$300,000 Diamond and Sapphire Pumps Entice the Well ‘Heeled’ Women of Dubai
A new collection of gem-spangled footwear has the well “heeled” women of Dubai — and the world over — buzzing with excitement.
Inspired by iconic royal women, from Cleopatra to Princess Diana, the collection by UAE-based luxury brand Jada Dubai is headlined by a one-of-a-kind pump adorned with 54 carats of brilliant-cut white diamonds and 416 carats of rose-cut white sapphires set in platinum and 19-karat gold. They’re simply called “Jada Shoes.”
Only one pair is available worldwide and it carries a price tag of 1.1 million dirhams, or just under $300,000. Jada Dubai co-founder Majari Maria told GulfNews.com that the pair took one year to produce and demanded the collaboration of precious stone specialists from three countries.
“Jada Shoes” were designed to honor Jada, the Princess of the Desert. According to the legendary love story, a prince fell in love with Jada, whose captivating eyes were as green as jade, but, alas, she was just a beautiful mirage.
Jada Dubai claims that its shoes are the first in the world with both the insole and outsole covered in gold and platinum.
Other shoes in the “The Imperative of Royalty” collection are named for Diana (Princess of Wales), Grace Kelly (Princess of Monaco), Cleopatra (Queen of Egypt) and Josephine (Empress of France). Each is limited to just 10 pairs and range in price from about $5,000 to $7,000. Featured gemstones include citrines, black diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
Carrying a price tag of $6,960, the Princess Diana Shoes are adorned with 2,000 citrines and 10 brilliant-cut white diamonds set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. The total weight of the citrines is 315 carats. Jada Dubai notes that the ivory color symbolizes elegance and purity.
The Grace Kelly Shoes feature a crown motif rendered in white and black diamonds, with other gemstones. The gems are set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. The crown, notes Jada Dubai, is the ultimate symbol of power and royalty. Price tag: $5,310.
Jada Dubai’s Cleopatra Shoes are adorned with two jewelry snakes glittering with 28 black diamonds, four white diamonds and other stones. The snake is a symbol of protection, royalty and seductive power. The shoes are priced at $5,150.
Rounding out the line are the Josephine Shoes, adorned with eight rubies, six emeralds and other colored gemstones set in 19-karat yellow gold and platinum. Featured on the $4,980 pair is Josephine’s favorite flower, the rose — one of the most enduring symbols of royalty and passion.
Credits: Images via jada-dubai.com.
Birthstone of the Month: Extraordinary Jeweled Egg Features World’s Largest Polished Garnet
One of the most extraordinary examples of January’s official birthstone is this objet d’art featuring what is believed to be the world’s largest polished garnet.
Reminiscent of the jeweled eggs designed for the Russian tsars by the House of Fabergé more than 100 years ago, the “Garnet and Diamond Egg Creation” by Idar-Oberstein-based Manfred Wild was carved from an immense rough garnet sourced in Orissa, India. The garnet egg, which possesses the deep red hue of a fine claret wine, weighs 5,696 carats.
The egg opens to reveal a diamond cross mounted in 18-karat yellow gold and platinum, set on both sides with a total of 456 diamonds weighing approximately 8.50 carats. The cross is embellished with a single octahedral brown diamond at its center, weighing approximately 5.74 carats, and five cube-shaped natural yellow diamonds, weighing approximately 10.04 carats.
The cross emerges from a large faceted rock crystal quartz, measuring 125mm in diameter, and beneath the egg is an 18-karat gold “crown of thorns.” When turned, the crown opens and closes the egg. The stem beneath features two rows of almandite garnets — 46 in all — with a faceted rock crystal acting as a spacer between.
The entire object is crafted using 403 grams (14.2 ounces) of 18K gold and 30.50 grams (1.07 ounces) of platinum. The egg measures 150 x 120 mm (5.9 inches x 4.7 inches) and the mounted piece has an overall height of 12 inches.
In November of 2014, the “Garnet and Diamond Egg Creation” was one of the top lots in a Bonham’s Los Angeles auction titled “Gems, Minerals, Lapidary Works of Art and Natural History.” Its pre-sale estimate was set at $300,000 to $400,000, but the piece remained unsold.
Coveted by kings and commoners alike for thousands of years, garnet is a versatile gemstone that comes in a wide variety of natural colors, including pink, purple, orange, yellow, violet, green, black, brown and deep-red.
Garnet varieties commonly seen in jewelry include pyrope, almandine, andradite, demantoid, grossularite, hessonite, rhodolite, tsavorite, spessartine and uvarovite. Garnets achieve their range of color from trace amounts of iron, manganese, calcium or aluminium in their chemical makeup.
Credits: Photos courtesy of Bonhams.
December’s Newest Birthstone — Tanzanite — Is Celebrating Its Golden Anniversary
Tanzanite, one of December’s three official birthstones, is celebrating its golden anniversary. Fifty years ago, Maasai tribesmen discovered dazzling bluish-violet gems in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Originally thought to be sapphires, the mesmerizing stones were identified by the Gemological Institute of America as a never-before-seen variation of zoisite.
The unusual mineral caught the attention of Tiffany & Co., which had visions of making it the focus of a major advertising campaign. An initial challenge was that the name “zoisite” sounded very much like “suicide,” so the marketing team at Tiffany came up with “tanzanite,” a name that would honor the gem’s country of origin. To this day, a 2km by 4km area in Tanzania is the only place on the earth where this type of zoisite can be found.
Tiffany’s marketing campaign succeeded in making tanzanite a household word and earned it the title of “Gem of the 20th Century.”
In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite to the jewelry industry’s official birthstone list. Tanzanite joined turquoise and zircon as the official birthstones for December. It was the first time the list had been amended since 1912.
Tanzanite’s exquisite color is an intoxicating mix of blue and purple, unlike any other gemstone. Tanzanite comes in a wide range of hues, from light blues or lilacs, to deep indigos and violets. The most valuable tanzanite gemstones display a deep sapphire blue color with highlights of intense violet. The Smithsonian’s website explains that tanzanite exhibits the optical phenomenon of pleochroism, appearing intense blue, violet or red, depending on the direction through which the crystal is viewed.
Due to its single source and limited supply, promoters of tanzanite say that the gemstone is one thousand times rarer than a diamond.
The Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., houses the “Petersen Tanzanite Brooch,” a piece that was designed by Harry Winston in 1991 and donated to the museum by Donald E. and Jo A. Petersen in 2002. The triangular-cut matched tanzanites weigh approximately 30 carats and are adorned by 24 carats of marquise, pear and baguette-cut diamonds in a floral motif. The tanzanite “flowers” may be detached and worn as earrings.
Tanzanite rates a 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. By comparison, diamond rates a 10 and sapphire rates a 9.