Tiffany & Co. Acquires an 80-Carat Diamond

Breaking news for all gem lovers. Tiffany & Co. acquires an exceptional 80-carat diamond to reimagine its historic 1939 World’s Fair Necklace. Expected to be its most expensive piece ever, Tiffany will unveil the diamond necklace in 2022 when the doors of its transformed Fifth Avenue flagship store reopen, making history once again, just as the original necklace did nearly a century ago when it debuted at the World’s Fair in Queens, New York.

In August 2020, OMA unveiled images of the newly transformed Tiffany Fifth Avenue Flagship Store to open in 2022.

The original aquamarine design has been modernized with an extraordinary oval diamond of over 80 carats, the largest diamond ever offered by Tiffany and eclipsed only by the Tiffany Diamond, which famously is not for sale.

«What better way to mark the opening of our transformed Tiffany flagship store in 2022 than to reimagine this incredible necklace from the 1939 World’s Fair, one of our most celebrated pieces when we opened our doors on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue for the first time,» said Victoria Reynolds, Tiffany & Co. Chief Gemologist. «The new necklace perfectly reflects our brand heritage as a New York luxury jeweler, whose founder was known as the ‘King of Diamonds‘.»

Tiffany & Co. 80-carat, D color, internally flawless diamond inspired by necklace from the 1939 World’s Fair.

The breathtaking center stone – an over-80-carat, D color, internally flawless oval diamond – is not only very rare, it is a symbol of Tiffany’s industry-first approach to diamond traceability. Responsibly sourced in Botswana, Africa, the diamond will be set by Tiffany artisans in NYC.


Photograph of the aquamarine and diamond necklace from the 1939 World’s Fair_Tiffany & Co. Archives.

The original necklace’s sizable aquamarine and exceptional diamond forms entranced the millions who came to admire the international spectacle. With its forward-looking theme, «Dawn of a New Day,» the 1939 World’s Fair promised a glimpse into «the World of Tomorrow.» The fair’s intention was to inspire, in its over 44 million visitors, the dream of a better and more effervescent tomorrow. Tiffany’s masterpiece did just that – setting the stage for the opening of its iconic flagship store on 57th Street and Fifth Avenue the following year, in 1940 – foreshadowing what will be a similarly historic moment for the brand in 2022.

In 1878, the company purchased the famous Tiffany Diamond, an immense canary yellow stone from the new South African deposits. Once cut, the diamond weighed 128.54 carats.

Tiffany has acquired many rare and remarkable gemstones for its jewelry designs in its 183-year history, including the legendary Tiffany Diamond, one of the world’s largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds, as well as the Hooker Emerald, now exhibited at the Smithsonian and the Mazarin Diamonds, purchased by Tiffany at the auction of the French Crown Jewels.

LoL, Sandra

The massive 75.47-carat Hooker Emerald had been auctioned to Tiffany & Co, which initially set it in a tiara. Despite its beauty, the tiara remained unsold for decades. In 1950, the emerald was re-set into a brooch that included matching earrings. Five years later, the brooch was purchased by Janet Annenberg Hooker. In 1977, she donated it to the Smithsonian.

Photos: © Tiffany & Co. and © OMA

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Super Simple

This year has taught us to keep it super simple. My dear Carolina Bucci has taken this message further and created K.I.S.S., a collection inspired by a fascination with the inner workings of a watch. In 2016, she launched with Audemars Piguet the famous Royal Oak Frosted Gold. Its shimmering sparkle reminiscent of diamond dust, that I love so much, comes from a surface treatment process rooted in an ancient gold hammering technique, also called the Florentine technique, which is an iconic style element used by Carolina Bucci for her eponymous jewelry line.

In 2018, when she was working with the master watchmakers at Audemars Piguet to finalize the designs for her limited edition Royal Oak, she began to ask herself a hypothetical question: What would these craftsmen and craftswomen create if they were let loose in the world of fine jewelry?

There is a word often used in high-end watchmaking to describe the technical aspects and achievements of the craft: complication. Whereas the word carries a negative meaning in most other areas of life, for the watchmaker, it is something to be pursued and acclaimed. This inspired the K.I.S.S. collection, specifically the balance spring, which is also called the heart of the watch. At Carolina Bucci, gold does things it shouldn’t do. So in this case, gold is elastic. Each bracelet and necklace is at its simplest, one single coil of 18k gold, just like a spring. Its minimalism means you can stack it with a timepiece or other jewelry.

Much as one tells the time on one’s watch, without thinking too much about it, these pieces are designed to be the opposite of complicated… to keep it super simple.

