Cartier, La Peregrina Necklace, 1972
La Peregrina a natural late 16th century pearl weighting 202.24 grains or 50.56 cts, 56 natural pearls, 4 cultured pearls, diamonds, rubies. Detachable pendant may also be worn as a brooch

Designed by Elizabeth Taylor with Al Durante of Cartier.

In the early 1900s, the first successful commercial culturing of round saltwater pearls began. Since the 1920s, cultured pearls have almost completely replaced natural pearls in the market.

Elizabeth Taylor and Bvlgari

 

ElizabethTaylor-Posh24

Don’t miss the unique exhibition ‘A Passion for Jewels’ in Zurich from 7 to 23 April 2016. The Bvlgari store in Zurich (Bahnhofstrasse 25) showcases a selection of Bvlgari masterpieces that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor, now part of the Maison’s Heritage Collection. The impeccable craftsmanship and magnificent stones of the creations on display will tell a compelling story made of  love, glamour and beauty.

Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery collection was renowned as one of the greatest ever assembled. In 2011, Christie’s held a sale of Taylor’s private collection, which set records as the most valuable sale of jewellery in auction history. From this sale, Bvlgari re-acquired seven pieces that best represented Taylor’s predilection for the brand and her unerring collector’s eye.

Indeed, the bold and  sumptuous style of Bvlgari perfectly  matched her decided tastes and since 1962, when the actress settled in Rome to film Cleopatra, the affinity became a lifelong, intense relationship with the brand.

The only Italian word Elizabeth knows is Bvlgari.

Richard Burten

This predilection was encouraged by Elizabeth Taylor’s love affair with Richard Burton, started on the film set and sealed with magnificent Bvlgari jewels: legend has it that after filming their first scene together they instantly fell in love, despite the fact that they were both married. Their love affair spread like wildfire throughout the international press and the Bvlgari Via Condotti store was one of the favourite hide-outs of the couple in Rome. A ‘secret door’ in the back of the shop, still visible today, allowed the couple to escape from paparazzi lining in front of the store. Recalling the memorable moments spent at the Condotti store, Taylor stated that

…..undeniably one of the biggest advantages of filming Cleopatra in Rome was Bvlgari’s shop. I used to visit Gianni Bulgari in the afternoon and we’d sit and swap stories.

The exhibition includes Taylor’s first piece of Bulgari jewelry, an emerald and diamond En Tremblant brooch, the “Cleopatra Mirror,” the Taylor Burton fianceìe ring, a diamond brooch with a 23.44 octagonal step-cut diamond, an emerald and diamond necklace; a platinum sautoir with diamonds and sapphires; a Trombino ring that Taylor bought to compliment the platinum sautoir; and, lastly, one of Taylor’s most frequently worn pieces –  a diamond and gold sautoir set with six ancient Roman coins.

liz-taylor-emerald-engagement-ring-Bulgari

Richard Burton’s emerald engagement ring (above): the actress cherished this piece and when she decided to auction it to raise funds for the fight against AIDS, she wrote a letter to the new owners instructing them to “Wear it with love!”.

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Immagini 146

The spectacular necklace (above) of emeralds and diamonds Burton presented her with on the occasion of their marriage in 1964. The very starting point of this platinum jewel was a brooch, featuring an 18.61 carat emerald surrounded by diamonds, one of the first gifts from Richard Burton and subsequently re-worked as pendant, and ‘completed’ as a necklece, that the actress loved so much that it was the only jewel she wore the day they married.

taylor-top-suite-Bvlgari-11The Bvlgari emerald suite bracelet (above) was a gift from Richard Burton for her 35th birthday on February 27, 1967,

AB 143Beside the fabulous stones, Taylor also admired the craftsmanship behind her jewels; a perfect example is her Tremblant brooch (above) with emeralds and diamonds, whose flowers quiver following the movements of the wearer’s body thanks to a spring attached to the petals.

AB 055The Trombino ring (above) on display featuring a cabochon sapphire, was purchased by Taylor herself as an ideal complement to the sautoir.

Immagini 195Another magnificent Bvlgari creation, the sautoir featuring an octagonal pendant with a 65 carat sapphire (above), was chosen by Richard Burton in 1972 to mark Elizabeth Taylor’s fortieth birthday, as the intense blue of the stone reminded him of the colour of her eyes.

