10 Must-See Jewels Headed to GemGenève 2019

The 2019 edition of GemGenève, the international gem and jewelry show now in its second year, is set to open its doors on May 9. Held at Palexpo in Geneva, the sophomore edition of the fair brings together 210 of the world’s leading antique jewelry dealers, gem merchants, diamantaires, pearl specialists, and contemporary designers in a new and improved format focused on a warm, intimate atmosphere and increased educational programming.

One of the event’s biggest headliners is from Windsor Jewelers: a 9.3 ct. modified brilliant cushion-cut fancy deep blue diamond that once belonged to actress Shirley Temple. When the rare stone failed to sell at auction in 2016, the Windsor purchased the stone directly from Temple’s estate and has since had it recut, thus improving the appearance of the color and upgrading its clarity from VVS to internally flawless.

Windsor Jewelers Shirley Temple Blue Bird diamond
The Blue Bird diamond, so named because the stone was a gift from Shirley Temple’s father, who presented it in an Art Deco ring for the premiere of her 1940 film The Blue Bird when she was 12 years old (Windsor Jewelers, booth B5).

Russian-born luxury contemporary jewelry designer Alexander Laut, now based in Hawaii and a longtime collaborator with Harry Winston, will debut a number of smashing works, including the necklace below. It’s one of the designer’s favorite, and signature, creations, and only one will be available for sale at the show.

Gemstone necklace by Alexander Laut
This juicy gemstone necklace by Alexander Laut (booth G2), made with rubies, pink sapphires, tsavorite, and diamonds, has two names (it’s up to its future owner to choose): The Sin or Eve’s Strawberry.

New York City–based jewelry dealer and collector Pat Saling will have a very special mabe pearl set by French jewelry designer Suzanne Belperron. (Belperron can actually be seen wearing the jewelry in her passport photo from the 1970s.) Ultimately, the ear clips and ring came to belong to Cécyle Simon, Belperron’s close friend and confidante.

Pat Saling Suzanne Belperron personal collection pearls
Circa 1970s Suzanne Belperron mabe pearl and diamond earrings and ring, available at Pat Saling (booth F3)


And McTeigue NY, dealers in fine diamonds, antique and estate jewelry, and natural pearls, with a heritage dating back to 1895, will debut an important diamond link bracelet by Mauboussin, Paris from 1925.

McTeigue Mauboussin diamond bracelet
Timeless and so chic: this Art Deco diamond link bracelet by Mauboussin, available at McTeigue NY (booth I2)

Those looking to connect with a highly curated group of contemporary jewelry artists from around the world should plan to spend time in GemGenève’s Designer Vivarium. Showcasing the work of 11 independent designer-jewelers, all selected by noted author and jewelry historian Vivienne Becker, the Designer Vivarium is so named because it’s where “jewels come to life.”

Housed in a separate section of the show, with elegant booths separated by Japanese-style screens, this exclusive gathering will encompass the work of Connecticut- and New York–based designer-goldsmith Sean Gilson; Geneva-based Nadia Morgenthaler, who draws on the tenets of architecture to create her magnificently light and luxe gemstone pieces; and other designers with strong voices and unique viewpoints.

Here’s a sampling of the Designer Vivarium’s most exciting debuts.

Sean Gilson earrings
Sean Gilson diamond earrings
Nadia Morgenthaler earrings
Nadia Morgenthaler pearl, diamond, and rock crystal earrings
Ming turquoise and sapphire Hoops
Ming Lampson (aka Ming) turquoise and sapphire earrings in yellow gold
Alexandra Jefford Lunchbox ring
Alexandra Jefford Lunchbox ring with carved onyx and a natural blue Ceylon sapphire in 18k white gold
Cora Sheibani earrings
Cora Sheibani Butterfly earrings

Top: Antique brooch with Siberian amethyst, pearl, and enamel in 18k gold, circa 1860, available from Faerber Collection (booth E7-D8). Thomas Faerber, one of GemGenève’s cofounders, lent this brooch to to the show so that it may serve as a “brand ambassador.” It has traveled to a number of promotional events from Hong Kong to Paris and, most recently, at a press preview in the firm’s native New York City. GemGenève attendees will have a chance to see it when the show kicks off on May 9.

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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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