diamond

The Princess Of Wales Attends The Remembrance Day Service In Princess Diana’s Earrings

The Princess Of Wales Attends The Remembrance Day Service In Princess Diana’s Earrings

Photo: Getty
For her second appearance over Remembrance weekend, the Princess of Wales turned to Catherine Walker, whose Chelsea atelier provided countless designs for Diana, Princess of Wales throughout her years as a working member of the Firm. Most famously, the homegrown British label is behind some of the late royal’s most memorable evening gowns, worn everywhere from Saudi Arabia to South Korea.
Photo: Getty
Kate, however, frequently wears Catherine Walker for more reserved occasions (including Remembrance Sunday in 2019 and 2020). This year, the Duchess joined the Queen Consort on a Whitehall balcony to watch the wreath-laying ceremony – led, for the first time, by King Charles III – wearing the label’s Evie coat dress, a military-style design that nodded to the nature of the occasion. (As the cofounder of the brand, Said Cyrus, told Vogue previously: “I’m very aware of the fact that we design for businesswomen who have an important role in life… They come to Catherine Walker & Co for garments that are suitable for the role they are playing and that match up to the power they have.”)
Photo: Getty
The Princess’s earrings, meanwhile, have an even stronger connection to Diana: Kate inherited the diamond and pearl set from her late mother-in-law, and recently wore them to attend the Buckingham Palace Reception for foreign dignitaries on the eve of the Queen’s funeral. For her part, Diana preferred to wear the horseshoe-shaped studs and drop pearls with the Spencer tiara, most notably during a performance by the English National Ballet in Budapest in 1992.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

This is the Lebanese Jeweler Behind Jennifer Lopez’s AED 7 Million Diamond Wedding Earrings

This is the Lebanese Jeweler Behind Jennifer Lopez’s AED 7 Million Diamond Wedding Earrings

Photo: John Russo via OntheJLo.com
After wearing a gown by Lebanese couturier Zuhair Murad for her first nuptials with Ben Affleck, Jennifer Lopez tapped another creative from the region for her second wedding. Paired with her three uniquely breathtaking dresses by Ralph Lauren was equally exceptional jewelry, with one pair of earrings created by Lebanese-American designer Samer Halimeh.
Halimeh is a diamond trader by profession, and his namesake New York-based jewelry brand, known for its jaw-dropping pieces, is loved by celebrities like Angelina Jolie, Priyanka Chopra, and now Lopez. For her big wedding ceremony in Georgia, the 53-year-old pop star styled her halter neck dress for the after-party with a pair of brilliant flower drop earrings by the brand. Featuring marquise and pear-cut 27ct diamonds, the bespoke earrings are reportedly worth US $2 million (that’s a little over AED 7 million), and certainly added to the glam factor of Lopez’s Swarovski crystal-embellished gown.
The earrings worn by Lopez on her wedding day. Photo: Courtesy of Samer Halimeh New York
Halimeh was born in Beirut, “during the height of the Lebanese Civil War”, and his passion for diamonds led him to a career in trading, despite coming from a family of medical professionals. “JLo looked ever-stunning and breathtaking on her wedding to Ben Affleck. Congratulations to the beautiful couple,” wrote the designer on Instagram sharing a picture of Lopez wearing the earrings. Samer Halimeh was also the jeweler behind Lopez’s emerald-cut diamond engagement ring, which was given to her by her former partner Alex Rodriguez.
Other pieces of jewelry worn by Lopez for her wedding to Affleck include Mikimoto’s classic white South Sea cultured pearl and diamond drop earrings set in platinum, and a ring with the same diamonds and a central South Sea pearl, which she wore to walk down the aisle. After the ceremony, the singer paired her pearl-laden gown with Mikimoto pearl and diamond studs.
Read Next: A Closer, More Detailed Look At Jennifer Lopez’s Breathtaking Green Diamond Engagement Ring

Exclusive: Messika Takes a Deep Dive Into Egyptian Roots with its new ‘Beyond the Light’ Collection

Exclusive: Messika Takes a Deep Dive Into Egyptian Roots with its new ‘Beyond the Light’ Collection

Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Messika’s new jewelry collection, ‘Beyond the light’ is a love letter to ancient Egypt, spotlighting authentic details and majestic diamonds to pay tribute to one of history’s most celebrated eras. While the whole collection, which was unveiled in Paris during Couture Fashion Week, is mesmerizing, it may be safe to say that the most alluring set from the line is the Akh-Ba-Ka, a milestone creation for Messika.
Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Bringing together a constellation of 15 radiant diamonds—all of which originate from one 110 carat diamond—the Akh-Ba-Ka set doesn’t just stand out for its immeasurable beauty, it also makes its mark as a modern must-have via its transformable pieces and technical innovations. Valerie Messika, founder of the Messika brand, it comes as no surprise, is especially proud of the Akh-Ba-Ka set, which also sublimates the mythical theme of the Egyptian winged scarab, a motif that’s hard to miss.
Crafted over 1,000 hours by experts, the set relies solely on diamonds and a base of white gold, and may be the star of the collection, but that’s not to say that the rest of Messika’s ‘Beyond the light’ collection is plain in comparison. Among the jewelry house’s newest creations is the Golden Shield, another noteworthy investment piece for those who love making a statement with their baubles. This daring set brings back the allure of yellow gold with its brilliant gold choker and geometric carved earrings.

