World Gold Council Leaves of Change


I had the privilege of recently attending the World Gold Council’s Leaves of Change Gala Celebration and Charity Auction. Held at the Chelsea Art Museum in New York, the event showcased collaborations between jewelry designers and celebrities, who teamed up to make jewelry to be auctioned off to benefit charities of the celebs’ choosing. [See the May 2009 issue of JCK for more coverage.]

Inside the Gala.


John Calnon, U.S. managing director, World Gold Council, Brooke Shields, Duvall O’Steen, spokesperson for World Gold Council

The joint design of Brooke Shields and Antonio Paoli of Tre Spighe for Gold Expressions

My attempt to snap a photo of Brooke Shields; it didn’t work out so well, but if you look really closely, you can see her in the back right of the photo. 

During the cocktail hour, I viewed the designs—12 in all—and even got to meet Marcia Gay Harden, who was gracious enough to introduce herself to me as I stood talking to ‘her’ designer, Ariane Zurcher. (Their design is an 18k brushed gold willow leaf necklace with diamond accents; it retails for $25,000.) I even saw Brooke Shields getting her photo snapped at the step-and-repeat—a banner featuring repeated logos for use as a photographic backdrop. Shields teamed up with Antonio Paoli of Tre Spighe for Gold Expressions, and their 18k gold multi-leaf necklace is on a 30-inch chain and retails for $3,400.

Danny Bogue of Mattioli next to his company’s jewelry, made in cooperation with actress Susan Sarandon.

WGC chose the leaf to serve in the starring role of this venture because of its symbolism; changing leaves represent inspiration, hope, nature, and, look smashing when rendered in karat gold. According to WGC, each celebrity sketched a piece of jewelry featuring a leaf motif, which was then brought to life by a talented jewelry designer. (Extra thanks go to the designers, who sacrificed their time and money to make the pieces.) Three pieces of each design were made: one for the celebrity, one for the designer, and, one for Sotheby’s officials to auction off, live at the event and online.

Marcia Gay Harden in her Arian Zurcher willow necklace.

In the end, tens of thousands of dollars were raised for charity. A bonus: the designer’s pieces will be part of a travelling exhibition in 16 U.S. cities from July to December 2009 at Jared, The Galleria of Jewelry stores.

Sold! A bidder during the auction.


Celebrity                     Jewelry Designer                   Charity

Christina Applegate      Alex Woo                                Right Action for Women

Whoopi Goldberg         Annie Fensterstock,                 Ronald McDonald House

Marcia Gay Harden      Ariane Zurcher                        Waterkeeper Alliance

Samantha Harris           Erica Molinari                          Jewelers for Children

Debra Messing             Robert Lee Morris                   Youth AIDS

Eric McCormack          Mauri Pioppo                          Project Angel Food

Chris Noth                   Robin Rotenier                         Make-A-Wish Foundation

Lena Olin                     Mauri Pioppo                           Hope for Henry

Rachael Ray                 K. Brunini Jewels                     Yum-o!

Susan Sarandon            Mattioli                                    Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen

Brooke Shields             TreSpighe for Gold

Expressions                              Jewelers for Children

Pauletta & Denzel

Washington                  Leslie Greene                           Jewelers for Children


To see more designs, pick up a copy of the May issue of JCK, or log onto

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