Tuesday, March 04, 2008

China Pearls and Jewellery City to open in April

Source: http://www.nationaljewelernetwork.com/

March 04, 2008

Zhuji, China—China Pearls and Jewellery City (CP and J City), a manufacturing, importing, exporting and trading center, and year-round exhibition space for pearls and jewelry, will celebrate its grand opening at a ceremony on April 18.

Located in Zhuji, China, in the eastern coastal province of Zhejiang, the entire site will take up an area of 1.2 million meters squared, or nearly 300 acres.

Among the facilities and services available at CP and J will be a center for manufacturing, processing and trading pearls, jewelry, accessories and equipment; more than 5,000 shops and booths; a year-round platform for exhibition, display and trade; warehouse and logistics facilities; import and export, banking and insurance services; a five-star hotel, restaurants, entertainment and residential facilities; and an international jewelry appraisal and training center.

On April 18, phase one of CP and J's Market Centre, an area for pearl and jewelry shops and booths, will be open for business. Attendees of the grand opening event will also have the opportunity to visit the Third China Zhuji Xishi Cultural Festival and the Sixth China Pearl Festival.

For more information, e-mail info@cpjcity.com.

Detailed story from http://www.cpjcity.com/

China Pearls and Jewellery City (“CP & J City), situated in Shanxiahu Town, Zhuji, Zhejiang Province, is a core project that the Zhuji Government has undertaken. The total investment of the project is over RMB3 billion, and the planned site area of Phase 1 is about 410,000 m 2 .

CP&J City shall offer all- new growth potentials, ample business opportunities and comprehensive service to all business runners in the pearl and jewellery industry. Major product lines to be traded at the City shall include a full range of raw pearl, pearl products as well as pearl jewellery, including freshwater pearl, South Sea pearl, Tahitian pearl; other product lines shall include jewellery made of gold, platinum, silver diamonds, gemstones and semi-precious stones. The multi-functions of the city shall range from manufacturing, processing, assembling, research and development, designing, wholesaling, retailing, ordinary and bonded warehousing, delivering, e-commerce, convention, exhibiting and all the way down to a full range of related professional services.

With over 5,000 booths and shops, the project will serve as:

• a global pearl and jewellery production and processing centre,

• a distribution and logistic centre,

• a branded product display and trading centre,

• a capital circulation and industry information release centre,

• a jewellery cultural exchange, business travel and shopping centre, and

• a sales and marketing headquarters of local and international branded manufacturers.

CP&J City shall be divided into five major areas, namely the Jewelry Raw Materials and Accessories, Finished Products and Tools and Equipment Trade Area, Exhibition Area, Manufacturing and Processing Area, Business Service Area and Supporting Facilities Area. It is an integration of the prominent features of jewellery industry with a gigantic business scale and a comprehensive range of supporting facilities of a modern and international standard.

It is expected that Phase I of CP&J City shall have a site area of approximately 350,000 m 2 and a construction area of approximately 50 0 ,000 m 2 . The Trade Area in Phase I will consist of over 2,400 shops and booths, varying in different sizes (5m x 12m x 3 storeys, 4m x 8m x 2 storeys, or 3m x 3m x 1 storey etc.). They are installed with central conditioning or independent air- conditioners and within easy access to the flow of visitors from all directions. Other value- adding elements are their artificial intelligent functions as well as superb furnishings. Supporting facilities serving this gigantic pearl and jewellery trade platform shall include office buildings, five-star hotels, living quarters as well as leisure zones and green areas.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Christie’s set to host $25m auction

source: http://www.business24-7.ae

By Maha Obeid on Monday, March 3 , 2008


The charm, style and elegance of legendary Egyptian singer Um Kulthum will be rediscovered when one of her most precious items of jewellery goes under the hammer next month. Um Kulthum was born to a poor family in a village in the Nile Delta of Egypt and carved her name in history as one of the most famous Arab singers of the 20th century.

Her repertoire included more than 300 songs with themes ranging from love to nationalism to religion. The majority were sung in colloquial Arabic; although some were in classical Arabic, written by famous poets.

She was born in 1904 and died on February 4, 1975. Fans all over the world mourned her death and more than four million people attended her funeral, which was the second largest in Egyptian history after President Gamal Abdel Nasser. Um Kulthum was a favourite of Nasser and presidents around the world, including Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of the UAE.