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At this moment the Bvlgari Serpenti Tubogas watches are realy High-Fashion. This precious Bvlgari Serpenti gold, diamonds and emerald tubogas watch-bracelet dates 1962!

AB 200

Another piece she chose and wore frequently is the necklace of 1975 with ancient coins, one of the most celebrated Bulgari motifs ever.

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Bvlgari Goldea

 

Bulgari Bvlgari Goldea Serpent Tubogas WatchA tribute to gold and femininity inspired by the golden goddess of beauty and sun.

Goldea is a tribute to the golden goddess of beauty and sun. Gold is the divine interpretation of the splendor of the sun on earth. Unique expression of Bulgari perfumes, Created by Master Perfumer Alberto Morillas, Goldea is a sensual and oriental fragrance that pays tribute to the olfactory richness and the infinite nuances of a palette of stylised white musks.

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Bvlgari Goldea, a precious Eau de Parfum inspired by the powerful symbol of Serpenti, A jewelled bottle that incarnates thegold and the sun. A profusion of luscious sweet sparkles mingled with the intoxicating scent of precious Ylang-Ylang from the Comoros Islands and Orange Blossom and, finally, a caressing addictive base note, radiating splendor

An infinitely luminous oriental with a warm, sensual trail. Goldea finds inspiration in the heart of its orgin. A profound and sensual creation whicj literally radiates on naked skin

Bvlgari

Goldea opens with what Alberto Morillas describes as a ‘crystal musk’. This is one of those musks that almost has an ozonic aspect to it evoking a sea breeze quality. It is sharp and clear as a crystal. To soften that Alberto Morillas uses a little bit of orange blossom and raspberry. This is not as interesting as the rest of the development as it is pretty, almost standard fruity floral top accord territory. The heart is where things become very interesting as jasmine arrives wrapped in a furry musk. This is a mass-market perfume so when I say furry musk it isn’t enough to scare the customers but it almost replaces the reduced indolic nature of the jasmine used. What turns the heart of Goldea into a glowing globe is a beautifully chosen Ylang-Ylang.

Bulgari Bvlgari Goldea Eau de Parfum

A perfumer has at their disposal almost every version of Ylang-Ylang and most often they go for a version with a specific effect. I prefer the full version which has an almost fleshy floralcy. Alberto Morillas doesn’t push that far but he is using a fuller version of Ylang-Ylang than you will normally run into in the department store. The Ylang-Ylang here is much more tropical in its effect and it is also matched with another animalic trending musk. Together the two musks and the two florals form a fantastic heart accord. The base is a couple of the cozier musks snuggling up with patchouli with one final surprise in the green veil of papyrus adding in a sheer woody aspect. It glows like a sunset.

Olfactory family: Floriental musk
Top notes: Orange Blossom Absolute, Bergamot Absolute, Sun-filled Raspberry
Heart notes: Ylang-Ylang, Golden Jasmin Petals, Luscious Sweet Sparkles
Base notes: Golden Patchouli, Papyrus from Egypt

 

Bvlgari Goldea is a bold step away from the releases of the past few years. I am pleased to see Bvlgari back to taking a few chances instead of releasing another set of flankers. At least for the moment Bvlgari is riding high and Goldea is one of the reasons

More infowww.bulgari.com

100 Years of Lipstick

Yvette Labrousse never left her home without fist applying her lipstick. The Cannes-based miss France got her first tube of the red lip color from her mother. And it has since become such a big part of her identity that she even wears it while she was doing her job in her mothers shop.

Miss France, Yvette Labrousse, Begum Um Habibeh Aga Khan

Yvette Labrouse, miss France 1930, the later Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III (Click photo to enlarge)

It’s been called the red badge of courage, defined Marilyn Monroe’s unabashed sexuality and was a way for factory-working ‘Rosie the Riveters’ to hold onto their femininity while doing a ‘man’s job’. Its paradoxical history is long and colorful, but whatever the shade, lipstick has left its imprint on the cultural fabric.

Yvette Labrousse Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan

 Portrait of Her Highness The Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III (private collection)(photo by Dorothy Wilding)  (Click photo to enlarge).

