French Jewelry Heist

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Today’s post is about the biggest jewelry heist to happen in France, which took place ironically in Cannes as did the previous two heist to happen this year.

Recently, french authorities increased border security as part of the manhunt for the robber who made off with an estimated $136M worth of diamonds and jewels in possibly the world’s biggest heist. Investigators said checkpoints have been stepped up on the country’s borders with Spain, Italy and the principality of Monaco after Sunday’s heist at the Carlton Intercontinental Hotel in Cannes on the French Riviera.

On Monday, authorities raised the estimated value of the minute-long heist, taking it past the $100M raid on a Paris store in 2008 and making it likely among the biggest in the world. The lead investigator Philippe Vique, a prosecutor in the nearby town of Grasse, said police had interviewed staff at the glamorous hotel which featured in the famous Alfred Hitchcock movie “To Catch a Thief” starring Cary Grant.

Officers were also reviewing  all security camera footage for clues, although sources say that the man covered his face with a scarf, cap and wore gloves. Vique added that the robber who they believe acted alone,  entered through a French door at the side of the hotel on the famed La Croisette seafront. It was not broken, so investigators are unsure if it was left open or whether the thief had cracked it open.

He then made his way to the temporary jewelry exhibit held over the summer by the prestigious Leviev diamond house, owned by Israeli billionaire Lev Leviev. Armed with only a hand gun he threatened three private security guards, two vendors and a manager of the sale, before shoveling the jewels into a briefcase. He then fled with 72 pieces including rings, pendants and diamond-encrusted earings, although he dropped some of the jewelry as he made his escape.

Fortunately, no customers were present during the crime and no one was hurt.

Leaving through a different French door he jumped about one meter onto the terrace next to the hotel before darting into a side street. The whole thing was said to be over in a minute.

The owner of the jewels, Lev Leviev said in a statement that company officials were cooperating with authorities investigating the loss. We are relieved that no one was injured in the robbery,” he said.

Vique said police were not currently making any link with the infamous Pink Panther gang, who in a daring raid broke one of their members out of a Swiss jail, last Thursday. Gang member Milan Poparic escaped after accomplices rammed a gate and overpowered guards with bursts from their AK-47s.

Ironically, sunday’s heist came two months after two smaller jewelry robberies hit the annual Cannes film festival, where many of the world’s top movie stars are lent gowns and gems to parade on the red carpets and at glamorous parties.

The Carlton Cannes Hotel itself has proved to be a particularly irresistible target for thieves since it was built in 1911.

In August 1994, three machine gun-toting crooks stormed into the hotel’s jewelry shop and cleared its shelves of $60 million worth of gems. They have never been caught.

 

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,
R.Lamour

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Smash and Grab Jewelry heist

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Recently, there has been a constant wave of jewelry heists. Most recently, police have been searching for a group of thieves who made off with more than $100,000 worth of jewelry in a brazen smash-and-grab robbery at a Kay Jewelers in Livermore, Calif. Despite the fact that much of the robbery has been caught on surveillance video, the police have not been able to identify the thieves, who got in and out of the store in only four minutes early Monday morning and are still on the loose.

Surveillance video released by the Livermore Police Department shows the three suspects crashing a vehicle through metal security doors at Kay Jewelers in the recently opened Livermore Premium Outlets. The footage also shows the masked and hooded thieves storming through the jewelry store, smashing open display cases with sledge hammers and taking as much merchandize as they could get their hands on in the short time.

“They tried to open several cases, and took whatever they could,” Livermore Police Department’s Lt. Mike Trudeau said. Within four minutes the robbers had looted the store and were well on their way.

Mall security, which is located on the opposite end of the building, arrived on the scene just as the thieves were making their getaway, and were only able to give a description of the vehicles, the police spokesman said.

“There is on-site security that is there 24 hours a day. They were on the other side of the mall when this occurred and did identify the two get-away vehicles as a white station wagon and a tan sedan,” Trudeau said. “We don’t have any suspects at this point in the investigation.”

Trudeau declined to comment on other specifics regarding the on-going investigation.

