Lovely blue eyes—baby blue to be exact—inspired Claude Thibaudeau of the Montreal-based eponymous firm to make his new proprietary, enhanced blue diamond color that is the star of his new Glacier Blue collection.
“My daughter has blue eyes, my grandmother had blue eyes,” he says. “I have always been attracted to eyes that are sky blue—the right blue for a diamond.”
But it’s that Mediterranean blue—with a lot of green in it—that most of industry knows for enhanced diamonds. That color has a negative effect on Thibaudeau. “It reminds me of a young lady who wears this color of blue contacts…it’s not a nice color,” he observes. “I get scared.”
So he enlisted outside help to develop a proprietary enhanced sky-blue-color diamond that would remind of him of blue eyes but also some of nature’s prettiest natural blue diamonds. After a year of efforts, the process grew tiresome, but he persisted. Also top of mind during this time: the realities of enhanced-color and natural-color diamonds. “When you take a white diamond and try to make it pink, it becomes purple,” says Thibaudeau. “Natural yellow diamonds cost less to buy and with big natural-blue stones we’re talking millions.”
The first stone was ready last fall, and the designer sent it to a top retail client in Texas. The merchant fell hard for it and asked the designer to make some promotional posters. From November 2014 to January 2015, that store owner sold and reordered nine of those initial rings.
Thibaudeau offers the blue diamonds in 12 existing popular designs as side stones and surprise diamonds underneath centers. The starting retail price for a semi-mount in 18k gold with Glacier Blue diamonds is $5,000. Besides the beautiful natural-looking color, another selling point is that the designer uses only VVS-clarity goods.
“Natural-color diamonds are often I or SI quality, but because we’re working with enhanced, real diamonds, we can make the color blue and the quality a selling point,” he explains.
To date, about a half dozen stores are selling the pieces, but more buyers discover them daily. (At the end of my phone conversation with Thibaudeau yesterday, he called back to tell me that a jeweler from New Jersey had just phoned in an order.) And to the retailers who tell him that they “sell only natural color,” Thibaudeau maintains that they may require a bit more education. “Most don’t know that natural blue diamonds sell for millions,” he says.
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