Los Angeles, CA—The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County announced details for its upcoming exhibition Diamonds: Rare Brilliance, opening later this month. The collection will bring to the museum’s renowned Gem and Mineral Hall a collection of rare colored diamonds never before seen in the United States. Organized in partnership with L.J. West Diamonds, the exhibition opens December 16 and runs through March 19, 2017.
At the center of the exhibition will be the “Juliet Pink Diamond,” an extremely rare 30+-carat pink diamond, and a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet” after the eponymous Argyle mine in Western Australia, where it was discovered in 2015.
Through stunning examples, such as the fluorescent lighting of a “rainbow” diamond necklace (above left) and a very rare Victorian Orchid Vivid Purple diamond, the exhibition will bring to light the rare properties of colored gemstones, the science behind natural colored diamonds, and how the interplay of light and chemistry gives diamonds color.
The Juliet Pink diamond necklace.
“We are thrilled to share these gems, which are incredibly rare in color, intensity, quality and size — and so brilliantly fashioned from the original roughs — with museum visitors, providing opportunities to learn about the geology, physics and chemistry behind each diamond’s sparkle and hue,” said Dr. Aaron Celestian, NHM’s associate mineralogy curator. “These jewels, on loan from L.J. West, capture the imagination and will shine amongst the museum’s world-renowned collection of gems and minerals.”
“Throughout history diamonds have been synonymous with love and romance. The Juliet Pink captures this connection with its vibrant, strong pink color that is both alluring and seductive,” says Scott West, vice president of L.J. West Diamonds. “After understanding the stone’s importance and color we decided to name the stone the ‘Juliet Pink Diamond,’ as the stone captivates passion and ultimate beauty.” The Juliet Pink Diamond will be set in a necklace with marquise, pear, and round white diamonds (98.70 ctw) for the exhibition. It was designated a type IIa diamond by Gemological Institute of America (GIA) for its remarkable chemical purity and clarity.
The “Argyle Violet” is the largest violet stone to be discovered in the Argyle Diamond Mine. The 9.17 original rough stone was an unusual shape, characterized by deep grooves and an uneven surface. After more than 80 hours of carving and polishing, the diamond on view in NHM’s Gem Vault is a 2.83-carat oval set in a designer ring surrounded by Argyle vivid pink diamonds.
The incredibly rare Argyle Violet, prior to being set into a ring with vivid pink Argyle diamonds surrounding it.
“We are so pleased to be able to share these exceptional stones with the public through the Rare Brilliance exhibition at the Natural History Museum of LA,” said West. “Just as the ring and necklace settings provide a backdrop to highlight the brilliance of the cut stones, the excellent company of NHM’s Gem and Mineral Hall collection will provide the perfect context for these rare and important diamonds.”
Silpada, Now Under Richline, Launches E-commerce Site
New York, NY—Silpada is back but it’s now online. Following its recent acquisition by Berkshire Hathaway’s Richline Group, the popular former direct-sales sterling silver jewelry brand announced the launch of a new e- commerce site just in time for Black Friday.
The company, which followed an in-home direct sales model, was originally based in Lenexa, KS. It was sold to Avon—another famous direct-sales brand—in 2010, but bought back by its original owners in 2013, with sharply declining revenues and about half as many sales reps. According to this article in the Kansas City Business Journal, the company showed few outward signs of ill health when it announced plans to liquidate by the end of July, but it never regained footing as a direct-sales operation because far fewer women today have time for a side job hosting jewelry parties than when the company was founded in 1997. Richline acquired the brand in October, and the new, direct-to-consumer website went live last week.
The new website focuses on both best-selling Silpada legacy styles and a host of new pieces. “We could not be more excited about this launch,” said Matt Nichols, senior vice president of Richline’s digital division. “We’ve worked hard to craft a digital shopping experience that is worthy of Silpada’s dedicated fan base and its beloved sterling silver designs. These fresh styles, as well as a new digital presence for Silpada, are just the beginning. We look forward to building upon the extraordinary brand that the Kelly and Walsh families created.”
Silpada unveiled 40 new designs for the launch, and brought hundreds of customer favorites at permanently reduced prices. As the team at Richline Group develops the next line of Silpada jewelry, the site will host “The Sale Shop”, which offers exceptional last-chance values on legacy designs.
“Since acquiring Silpada in October, we’ve spent considerable time taking in feedback from passionate customers and representatives. Their insights have been invaluable as we work towards a new and inclusive direction for Silpada. We believe the new silpada.com is the right first step forward,” said Richline Group chief marketing officer, Mark Hanna.