5 Things Rocking the Industry: May 2017



AUCTIONS

On April 4 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong, the Pink Star fetched $72.1 million—far and away the highest price ever paid for a diamond or jewel at auction. (The previous world record holder was the Oppenheimer Blue, which garnered $57.5 million in May 2016.) The final hammer price—which surpassed the $60 million estimate—came after five minutes of frenzied competition between three clients. The winning bidder for the 59.6 ct. fancy vivid pink internally flawless oval: Chinese jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook.

After winning the auction, Chow Tai Fook promptly renamed the stone (above) the CTF Pink.

 

MAJORS

Signet is not having the best run. In February, The Washington Post published excerpts from 249 affidavits filed by employees of the jeweler’s Sterling division in the 7-year-old class action, being settled by arbitration, charging the company with gender pay disparities. The statements included some serious charges of sexual harassment and spread from the Post to other publications, causing the company’s long-suffering stock to take another hit. Signet responded to the piece, saying it paints a “negative and distorted view” of the company.

Signet CEO Mark Light

 

SHOWS

Baselworld celebrated its 100th anniversary in late March, but a 13 percent decline in exhibitors and a 4 percent drop in buyers put a damper on the occasion. Most watchmakers played it safe, with novelties that focused on updated color ­palettes (green was a recurring theme) and reissues of vintage models. A few, however, used the occasion to show off their horological chops—like Chanel, which has over the past three decades grown into a bona fide ­watch­making ­maison: Its new Première Camélia Skeleton features a striking three-­dimensional movement that pays tribute to Mademoiselle’s favorite flower.

Première Camélia Skeleton limited-edition timepiece in 18k white gold with 22.66 cts. t.w. diamonds; price on request; Chanel; 800-550-0005; chanel.com

 

BRANDS

After months of speculation, Ivanka Trump Fine ­Jewelry finally ­announced that the brand would be ­discontinued—and a non–fine jewelry collection would flourish ­under the core Ivanka Trump label. Abigail Klem, president of Ivanka Trump, said in a statement that the company would focus on “categories that are most relevant to our loyal customers—including fashion jewelry.” The first daughter stepped away from her company in January.

 

AWARDS

Ladies, say farewell to your chandelier earrings and au revoir to cocktail rings. The 2017 Academy Awards were all about—wait for it!—tiaras. Loving nominee Ruth Negga (pictured) was a vision in an Irene Neuwirth–­designed headpiece featuring 146-plus carats of Gemfields Mozambican rubies in blackened white gold. Actress Janelle Monáe (Moonlight, Hidden Figures) rocked a Swarovski crystal and brass crown by Jennifer Behr. And presenter Salma Hayek sparkled in a 19th-century diamond laurel-leaf headband courtesy of Fred Leighton. What else can we say except Yaaas, queens!


(Light: Chris Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty; Negga: Valerie Goodloe/Splash News)