So what is it that makes women coat their lips with crushed beetle guts and processed cow fat day in and day out? For Yvette Labrousse, it made her feel powerful in that time. Coloring her lips was the last thing she did before walking out the door to face the world. The click of the tube opening and closing gives her the comfort of routine. But it’s more than makeup, it’s a source of confidence, sensuality and sometimes even armor.

Yves Saint Laurent YSL Rouge Volupté Shine No. 35 Fuchsia in Grunge Fall 2015

Yves Saint Laurent (Click photo to enlarge)

The intimate relationship between lipstick and ladies goes way back, to the Egyptians who stained their mouths with red clay and iron oxide. Over the centuries it has been seen as both an embellishment of the elite and a scarlet marker of sin. In the Victorian era, when femininity was linked to a childlike innocence and women were prized almost solely for their looks, crimson salves were banned in England. It wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that lipstick came back into vogue. Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together.

Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together, Elizabeth Taylor, actress

Along with shattering countless other taboos, Hollywood also brought lipstick into the mainstream. While some women started secretly tinting their lips at home, actresses began coloring their pouts onscreen. And once Sarah Bernhardt, dubbed ‘the most famous actress in the world’, unveiled her red lips both on and off the red carpet, it was just a matter of time before others followed suit.

Christian Louboutin Rouge Matte Louboutin fall 2015

Christian Louboutin Rouge Matte Louboutin (Click photo to enlarge).

Until the early 1900s, lip salves were made primarily from carmine dye, extracted from dried insects, and applied with a brush. But around 1915 lipstick started appearing in cylindrical tubes, and within a few years everyone, from Estee Lauder to Elizabeth Arden to Chanel, was selling it. By 1936, the New York Times declared that lipstick was ‘as essential as clothes’ and ‘almost as vital as food’, and by 1940, 90 percent of American women wore it. “It wasn’t just lipstick, it was and is an icon,” says Veronique Vienne, a former art director and journalist for a number of American women’s magazines, including Harper’s Bazaar, Redbook and Elle.

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Stronger Fall 2015

Estée Lauder Pure Color Envy Matte Sculpting Lipstick in Stronger Fall 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

As fashion and makeup trends have evolved over time, so has lipstick’s composition and color palette. Most contain some strain of wax, oil, fat, emollient and pigment. In the past, cow brains were the fat of choice, because they were cheap and just the right texture. And emollient, which typically includes vitamin E or aloe vera, acts as a moisturizer. Tints are produced using a combination of plant, animal, mineral or synthetic dyes, and there is a dizzying spectrum of shades, from the classic Coco by Chanel to Urban Decay’s F-Bomb. But regardless of brand or shade, lipstick and its cylinder often evoke phallic symbolism: Think about its long, rounded shape that grows in size before touching your mouth …(Sorry, nothing I can do. This is what psychologists say!)

Guerlain Lipstick Neiges et Merveilles Christmas Collection 2015/2016

Guerlain Lipstick Neiges et Merveilles Christmas Collection 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

And yet it tends to be the first makeup accessory mothers give their daughters, and it’s a must-have for many women, even those who forego eye shadow and foundation. There’s simply no other beauty product that possesses its cultural prominence. Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor best captured lipstick’s powerful influence when she instructed: “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together”.

Dolce&Gabbana Sophia Loren No.1 Red Lipstick

Dolce & Gabbana Sophia Loren No.1 Red Lipstick, 2015 (Click photo to enlarge)

Since making its debut in push-up tubes 100 years ago, lipstick has been helping women pull themselves together, providing them with a stamp of self-approval that says: I know who I am, and I’m not afraid to flaunt it. And there are many who’d agree with Yvette Labrousse who insists, “I can’t not wear it.”

by Jean Amr

Elizabeth Arden

Florence Nightingale Graham (December 31, 1878 – October 18, 1966), who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden was born in 1878 in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada. Her parents had emigrated to Canada from Cornwall, United Kingdom, in the 1870s. Her father, William Graham, was Scottish and her mother, Susan, was Cornish and had arranged for a wealthy aunt in Cornwall to pay for her children’s education. Arden dropped out of nursing school in Toronto.

She then joined her elder brother in Manhattan, New York, working briefly as a  bookkeeper for the E.R. Squibb Pharmaceuticals Company. She then worked, again briefly, for Eleanor Adair, an early beauty culturist, as a ‘treatment girl’. While there, Arden spent hours in their lab, learning about skincare.

