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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.

Constantin Wild meets Katerina Perez

Insider Katerina Perez is a specialist with professional knowledge and insight as regards the jewellery industry. On her website, she reports on the most recent trends in the gemstone and jewellery trade. When I met her a few weeks ago in Basel, we found a number of things to talk about right away. But one thing that always remained in focus was the fascinating world of gemstones. As for the interview, in which I talk about my family, the love I have for my profession and my ongoing quest for treasures on behalf of my customers, you can read it here at katerinaperez.com

Sparkling greetings,
Constantin Wild

Katerina Perez @constantinwild.gems
Katerina Perez @constantinwild.gems

Come visit Constantin Wild at INTERGEM in Idar-Oberstein 30. Sept. – 03. Oct. Hall 1 Stand 101 

 

Auf der Spur der Steine in Idar-Oberstein

TV-Reportage „Auf der Spur der Steine“: Constantin Wild zeigt sein Idar-Oberstein.

Am 09. März 2017 um 20.15 Uhr im SWR Fernsehen oder gleich jetzt in der ARD Mediathek (stream) 

SWR-Reporter Jens Hübschen entführt Sie in die farbige Edelsteinwelt von Idar-Oberstein, im felsigen Naheland. Was das mit Überraschungseiern und Mandeln zu tun hat, erfahren Sie in der Dokumentation.

Ich sage es ja schon immer: Idar-Oberstein ist eine der schönsten Orte in Deutschland. Dies gilt besonders für Edelsteinfans. Schließlich ist meine Heimat die Wiege der Edelsteinindustrie. Auf eine spannende Spurensuche begab sich kürzlich auch ein Team des deutschen Fernsehsenders SWR. Die Faszination begann vor Jahrhunderten und hält an. Damals wurden die ersten Achate in Felsen aus Vulkangestein gefunden. Rasch siedelten sich die besten Edelsteinschleifer und Goldschmiede an. Und auch heute noch begeistert der Mythos der Edelsteine. Doch wie ist das möglich? In der Dokumentation öffne ich die Türen meiner Schatzkammer und plaudere ein wenig über meine faszinierende Welt der Edelsteine – und mein geliebtes Idar-Oberstein.

Einschalten lohnt sich. Am 9. März um 20.15 Uhr auf SWR oder schauen Sie auf ihrem Computer oder Tablet-PC als stream in der Mediathek


TV documentary “Retracing the history of the stones”: Constantin Wild shows his Idar-Oberstein.

9 March 2018 at 20.15 on SWR Television and for the next few month at the ARD Mediathek (stream) 

SWR-Reporter Jens Hübschen carries you away to the colourful gemstone world of Idar-Oberstein in the rocky Nahe region. In the documentary you will also find out what role an „egg surprise“ and almonds play in it all.

I have said it time and time again: Idar-Oberstein is one of the most beautiful places in Germany. And gemstone fans are particularly likely to agree with that. After all, my home town was the cradle of the gemstone industry. A team from the German TV station SWR recently set out to retrace the exciting history. For what began centuries ago is more fascinating than ever: In those days the first agates were found in volcanic rock. After a short time the very best gemstone cutters and goldsmiths settled. And today we are still thrilled by the myth of the gemstones. But how is that even possible? In the documentary, I open the doors of my treasure chamber and chat a little about my fascinating world of gemstones – and my beloved Idar-Oberstein.

Tune in on 9 March 2018 at 8.15 pm on SWR or stream it to your Computer or Tablet. Continue reading Auf der Spur der Steine in Idar-Oberstein

FOLLOW ME ON Instagram & Facebook!

Gemstone lovers really get good value with my accounts. Look forward to glittering colours and unusual stones, things worth knowing and inside stories from the business I work in. I appreciate all your likes, shares and comments :)

See you on line @ www.facebook.com/constantinwild.gems or @ www.instagram.com/constantinwild.gems and dip into my fascinating world of gemstones!

Here you can learn everything worth knowing about my most colourful, noblest and rarest treasures. And you can get to know me better too: I’ll be reporting live from my exhibition stands, on special events and precious moments. And I’ll be very pleased to receive your likes and comments!

Why not just drop in? I’d be delighted!

Sparkling greetings
Constantin Wild

Let me be surrounded by luxury …

I can do without the necessities!” *

Dear gemstone lovers,

it’s worth having a look behind the scenes in the world of luxury. One thing’s for sure: it has many facets. A few weeks ago Professor Ho, who lectures in ‘luxury studies’ at a Chinese university, journeyed to my home town of Idar-Oberstein, bringing a high-carat delegation with her, to learn everything there is to learn about gemstones.