Below, take a closer look at the beautiful creations that bring together Messika’s latest jewelry line.
Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Photo: Courtesy of Messika.com
Handmade from a yellow gold plate, this set reiterates Egyptian history that gold is divine and a symbol of immortality, much like the radiance of the set itself.
Read next: Exclusive: Kate Moss Collaborates with Messika on New High Jewelry Collection

Exclusive: Maria Tash Shares the 3 Tips Every Woman Should Follow When Shopping for Fine Jewelry

Exclusive: Maria Tash Shares the 3 Tips Every Woman Should Follow When Shopping for Fine Jewelry

Fine jewelry designer Maria Tash Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
This summer, fine jewelry designer Maria Tash celebrated a milestone moment: the opening of her newest store, located in Prestige at The Avenues, Kuwait. Spread across a whopping 2,100 square feet, the new space is officially the third Maria Tash destination in the Middle East, with the first two opening in Dubai Mall in 2018, and Mall of Emirates in 2021. It’s clear that the entrepreneur has come a long way, having opened her first store in Manhattan’s East Village in 1993.
For Tash, it was important for the jewelry house’s Kuwait edition to tell her story through its interiors. Best known for pushing the envelope with minimalistic sparklers that tempt every shopper to load up on piercings, the designer’s new space is all about clean lines, sleek shapes, and modern detailing, bringing together a palette of soft grays, custom glass and leather and metallic accents. Perched right next to Fauchon, Tiffany, and Van Cleef & Arpels, the boutique also boasts a private ‘women’s only’ lounge, ensuring that every visitor has a comfortable shopping experience.
Maria Tash boutique in Kuwait. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
“It has been a long journey,” Tash says triumphantly about the Kuwait store during a chat with Vogue Arabia. “I did two very successful pop-ups in 2016 in Kuwait and I have been waiting to open in the country since. I signed the store lease in the Prestige section of The Avenues a couple of years ago, but we could not get into the country to establish all of the corporate setups and fly specialized employees in due to Covid.” After years of waiting, the new flagship doesn’t just stand out for its envy-worthy interiors and invest-worthy customizable creations, but also for its futuristic touches. “It is the first location to have special tools I invented to visualize and preview jewelry for the patented Tash Helix and Hiddlen Tash Rook piercing locations,” she elaborates, proving that the only way for this fine jewelry designer is up.
A closer look inside the Kuwait store. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
She may still be basking in the glow of the success of her Kuwait store, but there isn’t much time to stop and smell the roses in Maria Tash’s world. As she gears up for her next big openings—Maria Tash will soon be making homes in Los Angeles, Dallas, and Paris—the designer of the moment sits down with Vogue Arabia for a quick chat, where she reveals her biggest jewelry insights, from her favorite memories, to the key pieces every woman should own, and much more. Dive in!
What is your first memory with jewelry?
My first memory is rummaging through my mother’s jewelry box and draping almost all of the pieces inside on myself.  She had a great laugh when she saw me with all of her necklaces on my tiny body. Little did she know how it would manifest later in life!
You’ve been in the jewelry industry for close to two decades now. Can you tell us how your love for jewelry came about?
My love of jewelry expressed itself [in my childhood] when I was drawing flowers and imagining them in jewelry. When I was 9, I was hammering metal sheets and wrapping wire into basic shapes. In my early teens, I started doing more daring designs, like attaching necklaces to studs between my ears, creating a suspended ear-to-ear effect, and wrapping wire between two fingers to create a “two finger ring”.
As a teen, I also became more involved with music—specifically goth and punk—and developed a love for multiple ear and nostril piercings. By the mid 1980s, I was gluing a gem in my navel (navel piercing were not available back then), because I thought it was beautiful, and was enamored by books showing images of Indian weddings and their elaborate multiple lobes, cartilage, nostril, and septum jewelry.
In the late 1980s, I moved to London and got my nostril double pierced and added multiple ear piercings. After completing college, I took a leap and opened my first store in the East Village, designing and fabricating jewelry and performing piercing daily on all areas of the body. My love for jewelry has been with me since I was a child, and continues today as I am still enthralled with gorgeous stones, unusual diamond cuts, clever mechanisms, and unique piercing locations.
The lapis luis collection. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
From New York and London to Dubai and Kuwait, your customizable fine jewelry seems to have global appeal. Do you notice a difference in the tastes of the Maria Tash consumer in different regions? What makes the Middle Eastern customer unique?
Social media has been a great way to equalize demand for certain ear curations. My Middle East clients love bold diamond pieces for all areas of the body, and are not afraid to get multiple piercings. My lotus marquise clusters are popular in the region, as well as my threaded diamond charms and studs in pear and marquise shapes. They also like the large silhouette-cut diamonds (a shape I have cut for the brand), as well as our floating diamond tassel earrings. I feel like my minimalistic, invisible diamond settings, patented mechanisms, and attention to detail are appreciated in the region. Much of what is popular in the Middle East is what I wear personally, and I’m very happy about that fact.
From your own collection, what are the key pieces that you think every woman should own, and why?
I really love my Floating Diamond Tassel Earrings, and my Floating Diamond Charm Studs. The Tassel Earrings I wear in both my earlobes and helix and are a favorite because they are just so lightweight, full of movement, and very sparkly. The diamond charm studs are a hybrid between the desirable movement features of a charm and the versatility of a stud, because they can be worn almost anywhere on the ear.
Invisible set diamond star stud earring in 18k white gold. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
I love movement and I love extremely minimalist stone settings. I gave a lot of thought with these studs as to how the beautiful diamond shapes could be gently suspended in the air, held minimally, emerge from hidden parts of the ear if desired, and sit perfectly flush with the ear. Also, I think a Maria Tash essential are my diamond eternity rings, like the five row pave rings, marquise invisible set rings, and invisible set round diamond rings. I like them in a snug fit with or without a charm hanging off for movement. These rings look great regardless of your piercing angle, sit so close to the skin, and feature my signature invisible setting and minimal pave setting.
Could you please share your top three tips on buying jewelry? 
First, find a piece you really love, and ideally can wear continuously. I strive to make pieces that are very “low profile” so that they sit extremely low to the skin, which makes them very comfortable for long-term wear. I believe everyone should wear pieces that are low profile, especially studs sticking off the ear and finger rings with stones that sit on top of the finger.  A very deliberate low profile setting prevents catching the stone settings on apparel, or the piece turning (on the finger) or pointing down or out (for ear studs) due to the weight and height of the jewelry above then skin.
Pearl and diamond eternity triple linked hoop earring and cuff in 18k rose gold. Photo: Courtesy Maria Tash
Secondly, I think investing in pieces that are at least 14k-18k or platinum is a wise investment because elemental gold, as a commodity, is at an all-time high. Diamonds also tend to hold their value. I have made the decision not to work with any diamond that is less than VS2/G in clarity/color so they continue to hold their value.  I would also choose a piece that is alloyed without nickel. In the US, almost all white gold is mixed with nickel, which makes it white.  The EU has a stricter standard, and it has always been part of the Maria Tash brand to keep nickel out of all of our gold, so no one will have an allergic reaction.
Lastly, really loving a piece of fine jewelry [is important] because of its beauty or its symbolism, and having it add confidence and pride in how you see yourself is its true value.

