Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Playing Princess With Asscher Diamonds

Heidi Dillon, LeeAnne Locken and Lita Asscher
Heidi Dillon was gracious enough to invite me to this very exclusive luncheon to sip champagne and try on diamonds. Darn the luck, that I had a client meeting I couldn't weasel out of, so today's post is courtesy of guest contributor, LeeAnne Locken, who was luckier than I and got to spend the day wearing tiaras:

Heidi Dillon and Anna-Sophia Van Zweden along with Ayaan Ahmed hosted a special luncheon in honor of Lita Asscher of the Royal Asscher Diamond Company at the fabulous Nana Restaurant in the Hilton Anatole Hotel on Friday, January 20th.

In attendance was a collection of women and men who rivaled the jewels! Tina Craig, Kimberly Schlegel Whitman, Gina Ginsburg, Myrna Schlegel, Carmaleta Whiteley and Shane Walker just to name a few.

Take a look at these rings with Sapphire Crystal domes filled with Orange Diamonds and/or Pink Diamonds floating in silicon! They were like REALLY EXPENSIVE snow globes! Lita even joked about them being a distraction as you drive!

I of course was expecting the afternoon to be a brilliant “show-er” and it was!  Asscher brought a selection of jewelry and stones that would leave most women breathless! We all fell in love her Stars of Africa Limited Edition Collection.

Anna-Sophia Von Zweden
As lunch was served, Asscher began her presentation and we all sat in amazement at her family's history with diamonds! Here are a few fun facts I picked up about this amazing company:

~  In 1854 the I.J. Asscher Diamond Company was founded
~  In 1902 Joseph Asscher creates the “Asscher Cut” and this emblematic cut is instantly internationally desirable
~  In 1903, the Asscher family is in charge of cutting “The Excelsior” diamond, a 997 carat stone! 

Then the story that stopped us all from eating...

~  In 1907 the Cullen diamond was found. It weighed in at 3,105 carats! She talked of how a crowd gathered to watch the diamond being cut (this requires a chisel and hammer which not one woman at my table thought they could do!). The story goes, the first chisel broke and another had to be crafted.  After the first strike (which was successful) her grandfather, Joseph, FAINTED from the stress! Lita likes to say it was the champagne, but we all agreed it was the STRESS! The stones from this singe raw stone are now in Great Britain’s Crown Jewels.

Tina Craig, Kimberly Whitman, Anna-Sophia Von Zweden, Gina Ginsburg & Myrna Schlegel

Speaking of Crown Jewels, Lita brought with her the crown she made for Kate Middleton’s wedding to Prince William. Estimated value was $25,000,000! Trying it on was the delight of the afternoon!  After all, who doesn't want to be a Princess. Even if it was just for the afternoon.

photos courtesy of Bob Manzano