Sheikh Zayed, the founder and first president of the UAE, presented the singer with a magnificent natural pearl necklace. It is now in the public eye because the singer’s family have decided to sell it. Christie’s will auction it on April 29 at the Contemporary Jewels and Watches sale at Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai.

This will be Christie’s fourth series of sales of contemporary jewels and watches/international modern and contemporary art in Dubai. These sales, held in spring and autumn each year, began in May 2006.

The interest in art and jewellery is almost equal in the region – at the November 1, 2007 jewellery auction, sales reached $16.5 million (Dh61m). At the October 31, 2007 art auction, sales hit $15m.

The significance of the Um Kulthum sale centres around her as “one of the most famous Arab women in history”, Michael Jeha, Managing Director Christie’s Middle East, told Emirates Business. Christie’s expects a lot of interest in the pearl necklace, conservatively estimated at $80,000 to $120,000.

“We expect it to exceed its estimate. The provenance of the piece can affect its value, people love to buy provenance, they love to buy into history. It adds to the piece and increases its value.”

Christie’s opened its representative office in Dubai in April 2005 and has so far staged five auctions in the Middle East, achieving over $61m in sales. According to Jeha, the weakening of the US dollar has not impacted Christie’s sales.

“There are more people now looking at art as a form of investment. People see it as a way of diversifying their assets. We have such an extensive international base of clients, so the weakening of the dollar is not affecting sales.”

The combined fame of Um Kulthum and the fact that the late Sheikh Zayed donated the necklace makes it even more of a collector’s item, Jeha explained.

The necklace boasts approximately 1,888 pearls. It is an antique nine-row pearl necklace with multi-coloured enamel and white stone details, in the style of a traditional Indian Satlada necklace, and was created circa 1880.

“She used to treat the pearl necklace with absolute care and it was one of her favourites because it was given to her by the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan, the founder of the UAE,” according to a member of the singer’s family.

The heirloom will be one of 33 lots of pearls in a special pearl collection. In addition to the pearls, there will be 180 to 200 lots of jewels and watches.

“For the first time in the Middle East, we have created a dedicated pearl section. It’s a very exciting section and it contains two of the largest pearls in the world. We think it’s a great idea because Dubai at one time was the centre of the pearl trade so it is steeped in tradition.

"Through this auction, we want to help make Dubai to the centre of the pearl market. The pre-auction estimate is $18 to $25 million – which will be the highest value we have ever had in the Middle East and we hope will take the market to a new level,” Jeha said.

Christie’s experts have collected from the pearls all over the world.

“They source them from around the world – from private sources as well as from the trade, from a huge base of clients. They spend three to four months flying around the world sourcing these. It is very much a global collection,” Jeha said.

The top lots include an exceedingly rare pearl, valued at $600,000 to $800,000. According to Christie’s, it is almost certainly the largest example of its colour in the world – a yellow to pinkish-orange natural pearl, 241.44 grains (60.36 carats).

It is the second largest round pearl ever recorded, and the fourteenth largest natural pearl. There is also a natural pearl and diamond pendent necklace, valued at $120,000 to $150,000.

According to Jeha, Christie’s is expecting at least 50 per cent of bidders to be international, from art capitals such as Geneva, London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong. The target market is also art collectors in the UAE and Middle East – including Arab, European and Indian expats.

In addition to that, Christie’s is seeing “more and more local participation”. The jewels and watches auction will act as a precursor to the art auction on April 30. The art line-up will include some of the finest works by Arab and Iranian artists.

Highlights include a work by Syrian artist Fateh Moudarres at $200,000/$300,000, Lebanese artist Paul Guiragossian at $200,000/$300,000 and Iranian sculptor Parviz Tanavoli at $400,000/$600,000.

The sale also features a strong Western section, with a sculpture from Robert Indiana’s love series, valued at $1m to $1.5m. The pre-sale value of the entire auction is approximately $10m to 12m.

Designer Jewels

The trend of celebrities showing off the most precious and beautiful jewellery has continued since Um Kulthum’s era and now the favourite place to show-off the latest designs is the red carpet.

At the 80th Annual Academy Awards in Hollywood last month, Australian actress Nicole Kidman debuted a stunning rough and polished diamond sautoir necklace designed by L’Wren Scott.

The spectacular sautoir, worn with a long, black dress, contains a total of 7,645 diamonds including rough, faceted, and polished diamonds, which total nearly 1,400 carats.

