Chopard reimagines floral cluster in new line

Each cluster in the ‘Magical Setting’ collection is centered on a significant single stone and encircled throughout with other unusually large stones.
Updated 04 February 2019
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Chopard reimagines floral cluster in new line

Swiss watchmaker and jeweler Chopard has launched a new collection, Magical Setting, comprising cluster rings, pendants and earrings. An innovative setting allows the diamonds and precious colored stones to shine as never before. 

“In this dynamic reimagining of one of the noblest and most enduring jewelry classics — the floral cluster — Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, unlocks the intense light and luster deep in the soul of a gemstone while unleashing the full emotional power at the heart of the jewel,” a press release said.

The collection offers a choice of jewels set with diamonds only, or with diamonds and blue sapphires from Sri Lanka, rubies from Mozambique/Madagascar or emeralds from Colombia/Zambia. Each cluster is centered on a significant single stone and encircled throughout with other unusually large stones.

“The dramatic light show performed by the jewels is achieved by an innovative setting technique, painstakingly developed by Chopard’s master artisans, and inspired by Caroline Scheufele’s long-cherished dream of intensifying the life and light of a gemstone, while enhancing the presence and personality of the jewel,” the Swiss maison said.

While the center stone of each cluster is set in barely there claws, the surrounding stones are held in place, as if by magic, with no visible means of support, and no metal visible from the front or top of the jewel. Instead, the cluster is underpinned by an entirely new structure, exclusive to Chopard. This means that the light can flow freely in and out and around the gemstones, rippling across the surface of the stones and unimpeded by the opacity of metal constraints.

With the Magical Setting collection, Scheufele re-works one of the most classic of jewelry expressions. The cluster design can be traced back to the 14th century, originating perhaps in medieval ring-brooches worn to fasten cloaks or tunics, and developing into huge, elaborate gem-smothered circles. The cluster blossomed in the 17th and 18th centuries as a stylized interpretation of the flower — the earliest of adornments — at a time when diamonds, newly discovered in Brazil during the 1720s, were becoming more available and desirable to a new and wealthy merchant class. Through the 19th century, the cluster took the form of a single and usually important colored stone, encircled by diamonds.

The Magical Setting collection is an evolution of Chopard’s most famous creation, Happy Diamonds.

“In 1976, Chopard stunned the jewelry world with Happy Diamonds, joyful little diamonds that broke free from the restraints of outdated conventions, free to dance, play and move, mischievous, young-at-heart. The timing was perfect: Happy Diamonds became an emblem of social and cultural change, of the new freedom of femininity,” Chopard said. 

“Now, once again, with perfect timing, the Magical Setting collection reflects today’s mood of female empowerment: These are jewels for women who are free to express their femininity however they wish, with no limitations, their spirits soaring, like Magical Setting, upwards into the light.”


Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

Updated 24 April 2019
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Ma’aden acquisition supports Vision 2030

The acquisition of an African fertilizer distribution company by Ma’aden, the largest Saudi mining company, will advance Ma’aden’s Strategy 2025, which includes plans to expand operations in the Kingdom and grow sales globally. The acquisition will also support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, which seeks to diversify the economy, increase non-oil exports, boost the Kingdom’s non-oil GDP, and reinforce the mining sector as the third pillar of Saudi industry, after oil and gas and petrochemicals. 

Ma’aden will make its first international acquisition with the purchase of the Mauritius-based Meridian Group, which is due to be completed by September for an undisclosed fee.

The publicly-listed Saudi mining company will acquire an 85 percent stake in the company in an all-cash deal that will provide one of the Middle East’s largest phosphate producers with 3,000 staff and a network of operations across southern Africa, from Malawi to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Phosphate is used to produce fertilizer that is essential in replacing the phosphorous mineral that is removed from soil when agricultural crops are harvested. 

“This acquisition marks a very important step in Ma’aden’s strategy to build global distribution channels for our fertilizer products,” said Darren Davis, president and chief executive of Ma’aden. “As we continue to build one of the largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers in the world, ensuring an efficient route to key growth markets is critical to our success.” 

Agriculture forms a significant portion of the economies of all African countries. As a sector, it can therefore contribute to major continental priorities, such as eradicating poverty and hunger. The agri industry can also boost intra-Africa trade and investments, rapid industrialization and economic diversification, sustainable resource and environmental management, and create jobs, human security and shared prosperity.

The Southeast African market, like most of the African continent of 1 billion people, is experiencing increased demand for phosphate fertilizers which industry analysts expect to continue growing by 5 percent annually over the next decade, fueled by population growth and increasing education in the use of fertilizers.

“Ma’aden is acquiring unparalleled access to complementary distribution, blending and product-development capabilities in this fast-growth region,” said Hassan Al-Ali, Ma’aden’s senior vice president for phosphate. “This transaction will provide us with logistics advantages in Southeast Africa, and greater knowledge of on-the-ground customer requirements, both of which will be instrumental in better serving our customers.”

The Saudi global mining giant will secure the remaining 15 percent of Meridian’s equity over four years on agreed terms linked to the performance of the African company, which distributes approximately half-a-million tons of fertilizer through its network of granulation and blending plants, warehousing complexes and port facilities. 

HSBC acted as Ma’aden’s financial adviser on the deal and Baker McKenzie was the Saudi company’s legal adviser for this acquisition.