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Royal Asscher Launches Stars of Africa Collection

Sep 21, 2009 2:24 PM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT...  Fine diamond jeweler Royal Asscher launched a new  collection named Stars of Africa by Royal Asscher to benefit the company’s Africa-focused fundraising initiative, Star of Africa. The unusual design element incorporates floating diamonds on the face of the rings, with the collection comprised of 18 rings that will become available at retail stores in mid-October. Diamonds are encased in a fluid-filled sapphire dome, which allows them to move freely much in the way that snowflakes would circulate inside a shaken snow globe.

The result of floating diamonds is that the stones emit light, fire and beauty as they move, similar to twinkling stars, according to the designers. The ring collection is available in white, yellow and rose gold in two sizes, with retail prices ranging from $4,950 to $7,900. A portion of each ring purchase also goes back to Africa. star of africa

Lita Asscher, a sixth-generation Asscher diamantaire, who led the Star of Africa project (hear Asscher describe the early stages), said the collection is a testament to delivering beautiful merchandise with strict quality standards and social integrity.

“As a piece of fine jewelry, these rings cannot fail to be a talking point — they are incredibly stunning in their own right. When you combine this with the fact that Royal Asscher will donate $150 from the sale of each ring to educational, health, micro-economic and self sufficiency programs in Africa, you have one of the most revolutionary ideas the jewelry industry has ever seen," Asscher said.

The Asscher family has been active in ensuring an ethical diamond and gemstone industry for a number of years. In 2008, Royal Asscher launched the Star of Africa program, which was aimed at improving infrastructure in Africa by creating funding for healthcare, education and self sufficiency programs. The project's name not only represented the largest diamond ever found, at 3,105 carats, which the Asscher family cut in 1908, it also reflected the reality that the true Star of Africa was the continents' precious people. 
                                                         
Mike Asscher said, "It is of paramount importance to our company that diamonds bring happiness and wellbeing to all, and that they are used for development purposes and not to fund civil destruction. We believe that NGOs [nongovernmental organizations], the diamond industry at large and international governments should keep working in partnership to strive for a world that is 100 percent free of conflict diamonds. It is our sincere hope that the phenomenally beautiful Stars of Africa collection has a tangible impact where it is most needed."

LH

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Tags: Conflict Diamonds, Jewelry
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