Last year, we were aiming high; this year, in return, we went underground.
The little town of Traben-Trarbach straddles the river Mosel. Before the outbreak of World War One, it had been the most important trading center for wine – even more significant than Bordeaux. The traces are still visible in the fact that half the town has been hollowed out underneath giving space to huge wine vaults; one of which is the so-called „Vinopolis“. It may be used for a variety of events, among other things, for our own Christmas party! … Continue reading Season’s Greetings from underneath!→
Diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. In the world of gemstones, the famous Big Four tend to be regarded as the measure of all things. So the prices at which they change hands on the market today are correspondingly high. But investors should be prepared to look a little further: for the fact is that Mother Nature has a lot more to offer. These four treasures, for example …
Neon-blue power: Paraiba tourmaline
An unbelievable number of facets. Radiant blue-green. The Paraiba tourmaline looks as if it is moving, as if it has come alive. And that is why it is among the world’s most valuable gemstones. The stone has the element copper to thank for its incomparable luminosity. It was not until 1987 that it appeared: first in Brazil, then later in Nigeria and Mozambique. Exactly the same kind of stone on two different continents? Millions of years ago, they were still one: the super-continent of Gondwana. In the mean time, these neon-coloured tourmalines are fetching absolutely top prices.
Highlight in orange: mandarin garnet
The mandarin garnet has only been known in the gemstone trade for 20 years, yet it is already a much celebrated star today. Its name speaks volumes. Gemstone lovers can draw attention to themselves with this fruity-coloured stone. Having said that, high-quality top-class stones of more than three carats are extremely rare. Both the demand and the price have increased markedly in recent years. That is why the mandarin garnet too is predestined for sparkling investments.
Yellow-green rarity: canary tourmaline
Back in ancient China, yellow was regarded as the colour of the emperor, as a symbol of kudos and progress. But one kind of yellow is not necessarily the same as another. A high manganese content gives the canary tourmaline – unlike other yellow tourmalines – its lemon-yellow hue and vivacious lustre. It was not until about 15 years ago that this wonderful stone was discovered in the East African country of Zambia. However, that spectacular find only produced a very limited number of stones. The canary tourmaline is a top-class stone. Specimens of more than one carat are extremely hard to find.
The green tsar: demantoid
In translation, demantoid means ‘diamond-like’. No wonder, for this rare gemstone has a refraction and dispersion that are similar to those of “a girl’s best friend”. Around 1900, the famous Peter Carl Fabergé created magnificent items of jewellery with this sparkling green treasure, which had been discovered in his Russian homeland. True connoisseurs also hold the famous ‘horsetails’ in high esteem; inclusions which are only found in Russian specimens and thus contribute to their being regarded as particularly valuable on the market.
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.
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!
An eventful year is now coming to an end and Christmas is just round the corner. So my worthy customers and business partners can look forward to receiving a high-carat postal surprise: in the limited-edition gem calendar, a different sparkling highlight from my treasure chamber is presented each month!
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→
From Edinburgh to Malaga, Paris to Moscow … Constantin Wild has probably already been there on his motorbike. Sometimes he even tracks down gemstones on his discovery tours, as he did a few years ago in Russia …
“On a motorbike, you get to know the world in a much more direct, unfiltered way than you would by car, for example,” says Constantin Wild. “You’re right up close all the time: close to the road, close to Nature, close to the people.” It’s that ‘playing with physical forces’ that has appealed to him about motorcycling for a long time: “Playing with centrifugal forces, gravitational pull, speed. And obviously there’s a bit of recklessness in there somewhere too,” admits Wild with a smile. … Continue reading The play of physical forces→
Heritage – Very few people are as familiar with the market as Werner Fritsch: with more than 45 years of experience, the general manager of W. Constantin Wild & Co. looks back on the changes in the world of gemstones. In this interview, he explains what it is that has actually changed.
GEM JOURNAL:Herr Fritsch, just recently you celebrated your 45-year jubilee at W. Constantin Wild & Co. What do you think is the most significant difference between your work now and your work as it was when you first started?
Werner Fritsch: The technological developments, definitely. When I started here we were still communicating by telegram. Today, the contact we have with our customers and business partners is unimaginable without e-mail, smart phones etc. But a lot has also happened in terms of the way gemstones are processed. Back then, everything was done by hand in the cutting-shop. Today, my colleagues programme state-of-the-art CNC machines to put the finishing touches to some of our products. Having said that, with some very special stones nothing can possibly beat traditional craftsmanship.
INTERGEM, International Gem Fair, Hall 1, Stand 101Exhibitors from Germany and abroad come to the trade fair to present the finest gemstones and gemstone jewellery. In a pleasant, relaxed atmosphere jewellers, goldsmiths, designers and jewellery manufacturers can browse a unique selection of gemstones, diamonds and pearls, fine engravings, objets d’art and jewellery incorporating coloured stones and diamonds. The latest products of gemstone mines from around the world are presented here in both traditional and contemporary settings. The range is rounded off with a rich array of accessories, equipment and services for the gemstone business. For Constantin Wild, this event is a homefixture: Find him in Hall 1, Stand 101.