Cape Town’s first Museum dedicated to Gems & Jewellery opens its doors
The Deputy Mayor of Cape Town, Alderman Nielsen, recently opened South Africa’s first Museum of Gems & Jewellery in Cape Town in VIP style at an exclusive function, hosted by Prins & Prins Diamonds. Dedicated to the interaction of man and human ingenuity with earthly treasures, Cape Town’s newest attraction offers more than just “the story of the Cullinan diamond”.
Established in 1982, Prins & Prins Diamonds has grown to become one of Cape Town’s most trusted, multi-award winning, family-owned manufacturing jewellers. The museum is the brainchild of the esteemed Dr Petré Prins of Prins & Prins Diamonds, located in the historical and authentically restored 18th century Huguenot House.
We are excited to announce the upcoming auction of a beautiful and important all South African jewellery collection. The Kirstenbosch Crown Jewels were mentioned in a previous blog. At the time, we could not show the actual pieces. But here they are for you to see. Intrigued? This slideshow will tell you the story of this jewellery collection’s origin, inspiration and purpose. You could own one of these delightful fine masterpieces. The auction will take place in South Africa and the funds raised serve an excellent purpose.
Many of our clients will never get to meet us, to sit with a delicious cappuccino or glass of champagne, in the beautiful and grand historic Huguenot House: home of our company. Many of you have been able to come in and consult with us in person, and for some clients, generations from one family have been visiting Prins and Prins for all their jewellery requirements and know our business well. If you are browsing the internet looking for the right company to buy your special engagement ring from, or looking to buy an investment diamond or beautiful designer piece to spoil yourself or a loved one and want to see more than our website conveys: this video if for you. For those of you who have ordered jewellery online, have bought diamonds and had custom jewellery designed and made for them and only spoken to us over email and phone, we have made this video for you. Are you interested in coming to visit us for a tour of our showroom, workshop and museum? Then this video is for you.
What does Prins and Prins have to do with fynbos? Read further to find out more about a unique and exciting collection of exquisite fine jewellery.
This year, June 2014 marks the end of Kirstenbosch botanical garden’s centenary. For 100 years, Kirstenbosch Gardens have loving grown and nurtured, protected and showcased the wonderful and unique flora indigenous to the Western Cape. Fynbos has often been referred to as one of the Cape’s true jewels. This has given birth to the creative inspiration of Mr Chris Reader to commission designs from South Africa’s top jewellery designers and manufacturing jewellers.
Does gold have celestial origins?
Two scientists put forward the theory that gold was introduced to the Earth when a meteor collided with our planet. Gold certainly does inspire celestial imagery when you see it glimmer in sunlight. Gold has a rich history of wars being waged over it and mankind has written many legends about this most beautiful precious metal. Rulers and wealthy people throughout all cultures have lauded gold as the evidence of their wealth. Gold is still the most desirable of metals today.
Every four years AngloGold Ashanti host a gold jewellery competition which provides the wealth of South African jewellery designers to dig deep into their creative wells and produce wonderful designs. Prins and Prins were asked to give a lecture on the possibilities of designing with gold. What can one do with gold, and what can one not do with gold? The limitations of gold go only as far as the final functionality of the piece. The jewellery design must be wearable, and must be durable. There is very little one can’t do with gold. This beautiful gleaming metal can be shaped and moulded into any form. It can have a high glowing polish or can be textured. Gold can be drawn out into thin wires to make delicate fine jewellery. Gold can be rolled into fine thin plate to make sweeping, gleaming lightweight forms. As a custom jewellery manufacturer, we love working and designing with gold.
Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal discovered in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston.
He named it after the asteroid Pallas (which was discovered in 1802 and named after the goddess
Palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium form a group of elements referred to as the Platinum Group Metals (PGMs). These elements have similar chemical properties, but palladium has the lowest melting point and is the least dense.
Where did man originate from…. A question asked by so many. Well, apparently it’s right here in South Africa!!Only one of many things that makes South Africa UNIQUE!
The Sterkfontein Caves in Gauteng, is the site where the oldest human skeletal remains IN THE WORLD was found, estimated to be 3.5 million years old! This truly is the place where the human race was born!We hope you enjoy this 3rd part in our series as discover a few of South Africa’s fascinating ARCHEOLOGICAL aspects.