TO SHOP THE CAROLINA BUCCI K.I.S.S. COLLECTION, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
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LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Carolina Bucci
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The most direct way to connect with the season’s toughest look? A heavyweight curb-link necklace. Being very reminiscent of the 80’s, it uplifts every look to new heights. Shop the most beautiful ones available in different price ranges by clicking on the highlighted product description.

LoL, Sandra

JW-charm gold-plated chokericon by JW Anderson
The one I am wearing in the photo above.

Trudie chain necklaceicon by Chloé

Binari chunky chain chokericon by Rosantica

Crystal-embellished chain necklaceicon by Marni

Rose gold-plated sterling-silver chain necklace by Bottega Veneta

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Diamond & 18kt rose-gold curb-chain choker by Shay

Stills: Courtesy of the Brands, Photo: David Biedert Photography
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Louis Vuitton Vivienne

She has surfed the waves, flown in a Monogram hot-air balloon and been transformed into a soft, cuddly toy. Now, Vivienne, the iconic Louis Vuitton mascot, makes her entry into the world of jewellery. Vivienne is unlike anyone else. Having blissfully become part of the Louis Vuitton family, this charming character, originally conceived as a decorative object, adapts to any situation and every whim. Risen to the ranks of an emblematic mascot, she exudes fun and vivacity through all the crafts of the House, while keeping her unique zest for life, cheekiness and offbeat personality.

Launched in 2019: Maison Vivienne, the cutest and most stylish doll house ever

For the first time, her adventures take her into the marvellous world of jewellery. Just as amusing and uninhibited as ever, her preciousness is elevated with every new pendant.
Through high artisanal craftmanship, new objects of desire are born by combining coloured jewels with a variety of precious materials. Drawing inspiration from the two Monogram flowers – respectively round and pointed –, Vivienne stands upright on her legs with her diamond eyes wide open, while her Louis Vuitton-engraved arms remain movable, free to nonchalantly swing from side to side.

Available in two sizes and in different styles, Vivienne adds a significant chapter to her story – her family has grown. Small pendants come in a choice of the three golds, or in a gold and diamond variation with red or black lacquer. While a bigger, medium version – available in the three golds or half-paved – can also be used as a brooch.

• Pendant Vivienne, small, yellow, pink and white gold, diamonds
• Pendant Vivienne, small, yellow, pink and white gold, black lacquer and diamonds
• Pendant Vivienne, small, yellow, pink and white gold, red lacquer and diamonds
• Pendant Vivienne, medium, yellow, pink and white gold, diamonds
• Pendant Vivienne, medium, yellow, pink and white gold, and diamond paved

I love those pendants, totally on my wish list!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Louis Vuitton

LVMH and Tiffany Find a Deal

Last Thursday, I had an interesting zoom event with BoF Professional LIVE about unpacking the LVMH-Tiffany saga. The largest acquisition in the history of the luxury goods sector had collapsed, setting up what could be the industry’s biggest M&A battle of all time. Experts to laid out what could happen next and they were pretty right. Robert Williams, Europe Correspondent BoF; Brian Quinn, Law Department Professor, Boston College; Oliver Chen, Managing Director & Senior Equity Research Analyst, Cowen and Company; and Lauren Sherman discussed all possibilities. Interesting to know is that LVMH is part of a group of investors who, together, hold a minority interest in BoF. However, all investors have signed shareholders’ documentation guaranteeing complete editorial independence.

Such an interesting talk last week at BoF

Coming back to the luxury deal of the century. Jewelry is still a fruitful space to look for. It makes sense that LVMH wants to expand in this sector. Tiffany, that has no family shareholders, which is another advantage, is strong in the bridal sector and in China, watches are about 3%. There a lot of strategic synergies between the companies. It was unlikely that LVMH wanted to go to court where you have to be very transparent about your business. It was more likely a strategic move to get a good price, something Bernard Arnault, who built his fortune on acquiring companies, appreciates. It was the first time he wanted to get out of a deal, which could have hurt his reputation as a savvy buyer.

Today, both parties announced that they have concluded an agreement modifying certain terms of their initial agreement (the «Merger Agreement») to reflect a purchase price of $131.50 in cash and to reduce closing conditionality. Other key terms of the Merger Agreement remain unchanged. Tiffany and LVMH have also agreed to settle their pending litigation in the Delaware Chancery Court. This ends weeks of corporate fighting and saves the French luxury conglomerate over $400 million on the original price of $16.2 billion agreed before the worldwide pandemic hit. The deal is now set to close early next year, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.

Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tiffany, commented. «We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with LVMH at an attractive price and to now be able to proceed with the merger. The Board concluded it was in the best interests of all of our stakeholders to achieve certainty of closing

Bernard Arnault, President and CEO of LVMH, commented: «This balanced agreement with Tiffany’s Board allows LVMH to work on the Tiffany acquisition with confidence and resume discussions with Tiffany’s management on the integration details. We are as convinced as ever of the formidable potential of the Tiffany brand and believe that LVMH is the right home for Tiffany and its employees during this exciting next chapter.»

Congrats to the newly weds!

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of LVMH / Tiffany

Tiffany Files Lawsuit Against LVMH

In November 2019, luxury giant LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE confirmed that it has reached a $16.2 billion deal to buy American jeweller Tiffany & Co. For the previous post, click here please.

Yesterday, after months of speculation, LVMH has called off its planned mega-merger with the American jeweler. The result? Tiffany sinks 11% and is now suing the French luxury conglomerate to keep the acquisition on track. The jewelry giant alleged LVMH sought to leverage US social justice protests and the coronavirus pandemic to «avoid paying the agreed price for Tiffany shares.»

LVMH explained that the deal’s contract set a November 24 deadline, and that requests from Tiffany and the French government to delay the deal led to its pulling out. In return, Tiffany accused LVMH of not doing its part to win approval of the deal from antitrust authorities.

Tiffany’s famous 5th Avenue store in New York City

More details can be found in LVMH’s press release from yesterday: «After a succession of events which undermine the acquisition of Tiffany & Co, the Board of LVMH met to review the situation relating to the contemplated investment in light of these recent developments.

The Board learned of a letter from the French European and Foreign Affairs Minister which, in reaction to the threat of taxes on French products by the US, directed the Group to defer the acquisition of Tiffany until after January 6th, 2021. Furthermore, the Board noted Tiffany & Co.’s requested to extend the «Outside Date» in the Merger Agreement from November 24th to December 31st, 2020.

As a results of these elements, and knowledge of the first legal analysis led by the advisors and the LVMH teams, the Board decided to comply with the Merger Agreement signed in November 2019 which provides, in any event for a closing deadline no later than November 24th, 2020 and officially records that, as it stands, the Group LVMH will therefore not be able to complete the acquisition of Tiffany & Co.»

Key figure: Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board Tiffany & Co.

In course of Tiffany & Co.’s lawsuit in the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware against LVMH Moët Hennessy-Louis Vuitton SE and related entities («LVMH»), Roger N. Farah, Chairman of the Board, said, «We regret having to take this action but LVMH has left us no choice but to commence litigation to protect our company and our shareholders. Tiffany is confident it has complied with all of its obligations under the Merger Agreement and is committed to completing the transaction on the terms agreed to last year. Tiffany expects the same of LVMH

He stated further, «We believe that LVMH will seek to use any available means in an attempt to avoid closing the transaction on the agreed terms. But the simple facts are that there is no basis under French law for the Foreign Affairs Minister to order a company to breach a valid and binding agreement, and LVMH’s unilateral discussions with the French government without notifying or consulting with Tiffany and its counsel were a further breach of LVMH’s obligations under the Merger Agreement. ‎Moreover, this supposed official French effort to retaliate against the U.S. for proposed new tariffs has never been announced or discussed publicly; how could it possibly then be an effort to pressure the U.S. into revoking the tariffs? Furthermore, as we are not aware of any other French company receiving such a request, it is all the more clear that LVMH has unclean hands.»

Tiffany CEO Alessandra Bogliolo in 2018

Tiffany emphasized that its business remained strong, with sales in the last three months of 2020 expected to exceed the same period last year and that the COVID-19 pandemic has not prevented other parties from making antitrust filings on a timely schedule.

Chief Executive Officer Alessandro Bogliolo underlined, »The fundamental strength of Tiffany’s business is clear. The company has already returned to profitability after just one quarter of losses, and we expect our earnings in the fourth quarter of 2020 will actually exceed the same period in 2019

The famous movie scene: Audrey Hepburn in «Breakfast at Tiffany’s».

Tiffany is seeking to expedite the Delaware proceedings to obtain a ruling prior to November 24, 2020 ordering LVMH to comply with its obligations and complete the transaction on the agreed terms.

An unpleasant turnaround of what we thought would become a love story of the luxury industry. I am very curious to see the outcome. I mean if LVMH walks away completely, Kering or Richmond might jump on the deal and acquire Tiffany. Stay tuned!

