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Roberto Coin’s pretty and ethical jewelry

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The new Roberto Coin section at Rustan’s The Vault.

THE PIECES by renowned jewelry designer Roberto Coin — who went into design after a successful stint as an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry — are undoubtedly pretty, but are they smart, and as a bonus, even kind? That could be argued; and you’re welcome to ask some of his clients, a very long list that includes Oprah, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama.

Mr. Coin’s designs are backed by the ethical manner by which they are produced. A Roberto Coin product is signed with a discreet red ruby hidden somewhere within the piece, synthetically produced as to avoid conflict stones. The stones adhere to the Kimberley Process, which certifies that diamonds do not come from conflict areas. Asia Sales Director Philip Grima also said that Mr. Coin is a member of the World Diamond Council, which, in cooperation with the United Nations, founded the aforementioned Kimberley Process in 2003. “He’s been one of the co-instigators and helped to develop the UN regulations,” he said.

The metals used in Mr. Coin’s creations are also compliant to the Dodd Frank Act that requires that the origins of all gold imported into the United States be certified conflict-free. “It’s a moral obligation, I think, that we have towards our customers to be able to assure them that the manufacture of the products that they’re using purely for beautification are not on the backs of child labor, conflicts, or other things of the nature.

“It is a payback, if you like; a contribution to the consumer so that they can sleep well… they can do that with a good conscience, because they know that we have ethically sourced all our materials,” said Mr. Grima.

One can see the discreet synthetic ruby that serves as Roberto Coin’s promise of adherence to the Kimberley Process in this Princess Flower ring, made with garnet and diamonds set in 18k white gold (P125,000)

A collection launched two years ago, the Princess Flower collection, showing diamonds in various colors set in configurations made to resemble stylized flowers, was used to display the newly redesigned Roberto Coin space in Rustan’s last week. The new space takes a lighter tone, and did away with the video screens to showcase the brand’s pieces without distractions.

Roberto Coin launches 500 to 600 different pieces every year. Asked about the prolific nature of Mr. Coin, Mr. Grima said, “Mr. Coin does not want to be identified with any single collection, or any particular single design. This is just as the diversity of the human race.”




Apparently, no one profile of the Roberto Coin woman exists, which is also why the brand endeavors to keep producing new pieces so often. “Each one: they dress differently, they have wear it differently, they have different lifestyles. He wants to allow each and every person to be able to wear a different piece of jewelry, as opposed to being pressed into a standard mold that they all have to wear the same thing,” said Mr. Grima.

We’ve mentioned some of Mr. Coin’s clients, such as Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, but Mr. Coin has also served women from various fields, such as entertainment. There is no one Roberto Coin woman, but they do all share something in common: more often than not, they’re very successful (a bracelet can go up to P2.4 million, after all).

“I would like to say that the design philosophy of Mr. Coin has correctly interpreted the taste of precisely this demographic,” said Mr. Grima. “It’s not overdesigned, it’s not… like whipped cream.

“In other words, intelligent, smart women appreciate the type of design that we are doing.” — JLG

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