Passionate about stones. Passionate about beauty.
HOME meets Claire de Truchis-Lauriston, the world-renowned French gemologist. Claire has worked for the biggest names in the jewelry market: Christies, Pierre Bergé, and Yves Saint Laurent. She is currently working for Sotheby's.
Claire collaborates with museums like the Louvre. She explained to HOME that, in France, museums have priority at auctions. They have the right to preempt sales so after the last bid, they can still say "Preemption by government" and acquire the piece they want.
To benefit from this "right of preemption" some jewelry houses have created their own private museums. Van Cleef, for example, owns the Museum of Vintage Jewelry and is a very active buyer.
When asked what she likes most about working with Sotheby's, Claire answered: "making things in a very serious way, discipline according to the client’s guidance, but mostly, the chance to discover the most beautiful things in the world. I even got to see Cartier's first collection."
Claire de Truchis-Lauriston recently visited Beirut to share her knowledge and passion with Lebanese jewelry producers and enthusiasts. In her workshop, she focused on the use of precious stones and high quality material.
“Lebanon is the fifth jewelry producer in the world”
Claire believes that jewelry making requires a lot of patience, artistic inspiration, and an eye for the unique. It is a manual profession where the artist's personal touch plays a role into producing meticulous items accomplished with precision and creativity.
Claire told HOME she is impressed with the high professionalism, refined taste and aesthetic of Lebanese jewelry designers. Claire believes Lebanese designers have more time to their creations.
Claire said Lebanon is a country of contrasts. She feels harmony, even with conflict around. She finds Lebanese people calm, warm, cultured and cosmopolitan. Claire is impressed with the beauty of Lebanese women. She said Lebanese women have a reputation of having a very refined taste in France. Claire admitted to finding Lebanese men attractive, bearing a special charm.
We were happily surprised when Claire told us she studied Arabic as a third language at school.
Claire talked to us about collectors. She said there is an suitable jewel for every personality. She explained that jade collectors and Art Déco collectors have different tastes. And this why they have different sale points in New-York, Geneva and London.
Jade jewels should be put up for sale in Hong Kong because jade, also called the Stone of Heaven, is in high demand in the Asian market. A Diamonds Riviera necklace would be more popular on the London market, where older jewelry is more sought after.
A pink diamond of eight carats is perfect for the New York or Geneva markets where we find the biggest stones and the finest and most refined jewelry.
Without any doubt, our famous expert is a great consultant to her clients. People mostly come to check with her the authenticity of their pieces, especially antique pieces.
BEAUTY VERSUS INVESTMENT
A “Sense of Jewelry” implies the following three things. First, a gorgeous creation that brings a shivering. You can feel the artisan who made this beauty, who found and polished the stones. Feel his effort. Feel the team who was behind all this and concentrated on perfection. Lauriston confessed that she experienced many times this shivering when contemplating a precious piece of art.
Second, the sensation of gambling when it comes to setting the price. For example, if an item’s value is $35,000 and it is sold by auction for the attractive price of $15,000. People get so excited about it that the price may end up being $50,000.
Third, the ability to figure out how many jewelry lovers/collectors consider jewels as an investment, and how many consider them as a work of art. Investments are quite high but our expert’s point is that, unfortunately, people who buy a jewel as an investment don’t see its beauty.
In her last statement, our gemologist refers to the glamorous side of this profession and its evolution. According to her, it is a matter of “fashion flair” and “aesthetic touch”.
Claire told HOME Magazine about her first career. She was a press attaché and that her husband inspired her to get into the jewelry business. He was very fond of jewelry.
Also she mentioned that, men first started wearing jewels much before women. Now they get pleasure from spoiling their women. More importantly, women can now afford buying jewelry for themselves, they no longer wait a man to offer them these pleasures.
Finally, Claire confirmed the constant evolution of the jewelry industry worldwide. In Geneva, each day between $100 and $175 million can be made from the sale of jewelry alone.
According to Lauriston, Lebanon was always a myth, “who did not see Lebanon did not see anything!” Lebanon is the number five producer of jewelry in the world. It has has very good reputation abroad.
Answering the question what luxury is for her, she answered: “space, calm, and time”.
“Luxury is space, calm, and time”
She believes that it is ok to talk about money unlike classical families who refuse doing this in France, however Lauriston says that money should not dictate our life. After 20 years of experience, Lauriston first sees the beauty of every piece.
Our charming expert made her point, and sent her message to Lebanese people: “Don’t change anything, stay as you are.”
And as the famous quote by Coco Chanel goes “the best things in life are free, and the second best are very expensive.”