Dear gemstone lovers, I have some high-class holidays behind me, in the truest sense of the word. Having said that, I’m not referring to my own holiday – though that too was very nice. No, I’m talking about the vacation of two American ladies, Marilyn Pape and Shelley Bennett. The two of them paid me a visit in Idar-Oberstein last month. So how did that come about? Well, Marilyn purchased one of the famous ‘fantasy gifts’ for her daughter Shelley from the luxury department store chain Neiman Marcus: a custom locket, set with sparkling gemstones – and a three-day journey to my place in Idar-Oberstein so that she could select the right stones for herself. Our sparkling gift gallery:
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.
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→
there are two things we often long for: sunshine, and the opportunity to relax. Fortunately, the colour trends for the forthcoming spring and summer season promise both at the same time!
Every year, the Pantone Color Institute publishes current colour trends, and the entire world of fashion allows itself to be guided by them. The theme for sun-drenched days next year is ‘en plein air’. Our everyday life, which seems to be becoming more and more dynamic, demands a good deal of us. So hues named ‘aquamarine’, ‘lucite green’ and ‘tangerine’ give us exactly the compensation we need.
It goes without saying that Mother Nature can easily keep pace when it comes to colour trends. A glance into my treasure chamber provides proof of that!
The colour ‘aquamarine’ marks the beginning of the Pantone range. Is there a gemstone lover who is not familiar with the stone of the same name?
gemstones are my profession. My passion. And, yes, they’re all magnificent. But among them there is one which has a really special appeal for me, with its reddish-gold tones and its sparkle: the emperor from Brazil.
The incomparable imperial topaz was discovered in the mid-18th century in Ouro Preto, the ‘home town’ of topazes, in Brazil. Imperial topaz – the very name is magical, isn’t it? Noble too. And yet it’s by no means certain how the stone came to get it. Perhaps the Russian tsars were the force behind it. They were among the earliest and most important buyers of this rarity. Others say that the stone wasn’t named until the time of the Brazilian empire, i.e. between 1822 and 1889. In other words, nobody really knows exactly. Having said that, one thing is certain: today, the imperial topaz is still among the most valuable and most coveted stones worldwide.
With the banks hardly paying any interest at all, a property bubble that could burst at any time, and a volatile share market, gemstones, the smallest form of capital investment, have climbed a long way up the ladder.
For several years, a marked increase in demand has been noticeable in the gemstone trade. Yet that demand is now facing limited resources, as Constantin Wild, the gemstone merchant from Idar-Oberstein, is well aware: “It’s becoming more and more difficult to get hold of high-value stones. Many deposits in Africa and Latin America are already exhausted. Imperial topazes, blue aquamarines and neon-yellow canary tourmalines, to name but a few.” Typically for this market, the price is also affected by the increased demand and short supply: “Prices for rubies and sapphires have multiplied several times over in recent years”, says Wild, who runs the family enterprise of that name, representing the fourth generation of his family in doing so.
Jörg Lindemann, managing director of the federal association of the gemstone and diamond industry (BVED), also sees gemstones as a good investment option – if the conditions are right: “Gemstones are indeed an interesting form of value guarantee. Unlike currency or stocks and shares, the value of gemstones stays constant over generations. Having said that, investors should only consider very high-quality, top-class specimens.” The expert also advises against buying on one’s own initiative: “A buyer needs a profound knowledge of the market if he is to purchase a suitable stone of enduring value. Buyers should have a very clear knowledge of the situation regarding the demand for or deposits of the gemstone in question. A purchase is not to be recommended without a reputable partner.”
Light, warmth and creativity. That’s what comes to my mind when I handle this stone. No lesser personality than Goethe himself was of the opinion that orange emanates particularly large amounts of positive energy.
The stone that I’d like to introduce to you today doesn’t just captivate you by its colour, however, but also, and above all, by its weight. This exclusive mandarin garnet tips the scales at no less than 103 carats! A stone like this is absolutely unique. So it’s perfectly placed in my premium line ‘more than just rare’.