De Grisogono: Fawaz Gruosi

© Written by Rachael Taylor for BaselWorld Brand Book

For the man who has become synonymous with the very cutting edge of gemstone jewellery design, it all started with a very rare unheated 45.39ct Burmese ruby from the Mogok Valley in Myanmar.

“It did not have the usual pigeon blood colour,” remembers Fawaz Gruosi, founder of De Grisogono. “Instead its colour was a mesmerising purplish red. It possessed a unique combination of outstanding characteristics: a large dimension as well as a richly saturated and homogeneous colour. Not only was its cut perfect, its shape was generous and its fire simply unique. It was a stone so vibrantly alive that I fell instantly under its spell.”

You would think an eye capable of picking up such nuances would be one earned from years of training, but Gruosi is not a gemmologist; something that has played to his credit over the years.

When the gem world saw useless carbonado, Gruosi saw black diamonds; when they dismissed milky, opalescent diamonds as unsalable, Gruosi embraced Icy Diamonds as fit for his finest clientele. “By highlighting and enhancing the intrinsic qualities of every stone, I turn so-called faults into qualities,” says Gruosi. “I know how to see extraordinary in ordinary things.”

And where De Grisogono blazed a trail in the world of gems, others soon followed, particularly in the use of black diamonds. “I am honoured that my unorthodox creative instincts are a source of inspiration for others,” says Gruosi.

So what will be the next gem or cut that Gruosi will champion? Even he does not know; his choices are intuitive and his purchases impulsive. Although he does mention drop-shaped Sleeping Beauty turquoise and his new line of watches, Grappoli, have been decorated with “more daring” briolettes.

But for Gruosi, it is simply the love of all gems, and his belief in their powers, that keeps his passion alive. “Gemstones are at the heart of my creations. From dense pavé setting to dancing briolettes, from centre stones to cabochons, gemstones always reveal their inner beauty and give the creation its full expression and identity. I love them all, and my favourite changes all the time depending on my mood and desires. I believe that stones hold mystical powers, and they have always brought me luck.”

This article was originally published in the BaselWorld Brand Book 2015.

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