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Little Gems

Liquor on the rocks
Liquor on the rocks

Liquor on the rocks

The "Little Gems" bulletin board is filled with weird and wonderful snippets about the world of jewellery.
Liquor on the rocks

A $US3m bottle of Chambord constructed from diamonds, gold and pearls drew headlines in February when it was unveiled by fashion designer Betsey Johnson as a star feature of New York’s own Fashion Week.

The extravagant vintage of black raspberry liquor was designed by Australian jeweller Donald Edge, and decorated with more than 60 carats of diamonds, including 1,100 round-brilliant and pear-cut diamonds, an emerald-cut diamond, and pearls in 18-carat yellow gold.

Edge designed the bottle as part of Chambord’s Pink Your Drink program to support breast cancer charities. Johnson is a breast cancer survivor and advocate.

The bottle is currently being valued by the Guinness World Records to determine whether it is the world’s most expensive spirits container.

It will be on display in Australia later this year after a worldwide tour.

An unorthodox heist

Two New York jewellers were busted for hiring gunmen to dress as Hasidic Jews – complete with fake beards – and stage a robbery so the owners could collect the insurance money.

According to a report from, Atul Shah, 48, and Mahaveer Kankariya, 43, were charged with directing the heist of their store – ripping off Guy Ritchie’s film Snatch in the process.

According to local police, Shah and Kankariya had an insurance policy with Lloyd’s of London and claimed the robbers took them for $US4m in diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and jewellery.

Lock in a locket

A gold locket containing a tuft of Mary Tudor’s hair is on display in a London exhibition of the collection of historian Horace Walpole.

An engraving on the back of the locket reveals that the lock of hair was cut from Mary Tudor’s head on September 6, 1784, when her St Edmundsbury tomb was opened.

The exhibition runs until July 4 at the Victoria & Albert Museum and features over 250 items, including numerous portrait miniatures, larger paintings and a mirror that was used by Dr Dee, an Elizabethan astrologer.

World’s richest diamond dealers

The Forbes’ Rich List, an estimation of the net worth of the world’s wealthiest individuals, has revealed that sixty-four-year-old De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer is the wealthiest diamond tycoon in the world, with an estimated net worth of $US5 billion.

Oppenheimer, whose grandfather Ernest founded De Beers in 1917, ranks 154 on the list, with his fortune unchanged from 2009 despite the global downturn in the demand for diamonds.

In addition to Oppenheimer, three other diamond industry heavyweights ranked among the world’s wealthiest people – British diamond merchant Laurence Graff and Israeli diamantaires Beny Steinmetz and Lev Leviev.

Non-engagement ring

Philadelphia-based jeweller Steven Singer recently created a 3.5-carat black diamond “mistress ring” for a beauty pageant held in March featuring the alleged lovers of disgraced golfer Tiger Woods.

The winner, Jamie Jungers, took home the ring and $US75,000 from, a website that caters to married people who want to have discreet affairs. Woods’ mistresses Jaimee Grubbs and Loredana Jolie placed second and third, also receiving a hefty sum of money from the site.

“The mistress never gets the ring,” Singer said, “so we’ve created the ‘non-engagement’ ring – the official mistress ring.”

Emperor and Empress gem sale

The historic “Emperor Maximilian Diamond,” and Catherine the Great’s “Emerald and Diamond Brooch” were the highlights of a Christie’s New York auction held on April 22 at the Rockefeller Plaza.

The 39.55-carat Emperor Maximilian Diamond was acquired in Brazil by the Archduke Maximilian in 1860, just before he was named Emperor of Mexico at Napolean’s urging.

The emerald and diamond brooch, originally owned by Empress Catherine II of Russia, centres on a 70-carat hexagonal-cut emerald, set within diamonds mounted in silver-topped gold.

Aussie jewellery wins again

Jewellery designed by Australian Samantha Wills is to be featured in the highly anticipated 2010 chick flick Sex and the City 2.

The New York-based Wills said an assistant for the film’s costume designer, celebrity stylist Patricia Field, had visited her team in mid-2009 to select pieces for the movie.

“They viewed our collection and chose 15 pieces to hold in the wardrobe department during filming,” Wills said.

“It has been six months of crossed fingers that they would feature at least one piece, so we are obviously ecstatic”.

It isn’t the first time Wills’ jewellery has been in the spotlight, with her creations previously worn by Rihanna, Eva Mendes, Pink, Melissa George and Kate Hudson.

Life-saving jewellery

Bracelets and necklaces that detail specific medical conditions to help emergency personnel provide faster treatment have experienced a global resurgence in popularity after a luxurious makeover.

According to a report on Sky News, medical alert jewellery is now appearing in silver, gold, titanium and leather studded with semi-precious stones.

Connie Meyer, president-elect of the American National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians, said “Designers have tried to make them more attractive because that’s one of the reasons women, in particular, don’t wear them – because of the style.”.

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