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Head of Pearl Company Assael Dies

Jan 5, 2022 7:54 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Christina Lang Assael, the CEO of North America’s largest seller of pearls and coral, died at home in New York on December 21 following a serious illness. She was 75, a company spokesperson said Wednesday.

Born in Sweden, Assael left the country at 22 to start a 13-year career as a model and commercial actress in London, Paris and New York. She subsequently began working at Sotheby’s, where she had a role liaising with top clients, and studied interior design at the same time. Assael then went on to create her own business as a private adviser, acquiring fine art and antiques for connoisseurs and collectors.

Christina married legendary “Pearl King” Salvador Assael in 1991, and traveled the world with him to acquire pearls and supply them to US jewelers. In 1993, the couple’s business, Assael, achieved the world record at Sotheby’s for the highest price ever paid for a gem pearl strand at auction. That $2.3 million record still stands to this day, the spokesperson noted.

Christina took over leadership of Assael in 2011 after the death of her husband. She introduced new jewelry designs and added categories to its offering, including responsibly sourced coral.

A dedicated environmentalist, Assael served on the Coral Commission of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and supported a wide variety of ecological and animal-rescue organizations.

She is survived by her children, Sophia and Robert, her sister, Pia, and other extended family members.

The Assael brand will continue as a family-owned company, with senior vice president Peggy Grosz leading operations.

Image: Christina Lang Assael. (Assael)
Tags: Assael, Christina Lang Assael, CIBJO, pearls, Rapaport News, Salvador Assael, Sotheby’s, World Jewellery Confederation
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