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Jason Withers
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March 2014

28/2/2014 21:37:48

The big event in the our world at the end of February each year are the international jewellery fairs. This year, Jason is attending both the Bangkok and Hong Kong fairs, in search of coloured stones for some very special pieces we have planned. Watch this space!

Being one of the world's top three jewellery events, the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show is an excellent venue to advance business in the diamond industry. All sorts of movers and shakers, from all over the world, go to share their ideas and creations - and naturally, Jason loves to be a part of all the action.

We are looking forward to having him back in the studio and hearing all about his travels.

Jason's Thought Corner: Designing Diamond Engagement Rings

Jason Withers

When designing an engagement ring, it’s important to consider the individual you are making it for. I like to look at the person's structure - body type and hands, especially the fingers and wrists and length of hand. Also the type of current jewellery, watch and clothing they are wearing. Is it chunky or fine, round or square, yellow or white, colourful or conservative? All these things give clues to their sense of style and taste.

It is important for us to look at the length and width of space on the ring finger between the knuckle and the hand, because you must consider three possible rings fitting there: engagement, wedding and eternity and their width on the finger. The engagement ring, without advance thought, may be made too chunky for a person with short fingers, and therefore leave no room for future wedding and eternity bands. This backs a philosophy of most of my ring designs that the engagement ring setting design must be able to accept a straight wedding and eternity band, diamond or plain, sitting flush up against it.

Many designs off the shelf are poorly designed and lazy in the way they have been made and we remake these type of rings constantly.

Below are examples of hand sketched designs that accept a straight wedding band.

Designing Diamond Engagement Rings (1)

Designing Diamond Engagement Rings (2)

Designing Diamond Engagement Rings (3)

Halo rings, clusters, major solitaires, trilogy rings, etc. can all be made to accept a comfortable and flush wedding and eternity ring. This improves the design, look and beauty on the hand and reduces wear or rubbing, therefore extending the life of the ring for many decades.

We all have different hands, but a ring designed perfectly for you will enhance the beauty of your hand and be a piece of functional art to love and wear forever.

Designing Diamond Engagement Rings (4)

Debbie's pick of the month

Something a little different this month. Based on the Tiffany & Co. Swing Rings - I love the new trend of 'stacking' rings. It's a great idea for an engagement, wedding and eternity bands, or just as a fashion set. Also, it can add some variety to your engagement ring wearing, add one or two - or more! This particular set was a culmination of belated anniversary gift and "push present" for two beautiful baby girls! Worn on the right hand, I just love it.

Debbie's Pick Of The Month (1)

Debbie's Pick Of The Month (2)

  • 1 x 18ct white gold custom designed ‘swing’ ring. Set with 20 x 1.5mm E/F VS RBCs (TDW = 0.30ct) Metal weight 2.3g
  • 1 x 18ct white gold custom designed ‘swing’ ring. Set with 14 x 1.3mm and 6 x 1.7mm E/F VS RBCs (TDW = 0.272ct) Metal weight 3.7g
  • 1 x 18ct white gold custom designed ‘swing’ ring. Set with 9 x 1.2mm and 10 x 2.1mm E/F VS RBCs (TDW = 0.472ct) Metal weight 2.5g

Emily's pick of the month

These fabulous earrings are oh-so-girly with their sweet pink diamond centre stones in a cluster of top parcel brilliant white diamonds. Add a screw back post, and you are sure to never lose these treasures.

Emily's Pick Of The Month (1)

Emily's Pick Of The Month (2)

1 x pair earrings in 18k white gold with heavy screw posts and butterfly backings. Set with 2 x natural fancy intense

purple pink round brilliant cut centre diamonds, 1 = 0.17ct, 1 = 0.16ct, GIA certified and laser inscribed. Also set with

24 x 1.4 mm D-F colour, VS clarity round brilliant cut diamonds weighing 0.36ct.

