When I attended Angela Loh’s Media Preview to Jeweluxe 2018 on 31 July, I was blown away.
This year’s Jeweluxe was a collaboration with the Asian Civilisations Museum and Singapore Tourism Board. It was to be held over ten days over two editions featuring international (Icons of America & Uniquely from Europe) and local jewellery designers like Simone. Other collaborators included Min-Li, whose business partner, Timothy White, had photographed Hollywood celebrities like Angelina Jolie. It was all terribly exciting.
Presently, Angela revealed that Lai Chan was to be the opening fashion designer with a runway show on Day One of Jeweluxe. As I’ve been a fan of Lai Chan for 20 years, this was awesome news. What’s more, on that same opening day, I had been invited to host a talk about gem appreciation and I was grateful for the opportunity.
Big Love To Our Sponsors
Finally, the big day is here. It is Day One of Jeweluxe and I am presenting a talk on rings and jewellery design. Unfortunately, I spend half the day in work meetings and ferrying kids to & from school. This leaves me no time at all to get ready.
On days such as this, I am immensely grateful for hair and make-up sponsors. Backstage is a melee of models getting ready and I dive into the fray. Within minutes, professionals from KMS and Hera (Sulwhasoo) have fixed me up.
This Story Rings True
Angela organizes a tray of nine rings representing the designers I am to present, including Icons of America. I am slightly nervous because I don’t give lectures on jewellery as often as I do on child health and CPR At The Heart of The Matter . But I speak authentically, sharing my investigations into gem facts, and stories from a collector’s perspective.
First, I am given some beautiful diamond rings to discuss. I show my guests a lovely emerald cut white diamond from Bayco, an American designer. White diamonds are a popular and traditional choice for engagements and weddings. A symbol of purity and everlasting love on account of their color and durability, they do have a certain romance associated with them. Other than various color grades of white, clarity, cut and size, market factors also play a role in the supply chain.
Fancy Colored Diamonds
Yet, the diamonds that hold greater value are fancy colored diamonds due to their relative rarity. The more vivid and pure the color is, the more valuable. Of course, other factors like clarity, cut and size weigh in as well. To illustrate, I pass around a pinkish-purple ring from M and B Private Jewelers and a pink diamond ring from Vihari.
Type IIa Golconda Diamonds
Then there are the exceptional phenomena. Only 2% of all mined diamonds are Type II diamonds, which are devoid of nitrogen. This results in an almost transparent watery effect, with gemologists almost referring to them as C colored diamonds (although the best white color grade is D color). While Type IIa diamonds might also be pink, the blue or grayish ones are Type llb, containing boron. Type IIa diamonds were originally described in the Golconda mines which have since closed. Now the term Golconda remains a descriptive (rather than geographic) term. I am thrilled to pass around a gorgeous Type IIa Golconda diamond from Paolo Cosatagli from New York. Needless to say, it takes awhile before the ring returns from its journey back into the tray.
Not every beautiful ring needs to contain a big diamond. Some rings are stunning simply because of their clever design. I show a ring featuring Type A Burmese Jade, designed by Peter Baer by Baerjewels. In addition, I pass around a ring carved with rubies to the likeness of a flamenco dancer by Spanish brand Magerit. I even show a piece by local jeweler, Caratell, which has already been sold, just to illustrate its interesting movement and colorful gemstones.
I have great fun with Moritz Glik whose tagline is #nobodyshakesitlikeMoritzGlik. His designs feature a white sapphire casing, that encloses small precious stones such as emeralds. To me, the shaking mechanism symbolizes dance, life and fun. The stones within may also bear meaning, such as one featuring opals and tourmalines, clearly perfect for an October baby. October’s Opulent Opals
Another ring featuring Paraiba tourmalines in the setting is from local jeweler, Yuli. In this ring, a yellow diamond nestles against a backdrop of small white diamonds studded with small Paraiba tourmalines.
Although the feature stone is a yellow diamond, I am keen to shift the focus to other beautiful stones. For a change, I spend some time discussing tourmalines. I explain that tourmalines come in a variety of colors including red, green and blue, with the most rare being a neon bluish color of the Paraiba tourmaline. Previously mined from Paraiba mines in Brazil, this has now become a descriptive term including similar gems from Mozambique. The important factor is that Paraiba and Paraiba-like tourmalines contain copper. The original Paraiba tourmalines contain more copper and have a more mysterious neon turquoise hue. However both are gorgeous.
Fellowship Of The Ring
While I have no elves or hobbits, my fellowship is similarly diverse. In the audience, I am heartened to see my colleague, Dr Ed, who had gone to art school and still has special interest in sculpture & design. Fellow mummies whose children go to my sons’ primary and nursey schools are here and mingle with my friends from other social circles. Friends from the food-blogging and beauty entrepreneurial circuits have also come to show support. We have fun with the Lotus Arts de Vivre ring featured in Crazy Rich Asians. And in true CRA spirit, my Mahjong ladies and fellow gem lovers show up in full force. Like Golconda diamonds and other gems, the more rare and beautiful they are, the stronger the emotional bond we form with them. So too is our fellowship with good friends, a valuable commodity indeed.
Fellowship With Jeweluxe Collaboraters
At the end of my talk, I am introduced to someone in the audience, Timothy White. We take a selfie together with Min-Li and you can just see the edge of one of his celebrity portraits. I joke that Brad Pitt is photobombing us.
My guests and I then take a quick shopping tour around the exhibition to meet the other jewelers and we find Simone’s booth. We also run into designer du jour, Lai Chan, who recognizes my dress as one of his creations.
It’s been months of hard work and research to put the show together. We are thrilled that on opening day, it all comes together supported by collective experience and fellowship. For more information on jewellery brands I’ve discussed, you can go to http://jeweluxesingapore.com Congratulations, Angela!