Prestige issue 272, March 2016
Report by Najat Kassir
Gemological training at Antonine University
Participants estimating at the microscope stones and jewelry. © Prestige
For the first time, the Antonine University in Hadat-Baabda, organized under the auspices of a team of art professionals, a gemological training, spread over three days, where fifty fans and future artists responded to the invitation. Under the label known as Gemology, the knowledge of the stone, its extensive study, are screened under the microscope and other sophisticated techniques in order to give each stone its true intrinsic value for its commercial sale on the global jewelry market. Feminine flattery, vanity, power of seduction, expertise: the precious stone is adorned with all its assets to be to the height of the capricious woman as well as the requirements of the seduced man. The permanent training center of the Antonine University, in collaboration with Sandy Saad, art consultant and head of the training program was the initiator of this ambitious project. A pioneer in this area, the center offers a variety of courses addressed to young people, professionals, businesses and the general public.
Participants discover the Private Museum Robert Mouawad. © Prestige
Lebanon is in need of training in these areas, appealed to a great expert in this field, Claire Truchis-Lauriston, of the house of auctions Sotheby’s specialist of the jewelry selling section, based in Paris. In collaboration with the Lebanese jewelry houses, Selim Mouzannar and Antoine Hakim opened their doors and their private collections to the public eager to know more. The four precious stones: diamonds, sapphire, ruby and emerald are well observed, thanks to the expertise of this expert, who, combining humor and extensive knowledge, was able to attract fans that came to learn with precious stones such as garnet, quartz, beryl, tourmaline and pearl, feminine accessory par excellence, which have adorned women illustrated by their elegance like Marilyn Monroe, Wallace Simpson, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Hutton… The pearl in all its aspects, fine, cultured, freshwater, was well presented. The punch, magnifier, amateur students were able to test them in practice. The Mouawad Museum, the Mouzannar workshops and Antoine Hakim displayed their collections and some stones in front of the admiring glances of the participants. The Excelsior, flagship piece of the Robert Mouawad collection, pure diamond of 70 carats, inserts, on a rotating case, a real beauty! Participants completed the seminar at the MIM Museum, Museum of Minerals, ranked second museum in the world due to its magnificent collection of minerals, natural stones where man has never intervened: Selim Edde is the instigator of this enormous project. Through hard work, over 10 years, his passion has made an incredible wealth for a small country like Lebanon. The gemstone, minerals have stood the test of time ignoring the intricacies and vagaries of existence. But what did their extraction cost? At the cost of human lives, young hands of children and adolescents, fleshless hands, looking for ways to survive in a tough world where exploitation conglomerates like De Beers, who imposed their monopolies mines around the world…