* * *

Tzoffey's 1818 Adds 600-Ct. Rough Diamond to Upcoming Tender

Tzoffey's 1818 Adds 600-Ct. Rough Diamond

Tzoffey's 1818, the Israeli-French auction house, announced it will add a 600-carat-plus rough diamond to the upcoming tender at the March 9 to March 13 International Rough Diamond Week (IRDW) at the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE). The rough stone was sourced from an African mine and will bring additional excitement to the five-day rough diamond festival at the bourse. According to Tzoffey's president, Avner Sofiov, the stone is cleavable which, once planned and cut, will render a number of larger polished diamonds.

"I am very excited to include such a large stone in the Tzoffey's tender in March," Sofiov said. "The International Rough Diamond Week is a joint project of the entire Israeli diamond industry to boost our country's position as an international rough diamond trading hub. We're honored to be contributing to that joint effort." He noted that more than 200 participants had scheduled viewings for the Tzoffey's tender alone.

Meanwhile, IDE's deputy president, Arnon Juwal, who heads the event organizing committee, said the International Rough Diamond Week was continuing to gain in strength. "We closed registration a few days ago as we reached the limit of registered participants for the tender week. With a full house, we're putting the finishing touches to the modifications of the rough diamond trading hall to be able to host the viewing of the tenders and create a comfortable and effective environment for this exciting business venture,'' Juwal said.

Around 350 diamantaires -- from Israel, India, Belgium and the U.S. - will view the rough diamonds at the IDE tender facility from Fusion/I. Hennig Tenders, De Beers Auction Sales, Rio Tinto and Tzoffey's.

Full story at:

See our Triple Excellent diamonds section on our website to view rare and stunning diamond opportunities to purchase for yourself!

In Focus: Will auction records continue to shatter in 2014?

14.82ct Fancy Vivid orange diamond

The Orange, a 14.82ct Fancy Vivid orange diamond, fetched a record $2.4million per carat. It was the centrepiece of Christie's Nov. 12 sale in Geneva, which bought the highest ever auction total ever - $125.4 million. Photo by Christie's Images Ltd. 2013, courtesy of Denis Hayoun Diode SA Geneva.

The world’s two leading auction houses are gearing up for another extraordinary year.

In 2013, Christie’s and Sotheby’s posted record jewellery sales of $678 million and $600 million, respectively, through auctions of mega diamonds, rare colored gems and classic period jewels. Economists predict the demand for ultra-luxury items that drove these auction numbers should be even stronger in 2014.

Three landmark diamonds in 2013 contributed to the record-breaking sales:

  • The highest price ever paid for a gemstone: Sotheby’s estimated a price tag of $61 million for the Pink Star diamond offered at its Nov. 13 Geneva sale, but the GIA-graded 59.6 ct Fancy Vivid pink sold for $83.02 million, nearly doubling the 2010 record price of $46 million, also for a pink diamond. The buyer, New York diamond dealer Isaac Wolf, promptly renamed the stone the Pink Dream.
  • The highest per-carat price ever paid: the Orange, a GIA-graded 14.82 ct Fancy Vivid orange diamond, was sold by Christie’s to an anonymous buyer for $35.54 million, or $2.4 million per carat.
  • The record total for a single jewelry auction: Sotheby’s Nov. 13 auction in Geneva, which featured the Pink Dream, had a dozen lots sell for more than $1 million each, and seven that went for more than $6 million each—for a total of $199.5 million.

Pink Star, a 59.6ct Fancy Vivid pink diamond

Sotheby's November sale in Geneva saw the highest price ever paid for a gemstone at auction $83.02million for the Pink Star, a 59.6ct Fancy Vivid pink diamond. Courtesy of Sotheby's.

The record setting began in May at Christie’s Geneva, when Harry Winston paid $26.7 million for a 101.73 ct D-Flawless diamond it named the "Winston Legacy." Another highlight from that sale was the 19.88 ct Star of Kashmir sapphire, which sold for $3.48 million, a record $175,202 per carat.

101.73ct D-Flawless pear shape

This 101.73ct D-Flawless pear shape, the Winston Legacy, sold for $26.7million at Christie's May 2013 sale in Geneva. Photo by Christie's Images Ltd. 2013.

