Posts by Yousuf

    Joel Arthur Rosenthal who prefers to be known by his initials JAR, is a reclusive contemporary American/French Jewelry designer, born in Bronx, New York City in 1943, the only child of a Bronx postal worker and a Biology teacher in public high school. He grew up in an area in Bronx called Parkchester and spent his summers with his parents at the Castle Hill Beach Club in East Bronx. During his young years he spent a lot of time at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the American Museum of Natural History, spending a lot of time at the Metals and Minerals Galleries.


    Initially, he went to the High School of Museum & Art in New York, with the intention of becoming a professional painter. Later, he attended City College where he spent a semester studying linguistics. His interest in languages subsequently help him to attain proficiency in languages such as French, Italian, and Yiddish apart from English. He gained admission to Harvard in 1964, majoring in Art History and Philosophy, accelerating his program and finishing in two years instead of three.


    Soon after graduating he moved immediately to Paris, where he believed he could advance his artistic talents. He began by writing English and French movie scripts. He then met Pierre Jeannet, a Swiss Psychiatrist who became his friend and permanent business associate. Together they opened a Needlepoint Store in Paris, where JAR painted the designs for the tapestries and experimented with unusually colored yarn. There clientele included designers from Hermes and Valentino. JAR having always had a fascination for jewelry, then took up an appointment with Bulgari New York as a salesman for a short period. In 1977, he returned to Paris, where he was asked if he could design a mount for a gemstone. As destiny would have it, this assignment sent his career in a new and final direction, that eventually elevated him to the most popular and much sought-after contemporary jewelry designer in the world.


    JAR began experimenting with jewelry, designing pieces using inexpensive stones like coral, moonstone and semi-precious stones in assorted colors, such as red, violet, pink, and green. In 1978, JAR and Pierre Jeannet, opened a jewelry business on Place Vendôme in Paris. His designs quickly became famous not only for its vibrant colors but also organic shapes, such as flowers, butterflies, or animals. He used a dark metal alloy for his settings to highlight the gems color. He used pavé setting for his pieces, setting small stones closer together, making the settings virtually invisible and forming a pavement/carpet of tiny colored gemstones, with a gradation of color from the subtle to the vivid.


    Apart from His partner Pierre Jeannet, JAR works only with four assistants and uses four workrooms in Paris, Geneva and South of France. According to JAR he manufactures between 100 to 120 pieces of jewelry every year. In spite of the limited production he says his business has been profitable eversince he started and has remained entirely independent. There had been many lucrative offers to open JAR Stores in London, Geneva and other Jewelry Capitals of the world, which JAR always turned down. He says, "I don’t want to be beholden to anyone, I don’t want to be owned by anyone." JAR's Store at Place Vendôme refuses to advertise, keep regular hours or display its jewelry in window cases. In spite of his scorn for modern marketing principles JAR's jewelry has a cult-like following and is highly sought after on the auction market. Among his notable clients were Elizabeth Taylor, Ann Getty, Elle MacPherson, and Barbara Walters.


    "Jewels by JAR" an exhibition of around 400 pieces of JAR's jewelry creations, loaned by 145 of his living clients was held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City from November 20, 2013 to March 9, 2014
    The exhibition was the first retrospective of his work in the United States and the first retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum devoted to a living contemporary artist of gems.

    Lot 61 and Lot 191 are two Burma Sapphire lots that appeared at Christie's Jewels : The Geneva Sale held on May 13, 2009.

    Lot 61, A Sapphire and Diamond Ring, was set with a 10.18-carat, oval-cut Burma blue sapphire, with a floral surround made of eight petals, pave-set with circular-cut diamonds. A GGL report certified the Burmese origin of the stone with no indications of heating. The lot sold for a moderate price of US$45,495 above the estimated range of US$18,106 - $27,158. The price-per-carat value of this Burma sapphire works out to US$4,469.


    Lot 191 was An Important Sapphire And Diamond Ring/Pendant, by Repossi. The centerpiece of this ring was a 33.23-carat, cushion-cut Burma blue sapphire set within a brilliant-cut diamond double surround, mounted in 18k white-gold and platinum. The Sapphire and diamond setting is detachable from the ring, and could be worn as a pendant. Two lab reports by SSEF and GGL certified the Burma origin of the blue sapphire with no indications of heating. The lot sold much above the estimated range of US$226,319 - $280,635 for US$439,484 which works out to a ppc-value of US$13,225.