Florence Nightingale Graham, who went by the business name Elizabeth Arden, was became a businesswoman who founded what is now Elizabeth Arden, Inc., and built a cosmetics empire in the United States. At the peak of her career, she was one of the wealthiest and well know women in the world!

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden: “every woman has the right to be beautiful.” With that philosophy, she launched advertising campaigns to help normalize the use of makeup across the country.

In 1909 Arden formed a partnership with Elizabeth Hubbard, another culturist. When the partnership dissolved, she coined the business name ‘Elizabeth Arden’ from her former partner and from ‘Tenneyson’s poem ‘Enoch Arden’. With a $6,000 loan from her brother, she then used the shop space to open her first salon on 5th Avenue.

In 1912 Arden traveled to France to learn beauty and facial massage techniques used in the Paris beauty salons.She returned with a collection of rouges (blushers) and tinted powders she had created. Arden was, in 1914, the first to introduce modern eye makeup to North America after her formal training in Paris.

In 1915 Elizabeth Arden married Thomas j. Lewis, an American Banker. By this marriage, she was automatically a naturalized American citizen. In the same year started to operate and Arden international she opened salons around the world, all with a red door, her trademark. Arden collaborated with A. Fabian Swanson, a chemist, to create a ‘fluffy’ face cream. The success of the cream, Venetian Cream Amoretta, and corresponding lotion, Arden Skin Tonic, led to a long-lasting business relationship. This revolutionized cosmetics, bringing a scientific approach to formulations.

Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream re edition

Elizabeth Arden’s most famous, ’till today: Eight Hour cream. Here in a new re-edition .

And by the 1930s, yes, in the middle of the Great Depression, her company was bringing in roughly $4 million a year! In 1934, she opened the Maine Chance residential spa in Rome, Maine, the first destination beauty spa in the United States.It operated until 1970. Ardens passion in her work led in 1934 to a divorce. A second marriage to a Russian Prince lasted only thirteen months.

Elizabeth Arden 1930's

Elizabeth Arden, 1930’s. By the end of the 1930s it was said; ‘There are only three American names that are known in every corner of the globe: Singer sewing machines, Coca Cola, and Elizabeth Arden’.

1935 saw the launch of Blue Grass fragrance. It quickly became one of the most successful Elizabeth Arden scents.

Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass

Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass

Around 1940 Arden launged ‘White Orchid’ perfume. Other makeup innovations included creating foundations that matched a person’s skin tone; creating the idea of the “Total Look” in which lip, cheek, and fingernail colors matched or coordinated; and the first to make a cosmetics commercial shown in movie houses. During the second World War, Elizabeth Arden saw that market changed.  She saw the changing needs of the American woman entering the work force. She showed women how to apply makeup and dress appropriately for careers outside the home. She developed and brought a lipstick on the market in the ‘Montezuma Red’ color, a color that is applied at the red in the uniforms of the female soldiers.

1950s-Elizabeth-Arden

Elizabeth Arden Pink Violet, 1950’s (Click photo to enlarge).

Marilyn Monroe on the way to shopping at Elizabeth Arden Salon

Marilyn Monroe on the way to shopping at Elizabeth Arden Salon (Click photo to enlarge).

In the years Elizabeth Arden has many famous clients like Marilyn Monroe, the Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan III, Nina Dyer Aga Khan and Martine Carole. Elizabeth Arden wasn’t only famous for her salons and Spa’s. She offerd a lot more! For (vèry) special clients, she offered treatments at home. She also sended ‘her’ hairdressers when they where needed….

Signed to Roger Flor, 1er coiffeur Elizabeth Arden, 1959 (29 x 39 cm)HH Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan, signed for Roger Flor 1er Coiffeur Elizabeth Arden, 1959 (photo signed by Sam Levine)(Privat Collection) (Click photo to enlarge).

Nina Dyer Aga Khan Elizabeth Arden

Nina Sheila Dyer Aga Khan signed for Roger Flor 1er Coiffeur Elizabeth Arden (photo signed by Tony Armstrong John, Pimlico Road studio )(Privat Collection) (Click photo to enlarge).

Elizabeth Arden circa 1960

Elizabeth Arden, circa 1960 (Click photo to enlarge).