Professor Ho with delegation from China
Professor Ho with delegation from China

Raw stones, cutting-shop, perfectly cut end product: my company headquarters is the perfect place to take a look behind the scenes in the world of luxury – and that includes the exquisite buffet! The group was particularly taken with the Gem Room, in which I present exclusive customers with a fine selection of particularly rare and valuable gemstones.

On a brief excursion to the historic Weiherschleife I showed the group the origins of the gemstone industry. From the 15th century right on into the 20th, gemstones were processed on big sandstone grinding wheels – using only the force of the water from our very own Idar stream.

A visit to the marketplace in Oberstein, where there are regional delicacies of all kinds, put the finish on our perfect day.

A truly wonderful day. I look forward to a luxurious wiedersehen!

Sparkling greetings
Constantin Wild

* Oscar Wilde

 

(Re)Visit from Great Britain

Dear gemstone lovers,

I’ve said it often enough: Idar-Oberstein is thought by some to be unspectacular, but anyone who has taken it into his heart is very unlikely ever to let go of it again.

Is it the picturesque landscapes, the delicious wines, or the fact that the most sparkling gemstones worldwide are to be found here? Probably a mixture of all those things. Idar-Oberstein is worth more than just one visit. … Continue reading (Re)Visit from Great Britain

Exciting days …

Dear gemstone lovers,

days at trade fairs are exciting days, and they are often full of surprises! In June, at the Jewellery & Gem Fair, I had a chance to experience that once again. I wonder if you can guess what it was that made my appearance in Hong Kong so special this time. Apart from the many interesting discussions, it was fascinating to see how little time it took for word of the extraordinary beauty of the coloured gemstones I’d taken with me in my treasure chest to get around: ‘word-of-mouth recommendation’ is certainly the most fitting expression to describe the considerable crush round my stand in the Grand Hall!

Hong Kong - Gem Show - Grand Hall
Hong Kong – Gem Show – Grand Hall

Continue reading Exciting days …

GIA Feature: My treasures in front of the camera

Dear gemstone lovers,

at the most recent trade fair in Tucson I was visited by a film team from the GIA, the Gemological Institute of America.

GIA - meets - Constantin-Wild in Tucson 2015
GIA meets Constantin-Wild in Tucson 2015

http://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology/spring-2015-gemnews-high-end-colored-gems

They were particularly thrilled about a set of 12 sparkling and colourful stones from many different parts of the world. Each carefully selected stone in the set weighed 25 carats, so that altogether they tipped the scales at 290 carats. Aquamarine, rubellite, yellow beryl, green tourmaline, imperial topaz, peridot, tanzanite, peridot or kunzite – this set takes true gemstone lovers’ breath away! Continue reading GIA Feature: My treasures in front of the camera

Springtime – Baselworld highlights 2015

Dear gemstone lovers,

harmony, contentedness, eternity. Many people associate the colour blue with these concepts. In my treasure chamber there are some exclusive highlights which are every bit as beautiful as a bright summer sky!

A shine like no other: blue zircon

Constantin Wild - Zircon - cushion - 38ct -ONLINE-rgb-725px

There is hardly a stone with such a high refraction as zircon. And this comes out particularly well when the stone is blue. With its diamantine shine and its unbelievable optical depth, the blue zircon is an absolute highlight in my current collection ‘more than just rare’. The stone originates from Cambodia, weighs 38 carats and measures 18 by 15 millimetres, and sparkles in a star and step cut.  A genuine cushion-shaped heavyweight! A stone of this size and quality is very rare – and predestined to be a collector’s item for that reason.  Continue reading Springtime – Baselworld highlights 2015

Springtime highlights in my luggage

Canary, Paraiba and imperial topaz: exclusive gemstones for the first sunbeams of the year.

This year too, the Hong Kong International Diamond & Gem Show and BASELWORLD will attract numerous gemstone connoisseurs from all over the world. I will be presenting to my customers three particularly rare stones from my premium line ‘More than just rare’. And what is more, they fit in really well with the coming season from the fashion point of view! 

Constantin Wild - Tourmaline - Canary Tourmaline - 26ct- oval- ONLINE-rgb-725px

Canary tourmaline – neon-yellow rarity

The canary tourmaline captivates gemstone lovers with its incredible luminosity. Yet this wonderful stone was not discovered until some 15 years ago in Zambia, East Africa. Continue reading Springtime highlights in my luggage