Gemstone collection from Indian Ocean back in Idar-Oberstein

Wilhelm Constantin Wild
Wilhelm Constantin Wild (1866 – 1956)

It’s like something out of a fairy tale: at the end of September a Pakistani fisherman pulled a collection of 29 gemstones, some 80 years old, out of the Indian Ocean. Thanks to the imprint of a company stamp he was able to identify Wilhelm Constantin Wild of Idar-Oberstein as the original owner. The fisherman decided that the gemstone collection, being part of family history, should make its way back to Germany. He also thought it would be a nice token of friendship between Muslims and Germans. Being an upright man, he waived his right to a finder’s reward. In a particularly touching gesture, he said he would like to fill the empty compartment with some pearls, making the family a present of them in lieu of the tiger’s eye which was now missing from the collection.

Antique Gemstone collection with the Foto of Wilhelm Constantin Wild. The fisherman replaced the missing Tiger's eye with a pearl as a token of friendship
Antique Gemstone collection with the Foto of Wilhelm Constantin Wild. The fisherman replaced the missing Tiger’s eye with a pearl as a token of friendship

“At first, it wasn’t at all clear how or when my grandfather’s collection would be able to find its way back to Idar-Oberstein”, says Constantin Wild. But with the aid of an international logistics company, the collection, which has a high sentimental value for him, soon set out on the journey home. This very week, the entrepreneur received the extraordinary package from Pakistan.

Gemstone collection with 29 gemstones found in Indian Ocean back home in Idar-Oberstein
Gemstone collection with 29 gemstones found in Indian Ocean back home in Idar-Oberstein

Once it has been examined to verify its genuineness, he will be handing the collection over on loan to the German Gemstone Museum. “Later, of course, the find will be given a place of honour in my treasure chamber”, says Constantin Wild.

Details still to be clarified

It will now be possible to examine exactly how old the collection is. Early assumptions suggest that it was probably put together between the First and Second World Wars, since Idar and Oberstein did not actually amalgamate until 1933. At any rate, the stamp with the impression ‘Idar-Oberstein’ originates from the time after the amalgamation. The high-quality workmanship which can be seen in the photos is a clue indicating that this was one of the earlier issues of this kind of collection, for in later years these were mass-produced cheaply, finding their way out into many parts of the world.

German gemstone museum - Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum Idar-Oberstein
German gemstone museum – Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum Idar-Oberstein

Exhibition at the German Gemstone Museum

Anyone wishing to inspect the gemstone collection him or herself will be able to admire it very soon indeed at the German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein. It will be on view there as ‘object of the month’ until the end of November.

The honest finder: fisherman Abdullah with his children
The honest finder: fisherman Abdullah with his children

It was clear to Constantin Wild that the warm-heartedness and sincerity of the finder ought to be rewarded. He intends to transfer a finder’s reward of 1000 dollars to the Pakistani fisherman as a down payment on a new fishing-boat, in the hope of improving the life of this honest man and his family.

Five exciting days with Pomellato

How can you put any kind of topping on an unconventional style when extravagance has been at the core of a brand for 50 years? This was the task facing Pomellato’s Creative Director Vincenco Castaldo when he began searching for an idea for the Pomellato Jubilee Collection. He found what he was looking for in the versatile world of coloured gemstones: with 50 really unusual stones, Pomellato will be celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the company this year, and with it, the beauty of Nature. As his partner in this lavish project, Vincenco Castaldo chose Constantin Wild of Idar-Oberstein, because in a unique way, we as a gemstone manufacturer full of tradition offer the whole spectrum of the fascination of gemstones, from the raw stone to final production, under a single roof.

Creative work in the basement of Constantin Wild
Creative work in the basement of Constantin Wild

Together, the Creative Director, his two assistants Marina De Ponti and Enrica Castelli and myself went down into my raw stone cellar in Idar-Oberstein and set off on an exciting journey of discovery. Kilo by kilo we turned over the raw stones with our hands, aiming to discover the hidden beauty of Nature and set it in the context of an exceptional design.

Joy of colour: Hardstones by Constantin Wild
Joy of colour: Hardstones by Constantin Wild

We were looking for gemstones that had a story to tell. That way, later on, an item of jewellery doesn’t just fulfil a decorative purpose; it‘s also convincing because of its own thoroughly personal statement. Alongside the correct mineralogical designations like zoisite, ruby, aquamarine and dendritic agate, imaginative names like “Secret Garden”, “Foggy Morning” and “White Cliffs of Dover” help to express the soul of each stone.

Joy of patterns: Hardstones by Constantin Wild
Joy of patterns: Hardstones by Constantin Wild

We also invested a good deal of effort in the selection of pavé stones designed for optimum correspondence with the colours of the principal stone. Since at Constantin Wild we can offer the combination of carrying both unusual coloured gemstones and pavé stones in our range, a combination which is very rare anywhere in the world, we were able to fulfil many of the jewellery designers’ wishes right there and then.

Choosing the right spot: Hardstones by Constantin Wild
Choosing the right spot: Hardstones by Constantin Wild

The Pomellato Ritratto Jubilee Collection is not a hark-back to the traditional, but a courageous step toward a forward-looking design. As an exclusive, the ‘making of’ was accompanied by Vogue and Le Figaro. We were glad to receive their editresses as guests at Constantin Wild.