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All about gemstones

Constantin Wild – Proud to be at Baselworld 2019

The Baselworld 2019 this coming Spring is a fixed date in Constantin Wild´s Trade Fair calendar. The well-known dealer in gemstones has been part of this major trade show for jewellery and watches for the last 30 years. Then traditionally, watches, jewellery and gems belong together. In the forseeable future, gemstones will play an even greater role in Basel. Over the years, Baselworld has established itself as a meeting point for the international jewellery scene and has developed from a pure ordering event to an event platform. Gemstones are currently more in demand than ever before. „I am pleased to say, that the immense importance hereof is mirrored in the trade fair communications“, states Constantin Wild, who manages the company bearing his name in the 10th generation.

World Trade Fair for watches, jewellery and gemstones:  Constantin Wild in a dialogue at the Baselworld Trade Fair
World Trade Fair for watches, jewellery and gemstones: Constantin Wild in a dialogue at the Baselworld Trade Fair

No jewellery without a gem
When expensive watches and designer jewellery meet, the basic ingredient obviously has to be there too: top-quality gemstones. The best known brands, the most renowned buyers and the most influential media will be coming together. Sales are traditionally excellent in the environment of the big brands. „We appreciate the new concept with its stronger focus on innovation and digital communication“, Wild emphasises.

Splendid and increasingly rare: the Imperial Topaz from Brazil
Splendid and increasingly rare: the Imperial Topaz from Brazil

Sapphires in unusual colours
Next March, on Constantin Wilds` exhibition stand, emphasis will be on unusual colours. Spotlight will be on Sapphires and Imperial Topaz, which will radiate unusual nuances between purple and orange. In the exhibition hall 3.1, Stand A14 visitors will be greeted with a flamboyant spectacle of handpicked rarities.

Purple Sapphire and Paraiba Tourmaline in neon blue
Purple Sapphire and Paraiba Tourmaline in neon blue

Here you can visit Baselworld on the web.

 

Constantin Wild: Imperial Topaz, the ‘Emperor’ from Brazil

“When I was a child, I asked my father what his favourite gemstone was. He answered without hesitation: ‘imperial topaz’. I first visited Brazil at 22 years old and saw the gem with my own eyes, and that’s when I understood why my father was so enchanted by it. I have been collecting imperial topaz ever since,” says Constantin Wild.

Various cuts and tones of the highest quality Imperial topaz at Constantin Wild - Photo © Simon Martner
Various cuts and tones of the highest quality Imperial topaz at Constantin Wild – Photo © Simon Martner

At the mention of topaz, most people think of a cheap dark blue stone that occurs in mass-produced jewellery. Very few people think of the unbelievably valuable collector’s variety of this stone, not to mention the exceptional beauty of the imperial topaz. When Constantin first bought several specimens from Brazil in the 1980s, this stunning mineral was only known to a small circle of people.

“For a long time, the noble topaz was only for connoisseurs. In recent years, this valued gem has enjoyed a renaissance, the most beautiful variety of which, the Brazilian imperial topaz, has become extremely rare,” explains Constantin, one of the most well-respected precious stone dealers and gem cutters in the world.

The variety of colours in Imperial Topaz: from a soft pink to a vivid hot pink, from golden-yellow to orange and red at Constantin Wild - Photo © Simon Martner
The variety of colours in Imperial Topaz: from a soft pink to a vivid hot pink, from golden-yellow to orange and red at Constantin Wild – Photo © Simon Martner

Just as I had once supposed, Constantin Wild had also thought that he could buy the best aquamarines, emeralds and tourmalines directly from mine owners whenever he wished, but quickly understood that the salesmen are able to choose their clients when it comes to rare stones. Thus, his amazing Imperial topaz collection of more than a dozen rare pieces is not accessible to everyone.

Constantin Wild and Katerina Perez at Baselworld with a handful of Imperial topaz (bottom right, Constantin’s book: The Value of Colours) - Photo © Simon Martner
Constantin Wild and Katerina Perez at Baselworld with a handful of Imperial topaz (bottom right, Constantin’s book: The Value of Colours) – Photo © Simon Martner

Constantin introduced me to his collection and began to show me the stones one by one. One was pear cut with a deep pink colour and weighed over 30 carats, another was more orange cushion cut gem and weighed over 34 carats, and the third was more modest at 15 carats. Another glorious peach coloured topaz was oval cut, but the one I found most striking was the bicolour imperial topaz weighing 20 carats that delicately oscillated between pink and golden orange hues.

