By  on October 2, 2009

Talk about patience — and nerves of steel. A master craftsman devoted two months, or almost 400 hours, of work to cutting a single diamond for Louis Vuitton. In its trademark Flower cut, the stone is a whopping 30.1 carats. At a party on Wednesday night, Vuitton will unveil that big rock along with its new high jewelry collection, the first designed by Place Vendôme veteran Lorenz Bäumer. His Spirit of Travel collection — consisting of six jewelry sets, each with a one-of-a-kind necklace retailing for up to $2.5 million — will then be unveiled to the public on Oct. 15 at Vuitton’s flagship on the Champs-Elysées.

The son of a diplomat, Bäumer said he drew on a lifetime of his own travels to create the pieces, which range from a Masai-like necklace of interlocking circles to earrings that evoke the swooping, out-of-this-world architecture of Santiago Calatrava. Since Vuitton’s creative director, Marc Jacobs, introduced a charm bracelet eight years ago, Vuitton has been gradually upping the ante in the fine jewelry department. “Now we’re really becoming serious,” said chief executive officer Yves Carcelle. At present, Vuitton sells fine jewelry in 64 of its 439 boutiques.

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