The Secret Messages Hidden in Avril Lavigne’s Heart-Shaped, and Jennifer Lopez’s Green Engagement Rings

The Secret Messages Hidden in Avril Lavigne’s Heart-Shaped, and Jennifer Lopez’s Green Engagement Rings

Avril Lavigne and Mod Sun. Photo: Instagram.com/avrillavigne
In a week that saw the engagements of two much-loved singers—Avril Lavigne and Jennifer Lopez—also come two unique rings with jewelry inspiration in tow.
Photo: Instagram.com/avrillavigne
On Thursday, Canadian star Avril Lavigne announced her engagement to fellow musician Derek Ryan Smith, known as Mod Sun, who popped the question in Paris on March 27. Given that engagement rings with an emotional meaning have been a trend for long, and that Lavigne is known for her stand-out pop punk style, the ‘Sk8er Boi’ singer’s rock had to be just as special. While in the City of Love, against a romantic backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, Mod Sun asked Lavigne to marry him with a heart-shaped diamond ring. What’s more, the ring is also marked with a personalized inscription. “It has the words ‘Hi Icon’ engraved in it, which were the first words he ever said to me,” the 37-year-old told People. “And it has Mod + Avril on the inside. He knew from the very beginning I wanted a heart-shaped diamond because on the day we met, we had matching heart-shaped pavéd rings on. We’ve worn them every day since, so it’s only fitting to have a heart-shaped engagement ring. I love it so much.”
Photo: Instagram.com/avrillavigne
Mod Sun enlisted Lavigne’s friend and designer Caryn Alpert at the celebrity-loved XIV Karats for the custom-made ring. “He knew that he really wanted to do something with hearts and have the most dazzling, biggest, flawless heart-shaped ring for her,” Alpert told Page Six of the 5-carat stone set in a royal setting and featuring little diamond hearts on the band. “They also have a connection to France and royalty and he wanted it to look like a crown too, so there’s a lot of beautiful detail around the heart shape itself,” said the designer.

