Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)MoreClick to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Submit to Stumbleupon (Opens in new window)Art of Brilliance may have been billed as a black tie optional but with elements that included Veuve Clicquot Champagne, diamond manicures and admission to Cartier in the 20th Century, CultureHaus signature event for 2015 had plenty of sparkle.focus was to highlight the genius of Cartier and honor the amazing exhibition organized by the Denver Art Museum, observed artist Lindsay Smith Gustave. partnered with brilliant individuals in their respective industries (to) create an evening that was as fun as it was sophisticated. It gave everyone a chance to shine. chaired Art of Brilliance with Stephanie Richards, co founder of Dandizette Magazine, and Kathleen Perniciaro, general manager of Lynnel Art to Form. The 400 guests helped raise $15,000 for future programming at the DAM.In addition to viewing the Cartier exhibit, guests were treated to burlesque by a troupe headed by Vivienne VaVoom; sweets from Sugarlicious, Happy Cakes and the Kevin Taylor Restaurant Group; and the opportunity to bid in a silent auction.There also was a Diamond Deception Tree where, for a $25 donation, guests could pluck a bag that would contain anything from baubles (Allie Pohl necklaces, a tourmaline ring from Joe Korth Jewelry) to vintage Neil Diamond cassette tapes.And, when it came time to dance, no one could complain that the music was too loud. That because Peter Hoang SoundDown Party/Denver Silent Disco was in the house, and the dancers moved to the beat of music delivered via headphones.Director/actor/producer Katharyn Grant was among those attending the fundraiser that also had decor by The Perfect Petal and a silent auction where the top seller was a package donated by Reed Art Imaging and Denver Digital Photography.Paul Laurie of Walking Tree Travel and Silver Spork Social was there, too; he donated two seats to the Silver Spork Social next pop up evening of food and music. Eatery and CityBuild; Ginger Pelz of DaVita Communications; Jessica Patrick of Native Nectar Botanicals; Dresden Romero, communications, marketing and recruiting manager for the University of Denver Department of Media, Film and Journalism Studies; and Adam and Jennifer Daurio. Adam recently stepped down as executive director of the SaddleUp! Foundation to become director of administration and operations for the Temple Grandin Equine Center at Colorado State University.
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"It came as a shock. I expected to sell about one or two a month, but they’re all gone," said Mr Hashem, owner of Diamond Emporium.
"Consumers are definitely influenced by celebrity culture and what celebrities are doing. Without a doubt you do see a spike in inquiries and demand about certain cuts and designs."
Australian jewellers say recent celebrity and royal engagement rings have triggered greater demand for bigger diamonds, coloured dominant stones, and thinner bands.
Mr Hashem, who offers an online customisation service, said the average Australian man splashed between $8000 9000 on an engagement ring, about double the figure 10 years ago.
He said in recent years, actress Jessica Alba’s cushion cut diamond, actress Blake Lively’s giant, oval shaped rock, and singer Beyonce’s emerald cut eye popper had sparked the greatest number of inquiries.
"Larger diamonds (from 1.7 carats) are becoming the preference. Budgets aside, people are comfortable having a size that 10 years ago was considered a bit ostentatious," he said.
A diamond ring on display at Fairfax Roberts Jewellers in Sydney. Photo: Dallas Kilponen
Laura Sawade from wedding ring supplier Peter W Beck said according to a Brides To Be survey, the average spend on an engagement ring was $6934 in 2014 15.
She has noticed a strong move towards coloured stones being used as the dominant stone, whether diamond or non diamond.
Gus Hashem, founder of Diamond Emporium, examining a diamond. Photo: Supplied
"It changed when [Duchess] Kate Middleton got engaged with the sapphire and diamond ring. It made other stones more acceptable," said Ms Sawade, also the vice president of Jewellers Association of Australia.
"Pink and yellow diamonds are very popular. Black diamonds as well. We’re seeing a lot of emeralds, rubies and sapphires being used as the dominant stone."
The popularity of the princess cut had slightly waned and the average width of the band had dropped by a millimetre, but she said there would always be a demand for both "incredible classics" and "unique designs".
Georgina Brujic, the newly installed chief executive of high end jewellery house Fairfax and Roberts, said she encouraged couples to keep their ring as unique and personal as possible.
"One thing we say to every customers is: ‘Find the one that suits’. You’ll find your personality in the right ring, which is far more important than what Packer gave Mariah Carey," she said.
"Sometimes you’ll find the bigger one isn’t the best one because it doesn’t suit."
Fairfax and Roberts, recognised as Australia’s oldest jewellery house, is home to the "fancy intense" yellow diamond ring, which has a price tag of $412,600.
Ms Brujic revealed its bespoke engagement rings averaged about $40,000 $50,000, though some were sold for $8000.
She agreed that big and colourful stones were back in favour, which to her indicated that people were designing rings that better suited their personality.
"People are also focusing more on quality, rather than the biggest for the best possible price. They’re more knowledgeable and asking a lot more questions," she said.
"My personal favourite celebrity ring is Mary Kate Olsen’s one. It’s a 1950s Cartier and it’s the most gorgeous ring I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s stunning, just stunning."