Professional Jeweler Archive: Diamonds for Charity

June 2001


Diamonds for Charity

The royalty of the diamond world cosponsored a benefit at the Cannes Film Festival to help victims of AIDS. This collection of necklaces headlined the event

Leading sightholders and their partners from top jewelry houses joined De Beers’ Diamond Trading Co. in cosponsoring “A Diamond Is Forever: Cinema Against AIDS 2001” to benefit the American Foundation for AIDS Research. The star-filled benefit took place May 17 during the legendary film festival in Cannes, France.

Featured was the unveiling of the “A Diamond Is Forever Collection,” 12 one-of-a-kind necklaces created for the occasion and valued at $25 million. Live and silent auctions and a performance of the song “Diamonds Are Forever” by Shirley Bassey, who first popularized it, rounded out the evening.

Cosponsors included Miramax Films, Motorola and Creative Artists Agency. Proceeds from the annual event have generated over $7 million for AIDS research since 1993. “AmfAR is so grateful to the film community and the sponsors of this year’s Cinema Against AIDS for their exemplary commitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS,” said Dr. Mathilde Krim, chairman of the board of AmfAR. The organization responds to requests from AIDS researchers and non-governmental agencies conducting research or implementing prevention education programs around the world.

Anthony Oppenheimer, president of DTC and a director of the De Beers Group, spoke on behalf of the world’s diamantaires. “We are delighted to preview this collection to benefit AmfAR and to support research efforts to help address the AIDS crisis, an issue of great importance to diamond-producing countries in southern Africa,” he said. The De Beers Group says it is committed to fighting HIV/AIDS in southern Africa with its partners Botswana and Namibia. Various initiatives include the provision of antiretroviral and opportunistic infection drug treatments, education, behavioral-change programs, peer counseling, medical networks and community support systems.

The Cannes event occurred just a few months after Debswana, the diamond mining company jointly owned by De Beers and the government of Botswana, announced it would begin subsidizing the cost of antiretroviral treatments for HIV-positive employees and their infected spouses. It pays 90% of these costs for as long as the employee remains with Debswana. The company also subsidizes the cost of monitoring the concentration of HIV virus in the body and pays for blood tests that determine the extent of damage to the immune system. Botswana has been particularly hard-hit among sub-Saharan African countries with the HIV virus. Average life expectancy has plummeted from the mid-60s to 39 years.

The “A Diamond Is Forever Collection” will be displayed at Sotheby’s in New York City June 8-13. Missing from this article are necklaces from Chopard with GES and Escada with Pluczenik, neither of which could meet press deadlines for photographing their pieces.

– by Peggy Jo Donahue


The Collar of Venus necklace features an East-meets-West motif. The filigreed left side resembles the collar of a traditional Chinese cheong sam, while the right side features a modern style of bold lines and larger diamonds. Total diamond weight: 160.66 carats.

with Steinmetz

The Steinmetz Necklace is highlighted by a rare 5-ct. radiant-cut vivid purplish-pink diamond mounted in platinum and black jade. The platinum chain features white baguettes and black round diamonds. Total diamond weight: 28.50 carats.


Illuminated by 20 fancy yellow and white diamonds, the Fandango necklace is set in platinum and yellow gold. Total diamond weight: 147.25 carats.


The American Beauty necklace features an 11.98-ct. internally flawless pear-shaped center diamond. Total diamond weight: 85.79 carats.


The Louis Glick necklace/tiara features fancy yellow and white pear-shaped diamonds and white brilliants. The center diamond is 20.15 carats. Total diamond weight: 106.28 carats.

with Dia Bombay

Designed by Devaunshi Mehta for Dia Bombay, the Rudra necklace features a 14.12-ct. D color, pear-shaped center diamond surrounded by 10 heart-shaped diamonds. Inspired by ancient Mughal jewelry, the necklace is strung with five rows of brilliant-cut diamonds set in white gold balls, replicating the “Rudra,” natural beads found in the Himalayas, interlinked with larger “Rudras” studded with diamonds. Total diamond weight: 182.01 carats.


The bib-style Elara diamond necklace features 89 Flanders brilliant-cut diamonds set in platinum with 84 Elara brilliant diamonds. Total diamond weight: 90.43 carats.


The Ashoka necklace is highlighted by a pair of internally flawless, D color Ashoka-cut diamonds suspended from a diamond crossover Riviera necklace set in platinum. Total diamond weight: 90.33 carats.

with Diarough

Multistrand black gold scarf necklace is accentuated by colored diamonds at the neckline and white diamond beads in each strand, ending with white briolettes. Total diamond weight: 613.05 carats.


Cherry Blossoms necklace features 60 thin, supple platinum bars with hundreds of cherry blossoms and petals made of diamonds. Total diamond weight: 156.50 carats.

Copyright © 2001 by Bond Communications