Major announcement!!!! https://t.co/G5oGxtX0z5 pic.twitter.com/HTIqbHMJ2M
— jlo 💍 (@JLo) April 9, 2022

While Lavigne’s sparkler made headlines for its distinct shape, Lopez’s did the same for its extraordinary color. The star announced her engagement to actor Ben Affleck for the second time, via her newsletter On the JLo, and showed off her ring which appears to be a 8.5ct natural green diamond set on a silver band. According to an older newsletter from Lopez, the color of the stone is particularly meaningful. “I always say the color green is my lucky color. Maybe you can remember a certain green dress,” the 52-year-old had written, referring to her viral moment in the iconic Versace jungle print dress. “I’ve realized there are many moments in my life where amazing things happened when I was wearing green.”
Lopez’s engagement ring as seen in the announcement video
Previous engagement rings received by Lopez have been equally noteworthy, with Affleck presenting her with a ring featuring a pink stone set between two diamond baguettes for their first engagement.
Read Next: Jennifer Lopez Reveals What Her Dream Proposal Looks Like

The Most Dazzling Jewelry Moments From Each Decade Of The Queen’s Reign

The Most Dazzling Jewelry Moments From Each Decade Of The Queen’s Reign

Photo: Getty
This year, Queen Elizabeth II will be celebrating her Platinum Jubilee, the first British monarch in history to reach such a milestone. Seven decades have passed since the death of her father, King George VI, during which she has earned a reputation not only of devotion to the monarchy and her people, but also as one of the best dressed women of our time.
None of the Queen’s outfits would be complete without her jewelry, however – from historic gems passed down from queen to queen through the centuries to recently acquired jewels. In the daytime, she is almost never seen without a pearl necklace, glittering brooch, and pearl earrings. For formal evening events, a necklace or tiara will be pulled out from the vault.
Despite having access to an awe-inspiring number of jewels, the Queen views them casually as being part of her uniform. Her sister, Princess Margaret, once marveled that Her Majesty was the only woman she knew who could put on her own tiara while walking down the stairs to attend an event.