In recognition of her contribution to the cosmetics industry, she was awarded the ‘Lègion d’Honneur by the French government in 1962. Later in her life, Arden was one of the first women to appear on the cover of Time magazine, and one of her horses won the Kentucky Derby (can you imagine the parties she must have thrown?!), but it’s undeniable that the greatest accomplishment of her lifetime was her legacy of breaking barriers and making the world a more awesome place.

Arden died at Lenox Hill Hospital in Manhattan in 1966; she was interred in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Sleepy Hollow, New York, under the name Elizabeth N. Graham. Her company was at that time worth between $35 and $45 million, and they possessed more than a hundred beauty salons all over the world.

Elizabeth Arden is now still a reputable name, but had some different owners. Acquired by Eli Lilly & Co in 1971; bought by Faberge in 1987, merged into Unilever in 1989. Later the Company split into two smaller companies: Elizabeth Arden and Parfums International. The Elizabeth Arden side, looked after all of the Arden cosmetics and fragrances, while Parfums International created fragrances for Nino Cerruti, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Chloe.

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Capsules

Elizabeth Arden’s bestseller and Holy Grail: Ceramide Capsules. It moists and restores. Perfect to take with you on holydays! Unisex and easy to use: One capsule for the whole face, neck, and whats left… for the back of your hands! (Click photo to enlarge).

On 31st October 2000, Unilever sold it’s Arden business, to US company, FFI Fragrances for $225 million, as part of Unilever’s program to shed operations that ‘don’t meet the company’s strategic needs’.

FFI is based in Miami Lakes, produce fragrances by Bogart and Halston. On completion of sale, FFI decided to trade under the Arden name., included in the sale was the Elizabeth Taylor brands of Passion and White Diamonds. Unilever kept control of the Parfums International brands (Cerruti, Valentino, Lagerfeld and Chloe). The current company name is still Elizabeth Arden.

In 2002, Catherine Zeta-Jones became Elizabeth Arden’s ‘face’ and corporate spokesperson. Catherine said; “I have read masses about Elizabeth Arden. She was a visionary, and I am proud to be a part of the company she created,” and; “As Miss Arden said, ‘to be beautiful and natural is the birthright of every woman,’ and I wholeheartedly agree with her philosophy, and dare I say, conviction to her dream.”

In 2003, Elizabeth Arden acquired the license for Gant USA fragrances from Romella.

In 2003, Elizabeth Arden Graham was posthumously inducted into the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame.

After Ardens death the company founded itself partly, next to their skincare and makeup, on the development of perfumes. With classics like ‘White Orchid’, ‘On Dit’ and ‘Blue Grass’, a new Elizabeth Arden perfume was marketed under the name ‘Red Door’, named after her famous trademark (all her salons were equipped with a red front door). Furthermore, the company brought perfumes out for celebrities as Elizabeth Yaylor, Hilary Duff, Britney Spears and Mariah Carey.

Elizabeth Arden

Elizabeth Arden actif on African market (Click photo to enlarge).

elizabeth arden flawless future ceramid moisture cream complex serum eye gel 1

Elizabeth Arden Flawless Future Ceramid Moisture Cream Complex, Serum and Eye Gel (Click photo to enlarge).

Today, the company she founded brings in over a billion in sales and gives generously to causes including New York City’s public schools, Save the Children, and the Look Good…Feel Better campaign, which helps boost the morale of cancer patients.

by Jean Amr

Royal Asscher, a fascinating history and the height of vintage style

Today’s Royal Asscher-cut diamond engagement rings, with their vintage-style design, continue Joseph Asscher’s diamond-cutting legacy.

Joseph Asscher

Joseph Asscher (Click photo to enlarge)

Royal Asscher cut engagement rings may be a relative newcomer in the world of diamond cuts, but the illustrious history that led to the creation of this cut includes some of the world’s biggest diamonds, as well as royalty of both the blue-blooded and Hollywood variety.

The original Asscher cut was created in 1902 by Joseph Asscher, owner of the Amsterdam-based Asscher Diamond Company. As a renowned diamond artisan, he was entrusted to cut the largest gem-quality diamond ever unearthed, the 3,106-carat Cullinan diamond. Found in a De Beers-owned South African mine near Pretoria in 1905, the enormous diamond was bought by the Transvaal Colony government and given to King Edward VII as a token of its loyalty. The rough stone was presented to the King on his 66th birthday and he commissioned Joseph Asscher to cut it into smaller gems to be incorporated into the historic Crown Jewels. After breaking the blade of the specially designed knife on his first attempt, legend has it that Asscher fainted when he managed to cleave the diamond in two with the second cut.

