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Vera Wang Exiting Fine Jewelry?

Vera Wang is set to abandon the fine jewelry business even as gold, diamond and precious stone jewelry seem to be hot tickets this holiday season, industry sources said.

NEW YORK — Vera Wang is set to abandon the fine jewelry business even as gold, diamond and precious stone jewelry seem to be hot tickets this holiday season, industry sources said.

Next month, Wang plans to end a partnership with Rosy Blue Fine, a subsidiary of the $1 billion Antwerp, Belgium-based diamond company Rosy Blue Inc., which produced the designer’s fine jewelry collection, the sources said.

Wang, one of the first American ready-to-wear designers to jump into the fine jewelry world, launched her collection in 2003, after houses like Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, which have thriving fine jewelry businesses. She declined to comment.

Wang was said to be focused on the creative direction of the jewelry, introducing unlikely materials, such as shagreen and titanium, into her pieces. The jewelry, which included engagement rings, Art Deco-inspired hanging earrings and cuff bracelets done in micro pavé, initially bowed in Bergdorf Goodman and select Neiman Marcus stores. The line has been in and out of several retailers, including select Saks Fifth Avenue doors, Bailey, Banks & Biddle and London Jewelers.

Some experts said that, while the editorially acclaimed jewelry was made and designed well, it was too expensive and inaccessible. Prices range from about $300 to $200,000. In the spring, the firm introduced a sterling silver jewelry line for bridesmaids, which started at a lower price point.

This story first appeared in the December 15, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.