The Queen of Jewels in Dubai
Why life in the city really is a bed of roses this weekend...
Dubai is synonymous with a ‘big is beautiful’ approach to design and living. Right from breaking multiple Guinness world records (the highest restaurant, the largest mall) to architectural wonders like the Burj Khalifa, the city doesn’t let others stand in the way of a dazzling first. Now it will play host to another design and artistic wonder in the form of La Reina – the show-stopping, one-of-a-kind Riviere necklace that would have made Elizabeth Taylor go all dewy-eyed.
La Reina – meaning The Queen in Spanish – is so precious it has been shrouded in secrecy by its creators, Indian luxury jewellery brand Rose, since it was crafted between 2011 and 2013. It’s made up of more than 780 carats of fine Colombian baroque-cut emeralds on a diamond rope and was the creation of Rose managing director, Biren Vaidya, and nine designers and artisans.
It’s no wonder then, that the starting value for such a necklace is a cool Dh7.3 million. And with prices on request for the rest of the collection, the sky is the limit at the exclusive show, which is being held at the Capital Club, Dubai, tomorrow, March 22.
Surrounded by mystery, La Reina has been shown once – in Mumbai, India, at a private viewing last December – and will feature as part of The Colours of Life collection – made up of captivating icy diamonds, blood red rubies, azure tanzanite, luminous pearls and vivid emeralds.
As a rule, treasured pieces of La Reina’s ilk have only ever been revealed during private viewings of no more than six people at the Rose Mumbai showroom’s treasure chest – a secret annexe reserved for royalty and the very rich and famous. With plush, baroque decor of the Louis XIV era, only a select few have been in the room. It was at an early private viewing that La Reina was named.
“On unveiling the necklace one customer gasped, ‘Wow it’s fit for a queen’,” says jewellery connoisseur Sumati Menda, who is a close friend of the Rose family and host of the event. “Since the stones are the highest-grade emeralds sourced in Colombia, we decided to name it The Queen in Spanish.”
Sumati, who was chosen as host because of her vast knowledge of
jewellery, confirms that no one has been lucky enough to wear La Reina, not even Sheetal Vaidya – Rose’s brand ambassador and wife of founder and MD Biren.
“We are keen to keep La Reina’s identity secret so the right buyer is found,” adds Sumati. “The entire piece has all been created from pieces of a single rough emerald of more than 3,000 carats, a rare achievement in itself. It took two full years to create. We want the right buyer to be the first to wear it.”
Friday was shown only a fleeting glimpse of a photo of La Reina. Take it from us, it truly is breathtaking, and we will be fighting to secure a closer look at the invitation-only event.
Sumati says she is looking forward to the occasion. “I am very excited and honoured that Rose has chosen to showcase it [the collection] for the first time publicly in Dubai,” she says. “And at an event that I am personally hosting.”
Rose Jewellery was founded in 1981 by husband-wife duo Rajeev and Purnima Sheth along with Purnima’s brother Biren, with the first of two shops opening in Mumbai in 2005. It has since become known as India’s answer to Van Cleef & Arpels or Tiffany. So why choose Dubai as the first place to showcase the precious gems outside of India?
“We are catering to an audience who are well-travelled and they absorb cues and trends from across the world,” says Purnima. “We’ve always had a strong clientele in Dubai who’ve travelled to our stores in India for our pieces. This time we’re coming to them.”
And we all want a glimpse of such a royally named necklace! ● Call Sumati on 050 456 2097 to find out how to secure your invitation.
Sumati says she is excited to be hosting the event
Biren Vaidya with his sister Purnima Sheth, right, and his wife Sheetal Vaidya