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

 

 

The launching of the Faith Ann Kiely Brand

Today’s post is about a former senior merchandising executive for fine jewelry corporations, Faith Ann Kiely and the launch of her own brand. Being that she no stranger to the jewelry world, the recent launch of her first collection accentuates her approach to the industry from a new angle.

In this article Kiely discusses how classical antiquity is incorporated into her work, while staying true to the identity of her brand and the reasons consumers will keep coming for silver as long as designs stay compelling.

The Faith Ann Kiely brand was started in 2011, and officially launched to the retail market in the spring of 2013. She told us that FAK uses top-quality materials, the highest quality standards and traditional manufacturing techniques of fine jewelry. What differentiates FAK from many other brands is that it offers an uncompromising commitment to design and quality and creating the product made in America.

In terms of design, FAK’s design aesthetic seems to be truly original. It is inspired through her artistic perspective on classical antiquity, Faith Ann Kiely’s jewelry motifs are derived from an eclectic appreciation of the manifestation of beauty, art and spirit in our world, which she expresses through the fine sculpted metal work of my designs. Working with 18-karat gold and sterling silver, her intricately carved pieces, resplendent with bold faceted gemstones, are reflective of ancient times and provide a distinctly modern look.

When asked what is the most difficult thing about being a jewelry designer? she told us ”I think the most challenging aspect of being a new jewelry designer is in staying true to the DNA of your brand and design vision, regardless of current trends and/or market pressures. I believe that a brand must be authentic to its identity to truly be accepted and understood by consumers.”

Here are a few of her very intricate designs below for your perusal.

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Suzanne Belperron’s Jewelry Legacy

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Today’s post highlights the life and some of the great works of Suzanne Belperron.

Suzanne is a Parisian jeweler, she began working in 1919 at age 19, and continued without stopping for the next 56 years. She died in 1983. Her life and career spanned the modern movement in the arts, feminism and the emergence of fashion as a big business.

Elegant and audacious, she pioneered a new aesthetic style in jewelry, yet never sought recognition. Despite her discovery by the cognoscenti of style, her celebration by the fashion press, and her profound influence over the rest of the 20th Century’s jewelry design, her name is still not as known today. When the Duchess of Windsor’s jewelry was auctioned in 1987, only 5 of 16 Belperron pieces were tentatively identified. She was once asked why she never signed her work, Madame Belperron replied: “My style is my signature.”

What set her apart from her peers was the fact that she drew on motifs from a range of cultures—African, Cambodian, Celtic, Egyptian, Indian, Mayan—and created a daring new look which was hailed as both “brilliant” and “raw.”

 

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Belperron’s designs are so unique containing elements that are bold, playful, and anti-ornamental that they tend to strip away one’s average assumptions about jewelry. Her sculptural shapes anticipated modern design, like Chanel, she showed that high style could come from unfancy elements.

 

As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Hera Arkarakas Silver Jewelry!

As the price of gold maintains remains unstable, many jewelry designers are continuously looking for new more cost effective ways of expressing their designs. One designer in particular is Hera Arkarakas of the brand Hera who absolutely loves to combine the two metals.

In her most recent sterling silver collection she features 18-karat yellow or pink gold accents, which she says allows consumers to incorporate their existing gold jewelry with new pieces to give them a fresh, modern look.

“I wanted the collection to be very versatile to give women the ability to accessorize and capture all their unique fashion looks. As women, we live busy lives–juggling our careers, family life as well as fitting in a glamorous night or two out on the town. Jewelry is an accessory that can easily take an outfit from casual day to formal evenings,” Arkarakas said.

Arkarakas also feels that her gemstone statement rings are some of her most popular pieces, because they add color and a unique flair to outfits. The hematite mist- and champagne mist-colored stones are neutral and easy to wear, Arkarakas said, while aqua mist and violet mist add a punch of vibrant color. Below are some of the best pieces from her collection for your perusal…enjoy!

From the Paradise collection, Hera’s sterling silver rings are made with 18-karat yellow gold accents, diamonds and a violet “mystic” finish (left, $1,595) and a champagne “mystic” finish ($1,595).

