(Rapaport…April 14, 2005) Lincoln Center in New York City was abuzz for diamonds after-hours on April 13th, with the launch of a new diamond jewelry line that incorporates natural diamonds with fancy colored man-made gemstones.
|Jazz artist Chris Botti entertains guests at Avery Fisher Hall. Inset: (6)Seaweed Necklace; platinum necklace illusion set with round cut, yellow diamonds (26 cts.) and 0.25 ct. and 0.5 ct. round cut natural diamonds. (5) Seaweed Earrings; platinum, two 0.25 ct. yellow diamonds, two 0.25 ct. natural diamonds.
Diamonds for Humanity and the Gemesis Corporation debuted the line around the theme of luxury and conscience coexisting. Television celebrity and Emmy award winning talk show host Montel Williams opened the event at Avery Fisher Hall with about 260 guests attending.
“I own a lot of diamonds,” Williams said, “but never thought about where they come from. Are these blood diamonds? It is time for people to start thinking this way.”
Diamonds for Humanity’s founder, Sabiha Foster designed a number of items up for auction at the debut, Simon Atlas cut and polished the diamonds.
“We chose Gemesis Cultured Diamonds [and Tundra Diamonds] as our launch partners for the purity their diamonds, as well as the design options their rare colors afford,” Foster said.
The organization’s jewelry sales, in part, will fund grants to address issues where people are affected by illegal diamond trade and conflict diamonds. The International League for Human Rights will administer a program out of the proceeds for women and children’s healthcare in Sierra Leone.
The organization is also working with the Africa-America Institute to provide scholarship grants for African engineering students. “By combining luxury with corporate responsibility, Diamonds for Humanity has the potential to contribute toward Africa’s human capital, and could help boost the capacity of African countries to advance technologically, compete globally and thrive economically with politically stable environments,” said Mora Mclean, CEO of the Africa-America Institute.
Natural diamonds for the jewelry came from Tundra Diamonds of Canada. Thirty items were auctioned including earrings, necklaces, rings, pendants, and one “centerpiece” platinum necklace illusion set with round cut, yellow diamonds, and 0.25 carat and 0.5 carat round cut white natural diamonds. The reserve price was set at $110,000, and offered a matching set of earrings for $12,500.
“The diamond industry has taken positive steps to address diamond origin, with programs such as the Kimberley Process. Diamonds for Humanity and Gemesis are helping take that effort one step further by establishing the first diamond jewelry line to generate grants for humanitarian and educational programs,” said David Hellier, president of Gemesis.