UNIQUE GEM TREASURES FROM SOUTH AFRICA
Apart from diamonds, gold and platinum – the obvious big three South Africa has many gemstones found only here. One wonders how many locals are aware of this and why these unique treasures are not promoted with more pride to our overseas visitors. After all, what better way to remember a country than to own or present as a gift, something unique that cannot be found elsewhere. Here is a list of gems unique to Southern Africa.
In this 2nd post in our series of what makes South Africa unique, we will be looking at our Geography. With so many incredible attributes, it is difficult to name only a few, but one of the most special to us we want to mention 1st is:
Table Mountain has been officially inaugurated as one of the new 7 Wonders of the Natural World!!
Table Mountain dominates the Cape Town city skyline at 1084.6 m high (3558 ft), and can be seen as far as 200 kilometres out to sea. The 1st recorded ascent of the mountain was in 1503 by Antonio de Saldanha. The main feature of the mountain (where its name was of course also derived from) is the approx 3km level plateau (from side to side), which is edged by impressive cliffs.
One of the Mountain’s characteristics is its “cloth”:
This “cloth” normally appears when the south-easterly wind blows, and legend has it that it is a result of a smoking competition between the Devil and a local pirate called Van Hunks. The competition is said to be afoot when the cloud appears…!
Other geographical points of interest:
Mossel Bay is in the Guinness Book of records as having the second most moderate climate in the world.
The Tugela Falls in KwaZulu Natal, is the second highest waterfall in the world, at 948m (3110ft)!
The Mpumalanga Province is home to the Blyderiver Canyon , the third largest canyon in the world – and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.
Kimberley’s famous ‘Big Hole’ is the largest hand-dug hole in the world and is deeper than Table Mountain is high. Famous for its once incredible diamond deposits, it yielded 2720kg of diamonds, or 13’600’000 cts! Today it is a proud part and reminder of our country’s diamond heritage. Kimberley also has the only drive-in pub in the world.
The 2,02 billion year-old crater in Vredefort is the oldest known crater on Earth. The general estimate of its original diameter is roughly 300 km, which makes it the largest crater on the planet, as well.
Close to Oudtshoorn are the Cango Caves, a 3 km long sequence of caverns of glittering stalagmites and stalactites, which makes it one of the longest underground cave sequences in the world.
The Boesmansgat is renowned as the second deepest sinkhole (about 299 metres) and the largest of its kind in the world.
As you can see our country truly has much to offer!
Remember to come back next month for the next part in our series!
Prins & Prins Diamonds have always been commited to design and create masterly crafted diamond, tanzanite and gemstone jewellery. Realising how important it is to offer students/apprentices the oppurtunities to gain invaluable first hand experience in a working environment, we have been fortunate to work closely with the Mining Qualifications Authority for a few years now to ensure just that.
A testament to the success of this project has been the awards that the students and goldsmiths at Prins & Prins have received. We are extremely proud of Tasliem Omardiem, Lisa Loubser, Aimee Bredenkamp and Stephani Botha who were each awarded a MERIT AWARD at this year’s PlatAfrica Awards 2012.
The inspiration behind the collection was the South African Afro-Jazz singer/songwriter Lira
“We have chosen this South African icon as our inspiration because not only is she popular for the music she creates, Lira is also involved in many charities and community projects, making her a great role model to young South Africans.
The symbolism behind the circles represents how Lira is a well rounded woman. We chose to use bold shapes which shows off the audacious metal, yet captures the beauty abd femininity of the wearer. Inspired by the picture aboce, we incorporated white leather thing. This compliments the colour of the metal and stands out against Lira’s complexion.”
This Merit Award was awarded to the collection that “captures the essences of platinum” in the Student Collection Category of the 2012 PlatAfrica Jewellery Design and Manufacturing Competition. Both Lisa and Aimee’s Merit Awards were also extended to the Individual Student Category of the competition. A special congratulations to them as well for this wonderful achievement!
These were incredible achievements as entries were submitted from across the whole of South Africa, and the competition was open to all students/apprentices and professional jewellers working in South Africa.
We are fortunate to have such incredible talent in our in-house workshop, and we wish them all of the very best for their futures in the jewellery industry, and we look forward to having them on our team for many years to come!