Good Thinking

Lab-grown diamonds now an alternative

December 14, 2006 Diamonds may well be the world’s most beautiful gem, though we suspect there are many factors contributing to why they remain a “girl’s best friend.” The association with love may soon be tested as technological advances have finally enabled laboratory-created diamonds which have a distinct advantage over their naturally occurring identical twins - they are 100% conflict-free and have not paid the wages of a child soldier, been exchanged for armaments, financed a brutal civil war or have been smuggled at least part of the way to landing on that engagement ring. The New York Times writes ,“Across vast stretches of Africa, diamonds fuel war. Diamonds are so lucrative for predatory governments and marauding rebels that war has become a useful cover for hugely profitable smuggling enterprises. But for millions of Africans who happen to get in the way, diamonds are agents of terror.” In addition to their humane aspects, lab-diamonds also have virtually no environmental impact and they are physically, chemically and optically identical to mined diamonds yet a fraction of the cost. Of course, there are those not even convinced in the worth of diamonds in the first place. For example, “the diamond engagement ring is a 63-year-old invention of N.W.Ayer advertising agency. The De Beers diamond cartel contracted N.W.Ayer to create a demand for what are, essentially, useless hunks of rock.”Read More

Home Entertainment

The most expensive TV in the world

October 28, 2006 On display for the first time at the recent IFA show in Germany and also in New York earlier this month at an exhibition promoting Italian craftsmanship was the Yalos Diamond, a EUR 100,000 (US$130,000 in round figures) television set by Neapolitan (from Naples) Keymat Industrie s.p.a. The 40 inch LCD TV has provision for 1080i and 720p high definition picture formats and is as technologically sound as is humanly possible with a picture contrast ratio of 1200:1. The really expensive bit is the workmanship, the design and the fact it’s plated in white gold and studded with 160 diamonds (4 gm) of diamonds. Read More

Mobile Technology

GoldVish Luxury Cell Phone launch at Millionaire Fair Cannes

July 18, 2006 GoldVish is a new name in mobile communications but one we suspect most people will rarely see on an actual product. Aiming at the very top of the market for personal communication devices, the Geneva based luxury communication goods company is about to launch a collection of the most exclusive and up-market cell phone collection ever created! At the stratospheric end of the range is the amazing limited production ‘Piece Unique’ which features more than 100 carats of D/E-color and VVS-1 clarity grade diamonds and will sell for EUR1,000,000 (US$1,254,100). Prices for the regular GoldVish phones start at EU18,950 (US$23,761) and go up to EUR120,000 (US$150,468) for a full pave diamond version. There will also be 100 Limited Edition pieces specially made for collectors for EUR145,000 (US$181,808), but these are expected to all be snapped up when the collection is previewed to the public for the first time at the elite Millionaire Fair in Cannes in September.Read More

Mobile Technology

The world's most expensive mobile phone

July 16, 2006 Russian company JSC Ancort has teamed with celebrity jeweller Peter Aloisson to create a very upmarket version of Swiss Crypto Telecommunication Security’s Crypto Smart telephone which will sell for US$1.3 million and in so doing, become the world’s most expensive mobile telephone. Designed to attract attention to the issues of mobile phone privacy, the solid platinum Brilliant Crypto Smartphone uses a symmetric 256 bit cryptographic algorithm and Windows CE operating system. In addition to the platinum body, the Ancort logo and the navigation key are made of 18 carat rose gold, as is the navigation key which also carries 28 round cut diamonds. Aloissen is well known for his personalisation and bejewelling of popular mobile phones such as the Nokia 8210 and Sony Ericsson T68, increasing their sale price to more than EU32,000. The phone can also be ordered with the platinum treated with a black rhodium process to give it a black, shiny look.Read More


US$17,000 Dummy (AKA Pacifier)

July 11, 2006 This folks, is a US$17,000 Diamond pacifier, which qualifies as a Gizmag story by virtue of sheer fiscal weight. Purveyor of innovative baby products produces a range of personalised pacifiers and has just added the sparkly Diamond Pacifier to its collection, complete with 278 pave cut white diamonds on a 14K European white gold base. But don’t count on using it to get your money’s worth – Itsmybinky is promoting it as “a fabulous upscale keepsake” akin to the tradition of bronzing baby shoes. The pacifiers can be customized with coloured diamonds and engraved with bubby’s name or initial, birth date or birth weight. Alternatively, you can buy a latex pacifier with your baby’s name printed on it for US$7 a pop, sans diamonds of course. Read More