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This Aqua Mist design set includes pieces from both the Paradise and Lido collections. The Lido sterling silver cushion ring features a “mystic” finish ($495), and the silver Lido mini cushion ring with a “midnight” and “mystic” finish ($295). From the Paradise line is a sterling silver pear-shaped pendant ($595) and pear drop earrings ($495), both with a midnight finish.

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Hera’s silver and hematite cushion drop earrings with a midnight finish ($395), from the Lido collection.

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From the Cocktail Stax collection, Hera’s sterling silver bangles feature 18-karat yellow gold accents with a mystic and midnight finish, with assorted gemstones and diamonds or black spinels (from $355).

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

Two watch brands To watch

Today’s post concentrates on two watch brands which  are making great strides of…..

Recently, German watch manufacturer Glashütte Original has launched a new line of ladies watches inspired by the 1920s genre, the decade in which wearing wristwatches first became popular among women.

Launched on June 20th at a party at the Waterfall Mansion on New York’s Upper East Side, Pavonina feature’s a line of Art Deco-inspired timepieces with modernized versions of the cushion-shaped cases which were popular in the Jazz Age.

The 31 mm watches have a date window at 6 o’clock and are available in stainless steel, 18-karat red gold or a combination of the two, on a satin or leather strap or bracelet. Diamonds are available on some models or through special order.

A total of 20 variations comprise Pavonina’s line, a name derived from the Latin word for peacock, with retail prices ranging from $4,900 to $39,600.

 

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Yves “Jetman” Rossy, the Swiss gentleman who is well known for flying solo courtesy of jet engines attached to his body, will make his first public U.S. flights this summer, as sponsor Breitling recently announced.

The 53-year-old Rossy, who worked as a fighter pilot and airline captain before becoming the world renowned Jetman, will soar over the crowds at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) AirVenture Oshkosh fly-in, which takes place from July 29 to Aug. 4 in Wisconsin, and at the Reno Air Races in Nevada, scheduled for Sept. 11 to 15.

Exact dates of the Jetman’s performances are not yet determined.

Rossy’s secret is a carbon-Kevlar jet wing with four engines that enable him to propel himself through the air at speeds upward of 150 mph, controlled by a throttle in his hand. The Jetman uses his shoulders, body and legs to steer, pitch and descend at will.

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As always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour

 

Tiffany & Co. Exec Steals over $1M in Jewelry

As recently as today, a former executive with Tiffany & Co. was arrested for stealing a number of little blue box bounties from the jeweler’s midtown Manhattan headquarters and resold them for more than $1.3 million over a period of time, federal authorities said Tuesday. Ingrid Lederhaas-Okun was arrested Tuesday at her home in Darien, Connecticut. She was to appear later in the day in federal court in Manhattan to face charges of wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property.

As vice president of product development, Lederhaas-Okun had authority to “check out” jewelry from Tiffany at anytime she saw fit in order to provide to potential manufacturers to determine production costs. Authorities allege that after she left Tiffany in February, the company discovered she had checked out 164 items that were never returned.

According to a criminal complaint, the missing jewelry included “numerous diamond bracelets in 18-carat gold; diamond drop and hoop earrings in platinum or 18-carat gold; diamond rings in platinum; rings with precious stones in 18-carat gold; and platinum and diamond pendants.”

When confronted about the missing jewelry, Lederhaas-Okun claims that she had left some of it behind at Tiffany and that some had been lost or damaged, the complaint said. But in reality, an investigation found that Lederhaas-Okun resold the goods to an unidentified international dealer for more than $1.3 million.

Bank records also showed that since January 2011, the dealer wrote 75 checks to her or her husband for amounts of up to $47,400, the complaint said. Investigators also recovered purchase forms signed by Lederhaas-Okun that said the items were her personal property.

Authorities allege Lederhaas-Okun purposely checked out items valued at under $10,000 apiece to avoid detection. The company takes a daily inventory of all checked-out items worth more than $25,000. If convicted, Lederhaas-Okun faces up to 20 years in prison. The name of her attorney wasn’t immediately available.

Cocktails at Tiffany to Celebrate the Success of The Society of MSKCC's Bunny Hop

 

As Always, Live, Life, Lamour,

R.Lamour