Star studded auction at Selfridges achieves £667,000 in 40 minutes.
The ‘Emerald for Elephants’ exhibition drew to an exciting close when the most valuable elephant in the London Elephant Parade was auctioned to raise funds for the World Land Trust and Wildlife Trust of India.
The two organisations work together to create a network of wildlife corridors so elephants can follow their migratory routes whilst minimising human elephant conflict.
The ‘Emerald Queen’ elephant features a Gemfields 678ct emerald and was auctioned for an amazing £150,000. Eight unique pieces of emerald jewellery raised an additional £517,000 at the event, during which a staggering total of £667,000 was raised in 40 minutes.
Numerous VIP’s and celebrities from the UK and India were in attendance at the glamorous auction. These included Indian cricket star Yuvraj Singh, Mark Shand, Jack Penate, Andrea and Alice Dellal, and the owners of Selfridges, Hılary and Galen Weston.
Gemfields, one of the world’s leading coloured gemstone producers, provided Zambian emeralds to eight renowned designers, who were carefully chosen to create the ‘Emeralds for Elephants’ collection.
Each designer created a unique piece inspired by the elephants themselves and other examples of the abundant biodiversity of fauna and flora which depend on tropical forest habitats for their survival.
The jewellers chosen included renowned court jewellers to the Moghul emperors, Gem Palace from India, cutting edge jeweller Shaun Leane, high society jeweller Theo Fennell and the new talented designer on the block, Dominic Jones.
Others chosen to design pieces were Sevan Bicakci from Turkey, Autore by Alessio Boschi, an innovative south sea pearl company from Australia, renowned titanium jeweller Francis Mertens from Belgium and J.W. Currens, who has an award-winning workshop in the US.
Supermodel Lily Cole, who modelled the collection of emerald jewels, said: “It is heartwarming to see the commitment and work of conservationists, such as the World Land Trust, defending precious and threatened species. It is also quite amazing to see the collaborative efforts that have been put in by the public, artists, jewellers and businesses from many different spectra to contribute towards this project and this aim.
“I think it is so important that, as we, the human race, continue to grow, develop and expand, we take into consideration our responsibility to share the planet with other animals and their right to space to live and grow in too, even if they cannot articulate or fight for it themselves.”