Each year at the Baselworld exhibition, jewellery and watches are presented that create a real sensation, and this year is no exception. On the 25th March Ravi Lunia, the director of the international jewellery and gemstone company, Faidee, debuted a necklace with Burmese rubies of the very highest quality. Called the Grand Phoenix, it is worth over $35 million.
Unbelievably, the Lunia family gathered together 24 perfectly matched natural rubies of pigeon-blood colour to make the necklace. Not one of them has undergone heat treatment, something which is practically a miracle for a Burmese ruby. It took slightly more than a couple of days to collect such a quantity of perfectly tone-matched stones. Four generations of jewellers put away the mined mineral, stone after stone, to one fine day be able to present to the world their unbelievable collection of the precious scarlet stones. The total weight of the rubies is equal to 59.83 carats, the central stone, the largest of all, weighs 6 carats, and the others vary in size between one and five carats.
They combine beautifully with the 100.21 carats of exceptional-quality diamonds, the colour of which belongs to the highest category, D, and the impeccable purity of which is rated as FL and IF, according to the certificates of the Gemological Institute of America.
At the presentation, I was overwhelmed with sadness at the thought of how much precious stone was lost in the cutting process.
However, Ravi approaches this in a philosophical way: “When you match stones to build up a necklace there are two ways to do it: commercially and artistically. When the jewel is created with passion, perfection becomes everything and the value of gems becomes secondary. When you match rubies in every aspect by shape, colour and luster, there is always a tremendous amount of recuts, but there is no other way out to build a piece of the Grand Phoenix’ calibre”.
The jewellery industry has truly never seen and will never see a necklace like this, which is why Faidee has no intention of putting it up for sale.
“5 years ago, mining was still going well in the region of Burma, however, within the last 2-3 years nothing significant has come out of it, just a few stones here and there. What we have managed to achieve with this necklace cannot be repeated, therefore the Grand Phoenix will remain in our personal collection,” explains Ravi Lunia about their desire not to sell the necklace.
The Faidee company traces its origins back to the beginning of the 20th century when Roop Chand Lunia, known as the “King of Burmese Rubies”, began to acquire the most valuable gemstones for his own collection. His grandson, Rajeev Lunia, continued the same traditions and at present manages the family company together with Ravi Lunia. He personally cuts a portion of Faidee’s stones and therefore, during the Grand Phoenix’s creation, he turned down many rubies which, in his opinion, were of inferior quality to those already selected.
If you didn’t get the chance to see the Grand Phoenix in Basel, then you can still do so at the Hermitage Hotel in Monte-Carlo. An exhibition is being held here from the 1st to 21st August which will showcase the unique, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewellery from the Faidee company collection. This unique opportunity for the wider public to see all of these showpieces together has been made possible through a partnership with the jewellery company, Stardust Monte-Carlo.KP