We often only look at the quality and authenticity of diamonds and pearls, but very few of us would take the time to learn the stories behind the shining jewels. The Value is bringing you to the latest Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in June to find the ‘storyteller’ of the jewels.
You might have heard of the name DANAT– Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones. DANAT was only established last year, with the full support of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Bahrain. With their rich resources and talented team, DANAT has quickly become one of the most preferred institutes for pearl and gemstone verification.
Bahrain relied on pearl fisheries to strengthen their economy before discovering its rich oil resources. It was one of the best and most important places for pearl export up to the 19th century. During that time, sailors would smuggle pearls out of Bahrain to Hong Kong. According to statistics, Bahrain was providing half of the world’s demand for natural pearls at its pearl industry's peak.
CEO of Bahrain Institute for Pearls and Gemstones - Kenneth Scarratt
We were very intrigued about DANAT, thus we paid a visit to the Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair in the hopes of learning more about the institute. Upon our arrival, we met the famous CEO of DANAT - Kenneth Scarratt.
Scarratt examined the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom
Scarratt is undoubtedly one of the most notable pearl experts. He worked at the Gemological Institute of America and was in charge of its research center in Bangkok, Thailand as well as affairs regarding the Southeast Asia region. He also examined the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom which are worn by British kings and queens at their coronations.
During our conversation with Scarratt, he expressed his strong interest in antique jewellery. He told us that ‘story matters’ and showed us a gorgeous book in a red, leather-bound case. This book is in fact an identification report which tells the story of the jewellery.
The protagonist of the story is a gold, Renaissance necklace set with seven ruby and thirty pearls. It belongs to a Japanese collector and was made in around 1590. The rubies were extracted from mineral resources in Mogok, Burma. Each section of the necklace can be taken out as individual accessories, a design that came from southern Germany. The exquisite piece was made for the Royal family of the Netherlands.
DANAT makes identification reports of several levels and this beautiful leather case one is a premium report for the finest, rarest jewels. According to Scarratt, regular jewellery, even those pearls and diamonds with expensive price tags, are not qualified for the premium report. They only provide this prestigious report for treasures that are irreplaceable, those that tell extraordinary historical stories.
The Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair that took place in June has just ended. However, the exhibition will come back in September and DANAT will be back in Hong Kong. For those who are interested, it is a chance you cannot miss.