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08 december 2017

Any color diamond is a great investment

20 november 2017

bruno_scarselli_xx.jpgBruno Scarselli belongs to the 3rd generation of the Scarselli family, which has for the last half-century been producing and selling some of the world’s highest quality yellow, blue and pink diamonds available on the market.

Bruno heads the company that is known worldwide for three generations as masters in the art of colored diamonds; and possesses an extensive inventory of special and unique stones in all colors, shapes, and sizes as well as signature jewelry pieces.

Here, in an interview with Rough&Polished, Bruno Scarselli speaks about the company, which has dedicated the last 30 years toward the marketing of color diamonds via museum, public lectures, auctions and private events... and more.

Scarselli is a well-known name in the high-end diamond jewelry sector globally, but we would want to know more about the origin of the business. Is this your family business, and when did it all begin? Please give us an overview of Scarselli's journey down the years; and also about your present niche position in the diamond business.

Scarselli Diamonds Inc is a family owned company mainly engaged in the rough to polish manufacturing; over time we have adapted to create one of a kind jewelry to meet the growing demand of high brands client base, only in very recent time we have been advertising our brand to a selected niche geography area. I represent the 3rd generation, the original business originated in Italy with wholesale operation in southern Italy during the winter season while during the summer season my grandfather operated a retail store and several retail centers in hotels on the Adriatic coast. The date known to us is 1957.

I understand that your diamond family business entered the colored diamond business much later. How did this come about? Was it just a business expansion from colorless to color or you saw the potential color diamonds had to soon become a niche section of your business, so much so that you are now known as color diamond experts?

In 1978, we moved to New York and as much as what we used to sell in our retail stores which were rubies, sapphires and green emeralds as side from its jewelry component mixed with colorless diamonds... We have had always an affinity for color, I started to cut diamonds during the summer at the age of 14 and while experimenting with various cutting techniques. I failed in it. From thereon, there was a great deal of curiosity which developed into sales. As always, where there is a will there is a future, we started to travel to Antwerp to buy rough, always with an eye toward larger sizes and better clarity. It has been a long road to date and opportunities brought us to experience the rarity of these wonderful and complex diamonds.

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From where do you source your rough diamonds given that they are mostly big high-end stones? And now with colored diamonds included in your portfolio, where do you source them from, as they are rare and high premium stones?

There are no secrets anymore in our trade, we are invited to all the major international tender houses; we bid against the biggest world players for the largest and most beautiful crystals. This year we won over 2 large rough stones and finished a 112 carat, fancy vivid yellow as well as a 52 carat, fancy intense yellow. Plus, a highly saturated green rough from which we finished a record-breaking "the дargest graded by GIA" fancy deep green.

With your company cutting and polishing the stones as well as manufacturing your jewelry yourself, what is your signature style? Can a jewelry connoisseur recognize a 'Scarselli piece' from its unique characteristics? Pl mention a few of your jewelry collections; and which among them is the 'Star', and why?

We tend to be very classic in our rings designing, but there where we set ourselves apart is in the necklace and earrings. We developed a set of all pear-shaped diamonds (all GIA certified) ranging from 1 to 15 carats and pear-shaped Columbian green emeralds (all certified); also, an even more deliverable and unique suite of all (GIA certified) containing fancy blue diamonds, all in round brilliant and match pairs, ranging from 0.20 to over 1.00 carat, which is "the Garden of Eden".

Which is Scarselli's biggest market, and why? I understand Asia is an important market for your jewelry. How does your design sensibilities compare with the jewelry taste of Asians? Do you also customize for your exclusive client/s?

Actually, Asia is important as far as our loose diamonds, while the USA is a better market for our jewelry. We definitively offer an atelier service for those most discriminating clients.

What is your client profile? Your focus would naturally be on High Net Worth Individual (HNWI). How do you go about marketing your products? Your marketing strategies? Please explain.

There is no magic, word of mouth good service and value. Our jewelry is consigned while the diamond sales are achieved via trade shows.

I presume all your jewelry pieces are one of a kind. Do your clients perceive your rare diamonds and jewelry collections as an investment vehicle or as pieces of art, to be cherished and enjoyed?

There is most likely a balance between the two principals (art, collectible), our view on the subject is to be simple and straightforward. If commissioned to create a one-of-a-kind jewel it is always in relation to a large 5 carat plus intense "pink" or "blue"; while in yellow the size presides the saturation (color strength) so we work with 20 to 50-carat diamonds. My view on the subject is that any color diamond in size and good clarity regardless of its color is a great investment.

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Currently, what are in high demand... Whites or colored diamonds in jewelry? Is it the value appreciation coming into play here? Heard your yellow diamond sold for a whopping amount, indicating the color is winning over whites as an investment. Your take.

We can say that there is a shift in the market as far as jewelry demand, moving away from big all white, to color diamonds as the major focus and colorless to its surrounding. There has been a major shifting in the action desired demand which pushed the white/colorless diamond away from the center stage, giving away to a greater interest in the color diamond arena. And, while we all know that color represents less than 1% of the diamond production it also offers greater appreciable future value.

The future of natural/mined diamonds seems to be at stake, with the lab-grown diamond sector promoting their produce as non-intrusive on the earth, pro-environmental etc., which may match the millennial way of thinking. Are lab-grown diamonds a threat to mined diamonds? Your views?

"Time will Tell"... I am sure you have heard this before. Sure, the lab-grown diamond looks good on a ring and it is getting more attention and maybe even growing in buying cost; but let's wait till someone needs to cash out, and no one will be around to buy it back. Generation upon generation cultivated its wealth and capital preservation by selling grandma's jewels back into the market and billions of profit were collected. I am absolutely positive that the next generation will need to run for their lives in order to collect 1/10th of their expenditure from the market.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor-in-Chief of Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished

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