What an honour it was to be the only blogger/influencer in the world to be invited at de Grisogono’s dinner to celebrate The Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris. Together with an esteemed company of jewellery editors, experts and luxury journalists, I was headed for La Réserve excited to discuss about today’s presentation and meet for the first time in real Mr Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of de Grisogono!
The venue they had booked just so happens to be the Parisian sister of one of my favourite places when living in Geneva – La Réserve on Avenue Gabriel which was totally consistent with the Swiss origins of the high jewellery brand. It is within walking distance of the Grand Palais where stands the Biennale and de Grisogono’s boutique with in its midst Le Gabriel, a Michelin restaurant where we would be dining later that evening. What an amazing experience de Grisogono had planned!
But the cherry on the top of the cake of that evening was definitely getting formally introduced to Mr Fawaz Gruosi, the founder of De Grisogono. Mr Gruosi is a charming person with delicate manners and it was such a pleasure getting to know him.
I learnt that evening that born in Lebanon for a Lebanese father an Italian mother, Mr Gruosi moved to Italy in his early childhood. At 18, his girlfriend got pregnant and his mother convinced him to take up a job in a jewellery shop in Florence and make his life if he wanted to keep the baby. He confides how he would not cleaned the window of his workshop so that his friends playing outside would not see him. Yet here was the spark of one of the greatest success in contemporary jewellery.
He worked for about 20 years for some of the world’s finest jewellery houses (Harry Winston, Bulgari…) and gathered enough experience there in the art of jewellery designing and manufacture to soon be able to design and create his own pieces.
In 1996, Fawaz Gruosi launched the de Grisogono brand name, by opening the first de Grisogono boutique on rue du Rhone, Geneva. This was the same year when browsing through a book and he accidentally came across a photograph of the famous 67.50-carat Black Orlov diamond. Mr Gruosi fell in love with this under-rated stone and took a trip around the world scouting for this diamonds until he was able to collect sufficient quantities to embark on his daring experiment. With his magical touch, he set them into exquisite jewellery and built up such a breathtaking collection that it became an instant success. The popularity of black diamond jewelry rised beyond all expectations, and Fawaz Gruosi is credited with launching the love affair between the black diamond and women around the world.
My love affair is personally with these black diamond and pearl earrings available at the Paris boutique, on rue Saint Honoré :
With the success of the de Grisogono black diamond jewellery, new boutiques were opened in London and Gstaad. Then more outlets followed in Rome, Paris, St. Moritz, Kuwait, Moscow and Hong Kong. These nine shops were opened within a period of twelve years. Truly the growth of de Grisogono salons had been phenomenal, thanks to the growing popularity of his black diamond jewellery.
However if de Grisogono is still the first name that comes to your lips when you think about black diamonds to my mind it has also become the last few years the best jeweller for colours.
During the Biennale des Antiquaires, de Grisogono has also presented The Constellation, an 813-carat, $63-million rough diamond and currently the world’s most expensive rough diamond. The purchase represents a ground-breaking moment for the company in its journey to become one of the top high jewellery and watch brands.
We don’t know yet in what this beautiful rough will be turned until it has been cut, but one thing is sure is that Mr Gruosi, you are not done dazzling us!