LoL, Sandra

Funny composite from the NY Post
Photos: Tiffany & Co., LVMH, Getty

CHANEL Pétales de Camélia

Mademoiselle Chanel’s favourite flower, the camellia, lends itself to every style. Also known as the «Japanese rose», the beautiful flower is mostly found in Asian countries and symbolises long-lasting devotion and became an element of her style in 1913. Its geometric curves encourage endless creativity; its perfect roundness expresses pure femininity. More than a flower, the camellia is an inspiration.

Coco Chanel liked the simplicity of the bloom that has no thorns or fragrance, which means that that it would never clash with her iconic No. 5 fragrance. Furthermore, she loved the shape of the flowers and its white color that stood out against her famous little black dresses. Word has it that she developed the fondness the moment she was presented with a bouquet by her lover, Boy Capel.

I am so in love with my CHANEL Pétales de Camélia ring.

The yellow gold collection, CHANEL Pétales de Camélia, inspired by the designer’s favorite flower was launched last year and I truly love every single piece. Perfect as an everyday jewelry choice, the Camélia collection remains inextricably linked to CHANEL’s spirited personality and creative diversity.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © CHANEL, © Sandra Bauknecht and © David Biedert Photography

Masterpiece London x Net-à-Porter

First of all, congrats to Net-à-Portericon, my favorite shopping destination turns 20 this month and it never stops to amaze me. Last Thursday, I had the privilege too attend a very exclusive zoom meeting hosted by Net-à-Porter for their top clients to explore Masterpiece London, the world’s leading cross-collecting fair, before the official launch date today.

With Alison Loehnis to the right and Charlotte Olympia in the middle at another amazing Net-à-Porter event in London.

Our lovely host, Alison Loehnis, president of Net-à-Porter, was joined by experts from the art world for a virtual discussion on «Voyages of Discovery: journey, legacy and connection in art & design.»

Philip Hewat-Jaboor gave us some great insight into Masterpiece London.

Philip Hewat-Jaboor, chairman of Masterpiece and a distinguished collector himself of exceptional pieces from every category imaginable, including 18th-century and early-19th-century ceramics, marbles, furniture and antiquities, gave us a great introduction. What sets Masterpiece London apart from other art fairs is the juxtaposition of art and design from all periods and origins. It is the unmissable art fair at which visitors can view and buy the finest works of art, design, furniture and jewellery – from antiquity to the present day.

Emma Ward during the meeting in front of a Picasso painting.

«Art is incredibly subjective.» – Emma Ward

With almost 400 years of collective art world experience, Dickinson specialises in privately and discreetly handling rare Old Masters through to Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary masterpieces. Emma Ward, Managing Director, who runs the company, explained us how to navigate through today’s complex and fast-moving art world.

Stunning necklace by Fabio Salini

«I couldn’t find the perfect color combination. Therefore I divided the gems in two rows, into warm and cold colors.» – Fabio Salini

Gemologist and jewelry designer Fabio Salini worked for Bvlgari and Cartier before launching his own brand, creates original jewelry and events around the world. In 2004 he opened his Atelier in Rome, an elegant shop and design studio that has become the focal point of his work, representing the quintessence of his style. His keen interest in contemporary art as a form of expression and a source of inspiration has led to brilliant collaborations, like that with Fernando and Humberto Campana, rooted in a tantalizing mélange of jewelry, design and art. He sees himself as a contemporary artist, very much related to his emotions. He is a pisces, very moody, feelings change every single day.

Image of Rockefeller’s salon designed by Jean-Michel Frank in 1939, showing the Léger mural and Giacometti andirons.

«I believe that a less severe principle can be found—the mixing of styles. The noble frames that came to us from the past can receive today’s creations. The house that we build now can welcome ancient things of beauty.» – Jean-Michel Frank

Such a source of inspiration: Helena Rubinstein’s apartment.

«Re-editions can be problematic.» – Daniel Malarkey

Daniel Malarkey, art advisor, specialized in contemporary art and important design for collectors. I loved his advice and speech. He spoke about provenance and the designer’s work; how proportion, materials and form inspire contemporary design today: how then one commissions site-specific design for interiors and mixing 20th century with contemporary.

Van Cleef and Arpels Œillet handbag mirror. Unique piece, High Jewelry Collection, 2019
Yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, pink sapphires, rubies, diamonds. £300.000

If this preview has whet your appetite, you can go even further with this online. Navigate on your own, you can do this from every corner of the globe. However, without the conversation with the exhibitors, you might be stuck. If you find something you like, make a telephone call, talk to the dealer, get engaged and learn more about the respective piece. Masterpiece’s exhibitors span all eras and disciplines and include many of the world’s most distinguished art dealerships.

