Robb Report Design Portfolio: Message with a Bottle

  • Laurie Kahle

 “Deep inside mother earth, some two billion years ago, in South Africa, was born a colorless, 10.71-carat rough diamond,” muses sixth-generation diamond cutter Gabi S. Tolkowsky in a handwritten letter describing the Ougi diamond, named for the elaborately decorated fans carried by the Japanese elite. Tolkowsky and his team of master cutters spent eight months fashioning the stone into “a beautiful mirror of past, present, and future eternity.” Rather than set the 5.14-carat, 97-facet finished stone in a piece of jewelry, Tolkowsky and his client, Asprey & Garrard (which were merged at the time), used it to crown one of a set of three perfume bottles made of crystal and embellished with 18-karat gold. The 18.61-carat Mother of Pearl and 10.36-carat Peacock’s Tail diamonds sit atop the other bottles in the set, which was completed in 2001. Last November, the Peacock’s Tail (not shown) sold at Christie’s in Geneva for about $150,000.

Gabi S. Tolkowsky & Sons, +32.3.232.28.04

Photo by Jim Fets
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