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07 December 2016

From mine to market

The Family and Energy & Natural Resources groups hosted a gemstones evening last week, coinciding with Mines and Money London, featuring speakers from Gemfields and Fabergé.

We were delighted to welcome Janet Silk, International gemstones & diamond dealer and jewellery designer, who presented on a variety of gemstones and Josina von dem Bussche-Kessell, from Fabergé, who dazzled attendees with a presentation on the history and modernisation of the Fabergé brand.Janet’s presentation explained the complex process involved in taking a gemstone from ‘mine to market’, which in recent times has faced massive change with a move towards ensuring responsible sourcing. By the time that coloured gems arrive in stores, they may have passed through dozens of hands since mining, adding to the final sales prices.

No two gemstones are identical and it is during this sorting process that experts are faced with the formidable task of sorting the quality of the gems, only a proportion of which will be of sellable quality. Similar quality gems are then identified and collated, so at to create the perfect end product.

It is only then that the gems are taken through the cutting process, whereby the beautiful products we see on the market today are created.

Janet then engaged the audience with stories of famous diamonds and gemstones, varying from the prized emeralds of Cleopatra to the Koh I Noor diamond on the British royal crown – a diamond whose superstition allows only female monarchs to wear it. The stories are important; Janet explained that whilst responsibly sourced gems are at the forefront of the modern sales market, gems with a fascinating history fuel particular interest amongst buyers

Josina then took the audience through the history of the Fabergé brand, from its inception in 1842 to its downfall in the 1917 Russian Revolution, and then the reunification of the Fabergé brand with the Fabergé family in 2007. The family connection is something treasured by Fabergé, enabling them as a smaller brand to interact with clients on a personal level, creating the utmost bespoke service for their clients.

Josina was keen to emphasise the modernisation of the family owned brand; Fabergé never copy. Their products are influenced by the great history of the brand, but this is only in tandem with creating a product of original beauty. For example, their Lady Compliquée peacock timepiece is a fabulous mix between originality and heritage. The watch features an exclusively developed fan at the heart of the watch, designed in homage to the famous “Peacock Egg” of 1908.

Attendees were then treated to a range of display jewellery, with the opportunity to purchase some sparkling Christmas gifts. In total, more than £7000 worth of jewellery was purchased and Janet generously donated 10% of the proceeds to the Xavier project, a charity improving the lives of refugee children.