The new Blancpain Women Collection

April 14, 2006 Ever since 1930, Blancpain has been firmly convinced that women are well able to appreciate the know-how and the magic of mechanical horology. The Blancpain tradition of feminine Haute Horlogerie timepieces is thus no recent development, but instead boasts a rich and diverse history. Over the past 75 years, Blancpain’s numerous achievements in this field have included the first ladies’ self-winding wristwatch, the smallest round movement and more recently the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar. From an initial role as a purely functional object, the wristwatch has become a piece of jewellery or an accessory accompanying a particular clothing style. This graceful transformation has proved fundamental to contemporary watchmaking. While the Blancpain ladies’ models created in the past can lay claim to many world firsts, Blancpain has never dedicated an entire collection to women. Accordingly, and for the very first time and coinciding with the arrival of spring, Blancpain is revealing how it has imagined and developed its approach to feminine mechanical timepieces. Far from being mere reductions or adaptations of existing men’s watches, the three first models making up this collection were specifically developed to meet the expectations and desires of contemporary women. The hours of the BLANCPAIN WOMEN collection are exclusively feminine. Remaining steadfastly faithful to its roots in the Vallee de Joux, Blancpain has endowed each of its women’s watches with a meticulously hand-finished and decorated mechanical self-winding movement. Nonetheless, the Manufacture is now exploring an entirely new path by creating a collection that is completely innovative in terms of its aesthetics.Read More

Mobile Technology

The World's Most Expensive MP3 Player - US$20,000

April 5, 2006 German audio and storage company TrekStor, has received an order from Russian-Canadian billionaire and owner of the Midland Formula 1 team, Alex Shnaider, to develop the world's most expensive MP3 player. This luxurious piece of jewelry, valued at approx. US$20,000, is cast in 750 gold and adorned with numerous diamonds and a valuable chain. The idea to develop the world's most expensive MP3 player came to Shnaider while negotiating a sponsorship deal with TrekStor CEO, Daniel Szmigiel. Shnaider was so fascinated by the i.Beat organix – a handy, 40g player with full-bodied sound and winner of eleven accolades – that he placed a special order for the unique, custom-made device on the spot.Read More

Mobile Technology

US$3,500 White Lake USB Memory Golden Stick

March 4, 2006 The luxury goods market exists because people will always enjoy having exquisite objects, showing their status and wealth and expressing their individuality. That’s why people will pay hundreds of dollars for a cigarette lighter, thousands of dollars for a pen, and tens of thousands of dollars for a watch. So it was inevitable that when flash drives became personal, that we’d see an upmarket version, similar to the Vertu range of high end mobile phones. Flash drive manufacturers White Lake have created a top-of-the range USB flash drive named the Golden Stick which will be showcased at CEBIT next week. The Golden Stick is made of 14 carat gold with five embedded diamonds, though you can have it in 18 carat gold if you wish, but it’ll cost more, and if you think the diamonds are a bit gauche, you can leave them out and reduce the price from EUR 2,950 (US$3,550) to EUR 2,400 (US$2,885). We’re not so sure about making top shelf items in the rapidly moving technology fields – having a 4GB Golden Stick might not be so cool this time next year when everyone else has 16GB.Read More

Digital Cameras

The diamond encrusted US$20,000 Kodak Easyshare camera

March 2, 2006 Being nominated for an Academy Award is an indication of excellence at the highest level in the profession of filmmaking. Landing a nomination for one of the major awards also brings with it a bag of goodies worth hundreds of thousands of dollars including trips, stays at exclusive hotels and some exclusive jewellery, clothes, and gadgets. For example, each Best Actress nominee in the upcoming 78th Academy Awards will be treated to the “Ultimate Luxury Suite at The Four Seasons Hotel” which brings with it an array of goodies including a KODAK dual-lens EASYSHARE V570 digital camera. Normally, the V570 runs to US$400 but each of the five nominees (Reese Witherspoon, Felicity Huffman, Keira Knightley, Charlize Theron and Dame Judi Dench) will be getting a camera personalised with their initials in 75 brilliant-cut diamonds raising the cost to around US$20,000. What we'd like to know is why everybody (including the bookies) seems to think that Reese Witherspoon (those are her initials on the camera) is going to win. See the links at the bottom of the article and you'll wonder along with us!Read More

Mobile Technology

The Valentines Day Limited Edition Blancpain

December 21, 2005 The day for lovers, Valentines Day, like so many other aspects of modern life, emanated from the Romans. Every February in ancient Rome, a feast was held to honour the goddess Juno. The names of young women were put into an urn and drawn by lottery to match a single male. The matched couples would be considered partners for the year, and those who wished could enter the draw again the next year for a new partner. The Catholic Church was keen to eradicate these heathen practices so in 496AD, Pope Gelasius declared the day in honour of St. Valentine and promoted it as a day for lovers. St Valentine was a martyr who had been stoned to death for marrying couples in defiance of the insane emperor Claudius II who had outlawed marriage on the basis that the existence of families made soldiers reluctant to go to war. It’s hardly a heart-warming tale, and certainly not one to match the sentiments normally expressed on the day, though when you consider that 60% of marriages end in divorce, we think the original idea might be worth a revisit. In more modern times, several time-honoured practices have evolved, including the sending of love letters on the day and the giving of watches, with the world’s oldest watch manufacturer (BlancPain) commemorating the day each year with a very special limited edition woman’s timepiece. Don’t ask the price though.Read More


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