Lukfook’s income increases on improved market sentiment

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Today

A 24.31 carat diamond ring sold for £1,86 mn at Bonhams December sale

A magnificent step-cut diamond, weighing 24.31 carats, D colour, Internally Flawless and Type IIa, sold for £1,868,750 (US$2,387,105) ($98,194 per carat) at Bonhams London December Jewellery sale.

Today

Consumer interest in lab-grown diamonds grows – report

The synthetic dimond industry, which currently accounts for the production of 2 mn carats of gem-quality lab-grown diamonds, might substitute the sector of small natural diamonds as consumer interest in synthetics keeps growing, according to Bain & Company...

Yesterday

Lucapa’s Lulo diamonds set for inaugural international tender

Lucapa Diamond said diamonds from the Lulo mine in Angola, which it owns in partnership with Endiama and Rosas & Petalas, will feature in an historic inaugural international tender under the country’s new diamond marketing laws approved by president...

Yesterday

Petra Diamonds disposes of stake in Helam Mining

Petra Diamonds has sold its stake in Helam Mining to Lindleys Mining for a nominal consideration of R200 ($14.20) with immediate effect to support the South African government’s intention to prolong the lives of mines facing closure.

Yesterday

Style always reflects culture

26 november 2018

reena_ahluwalia_123.pngReena Ahluwalia is a multifaceted artist …an award-winning jewelry designer, diamond painter, professor, speaker and a community builder and more. Recognized as one of the Top Masters of Jewelry Design and art in Canada, she has been creating jewelry with deep meaning and symbolism.

Reena Ahluwalia's signature style is all about precision, geometry, fluidity and movement. She is one of the handful of living jewelry artists whose work is featured on a nation's (Belgium) postage stamp.

As a tribute to the British Royal Wedding, Reena Ahluwalia created a Diamond Tiara for HRH Kate Middleton with Royal Asscher Diamond Company.

She also designed a historic diamond piece for the Legislature of Ontario (Canada) with De Beers Canada. She created the inaugural collection for Rio Tinto Bunder Mine, where diamonds were found 100 years after the fabled Indian Golconda Mines depleted.

Coveted internationally by art collectors, Reena Ahluwalia paints highly nuanced, hyper-realistic diamonds with ultra-magnified facets. Her paintings are in the collection of distinguished collectors worldwide, including, showcased at the DIVA Diamond Museum in Antwerp. Her artwork gives back to many organizations, including 'Jewelers For Children' (JFC) charity, to help children who are victims of catastrophic illness. Please check her website for more.

Reena Ahluwalia is a member of the George Brown College (Toronto) Jewellery Program Advisory Committee. Reena is a Fellow of Institute without Boundaries (IwB). Each year Reena supports students by providing scholarship and mentor upcoming talent.

In an Interview with Rough&Polished, Reena Ahluwalia takes us through her ‘journey’ so far…

Some excerpts…

The global G&J industry knows you are a celebrated jewellery designer/ painter/professor… the works! So, I won’t go into details of that aspect of your life. However, for the benefit of the uninitiated, can you tell us briefly about a few of your ‘achievements’ that have left a mark on your psyche… something that surprised you yourself?

Thank you! I am honored that my work has made historic imprints. I am happy to share a few here. One of my diamond jewels is on a special-edition Belgian postage stamp, making it a handful few from a living artist in the world of diamonds and jewelry. The Legislature of Ontario (Canada) can only commence each day with the entrance of the historic Mace of Ontario in the parliament. The diamond setting in this Mace is designed by me from the first Ontario diamonds from De Beers' Victor Mine. I designed a royal diamond tiara as a tribute to the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. I am honored to have created a historic, inaugural jewelry collection, that was commissioned by Rio Tinto from Bunder Mine. The Bunder diamonds were found 100 years after the fabled Indian Golconda Mines depleted. My diamond paintings are in the 'DIVA. Antwerp Home of Diamonds' museum.

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You have always been popular as a diamond jewellery designer partnering with Coronet, Royal Asscher etc. But, on principle, what’s your take on lab-grown diamonds per se? As a designer, do you differentiate between natural and lab-grown diamonds? If yes, how and why?

I love diamonds! Diamonds have been my material of choice since I started designing jewelry. For me, they are truly poetic, majestic and symbolic. Diamonds are geological masterpieces, forged by nature, billions of years ago. Within our planet's history, diamonds are earth’s oldest preserved minerals and have captured the human imagination, unlike any other mineral. On the other hand, celebrating human ingenuity, lab-grown diamonds take inspiration from mother-nature to grow the most precious of its creations. Today, you have a choice to buy based on the merits that appeal to you without diminishing the value of any of these two kinds of diamonds - natural or lab-grown diamonds. You choose what fits your values and preferences. It's your call.

Besides being an ace designer, you have dabbled in the business as well. I recall ‘Nurture by Reena’ that you launched with lab-grown diamonds sometime in 2014. How’s it faring now? Have you launched other collections as well?