    Like the Richelieu Sapphires, another pair of Kashmir sapphire and diamond ear pendants, described as "A Pair Of Impressive Sapphire And Diamond Ear Pendants" appeared at the Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 31, 2011. The cushion-shaped sapphires weighing 14.84 carats and 13.47 carats are mounted on 18k white gold, between two pear-shaped diamonds at the top and bottom, and the upper diamond hooked loosely to a diamond surmount consisting of a cluster of three pear-shaped diamonds.
    Two lab reports issued by GGL and AGL certified that the 14.84 carat and 13.47 carat sapphires are of Kashmir origin, possessing a richly saturated and homogenous color with no evidence of heat enhancement. A pre-sale estimate of US$2,645,474 - 3,871,425 was placed on the lot, which sold even above the upper estimate for US$4,135,165. This works out to a price-per-carat value of US$146,067


    Another Kashmir sapphire lot that appeared at Christie's New York Magnificent Jewels sale on December 10, 2013 was Lot 355 titled - A Rare Belle Époque Sapphire And Diamond Ring - set with an oval-shaped sugarloaf cabochon sapphire weighing 21.27 carats, with single-cut diamonds on the shoulders, mounted in platinum. An AGL report accompanying the lot certified the Kashmir origin of the sapphire with no evidence of heat enhancement. The lot sold within the presale estimate of US$1,500,000 - 2,500,000 for US$2,105,000 working out to a ppc value of US$98,966.

    One of the most stunning alexandrites to appear at a public auction, was the 15.35-carat, cushion modified brilliant-cut alexandrite, that appeared at the Government Auction Assets sale of over 1,500 items held online at the online auction site LiveAuctioneers, on Sunday, April 29, 2012. This is perhaps one of the largest cushion modified brilliant-cut alexandrites in existence, appearing bright green in natural daylight and changing to golden-yellow in incandescent light.
    “An alexandrite stone of this quality and size is highly sought after by gemstone experts, connoisseurs and investors alike,” said Government Auction’s chief auctioneer Paul Sabesky, referring to the top lot of his upcoming sale. With certification from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), it has an estimated value of US $83,580-$167,160. The GIA in keeping with its policy has not ventured to give the country-of-origin of this beautiful alexandrite.

    A stunning Brazilian alexandrite weighing just 11.66 carats and mounted on a platinum ring appeared at the Christie's Geneva Magnificent Jewels Sale held on November 16, 2011. SSEF certified not only the Brazilian origin of the stone, but also the mine-of-origin as Hematita Mine in Brazil. Both SSEF and GGL certified the natural origin of the stone,without any treatment, as well as its high clarity and strong color-change effect. A pre-sale estimate of US$351,624 - 494,471 was placed on this ring which sold within the estimated range for US$421,501. This works out to a PPC of US$36,149.
    Another alexandrite from Hematita with its characteristic and attractive color change, cushion-cut and weighing 15.58 carats, mounted on a platinum ring with an oval-shaped diamond surround, appeared at Christie's Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels Sale held on May 29, 2012 and registered an enhanced price of US$934,480 above the pre-sale estimate of US$ 590,000 - 840,000. This works out to a PPC of US$ 59,979. A GGL report accompanying this stone speaking highly of its characteristics reads as follows :-
    This exceptional gemstone displays a saturated and homogeneous colour combined with a very high degree of transparency. The well-proportioned cut provides many internal vivid colour reflections, enhanced by a pronounced colour change effect from bluish-green when viewed in daylight, to reddish-purple upon exposure to incandescent light. Such a combination of high clarity and strong colour-change effect, in a Brazilian alexandrite exceeding 15 carats is very rare





    I just thought of computing the ppc values of the six Ceylon blue sapphires given above.


    1) 102.61 carats - USD 4,203,118 PPC - USD 40,962
    2) 18.8 carats - USD 101,214 PPC - USD 5,383
    3) 10.22 carat - USD 35,423 PPC - USD 3,466
    4) 15.32 carat - USD 74,932 PPC - USD 4,891
    5) 22.99 carat - USD 74,932 PPC - USD 3,259
    6) 13.61 carat - USD 92,643 PPC - USD 6,807
    While the average ppc of sapphires 2) to 6) is around USD 4,700, the ppc of sapphire No.1 is USD 40,962.
    What are the possible reasons for such a large disparity in the ppc values ?

    The diamonds no doubt are original Golconda stones, and originated before the 1750s, when the Indian mines were finally abandoned. Apart from the diamonds can someone give an indication as to the period when the ear-pendants incorporating the Imperial Cushion diamonds, were produced?