Pastel pink, pink and hot pink topazes with their unheated counterparts in golden, golden-pink and reddish orange Imperial topaz at Constantin Wild - Photo © Simon Martner
Pastel pink, pink and hot pink topazes with their unheated counterparts in golden, golden-pink and reddish orange Imperial topaz at Constantin Wild – Photo © Simon Martner

As it turns out, the price of imperial topaz from Brazil can vary several hundred-fold, and therefore the price tag of any one stone is primarily dependant on very specific colour disparities: the deeper and more vivid it is, the higher the value. “As an example, the lightest varieties cost $450 – $800 per carat, while the ones that boast the deepest colour could go up to $15,000 – $25,000 per carat! Out of the whole orange, peach, pink palette, imperial topaz with both pink and gold hues is considered the most valuable.”

Deep pink imperial topaz in a pear shape at Constantin Wild - Photo © Simon Martner
Deep pink imperial topaz in a pear shape at Constantin Wild – Photo © Simon Martner

After hearing these words, I wondered whether it was possible to heat a light-coloured stone to get a deeper more valuable colour, as in the case of sapphires. It seems this trick doesn’t work; “unlike colourless topaz, the colour of the imperial variety cannot be drastically altered by heat or irradiation. You can’t make a stone’s colour more intense by heating an Imperial topaz, but you can change the hue. For example, the orangey pink varieties will turn pink, but many specimens will not change at all,” replies Constantin. Now I understand why a deep orange stone is very close in price to an intensely pink one: to get the valuable pink hue, a deep orange topaz (not a pale orange one) has to be heated to roughly 300 degrees.

The quality scale of Imperial topaz: from yellow, golden, pinkish-orange, orange-red, to pinkish-red at Constantin Wild - Photo © Simon Martner
The quality scale of Imperial topaz: from yellow, golden, pinkish-orange, orange-red, to pinkish-red at Constantin Wild – Photo © Simon Martner

Finally, Constantin Wild showed me something utterly exceptional: a family jewel. “I want to show you this stone that once belonged to Marie Antoinette – the daughter of the Austrian empress Maria Theresa – a pink topaz from 1700. My father discovered this ring at an auction in Paris in the 1950s and purchased it to later re-cut it in the 1960s as a gift to my mother,” explains the cutter.

Marie Antoinette - Ring
Marie Antoinette – Ring
This intensely pink oval cut topaz weighs over 18 carats, and the combination of its sentimental value and provenance meant that this historic gemstone was the icing on the cake of my delightful and elucidating visit to Mr. Wild and his Imperial topaz collection.

‘Wealth of stones’ in the Hunsrück – TV channel SR at Constantin Wild’s gemstone mine

“In this world we don’t possess anything for all eternity. All the wealth we have is only on loan”. That’s what Constantin Wild believes. As part of the theme day on ‘wealth’, the gemstone merchant takes the TV channel Saarländischer Rundfunk to his gemstone mine in Nunkirchen and talks about the ‘wealth of stones’ the Hunsrück boasted until the 1970s.

The programme shows why the exciting part of a raw stone is hidden away on its inside, how the best is brought out of gemstones in the cutting shop, and why Constantin Wild has the most beautiful profession in the world. When you see those delightful landscapes you quickly realise that wealth is a fitting description for the Hunsrück National Park too. For natural diversity is particularly pronounced in the extensive woodlands around Nunkirchen. And the aesthetic beauty of a rare gemstone reflects that in a fascinating and original form.

The programme can be viewed in the SR media library as part of the programme ‘Wir im Saarland’ from 3 May 2018: Those who are especially keen to accompany Constantin Wild on the way to his gemstone mine should start in right away at minute 7:00.

SR TV at Constantin Wild's workshop in Idar-Oberstein
SR TV at Constantin Wild’s workshop in Idar-Oberstein

„Stein-Reichtum“ im Hunsrück – das SR Fernsehen in der Edelsteinmine von Constantin Wild

„Nichts besitzen wir auf dieser Welt für immer. Alle Reichtümer sind nur geliehen“, so das Credo von Constantin Wild. Zum Thementag „Reichtum“ führt der Edelsteinhändler den Fernsehsender des Saarländischen Rundfunks in seine Edelsteinmine nach Nunkirchen und spricht über den „Stein-Reichtum“ des Hunsrücks bis in die siebziger Jahre.