Here, Vogue highlights key jewelry moments from each decade of the Queen’s 70-year reign.
Posing after her historic Coronation ceremony in 1953
Photo: Getty
For the actual moment of crowning, the gold St Edward’s Crown was used, but was then switched for the Imperial State Crown for the rest of the day. The Imperial State Crown was designed by Rundell, Bridge & Rundell for Queen Victoria in 1839. It is set with several historic stones: St Edward’s sapphire, Queen Elizabeth I’s pearl earrings, The Black Prince’s ruby, the Stuart sapphire and The Cullinan II. It was remade by Garrard in 1937 to be lightened for King George VI, but still weighs 2.3 pounds.
The Queen has spoken about the weight of the crown when worn during the State Opening of Parliament. “You can’t look down to read the speech – you have to take the speech up. Because if you did, your neck would break, or it would fall off. So there are some disadvantages to crowns, but otherwise they’re quite important things.”
The necklace and earrings worn that day are appropriately known as The Coronation Necklace and Earrings. In the 1850s, Queen Victoria had to return a number of Hanoverian heirlooms to her cousin the King of Hanover, including her grandmother Queen Charlotte’s diamond necklace. As a replacement, Queen Victoria had this new necklace and earrings created by dismantling jewels from “swords and useless things” belonging to King George III.
Attending the Royal Variety Performance in 1967
Photo: Getty
The Lover’s Knot Tiara was made by Garrard in 1913 for Queen Mary using stones from a tiara she was given for her wedding. Queen Mary had a passion for jewels, especially those with family history, so she had Garrard copy the design from a tiara belonging to her grandmother Princess Augusta, which was inherited by her aunt. The Queen inherited the tiara from Queen Mary in 1953 and later famously gave it to Diana, Princess of Wales as a wedding present. It’s now worn by Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge.
The necklace worn by the Queen was a Golden Jubilee gift to Queen Victoria from a committee called The Women’s Jubilee Offering. Originally the committee hoped to raise £10,000 to create a statue of Prince Albert, but when more than £84,000 of donations poured in, the committee set aside £5,000 to purchase this necklace from Carrington & Co. Queen Victoria designated this piece as an heirloom of the Crown.
The earrings worn by the Queen are from Queen Alexandra’s Wedding Parure, given to Queen Alexandra by King Edward VII for their wedding in 1863. The diamond bracelet on the Queen’s wrist was a wedding present from Prince Philip. Philip had used diamonds from a tiara given to him by his mother, Princess Alice of Greece, to design a bracelet and engagement ring for his future wife. The Queen has worn the bracelet frequently throughout her reign but in recent years has loaned it to the Duchess of Cambridge.
On a royal visit to Finland in 1976
Photo: Getty
The Vladimir Tiara was made for Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna, wife of Grand Duke Vladimir in the 1870s. Designed as a row of interlocking diamond circles with pearl pendants, it is believed to have been made by Bolin, and often graced the head of the Grand Duchess during her famous parties. The Grand Duchess was forced to flee Russia during the Russian Revolution, leaving her jewels behind hidden in a secret compartment in her St Petersburg palace. Eventually, on behalf of the Grand Duchess, a British officer dressed as a worker snuck into the palace, retrieved the Grand Duchess’s famous collection of jewels, and returned them to her once out of the country.
After the Grand Duchess’s death in 1920, her children sold part of her collection, this tiara being purchased by Queen Mary. Once in London, the tiara was repaired, having been damaged during the escape from Russia, and Queen Mary had the pearl drops made interchangeable with the Cambridge Emeralds: a collection of emeralds inherited from her grandmother Princess Augusta (who won them in a lottery in Frankfurt shortly after her marriage in 1818).
The Queen inherited the tiara in 1953 and enjoys wearing the drops interchangeably. On occasion, she will go for an all-diamond look and wear the tiara without any drops. The necklace and earrings were made by Garrard for Queen Mary to wear at the 1911 Delhi Durbar using some of the Cambridge Emeralds.
The Dorset Bow Brooch is pinned to the Queen’s sash. It was a wedding present to Queen Mary in 1893 from the County of Dorset. Queen Mary later gave it to the Queen as a wedding present in 1947.
Greeting members of the public on a state visit to Portugal in 1986
Photo: Getty
Here, the Queen is wearing the oldest set of jewelry in her collection, the Kent Amethyst Parure. The parure belonged to Princess Victoria, Queen Victoria’s mother. Consisting of a necklace, earrings, three brooches, and a pair of side combs, the parure was made an heirloom of the Crown by Queen Victoria. The parure is vary rarely worn, but the Queen enjoys wearing the brooches. On one occasion in 1902, Queen Alexandra wore the necklace cascading down the skirt of her dress.
The tiara worn here is the Queen’s favorite, referred to affectionately as Granny’s Tiara. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland presented this to Queen Mary in 1893 as a wedding present. The tiara is designed with diamond festoons and scrolls on a detachable diamond base. It was originally topped with pearls, but these were removed and used to create the Lover’s Knot Tiara. The Queen has worn this tiara most frequently, and it is probably her most recognizable piece, being featured on currency around the world.
Attending a state banquet in 1990
Photo: Getty
The necklace and earrings worn here are some of the Queen’s most cherished jewels. Her father King George VI purchased them from Carrington & Co in 1947 and gave them to her as a wedding present. In the 1960s, the Queen found she was without a sapphire tiara, and in 1963, she purchased this one at auction. Her diamond and sapphire bracelet was acquired the same year, completing the parure.
The brooch pinned to the Queen’s sash is the Albert Sapphire Brooch and was given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on the eve of their wedding in 1840. Queen Victoria recorded in her diary, “My precious Albert gave me a splendid and lovely brooch of an immense sapphire, set round with diamonds; it is quite beautiful.” Queen Victoria designated this piece as an heirloom of the Crown, and it has been worn by every Queen since.
Smiling in the middle of a trip to Malta in 2005
Photo: Getty
Prince Philip was stationed with the Royal Navy in Malta between 1949 and 1951, and on her visits there, the Queen was able to briefly experience life as any other newlywed wife. Prince Philip’s cousin Lady Pamela Hicks recalled, “The Queen really loved living in Malta because she was able to lead a normal life, wander through the towns and go shopping. It was the only place that she was able to live the life of a naval officer’s wife, just like all the other wives.”
Prince Albert designed the Oriental Circlet Tiara, which was made in 1853 for Queen Victoria, who designated it as an heirloom of the Crown. Originally, the tiara was set with opals but Queen Alexandra believed opals to be unlucky and had them replaced with rubies. The tiara was a favorite of the Queen Mother, so much so that the Queen allowed her to retain it after ascending the throne when it should have been passed on.
The Queen’s necklace is known as the Baring Ruby Necklace, as it was acquired from the Baring Collection in 1964. She paired this set of jewels with Queen Mary’s Ruby Earrings. The earrings, which consist of large rubies surrounded by nine diamonds, were a birthday present to Queen Mary from King George V in 1926.
Hosting a state visit in 2019, one of her last before the pandemic
Photo: Getty
The Burmese Ruby Tiara was created by Garrard for the Queen in 1973. The rubies used in the tiara were from a necklace presented to the Queen as a wedding present from the Burmese people. The necklace consisted of 96 rubies, which by Burmese custom would protect the wearer from the 96 diseases that can afflict a human. The diamonds used in the tiara were taken from another wedding gift, a tiara from the Nizam of Hyderabad. The new tiara is designed as a wreath of ruby roses, inspired by the Tudor rose, connected by diamond and ruby sprays.
The necklace and earrings worn by the Queen were made for Queen Victoria and originally set with opals instead of rubies. They were left as heirlooms of the Crown by Queen Victoria. Queen Alexandra had the opals replaced with rubies in 1902.
Her outfit is completed with the diamond-studded insignia of the Order of the Garter and the Family Orders of King George V and King George VI. Royal Family Orders are given to female family members by the monarch and feature their miniature portrait in a diamond frame on a silk ribbon.
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

