New York City’s Met Gala is one of the most anticipated red carpet events each year. On the first Monday in May, celebrities descended upon the Big Apple for a night of sparkle and glitz.
Established in 1948, the Gala generates museum revenue—but what began as an annual fundraiser has evolved into a star-studded event among the who’s who of hottest celebs. This year’s design theme was In America: An Anthology of Fashion. A homage to a gilded age of New York City, and it harks back to glamorous days of opulence and luxury.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for industry fashionistas to go full court press in showcasing their latest design concoctions. Celebs arrive dressed to the hilt in line with each yearly theme.
But, of course, there are always those who choose to honor the theme with their very own artistic expression. Blake Lively celebrated New York’s historical architecture in her Versace gown, reminiscent of Lady Liberty’s copper hues.
YouTuber Emma Chamberlain and Vogue’s Anna Wintour wore vintage tiaras. It was Billie Eilish who arguably stole the show with a gorgeous vintage getup.
Vogue reported, “Eilish wore a custom Gucci ivory and duchesse satin corseted gown, complete with a green lace underlay and gathered ivory skirt—and a padded bustle, of course. For Eilish, it was important for her look to be sustainable this year.”
Despite her lovely costumery, it was the early 20th century styled Fred Leighton diamond necklace, earrings and rings that wowed fans. Leighton is known for providing vintage jewelry to the stars.
As we have witnessed in past years, it can be choppy waters when chancing antique diamonds. It is unknown where Leighton’s piece comes from or how old it is, but it was undoubtedly made before the Kimberley Process, which was a 2003 global initiative to stop the import of blood diamonds.
An infamous scandal erupted over Beyonce’s Tiffany & Co. yellow diamond, when it was discovered to have a dark past rooted in human exploitation. She wore it unwittingly, as had Audrey Hepburn and Lady Gaga. Discovered in 1877, this South African rock is a massive 128 carats. Upon discovering its history, Beyonce was outraged.
Terry Alderich is the managing director at D’Arbés, a European luxury group. In a recent interview he spoke about where Kimberley has failed. “It’s a scheme,” he said.
“How does certifying bulk rough stones help? Corrupt regimes don’t always operate in bulk. They slip stones into the supply chain in small quantities. Also, Kimberley doesn’t address corrupt countries—just rebel groups.”
Today, the industry has made huge strides forward in transparency of origin. Technology comes to the rescue where Kimberley cannot. Sarine is an Israeli high-tech company that is tracing stones directly to where they were sourced.
Natural diamonds can be verified to be ethical and worry-free, which allays sustainability concerns when looking for a special gift. Remarkably, this company found a clever way to trace them using blockchain.
Sarine’s AI-powered gemstone scanning stations verify and communicate data with its cloud-based blockchain. Together, the hardware, software and cloud establish an entirely verifiable proof of provenance.
High-res 3D optics identify structural fingerprints within a stone. These high-tech scanners are stationed at the point of origin, and upstream, tracking the stone along its production journey, and recording it to a blockchain ledger.
Retailers and consumers have access to Sarine’s online digital report that documents a jewel’s entire journey to ensure its provenance is an ethical one and that it’s conflict-free.
Claire Swanson is a rough stone importer in Brooklyn’s branch of Amhelm Group. “Only tracing technologies ensure a stone is from a legitimate place. Blockchain is trusted as a basis for world currencies and it’s well vetted. Big jewelry store clients care about provenance because it’s important to customers, and tracing makes natural diamonds a sustainable choice.
We can’t go back in time to trace antique gems on display at the Gala, but the good news is that from this point forward, more and more diamonds are tracked by Sarine including those sold by Maison Boucheron. Shoppers can be confident that their beautiful treasures have good karma.
It’s safe to assume that by now, most of the celebs are mindful of the ethical vulnerability associated with unknown provenance. More stars are making efforts to only wear pieces that don’t have questionable pasts.
But without diamond traceability, they just won’t be able to know with any certainty. Fans should expect to see more and more traceable jewelry worn by their favorite celebs.
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. Travel, health, shopping, lifestyle and business are among the many subjects she writes about. Through quality and well-researched writing, she informs and even entertains readers about things that matter. She is also interested in film critiquing and filmmaking. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.