Shopping art and design is actually similar to shopping at Net-à-Porter, do your homework. Understand the fabrics and materials, buy books and learn about iconic pieces. Buy the best you can afford, instead of buying 25 pieces, invest in THE one. You should feel comfortable in spending money so that you would like to do it again.

Chairs, ca. 1930, by Jean-Michel Frank (1895-1941), Galerie Marcilhac

If you commission a piece, find a gallery, an artist or designer. Talk about the feeling of the house, work on the discussion and have an eye on proportion.

Invest in something you like. It might become an iconic piece. I am a collector myself, my collection of high end fashion pieces is my biggest passion that I have followed since over 25 years now. I buy what I personally adore and this is in general the best advice! In the meantime, my collection includes many museum-quality objects.

Do you remember the auction sale of the art collection put together by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé that was held from February 21-25 2009? Yves Saint Laurent was a tastemaker of his own who also got inspired by art, as you can see perfectly in the creation of the famous «Mondrian dress». It was the first ever auction sale to be staged in the Nave of the Grand Palais. The event turned out to be memorable with even 34.000 visitors. Record-breaking items were: the Brancusi sculpture, Madame L.R. which fetched 28.1 million euros. The Matisse Cuckoos went for a spectacular 32 million, smashing the estimated figure of 12 to 18 million euros. Marcel Duchamp’s Belle haleine, eau de voilette fragrance bottle fetched 7.9 million euros.

Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in their apartment with the famous dragon armchair.

Last but not least, a legendary item in the collection, Eileen Gray’s «dragon» armchair, defied all expectations, the sale price of 21.90 M€ being ten times the pre-sale estimate. This chair was absolutely different from her usual style, but you see how things can turn out surprisingly well.

Join Masterpiece Online (22 – 28 June 2020) for live panel discussions with leading cultural institutions, watch interviews and learn from experts, expert-led virtual tours or arrange a tailor-made private view for you and your friends.

Have a great start into the week.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht, Courtesy of Rockefeller Foundation, Net-à-Porter and Masterpiece

Clash de Cartier Debuts New Additions

In a private appointment at CARTIER this week, I had the opportunity to finally discover the new addition to the Clash de Cartier collection, that debuts a white gold series and some limited edition amazonite novelties.

Those beautiful studded and spiky fine jewellery pieces are available now in four designs:
1 Clash de Cartier ring, small model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 2150
2 Clash de Cartier ring, medium model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 3100
3 Clash de Cartier ring, medium model in a non-rhodium finish 18K white gold, CHF 3100
(the non-rhodium finish looks darker and more matte, something that might appeal especially to men and those who like their jewellery to look more fashion-forward)
4 Clash de Cartier bracelet, medium model in a rhodium-finish 18K white gold, CHF 8850

Looking at my arm, I am seriously into stacking goals. Needless to say, I have immediately fallen in love with the new Clash de Cartier white gold bracelet which I think would finish off my collection perfectly. It also looks great in combination with my small Clash de Cartier rose gold bracelet.

Do you like stacking your arm as much as I do?

And their is more. Following the debut release of 18k white gold versions, the brand has also added a line of limited edition amazonite novelties. Take a look at these new beauties. I am madly in love, especially with the ring.

1 Clash de Cartier earring, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 13000
2 Clash de Cartier bracelet, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 53500
3 Clash de Cartier ring, large model, 18K rose gold, amazonite, CHF 11900

LoL, Sandra

Photos: Courtesy of Cartier and © Sandra Bauknecht

Hermès New Aluminium Sunset Bracelets

Inspired by California’s unique sunsets, intense colors like Bleu Egée or Jaune Soleil adorn the wrists this summer at Hermès.

Collier de Chien bracelets in Bleu Eagle and Jaune Soleil

This year is all about innovation. Therefore, the French Maison has developed a progressive material and created the iconic Collier de Chien and Evelyn bracelets from anodized aluminum. The surface of these ultra-light bangles is treated using a special oxidation process, so that the color melts with the metal and is particularly resistant to dirt and scratches.

Evelyn bracelets in five colors

The Collier de Chien and Evelyn bracelets are available in five colors each at a price of CHF 710.- and CHF 470.- respectively.

LoL, Sandra

Photos: © Hermès and © Sandra Bauknecht