Rare and exquisite gemstones don’t fall from the sky, even when you’re a respected gemologist. So, when one crosses your desk, you seize it (if you can).
So thought Arch Kitsinian, gemologist and president of Santa Clarita, Calif.-based Kitsinian Jewelers, after he received a call from a jeweler in Honolulu last year requesting an expert consultation on a spectacular pear-shaped Columbian emerald he’d acquired.
Kitsinian, who’s experienced in assessing rare gems, was so smitten with the 8.25 ct. emerald, he ended up buying it from the jeweler. “I fell in love with its vibrant color,” he recalls. “Emeralds usually have many visible inclusions and they are usually oiled to conceal fractures within the gemstone. This beauty didn’t have any of those imperfections visible to the naked eye.” (An aside: The Kitsinian family, which is Lebanese-Armenian and emigrated to the U.S. in the 1970s, has a long history in Hawaii, and its sister company, 14 Karat Club, is the state’s leading jewelry supply house.)
His new acquisition was so exceptional, Kitsinian knew he needed a showstopping design to properly display it. He eventually oversaw the creation of a complicated necklace featuring over seven carats of VS clarity diamonds that centers the Columbian emerald in an elegant cyclone of white gold lines paved in glittering baguette-cut diamonds.
Kitsinian named the one-of-a-kind necklace, which is currently for sale for $124,000 through Kitsinian Jewelers, Queen Emma for the Hawaiian jewelers’ wife, whose name is Emma. The name also honors Hawaii’s final queen, Emma Kalanikaumakaʻamano Kaleleonālani Naʻea Rooke, who created an early school for girls during her reign. “Since I found this beauty in Honolulu,” he says, “it made even more sense to give her the name.”