Diamond: 37 Sparkling Jewelry Pieces for Those Who Love the April Birthstone

Diamond: 37 Sparkling Jewelry Pieces for Those Who Love the April Birthstone

Photo: Getty
The splendor and sparkle of the diamond has inspired us for generations; their rarity, value and the way they delicately reflect light. Whether they’re worn as status symbols, bought as investments or emblems of endless love, diamonds are still the most prized stone in the world.
The tale of the Taylor-Burton diamond is glamorous to a fault. The story begins in 1966, when a 240 carat rough was found in the De Beers-owned Premier Mine in South Africa, the same mine that had produced the Cullinan and Golden Jubilee diamonds. It was snapped up by the American jeweler Harry Winston, who decided to make the larger half into a perfectly proportioned pear shaped diamond.  Winston sold the diamond to Harriet Annenberg Ames, sister to billionaire publisher and diplomat Walter Annenberg, who planned to wear it as a ring, but felt too conspicuous wearing such a huge stone in her native New York City.  Ames didn’t keep it for long, putting it up for auction in 1969. When Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton heard about the upcoming sale, they had to see the stone, so it was flown to Gstaad where the couple were holidaying.
Burton set his ceiling price at $1 million, and had his lawyers bid via telephone from London.  Despite his efforts, the winning bid, $1,050,000, came from Robert Kenmore representing Cartier, who outbid Burton, Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and the Sultan of Brunei. A proviso of the sale stated that the diamond’s buyer could name the diamond, so naturally the stone was christened the Cartier Diamond. It’s reported that Richard Burton, livid not to have won the diamond, had his lawyer contact Cartier the very next day to buy the gem.  Robert Kenmore did indeed agree to sell it to Burton, for an undisclosed amount, but on the condition that Cartier was able to display it in store before it was handed over to the couple. Over 6,000 people a day flocked to Cartier’s Fifth Avenue store to see the celebrated stone, now of course named the Taylor-Burton Diamond.  Shortly afterwards the diamond was delivered to the couple on their yacht in Monaco, where they were anchored to attend Princess Grace’s 40th birthday. Taylor wore the legendary 69.42 carat diamond on a double strand necklace of smaller diamonds for the first time in public at Princess Grace of Monaco’s party.
Over the years, the diamond has continued to be a treasure, be it in the form of a sparkling solitaire or set in a delicate tennis bracelet. If you, like so many around the globe, have a soft spot for the April birthstone, here are 37 jewelry pieces worth investing in this month.
Earrings, Astley Clarke
Ring, Auvere
Earrings, Alicia Jane
Choker, Ananya
Necklace, Anita Ko
Earrings, Annoushka
Earring, Maria Tash at Browns Fashion
Earrings, Venyx
Bracelet, Cindy Chao The Art Jewel
Necklace, Pomellato
Necklace, Fernando Jorge
Ring, Sorellina
Ring, G by Glenn Spiro
Earrings, Greenwich St Jewelers
Necklace, Graff
Ring, Hirsh London
Earrings, Jade Trau
Bracelet, Katkim
Bangle, David Morris
Earrings, Kimberly McDonald
Necklace, KIAIA London
Ear jackets, Kiki McDonough
Earrings, Nikos Koulis
Earrings, Messika
Bangle, Lucy Delius
Necklace, Roxanne First
Ring, Dina Kamal
Earrings, Robinson Pelham
Cuff, Shahla Karimi
Cuffs, Shaun Leane
Necklace, State Property Fine Jewellery
Earrings, Suzanne Kalan
Necklace, Thelma West
Choker, Diane Kordas Jewellery
Necklace, De Beers
Ring, Vintage Ring Company
Necklace, Bee Goddess
Originally published in Tatler.com

Meet the Young Indian Jewelry Designer Behind Nicki Minaj’s Diamond-Studded Barbie Bling

Meet the Young Indian Jewelry Designer Behind Nicki Minaj’s Diamond-Studded Barbie Bling

Photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj
The world of diamonds may be dazzling, but it’s also serious business. Yet somehow, for 25-year-old Ashna Mehta, the industry is anything but daunting. “I have always thought about designing, since I grew up in a house where diamonds were always a topic of conversation, and my mother is an incredibly talented designer,” says the young entrepreneur, who, as an heiress to Indian-Belgian company Rosy Blue, comes from a legacy of diamonds, and first started the journey by designing pieces for herself. In fact, one of her fondest—and earliest—memories related to the line takes us back to her childhood, when her grandfather Dilip Mehta celebrated earning Belgium’s highest civilian honor, ‘Baron’, by taking her along to his office and asking her to pick a stone she’d like to wear once she completed school. “I chose a fancy intense yellow cushion cut diamond, and then set it onto a simple ring with a halo of brilliant cut diamonds around it. This was the first piece of jewelry I had the freedom to create and design by myself.  The ring evokes the fond memory of that day in my grandfather’s office, the feeling of pride of what he has built, as well as motivation to continue and create my own legacy.”
Ashna Mehta at work on a special piece for Nicki Minaj. Photo: Courtesy Ashna Mehta
Like a true Gen Z-er, Mehta’s creations are influenced by her travels—New York and Dubai are on top of the inspo list—along with pop culture, hip-hop, and her lifelong love for sports. So it was only natural for her pieces to make their way into the world she identifies best with. This year, Mehta’s creativity earned her a spot on a global platform, aka the Instagram account of Nicki Minaj. ICYMI, the much-loved rapper recently dropped a series of pictures and videos of herself iced out in a sparkling ‘Barbie’ necklace, which comes from Mehta’s workshop. Styled with a lilac crop top + skirt set by Marc Jacobs, matching fluffy bomber, hot pink heels and a cotton candy hairdo, Minaj’s newest jewelry find is all about making a big statement. “I love Nicki’s music. She’s remarkably talented and someone I have dreamt of wearing my jewelry,” Mehta shares with us. “I spoke to Rushka Bergman (Minaj’s creative director), and we discussed collaborations, and things I should design for my jewelry line, and I was inspired by her and Nicki’s music to make a Barbie necklace.”
Photo: Instagram.com/nickiminaj
Bringing together 104 diamonds—that’s 60+ carats, all VVS—in 18k white gold with bright pink enamel, this isn’t your average neckpiece. “It was very important to get the right measurement of the stones. Each diamond was hand picked as per my design, and it took hours to create, as all the colors and clarity had to match, so the final setting would look unified and radiant.” Now, with her big jewelry debut done and dusted, Ashna Mehta only plans to go bigger and brighter. Below, excerpts from Vogue Arabia’s chat with the budding designer.
Your relationship with jewelry is an old one. How did you first gain an interest in this line of designing?
I am constantly inspired by moments in history, galleries, and museums. During my first year in college, I went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and saw a show about Indian jewels from the Al-Thani collection, and this shifted my perspective. Seeing objects, such as a Mughal era flask from the 17th century, altered my perception of what was possible. The flask is made of the most beautiful crystal, but embedded on its surface are rubies and emeralds that have the most intricate settings.
You’ve been designing jewelry for years with your mother. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from her?
There are so many lessons I could mention. My mother, Payal Mehta, the haute couture jewelry designer of Payal New York, is the most organized woman I have ever known. She has taught me the importance of being detailed with each facet of the design process from start to finish. She taught me about different types of colored stones such as the rare padparadscha from Sri Lanka, and about different shapes and phenomena available like cabochons and chatoyancy.
She is so particular when choosing colored gemstones like rubies or emeralds for her pieces, because the colored stone industry is much less regulated than the diamond industry. In fact, 80% of colored stone mines are artisanal, and often include a lot of horrific human rights violations. Learning about the injustices involved in the colored gemstone world inspired me to improve conditions for miners through my family’s CSR initiatives. My mother and I have worked together on policy development with the United Nations Global Compact for child labour exploitation in mines around the world, and we will continue to ethically source all the stones we use while building a sustainable supply chain.
How would you say your aesthetic is different from that of others, or even from your own family’s?
I would say my aesthetic is modern and timeless. I like playing with certain classic elements like white gold and diamonds, and pairing them with bright colored enamel. The designs of my family’s pieces are more delicate and dainty in comparison, but there are several things I will carry on as a jeweler that I share with my family, such as a focus on sustainability, ethical sourcing, and using top quality stones.
Tell us a little bit about your sports-themed jewelry line—what inspired that? What elements did you bring in to get that look?
I grew up in New York playing sports my whole life. I find sports to be a unifier, a place where political and economic differences are set aside. They create freedom, camaraderie, and they bring out the best in people.
We’re launching in the near future, but the birth of the line came from a custom piece my friend Iman asked me to make for her. After making her earrings, I started making different variations of the piece, and landed on what will be my debut line. To get the right look, I use orange sapphire to represent the basketball and white gold for the shape of the hoop. The net is made out of delicate 18k gold chains and the backboard, which is my favorite part, using different materials, from lapis lazuli to rhodolite. I love the juxtaposition of the sturdy backboard against the fragile and precious net.
Ashna Mehta’s jewelry pieces take inspiration from the city of New York and her love for sports. Photo: Courtesy Ashna Mehta
You’ve got Nicki Minaj on your list of clients now. Which other celebrities would you like to see wearing your pieces one day?
Artists like Rihanna and actors like Angelina Jolie would be incredible. For my sports line, it would be really fulfilling to design one-of-a-kind pieces for professional athletes and their families. It would be a special way to celebrate their time at the height of their careers.
Jewelry can be so personal. How do you go about customizing pieces for different people? What are the key factors you like to keep in mind?
Everyone is different, so each piece is unique and bespoke for the specific individual. Jewelry designing is like dreaming, but when you actually create, there are so many techniques you have to think about. This makes the process exciting. When designing, I have to consider what materials to use, how to source the materials, how to make it work, what exact measurements are needed, how to set the piece, how it will fall, and then finally, how it will look best.
From what we’ve seen so far, your jewelry is quirky, fun and young. Is that a reflection of your personal style? Who is the ideal ‘Ashna Mehta’ woman?
Yes, I would say that’s a good description of my personal style at times. I would say my style is like a multifaceted diamond… I can be elegant and sophisticated, or fun and young. I love having an array of colors in my collection of diamonds. Inspired by their hues, I express myself based on the mood that their tones and saturation bring out. The ideal Ashna Mehta woman is particular about quality. My pieces are not gender based though, and I’m drawn to people with styles that go beyond stereotypes and conventional thinking.
In your opinion, what are three pieces of jewelry every woman should own, and why?
I love statement rings because they speak for themselves. You don’t need to wear anything else when you wear a large ring. Next, I would say everyone should have a solitaire necklace, it is an essential staple and can be layered easily for a contemporary feel. Lastly, I would say diamond stud earrings because they can be worn day to night, anytime and anywhere.

