Daily Archives: May 16, 2013

The American Institute of Gemology has handed the Harry

Prestigious jeweller Harry Winston, which was acquired earlier this year by Swatch Group, bought a new colourless, flawless 101.73-carat diamond for a record US$26.7 million at an auction in Geneva on Wednesday, auction house Christie’s said.

Christie’s representative Raul Kadakia told reporters after the sale that Harry Winston was the buyer of the diamond that Wednesday evening smashed the previous auction-price record for a diamond in its category by more than US$10 million.

“Twenty-three million (Swiss) francs! Your last chance! Twenty-three million, sold!” shouted Francois Curiel, the head of Christie’s jewellery division shouted, referring to the US$23.5 million price before tax and commission, and clinching the deal in front of some 150 people gathered for the auction at a luxury Geneva hotel.

As the first ever buyer of the new diamond, Harry Winston had the privilege of naming it and had decided to call it “Harry Legacy,” Kadakia said, pointing out that this was the diamond dealer’s first major purchase since it was snapped up by the world’s leading watchmaker for US$1.0 billion in March.

Switzerland’s Swatch Group, most known for its brightly coloured plastic watches, has been eagerly expanding its luxury offerings, and Wednesday’s sparkling purchase should perhaps especially tickle the group’s chairwoman Nayla Hayek, who was named chief executive of Harry Winston earlier this month.

“Diamonds are still a girl’s best friend,” she said following the January announcement that Swatch would buy the company, referring to the famous Marilyn Monroe song that mentions Harry Winston, from the 1953 musical film “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”.

The American Institute of Gemology has handed the Harry Legacy the top colourless grade “D” and the best clarity grade, “flawless”, which is characterised by its “absolute symmetry”, according to Christies.

The diamond, sold at the auction by a diamond merchant, was 236 carats in the rough when it was extracted from the Jwaneng mine in Botswana, before it was meticulously sculpted for 21 months, Christie’s said.

Wednesday’s sale marked the highest price ever paid for a flawless colourless diamond at auction, although Christie’s had hoped the new diamond — the largest of its kind to ever go under the hammer — would rake in US$30 million.

The previous auction-price record-holder in the category was the 84.37-carat Chloe round diamond, snapped up at a Sotheby’s auction in Geneva in 2007 by Guess Jeans founder Georges Marciano for US$16.2 million.

In the “colourless, flawless” category, the reigning world champion in terms of size is meanwhile the Cullinan Diamond, a gem weighing 530.2 carats that is part of the British crown jewels.

Last November, Christie’s sold the 76-carat Archduke Joseph Diamond, in the initially flawless category a notch below flawless, on auction in Geneva for US$21.5 million.

And in May 2011, a heart-shaped 56-carat diamond was auctioned off for US$10.9 million.

The Elizabeth Taylor Diamond, which is in the same D-colour category but weighs in at only 33.19 carats, was meanwhile sold for US$8.8 million on auction in New York in December 2011.

While Swatch’s low-end plastic watches are perhaps its most recognisable, the Swiss company operates in every price range, from the Flik Flak kid’s watches to prestigious timepieces under for instance the Breguet brand which can cost more than one million Swiss francs a piece.

Jamie took include a Cartier pendant

When people leave their things in their hotel room, they like to think that it is safe. However, football manager Jose Mourinho learned the hard way that this is not always the case. He recently became the victim of theft after a career criminal stole £100,000 worth of jewellery from his hotel room.

The police say that the criminal stole the jewellery from Jose Mourinho’s penthouse suite and then very casually asked the concierge if he could book a taxi for him. This taxi was used as his get-away car. This just proves that people never really know if their stuff is secure or not.

The criminal, Jamie Filan, is 32-years-old. He was able to break into Mourinho’s room at Chelsea’s Wyndham Grand Hotel. This hotel is a five-star hotel that prides itself on having great security. Mourinho was staying there with his wife and daughter, who is 16.

Jamie was smart enough to wait until Mourinho was out on business and the rest of his family was out shopping. He took this time to break into the suite and took precious gems from the room. Police say that Filan was able to get past security by using the service lift. Some of the items that Jamie took include a Cartier pendant and a ring and earrings set that is said to be worth £51,450.

Mr Filan may have gotten away with everything had he given up on stealing right then and there. However, he was eventually caught just a few weeks later after trying to steal from another hotel. He attempted to break into a suite at the Four Seasons in Hamilton Place, Park Lane. When he was unsuccessful, he returned the very next night. This time he was grabbed by hotel security.

The Southwark Crown Court later heard that Filan was actually a professional thief. In fact, he had already been in jail for breaking into a home a few months earlier. Not only that, but back in 2007 he was sent to jail for nearly five years after he ran over and killed Michelle Dever, who was a dental nurse. The court feels that this is a classic example of someone who refuses to change no matter how many chances they get. Filan was sentenced to another 31 months in prison.

The prosecutor, Peter Zinner, said that the whole Mourinho family was distressed after the break-in. Filan was able to make this family feel uncomfortable in a five-star hotel with security. He knew what he was doing because he had to plan in order to get past hotel security. In fact, security for the penthouse floor is pretty secure, as it requires people to have a card in order to even use the lift.

Mr Zinner added that Flian was able to access the penthouse level via the service lift. This is an area of the hotel that only the staff are supposed to know about. This was in no way a “lucky burglary.” In order to make this happen he would have to know what he was doing. He would have had to plan out the burglary; this was no random attack.