PRECIOUS TRACES: There’s extra sparkle to the latest LV Diamonds fine jewelry collection introduced this week by Louis Vuitton in Paris: digital certificates that trace stones from mine to finger.
Backed by the Aura Consortium Blockchain, the certificates, which are only available for central stones for now, contain information on every step the diamond has gone through, from where it was extracted to where it was sorted, polished and set.
Owners will even have access to a video showcasing the rough from which their gem has been cut.
Louis Vuitton is the first among the major players on Place Vendôme to offer detailed end-to-end insight on its diamond sourcing, as the Sept. 1 deadline looms for implementing traceability-based verification and certifications as part of the G7 and European Union bans on diamonds of Russian origins announced last year.
De Beers was among the first to make a move on blockchain-based traceability with the 2022 launch of Tracr platform that follows 100 percent of the stones it produces all the way to stores.
Five years in the making, Louis Vuitton’s certificates were developed in conjunction with the LV Monogram Star diamond cut that first trickled into bespoke designs then launched in high jewelry in 2021.
Vuitton’s cut has also been recognized by the Gemological Institute of America, which means it will be indicated on GIA certificates that accompany Vuitton jewels. The previous shape to be recognized was the princess cut that appeared in the 1960s.
The shape is inspired by the flower monogram invented by George Vuitton in 1896 and called for groovers, specialized artisans who shape the clefts, a rare skill that almost vanished when cuts like hearts fell out of favor.
With 53 facets and four petals, the brand said it takes 40 percent more time to cut the LV Monogram Star and that the resulting faceting makes gemstones appear 20 percent larger than similarly sized ones in conventional diamond cuts.
Teased last year with limited releases in the U.S. and Japan, the 22-piece bridal-inflected LV Diamonds collection is the first time the luxury house has used its signature cut for fine jewelry designs with central stones stones between 0.30 and 2.99 carats.
In the collection, artistic director of watches and jewelry Francesca Amfitheatrof played with the flower-shaped diamonds but also house codes such the Damier motif and V shapes, with an eye toward stacking possibilities.
Prices for the LV Diamonds fine jewelry collection start under 1,000 euros and go up to six figures.