The Cullinan diamond was eventually cut into nine, large, gem-quality stones and 96 smaller stones. The largest stone, at 530.20ct, is known as Cullinan I, or the Great Star of Africa. It was cut into a pear shape and set into the head of the Sceptre with the Cross. The 317.4ct Cullinan II, or the Second Star of Africa, is a cushion-cut diamond mounted in the front of the circlet of the Imperial State Crown.

As the Asscher cut was never patented, over time it became a universal term to describe a stepped square cut with 58 facets. However, many of the Asscher-cut diamond engagement rings available on the market today do not adhere to the strict criteria set out in Joseph’s 1902 design. Authentic Asscher-cut engagement rings are in fact very rare.

The revival of Art Deco-style jewellery has catapulted Asscher-cut diamond engagement rings back into the spotlight and its popularity has been further boosted by celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow and Jessica Alba, both of whom opted for personalised Asscher-cut engagement rings.

Elizabeth_Taylor_Krupp_Diamond

The most famous Asscher-cut diamond of all was worn by the late Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. The story goes that Richard Burton bought the 33.19ct Krupp Diamond for the actress after she beat him at a game of table tennis. The diamond was previously owned, and named after, Vera Krupp, who was part of the Krupp dynasty that supplied arms to the Nazis during the Second World War. Burton bought the diamond for $385,000 in 1968 and Elizabeth later remarked in an interview: “When it came up for auction in the late 1960s, I thought how perfect it would be if a nice Jewish girl like me were to own it’.

ElizabethTaylorAsscherRing

The amazing 33.19ct Asscher cut Krupp diamond was named after its original owner Vera Krupp, but is more commonly known as the Elizabeth Taylor diamond. (Click photo to enlarge)

In 1980, the Asscher Diamond Company became the Royal Asscher Company after Queen Juliana of the Netherlands granted it a royal title in recognition of its contribution to the diamond industry. In 2011, Queen Beatrix extended the royal prefix for 25 years.

Almost 100 years after the original Asscher-cut was created, Joseph’s great-grandchildren Edward and Joop Asscher introduced an enhanced version, known as the Royal Asscher cut. Developed and perfected over a two-year period, the Royal Asscher cut has a high crown and 74 facets (16 more then round briljant cut!), each of which is carefully measured to ensure total symmetry. Unlike its predecessor, the Royal Asscher cut is patented to ensure other diamond companies cannot replicate the design.

Living up to its Royal moniker, in 2011 Royal Asscher Diamonds presented a spectacular bridal tiara to Kate Middleton in celebration of the Royal Wedding. Created by Toronto-based jewellery designer Reena Ahluwalia, the vintage-inspired tiara was set with 36 Royal Asscher-cut diamonds, as well as pear- and round-shaped diamonds.

Lita Asscher, president of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company, said the one-of-a-kind tiara was a tribute both to the royal wedding and to the Asscher-cut diamonds that grace the Crown Jewels. She said the company wanted to “bring back the love for royal pieces and show that the tiara does not have to be old-fashioned, but can be beautiful, romantic and modern, all in one.”

That statement also rings true for the modern-day Royal Asscher-cut diamond engagement rings featured below, which connect Joseph Asscher’s diamond-cutting legacy with a contemporary design fit for a princess.

AsscherEngagementRing

Royal Asscher diamond engagement ring. Also available in platinum and yellow gold. (Click photo to enlarge)

RoyalAsscherEngagement

Royal Asscher cut diamond engagement ring in white gold, with accompanying shoulder set diamonds. Also available in platinum and yellow gold. (Click photo to enlarge)

RoyalAsscherEngagementRring

Royal Asscher cut diamond engagement ring in white gold. Also available in platinum and yellow gold. (Click photo to enlarge)

Diamonds are a girls best friend! ….but not only for girls! They have also an amazing collection for man… and many unisex, and are availble through Schaap and Citroen, famous dutch jeweler (since 1888), in Utrecht, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Eindhoven

royal_asscher

http://www.schaapcitroen.nl

by Jean Amr