Tag Archives: Heritage

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

Heritage – Now & Then

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.

 

Heritage - Werner Fritsch - general manager of Constantin Wild & Co.
Heritage – Werner Fritsch – general manager of Constantin Wild & Co.

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.

GJ: Apart from this change in the world of work, how has the status of gemstones changed in the luxury goods sector?   Continue reading Heritage – Now & Then

Heritage

Gernot Weber - Lapidary, Gemstone Cutter
Gernot Weber – Lapidary, Gemstone Cutter

If this great selection of extravagant gemstones is to continue to find its way into Constantin Wild’s treasure chamber, one man is indispensable: Gernot Weber. As a gemstone cutter he carries the heritage of the gemstone metropolis within him.

JOURNAL: Idar-Oberstein is regarded as the absolute gemstone metropolis. How did that come to be?

Gernot Weber: Agates were discovered here for the first time in the 15th century. The wild Idar stream, which flows right through the town, quickly gave rise to numerous cutting-shops, in which my forefathers were able to process the stones. Later, jasper and rock crystal were discovered too. When the domestic deposits began to decline at the beginning of the 19th century, the people of the Hunsrück set off out into the great wide world and discovered many other kinds of stone there. But the stones were always processed back at home.

Heritage - Constantin Wild - gemstone cutting workshop
Heritage – Constantin Wild – gemstone cutting workshop

JG: Idar-Oberstein is the only gemstone centre in the world where all kinds of gemstone are processed and traded in. Why does that work so well here? Continue reading Heritage