Sotheby’s Oct. 7 Hong Kong sale saw the highest price ever paid at auction for a colourless diamond: a GIA-graded 118.28 ct oval D-Flawless, cut from a 299 ct piece of rough, sold for $30.6 million to an Asian buyer. Despite the record amount, the final price was on the lower end of the pre-sale estimate.

The surge really gained momentum a month later, when Christie’s Nov. 12 Geneva sale broke the record for the highest jewelry sale total—$125.4 million—with the Orange as its centerpiece. The sale also had a record 22 lots top $1 million, including a Cartier emerald and diamond necklace that generated $9.9 million; a seven-strand natural pearl necklace that topped $9 million; and a brooch by designer Anna Hu, featuring a 58.29 ct Burmese sapphire, that sold for $4.5 million. Hu’s brooch set a record price for a contemporary designer at auction.

Sotheby’s Geneva auction the next night was, according to David Bennett, Sotheby’s chairman for jewellery in Europe and the Middle East, “charged with energy … everything seemed to be selling for more than their estimates. The night could not have conceivably gone better.”

Four records were broken:

  • The highest price ever paid—both total price and per carat—for sapphire jewels: $8.45 million ($175,821 per carat, breaking the record set in Geneva in May) for the Richelieu Sapphires, a pair of Kashmir sapphires, weighing 20.88 and 26.66 ct.
  • A record price for a Burmese sapphire: a 114.73 ct gem that sold for $7.14 million, or $62,214 per carat.
  • The most expensive piece of jewellery ever sold at auction by Sotheby’s: a Van Cleef & Arpels brooch, featuring a GIA-graded 96.62 ct Fancy Vivid Yellow briolette-cut diamond, that went for $10.55 million.

François Curiel, chairman of Christie’s Asia, explained that the growing wealth in that region is one reason for the sharp rise in prices for rare stones and jewels.

"In 1994, we sold two lots above $5 million, with a 19.66 ct pink as the top lot for $7.3 million ($375,000 per carat). This was the year we inaugurated our Hong Kong auctions, which brought 11% of our $190 million annual total,” Curiel said. “In 2013, we sold 14 lots above $5 million, with the 34.65 ct Fancy Intense pink Princie diamond fetching $39.5 million ($1.1 million per carat). Hong Kong last year contributed 29% of our $675 million annual total. We have just started selling in Shanghai."

34.65ct Fancy Intense pink Prince diamond

Asian wealth was a major force behind the surging prices for rare gems and jewels in 2013. At Christie's Hong Kong, the 34.65ct Fancy Intense pink Prince diamond brought $1.1million per carat. Photo by Christie's Images Ltd. 2013

Will 2014 see more records fall? Economist say the boom isn’t over, and that the ultra-wealthy are still seeking outlets for their excess cash.

Curiel believes there will be more rare gems on the market, because the rarest items tend to be offered for the first time—or come up for sale again—when people know they may get top prices.

"There is an extreme shortage of rare diamonds, jewels, coloured stones and pearls; the same items are fetching many times more than their first time on the auction block," Curiel said. "These new prices are bringing more rarities to the market than ever before—and promise another exciting year for the jewellery industry worldwide."

Full details at:

Ring Sizer app for Android

We are launching Android version of the our brand new app "Ring Sizer". This is a handy utility from Jason Withers created to easily find the ring size in the different countries. There are some unique features supported by the app:

  • choose metric or imperial units
  • choose diameter or circumference
  • supports sizes of the USA, Australia, United Kingdom, Europe, Japan and China
  • easily share your ring size on social networks

Get "Ring Sizer" app on Google Play.

Ring Sizer app for Android

Also see our full featured "Engagement Rings" app for iPhone and Android. This app contains engagement rings gallery and handy tool for diamond search.

More information on the "Engagement Rings" app support website.

Coming up in April

Easter is just around the corner. It is a nice opportunity to go away, take a break, PROPOSE?! We are looking forward to sorting through Jason's bevy of coloured stones from his travels - and presenting our special to you all in the following weeks. Stay tuned.

As always, we are here to help with whatever it is you wish to create. Please make an appointment to see just how easy giving a custom designed, specially made piece to the one you love, can really be.

Until next time!
The Team at Jason Withers.

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