We’ve been anticipating this moment. Ever since face masks became daily, necessary accessories for most Americans, it seemed inevitable that they would eventually get the fine jeweler’s treatment.
In the past few months, we’ve seen several pretty mask chains debut from brands including Aaryah and Lady Grey. And a handful of fine jewelers, including Lizzie Fortunato and New York City retailer Greenwich St. Jewelers, have debuted actual cloth masks (that have sold out quickly).
But this week we became aware of two bespoke masks born in fine jewelry workshops. Both are swathed in diamonds. Both are completely over-the-top. And both are utterly mesmerizing.
Israeli jeweler Isaac Levy, owner of the Yvel brand, has created an 18k gold face covering that’s currently being set with 3,600 white and black diamonds. No bigs!
The mask was commissioned by a Chinese businessman living in the United States and will be fitted with N99 filters, Levy told the New York Post. The businessman asked that the mask, when completed, be the priciest face mask in the world. And at $1.5 million, it very well may be.
But when completed, likely by the end of this year, it will probably also be the heaviest COVID-19 mask: The Post reports that at a weight of more than 8 ounces, it’s nearly 100 times heavier than a surgical mask.
Will it actually be worn? Who knows. And if it’s not meant to be worn, was it commissioned as a memento of the pandemic? Hmm.
But Levy’s not asking questions and is pleased to have the work, which is both challenging and lucrative. “Money maybe doesn’t buy everything, but if it can buy a very expensive COVID-19 mask and the guy wants to wear it and walk around and get the attention, he should be happy with that,” he told the Post. “I’m happy that this mask gave us enough work for our employees to be able to provide their jobs in very challenging times like these times right now.”
Less pricey—but no less dazzling—is a new mask from celebrity and custom jeweler Jacob & Co., which is going for $250,000.
The 18k white gold mask, designed by brand founder Jacob Arabo, is set with 3,040 round-cut diamonds, totaling 73.27 cts. The mask is supple and mesh-like and was modeled after a medical-grade mask. But it’s designed to be worn over a protective cloth or textile mask.
“Jacob & Co. has often reimagined everyday items in extraordinary ways—a dress, lingerie, hair accessories, neckties, gloves, and now the ubiquitous face mask,” says the brand’s head of content, Keith Strandberg. “Now that everyone around the world has to wear one, Jacob Arabo, our founder, decided to add sparkle and elegance to what has become a part of our everyday lives. We need to appreciate every moment today, and we think that the Diamond Face Mask is a way to escape the ordinary world and revel in extravagance.”
Where would one wear such an item? Maybe it’s a “build it and the black-tie events will come” scenario.
Follow me on Instagram: @emilivesilindFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Twitter: @jckmagazine
Follow JCK on Facebook: @jckmagazine