Despite the global political turmoil, there is still a healthy market and a strong desire for both fancy color diamonds and gemstones of all colors and quality grades. Fortunately, jewelry-loving consumers are still eagerly buying and collecting jewelry with colorful gems.
That customer's kind comment above is a stunning reminder of the power of gemstones to impact the lives of its wearer. They are more than pretty stones. They tell a brilliant story.
If Stones Could Talk
The backstory of gemstones and diamonds is always captivating. In 1911, Jacques Cartier made his first visit to India, where he was captivated by vividly colored gemstones. His fascination with India's vibrant colors quickly made him the favorite in-house jeweler of the Maharajas. Cartier was clearly in awe of India's splendor and opulence.
The Birth of an Icon
Cartier designed a magnificent ceremonial necklace for Maharajah Jamsahib of Nawanagar, featuring the famed 136.26-carat "Queen of Holland" diamond. The Maharajah, a true connoisseur, had amassed a priceless collection of jewels. The necklace's centerpiece diamond paid homage to its original owner, the Queen of the Netherlands. Cartier's creativity was on full display with an array of mixed colored diamonds, including a 12-carat olive-green diamond and a blue diamond. During that era, it was the wealthy potentates who adorned themselves from head to toe in precious jewels, signifying their wealth and power. The opulence of the Maharajas, combined with their love for ornamental jewelry, ignited Cartier's passion for creating.
A Craving for Carving
Cartier's creative collaboration with the Indian Maharajas enriched his Deco-era aesthetics, fusing sophisticated European design with Far Eastern influence. Carved emeralds, sapphires, and rubies took center stage in Cartier's 1911 Expedition.
The Art Deco Patiala ruby choker, made by Cartier for Maharani Yagoda Devi in 1931, exemplified this fusion.
New Direction with Gems
While new to Continental high-jewelry, cabochons and carved precious stones had been found in Indian jewelry for centuries. Jacques Cartier's time in India opened his eyes and imagination to the elegance of carved gemstones in haute bijoux. Rubies, sapphires, and emeralds all received the carved treatment in Cartier's work during that period.
A Tall Order
In 1928, India's handsome young ruler, Maharaja Bhupinder Singh, visited the House of Boucheron in Paris. The flamboyant Maharaja arrived with a retinue of 40 servants, 20 female dancers, and an astonishing treasure trove of 7,571 diamonds, 1,432 emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and pearls. Boucheron's jewelers were tasked with creating a 149-piece collection, marking one of the most extraordinary orders ever placed at Boucheron's Place Vendôme.
A Special Commission
Cartier used his expertise to create his most iconic piece, the Tutti Frutti jewelry for Queen Alexandra. She commissioned Cartier to complement her Indian gowns, and this style quickly gained popularity among wealthy aristocrats. The Tutti Frutti name gained prominence in the early 1970s when its distinctive style made a revival after being sold at Sotheby’s for $1.3 Million dollars in 2020.
One of Cartier's most famous clients was the Duchess of Windsor, known for the iconic Flamingo Brooch.
Duchess Of Windsor- Flamingo Broach by Cartier
The Tutti Frutti bracelet sold at Sotheby in 2020 for $1.3M dollars.
What Changes—What Remains
The past 100 years have seen some changes in high jewelry design. The once-super-wealthy Maharajas have disappeared, and jewelry with fine gemstones has become more modest. Nevertheless, the timeless beauty of fine jewelry design endures.
While major evening necklaces have fallen out of vogue, rings, pendants, and exquisitely styled earrings have become more accessible, highly collectible, and immensely popular.
My Own India storyI have a personal connection to India, a land of wonder and awe, where my journey into the world of color began some 30 years ago. I traveled to India, buying fancy colored diamonds and returning nearly every month to meet the Sultan of Brunei's insatiable appetite for fancy color diamonds and our clients' demand for small pink diamonds. Today, the Maharajas are gone, and the Sultan no longer purchases jewelry, but our dreams and vision for jewelry designs in vibrant multi-colors remain as vibrant as ever.
Pink diamond watch by Graff
A New Collection
Pink diamonds from Argyle are nearly impossible to source now, and stones are quite small. So, we are carefully selecting more emeralds, Vivid Pink, or Pigeon Blood rubies and sapphires for our collection. Color stones are currently in the spotlight, with Sotheby's set to offer a 93.94-carat Paraiba tourmaline necklace by Adler Jewelry at its upcoming Geneva sale. It's the largest "top-quality" stone of its kind ever to come to auction, with an estimated price of $1.3 to $2.5 million.
Color stones are in the spotlight
Color stones are definitely in the spotlight- Martin Rapaport reported today that Sotheby’s will offer a 93.94-carat Paraiba tourmaline necklace By Adler Jewelry at its upcoming Geneva sale. It’s the largest “top-quality” stone of its kind ever to come to auction, according to the company. They expect it to fetch between $1.3--$2. 5M dollars for the rare piece.
We are following a trend and presenting a beautiful Tourmaline and diamond pendant, featuring a greenish-blue ("Paraiba" color) cushion Tourmaline gemstone weighing 18.64cts and certified by GRS. The double halo and double bail feature colorless round brilliants styled in an open pave.
The World Changes, but the Heart Remains Steadfast
Human desire knows no crisis or limitations. Love and passion for colors are as strong as ever, and at Leibish, we feel the ever beating hearts of our customers.