The sautoir was produced and manufactured by Uni-Design Limited in Paris and India.
It uses a wide range of shapes and cuts of diamonds.

Each diamond was individually selected by Scott to fit together into an overall design.

The intricate design was handcrafted and required more than 6,200 hours to create.

L’Wren Scott is a former model and now a talented designer of both a luxury clothing line and diamond jewellery.

During her career in fashion she has established many loyal fans and she is one of the preferred stylists to celebrities and the fashion world alike.


Source: http://www.dubaicityguide.com/

Christies To Auction Um Kulthums Pearl Necklace In The Middle East In April 2008

Magnificent Necklace Gifted To Um Kulthum By His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan The Late President Of The United Arab Emirates To Be Sold By Family Descendents

Christie’s is proud to announce the sale of a magnificent natural pearl necklace that belonged to Um Kulthum (1904-1975). Unquestionably the greatest Arab singer of the 20th century, Um Kulthum was known as ‘The Shining Star of the Middle East’ (Kawkab El Sharq), and her importance in the Arab countries was so great that she was received with the same ceremony as heads of state. The necklace, which was gifted to Um Kulthum by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of the UAE, is being sold by family descendents. It is expected to fetch $80,000-120,000 when it is sold as a star lot in the forthcoming auction of Contemporary Jewels and Watches to be staged by Christie’s in Dubai on 29 April 2008.

“Christie’s is thrilled to be offering this historic jewel from one of the greatest icons of the twentieth century”, said David Warren, Director of Jewellery Middle East.

The antique nine-row pearl necklace with multi-coloured enamel and white stone details, in the style of a traditional Indian Satlada necklace, was created circa 1880 (estimate: $80,000-120,000), and consists of approximately 1,888 pearls. It was gifted to Um Kulthum by His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late ruler of the UAE and is being offered for sale at Christie’s by family descendents. “She used to treat the pearl necklace with absolute care and it was one of her favourites because it was given to her by the late Sheikh Zayed Al Nayhan, the founder of the UAE”, remembers a family member of the late star. This magnificent necklace is one of the highlights of a 33 lot strong selection of natural pearls to be offered in the forthcoming sale of Contemporary Jewels and Watches, one of the most significant offerings of natural pearls to the market for decades, and expected to fetch in the region of $7 million (please see separate press release).

Um Kulthum’s repertoire included more than 300 songs with themes ranging from love to nationalism to religion. The majority were sung in colloquial Arabic; although some were in classical Arabic, written by famous poets. She was extremely selective in the choice of verses and frequently had the authors change words if their resonance for her was not perfect.

Um Kulthum was relentless in her charitable work and was the spokeswoman for numerous good causes. She advocated governmental support of Arabic music and musicians, she endowed a charitable foundation and, most importantly, after the Egyptian defeat in the 1967 war, she began a series of domestic and international concerts for Egypt. She traveled throughout the Arab world, collecting contributions and donating the proceeds of her performances to the government of Egypt. Um Kulthum was entertained by heads of state, she toured cultural monuments, and, in interviews, repeated her views concerning the importance of support for indigenous Arab culture.

When on February 4th, 1975, Egyptian radio aired the chanting of the Qur’an, it was the sign that someone important has died. Um Kulthum’s funeral drew more than four million people to the streets of Cairo to publicly mourn her passing. In her honour the Egyptian government opened the Kawkab al-Sharq Museum at the Manesterli Palace (Star of the East), dedicated to the life and work of Um Kulthum. The museum contains many of her personal items as well as her dresses and even her famous eye glasses.

Almost 33 years to the day after her death, she is still heard daily on the radio and her albums are top sellers. Described as ‘The Incomparable Voice’ by Maria Callas, Um Kulthum was more than a musician - she became the voice and face of Egypt. Today Um Kulthum’s memory and image is widely celebrated; Egyptian artist Chant Avedissian, whose works regularly feature in Christie’s auctions of International Modern and Contemporary Art, is represented in the current ‘Word into Art’ Exhibition at the DIFC, Dubai with his homage to Um Kulthum

“Christie’s is proud to be offering for sale Um Kulthum’s necklace, one of the most famous Arab women in history, and we look forward with great excitement to our 29th April sale which will contain some of the finest natural pearls in the world” concluded Michael Jeha, Managing Director, Middle East.