Der Beitrag zeigt, warum das Spannende eines Rohsteins im Verborgenen liegt, wie Edelsteine in der Schleiferei zur Geltung gebracht werden und warum Constantin Wild den schönsten Beruf der Welt hat. Bei den reizvollen Landschaftsbildern wird schnell klar: Reichtum ist auch eine treffende Beschreibung des Nationalparks Hunsrück. Denn die natürliche Vielfalt ist in den ausgedehnten Waldgebieten rund um Nunkirchen besonders ausgeprägt. Und die ästhetische Schönheit eines seltenen Edelsteins spiegelt dies in einer faszinierenden und ursprünglichen Form.

Zu sehen ist der Beitrag in der Mediathek des SR in der Sendung „Wir im Saarland“ vom 03.05.2018: Besonders Neugierige starten gleich bei Minute 7:00, um Constantin Wild auf dem Weg zu seiner Edelsteinmine zu begleiten.

StrongRoom-CW

Constantin Wild in SWR series ‘Spuren im Stein – Der Hunsrück’ on 15 April

For thousands of years, the Hunsrück have been home to hidden mineral resources. These include precious metals such as copper and iron – and coloured gemstones too. A programme in the SWR series  Spuren im Stein – Der Hunsrück (‘Traces in the Stone’) revealed the geological peculiarities of the Rhenish Slate Mountains. On the premises of Constantin Wild, SWR has taken a very close look, examining in detail the process from the raw stone to the final cut. Watch the programme in the SWR-Mediathek portal.

Coloured gemstones waiting for the final touch @ Constantin Wild
Coloured gemstones waiting for the final touch @ Constantin Wild

 

Constantin Wild in SWR-Reihe „Spuren im Stein“ am 15. April

Seit Jahrtausenden ist der Hunsrück Heimat für verborgene Bodenschätze. Dazu gehören Edelmetalle wie Kupfer oder Eisen – und farbige Edelsteine. Die SWR-Reihe „Spuren im Stein – Der Hunsrück“ zeigt die geologischen Besonderheiten des rheinischen Schiefergebirges. In der Manufaktur von Constantin Wild hat der Sender genau hingeschaut und den Weg vom Rohstein bis zum Feinschliff unter die Lupe genommen. Zum Beitrag in der SWR-Mediathek.

ZDF Info visits Constantin Wild

At the beginning of March Constantin Wild opened up his treasure chamber to two editresses from the on-line channel ZDF Info. During this look behind the scenes, the focus was on master cutter Gernot Weber. What does it take to make a good gemstone cutter?
What steps does the finishing process entail? And what matters when it comes to the perfect cut? You’ll be able to experience these and other highlights featuring individual gemstones as from Saturday 31 March, 4:30 PM CET at facebook.com/ZDFinfo “Schätze der Erde” and twitter.com/ZDFinfo. During the shooting, we looked over Gernot Weber’s shoulder while he worked. You can view the ‘making of’ behind the programme here:ZDF Info zu Besuch bei Constantin Wild
Anfang März öffnete Constantin Wild seine Schatzkammer für zwei Redakteurinnen des Onlinesenders ZDF Info. Beim Blick hinter die Kulissen stand Schleifermeister Gernot Weber im Fokus: Was macht einen guten Edelsteinschleifer aus? Welche Schritte gibt es im Veredelungsprozess? Und worauf kommt es beim perfekten Schliff an? Diese und weitere Highlights über einzelne Edelsteine erfahren Sie ab Samstag, 31. März, 16.30 Uhr unter facebook.com/ZDFinfo “Schätze der Erde” und twitter.com/ZDFinfo. Wir haben bei den Dreharbeiten über die Schulter geschaut. Das „Making of“ zum Beitrag sehen Sie oben.