Yes, I was the first designer in the world to launch a designer lab-grown diamond line, 'Nurture By Reena' in 2014. A tremendously innovative line, it was way ahead of the market maturity at that point, so I ended the line in 2015. Since that point, I have launched quite a few natural diamond collections that are on top of trend and innovation. My 'Coronet By Reena' and 'Alyssum By Reena' are two such line, in partnership with Hong Kong’s top brand Coronet® of Aaron Shum Jewelry Ltd. 'Coronet By Reena' is a spinning diamonds collections. It's all about self-expression, deep emotional connection to our personal values and a reminder to stay connected to what’s most valuable to us.

What're your views on the current global jewellery sector? Demand-wise, currently what sells in major consuming markets… white or coloured diamonds in jewellery? Is it value appreciation that’s giving an edge for Color diamonds to win over whites as an investment vehicle? Your take.

Percentage and demand-wise, white diamond jewelry sell more than colored diamond jewelry. It's a matter of availability and rarity. As far as colored diamonds go, rarity, color, size and provenance are important factors, making them investment favorites. But they represent a very tiny percentage in the overall global diamond supply. Let's also not forget that white diamonds of exceptional size, rarity, and provenance still and will continue to succeed and keep their value.

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Demand-wise what changes have you noticed in terms of style, design, gold, diamond and coloured stone content jewellery? Do we look forward to new Collections from you in the near future?

Color is very big, especially rainbow and multi-color jewels. My 'Soul Carousel' collection is a perfect example of that explosion in color! Jewelry spin in a hyper-energized rainbow palette, while a ‘pointer’ shaped element points to the true center of our being and reminds us to live our life to its fullest and in all colors.

Style always reflects culture. Our present culture reveals our need for self-expression and individuality, our digital identity, shedding excess in the world full of information overload, making deep emotional connections, making an impact through our actions. As a result, we are seeing light-weight minimal, modern and geometric shapes with classically-styled undertones. Forms have a free flow, pieces are dainty, airy and light. We will see diamonds or gemstones used as accents, giving the diamond pieces a soft shimmer. After the hit wave of tapper/ baguette stones, other fancy cuts like marquise shape may take the lead. Black or brown diamond will re-enter the scene. Opaque stone, like Lapis Lazuli, Opals, Malachite and even Marble will take the lead after it. Meaningfulness in design, story and form - is one of the more significant statements that has emerged, it will continue to evolve and grow. Generic pieces that look just like trillion other pieces will not cut it anymore. Today, the winning jewelry is the one that has a deep emotional connection to our aspirations and identity, and let us wear our story and message on ourselves, literally.

Keeping on the theme of meaningfulness, look out for my new additions to the "Coronet By Reena' and 'Alyssum By Reena' jewelry collections!

While jewellery in yellow gold in different hues is still popular in most Asian countries, white gold/platinum/ silver seems to be in high demand in other consuming markets. Will ‘silver be the new gold’ world-over going forward? Your thoughts?

There is no definitive boundary between gold and silver any more. Mixed materials or use of silver in fine jewelry is very acceptable and the line has been blurred a long time back. I believe with an advance in technology, Silver with refined craftsmanship that competes with gold will continue to assert its presence. A mix of gold and silver makes for an affordable jewelry piece and fits most people’s lifestyles and budgets.

What was your recent event in Singapore about? Can you throw some light on that? Do you intend to do similar initiatives in other countries as well?

I had a very successful Diamond Paintings exhibition in Singapore recently. As some of you may know, I am also a painter specializing in diamonds and gemstones. For me, diamonds are not specimens; they have a soul and story. That’s what makes a diamond, a diamond! And that's why I paint diamonds - to celebrate each one of us because we all are like diamonds - brilliant, radiant, luminous, full of potential and much more. Purpose of my diamond paintings is to tell positive, uplifting and empowering stories that connect to all of us and our aspirations.

I paint from my heart and soul. The paintings take a long time to create, somewhere between 200-700 hours for each. For that reason, I have a select few exhibitions in a year and hope to continue sharing my artwork internationally with my collectors and lovers of gems, jewelry and art. 

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Wrapping up, do you think the demand for diamonds is losing out against all other high-end luxury goods/experiences like luxury vacations etc.? What steps do you think should be taken by the industry to keep the aspirational quality of diamonds permanent?

We are at a point in human history where the world of diamonds and jewelry is facing many challenges. It needs to tie into, reflect and respond to today's changing world, of - technology, biotechnology, automation, artificial intelligence, climate change, shared economy, etc. - how does it still stay relevant, is an important question. I think we need to garner a high level of participation and interest in the metaphoric qualities of diamonds, for example; qualities that make a diamond, a diamond. Support people and communities to be co-creators and collaborators in re-examining the role of diamonds in today’s cultural context. With that learning can we shape the diamond conversations of tomorrow? I believe today we need an outside-in thinking. By curating end-user collective intelligence across different disciplines and mediums, we may generate conversations around diamonds to make people gain a new vision of how we want to tell diamond stories of the future. This will help engage people in new and divergent ways. I believe those that evolve with the real shift of values in today's world will thrive.

Evolution, then, is what our diamond industry needs.

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