21 Heart-Shaped Jewelry Picks for Valentine’s Day That Are Anything but Cliché

21 Heart-Shaped Jewelry Picks for Valentine’s Day That Are Anything but Cliché

Photo: Instagram.com/katyperry
Although heart-themed gifts are usually deemed cheesy for Valentine’s Day, we prefer to think of the motif as classic – especially when it comes to the carefully curated selection of jewelry below.
The best heart-shaped jewelry not only shows that you wear your heart on your sleeve this February 14, but the right piece will work all year round, too.
Drop a hint to your other half: you could command attention in the Van Robot pendants or with the Brooke Gregson crimson ring.  There’s even something for the minimalist with the Jennifer Meyer necklace, that would make an ideal addition to your everyday jewelry.
Shop Vogue’s edit of the best heart-shaped jewelry now.
Alison Lou
Brooke Gregson
Chopard
Dior
Emily P. Wheeler
Gucci
Ileana Makri
Jennifer Meyer
Locquet
Missoma
Pandora
Seb Brown
Selim Mouzannar
Shay
Stone and Strand
Sydney Evan
Tiffany & Co
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Robot
Wilhelmina Garcia
Yvonne Léon
Originally published in Vogue.co.uk

Youssra Celebrates Her New Show ‘Kalam Fi Lhob’ in a Romantic Red Zeena Zaki Gown

Youssra Celebrates Her New Show ‘Kalam Fi Lhob’ in a Romantic Red Zeena Zaki Gown

Youssra in a red Zeena Zaki gown. Photo: Instagram.com/youssra
Egyptian actor Youssra caused quite the stir on social media yesterday, announcing the arrival of a brand new show. Titled Kalam Fi Lhob (translating to ‘talk about love’), the new series will debut on January 31 on MBC 1, was written by Hala Khalil, and produced by El Adl Group.
To share the big news about the fresh series—which also stars Ghada Adel, Mai Kassab, Nour Mahmoud and Nabil Nour El Deen—Youssra posted a mysterious teaser on her Instagram page, in which she shared some hints about Kalam Fi Lhob while she played the piano. The clip saw the iconic star dressed in a striking ensemble: a scarlet red carpet-ready gown by Iraqi haute couture designer Zeena Zaki. Take a closer look below.

Youssra styled her red gown with diamond jewelry
To keep with the romantic theme of her upcoming show, Youssra opted for a blood red Zeena Zaki gown that came with elegant detailing. Along with a trail, the gown also featured an off-shoulder neckline that drew attention to her décolletage, and cinched in at the waist for added structure. The most dramatic element from Youssra’s look, however, were her gloves. The actor paired her scarlet maxi with matching gloves that seemed to extend straight out from her shoulders. To top it up, Youssra complemented her cherry red gown with sparkling diamond jewelry from The House of Yessayan. Her picks: waterfall earrings, a matching choker necklace, and for the final touch, a diamond bracelet and statement ring.

No red carpet-worthy look is complete without the right makeup, and to elevate her look, Youssra went the classic route with her beauty look. The star smiled for the camera sporting elegant blonde curls, a bold red lip color, and winged liner complemented by lush lashes. The overall look was one that wouldn’t look out of place at a star-studded movie premiere.

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