 

Gemstone collection from Indian Ocean sets off on second world tour

Wilhelm Constantin Wild
Wilhelm Constantin Wild (1866 – 1956)

The return of the gemstone collection of my grandfather Wilhelm Constantin Wild to Idar-Oberstein last year was an occurrence I found especially moving. Do you remember? In September a Pakistani fisherman found the leather coffer dating from the mid-20th century in a bag together with some other gemstones in the North Indian Ocean near Karachi. What moved me was not only his decision to send the collection back to Germany – but also the touching gesture he made in replacing the missing tiger’s eye with a pearl.

Gemstone box with Wilhelm Constantin Wild and the pearl replacing the missing tiger eye

Exclusive exhibit at international trade fairs 2018

The story of the honest finder attracted plenty of attention in the media. Having been on show in Idar-Oberstein for some months, the collection is now setting off again on a world tour: visitors to the international fairs in Tucson, Hong Kong, Basel and Idar-Oberstein will be able to admire the valuable specimen book on location. The exemplary collection shows the fascinating facets of coloured gemstones – from ruby, sapphire and emerald to agate, lapis lazuli and malachite.

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

22 to 27 March:
first time at the BASELWORLD in Basel, Switzerland, 22. – 27 March 2018, Hall 3.1 Booth A13.

Come and be enchanted by its unique history and other timeless gemstone classics.
My tip: make an appointment right away, so that you can take your time and enjoy an exclusive peek into my grandfather’s leather coffer

The honest finder: fisherman Abdullah with his children

27 February to 3 March:
first time at the Hong Kong, AsiaWorld-Expo, German Pavilion, Hall 11, Stand F17.

Come and be enchanted by its unique history and other timeless gemstone classics.
My tip: make an appointment right away, so that you can take your time and enjoy an exclusive peek into my grandfather’s leather coffer

Grandfathers gemstone collection with 29 gemstones found in Indian Ocean
Grandfathers gemstone collection with 29 gemstones found in Indian Ocean on world tour in Hong Kong 27 Feb. – 3 March 2018

30 January to 27 February:
first time at the GJX in Tucson, Arizona

I’m looking forward to presenting this much travelled gemstone collection personally in Tucson, together with my current collection.  (Group Pavilion, Stand #4000).

 

Christmas 2017 – Why you should give yourself a present too

Self-gifting is a trend that is becoming more and more popular, both in the United States and in Germany. But giving oneself a present – isn’t that a bit crazy? Not at all, say the motivation researchers. People who reward themselves with a gift are giving their soul a wellness break. Nothing motivates people more than recognition and esteem. But it’s also important to have a positive image of oneself and acknowledge one’s own achievements. So even if we Germans do usually find it rather difficult: give yourself a pat on the back. Regularly!

Constantin Wild - Fine Gemstones - Tsavorite garnet, Rubellite, Mandarin garnet, tanzanite, green tourmaline, Paraiba tourmaline
Look how clever self-gifting can be: exclusive gemstones bring moments of happiness and enduring values. (back: green Tsavorit, round
back left: red Rubellite, round
back right: orange Mandarin garnet, round
center left: blue Tanzanite, oval
center right: green Tourmaline, rectangle
front: turquoise Paraiba-Tourmaline, oval)

Continue reading Christmas 2017 – Why you should give yourself a present too

A purple sapphire brings out the shine

In memory of the American singer Prince, the Pantone Color Institute has developed the new colour ‘Love Symbol #2’. With this lush purple tone, the institute posthumously honours the artist who achieved one of his greatest hits with ‘Purple Rain’ in 1984. Since then, violet has been inseparably associated with the musician, glamourous and passionate as he was. “The color purple was synonymous with who Prince was and will always be”, said Troy Carter, entertainment adviser to Prince’ estate.

Constantin Wild - purple sapphire 'purple-rain' - cushion
Constantin Wild – purple sapphire ‘purple-rain’ – cushion cut

Fans of this unforgettable musician can now rejoice: the gemstone purple sapphire brings out the shine in this new Pantone hue in an impressive way. Having said that, anyone wishing to acquire one is going to have to dig fairly deep into his pocket, as this stone – just like the pop legend of whom it reminds us – is a genuine rarity.

Sapphires are regarded as exquisite gemstones with many colour variants from sky blue to deep dark blue. The purple sapphire is a particularly rare variety. Many people have never even heard of this stone. Each purple sapphire is unique and much coveted, not only among collectors.

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.