PARIS — There have been black diamonds, cognac diamonds and silver diamonds.
This story first appeared in the October 21, 2002 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Now, Chopard has introduced gold diamonds, which are not even diamonds at all. The Geneva-based watch and jewelry company launched its Golden Diamonds line last month in Paris with a gala fete at the Chateau de Versailles here. The jewelry uses 18-carat yellow and white gold cut to resemble large diamonds. The 300-piece collection is already being sold in Europe, and is bowing at Chopard boutiques in the U.S. this month.
Caroline Gruosi-Scheufele, vice president and artistic director of the family-owned firm, described the line as a way to give “diamonds a breath of youth.”
“There have been so many different types of diamonds on the market, and to make gold resemble a diamond is a fresh interpretation,” she said.
Gruosi-Scheufele added that it was also a means to capitalize on the current vogue of gold. “Gold has been making a big comeback,” she said. “But gold has always been a complement to other stones. I wanted to reverse the roles.”
That collection doesn’t totally eschew diamonds. Many of the most spectacular pieces, which retail between about $1,000 and $20,000, include small diamonds set around the larger nuggets of gold.
“There’s a lot of demand for important jewelry pieces,” Gruosi-Scheufele said. “But not everyone can afford a necklace with big diamonds. By making gold look like a diamond, you have the effect of an important diamond without the same elevated price.”
Meanwhile, Gruosi-Scheufele, who is married to Fawaz Gruosi, owner of the De Grisogono high-end jewelry brand, said Chopard opened boutiques this month in Las Vegas on Oct. 10, and on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills on Oct. 14, bringing its store count in the U.S. to five.
The company has also just inaugurated a Chopard Café above its shop in Moscow, which is open for dinner separately of the shop. The café concept may be rolled out to other Chopard units around the world, the company said.