Jacob & Co. is used to drawing a crowd to its jewel-filled vitrines during Baselworld, but one particular pair of stunners this year literally stopped show goers in their tracks: a multimillion dollar emerald and diamond necklace and pair of earrings.
With 217.45 cts. t.w. emerald briolettes—each one with a certification from the Gübelin Gem Lab in Lucerne, Switzerland—and 178.78 cts. t.w. colorless D-F color, VS clarity diamonds, it’s not hard to understand the reason for the traffic jam.
“Every single person who walked into our booth inquired about it,” says Philip Nassimi, the managing director of high jewelry who oversees sales of all the brand’s rare pieces.
The emeralds are from the Muzo mine in Colombia, 60 miles northeast of Bogotá, and according to Nassimi, are “very transparent and crystalline, about 80 percent clean.” Beyond oil, the stones have no treatment; the collection took about four years to assemble. “We have agents and miners who advise us immediately when incredible pieces like these surface from ground,” he adds.
For the design, Jacob Arabo, the principle of the New York City-based firm, envisioned—what else?—a majestic setting. “He had in mind royal jewels of the 19th Century from India and the Middle East,” says Nassimi.
The setting is in 18k gold. “Platinum would have made them too heavy,” Nassimi says.
Over the eight days of the Swiss trade fair, about 50 serious inquiries came in from the U.S., England, Russia, Northern Europe, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Abu Dabi, Qatar, mainland China, and Hong Kong. While the jewels are clearly made to be worn, Nassimi estimates that many are considering a buy for investment purposes. “Precious gems and diamonds of a certain caliber are very much sought after, not only by royals, but by but high-net worth individuals looking to add them to part of a portfolio into diamonds and jewelry,” he says. “The common denominator is that they are looking for the most unique pieces they can buy.”
The most serious suitor thus far for the set (they won’t be separated for sale) is from the Middle East, and Nassimi anticipates a sale within the next 10 days. Interestingly enough, he isn’t eager to see the pieces go. “Replacement is the hardest part of our job,” he says.
Earrings in 18k white gold with 60.98 cts. t.w. Colombian briolette emeralds and 11.36 cts. t.w. colorless D-F color, VS clarity, diamonds; price upon request.
Necklace in 18k white gold with 156.47 cts. t.w. Colombian briolette emeralds and 167.42 cts. t.w. colorless D-F color, VS clarity, diamonds; price upon request.