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Assael Wins Couture 2021 Design Award for Pearls and the People’s Choice Award

“When Nature provides such magnificent and unusual pearls, Christina Assael and I just know we have to do something special with them.”




Assael Wins Couture 2021 Design Award for Pearls  and the People’s Choice Award

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK — Assael, the foremost purveyor of magnificent pearls and responsibly sourced exquisite coral announces that the 75-year-old heritage brand has won both the Couture Design Award for Best in Pearls and the People’s Choice Award with its “Winter Branches” earrings at the esteemed Couture 2021 Jewelry Show in Las Vegas.

“When Nature provides such magnificent and unusual pearls, Christina Assael and I just know we have to do something special with them,” says Peggy Grosz, Senior Vice President of Assael. “The extraordinary and rare Blue Akoyas that make up the ‘branches’ are set in a unique style that allows them to move and sway like the branches of a tree. For the sparkling snow effect, we had to find exceptionally white diamond briolettes. The total effect is what we were striving for. Being present at Couture, exhibiting with like-minded companies and receiving this design recognition has really helped us out of pandemic mode.”

Winter Branches Earrings

Second in the Four Seasons earrings series, the Winter Branches feature Silvery Blue South Sea and Akoya Pearls and sparkling Diamond Briolettes that dance on articulated Platinum branches. The earrings are comprised of two South Sea Cultured Pearls (18mm), 48 Blue Akoya Cultured Baroque Pearls (7.5 – 9mm), 14.82 carats of Oval Briolette Diamonds, and 0.67 carats of Round Diamonds. They are 3.7” long, with Clip Backs. Posts are available upon request. $116,000.

Additional thoughts from Peggy Grosz:

We made Fall Branches with the autumnal colors of some of our Fiji pearls, and then decided to make all four seasons. We had just acquired the shimmery silver-blue Akoyas, and they looked like sun sparkling on snow. We have a limited inventory of blue South Sea Baroque pearls, so we jumped up to get them from the vault, thinking they would make great tops from which the ‘branches’ could emanate… and the colors worked, big time! Both the blue of the Akoyas and the blue of the South Seas are unusual. That they are the same is crazy, as they come from completely different oysters in different bodies of water


Additional Thoughts on Craftsmanship and Technique from Peggy Grosz:

We had to consider weight and wearability. To be sure that the earrings would hang correctly and be comfortable, we did three things:

  • Our craftsman formed the platinum on the back of the South Sea Baroques in such a way as to ‘anchor’ those large pearls. They have clips and those clips are angled, additionally controlling the position. The eventual owner has the choice of adding posts.
  • The actual platinum branches had to be thin to control weight, but strong to be forever… hence the choice of platinum.
  • We knew that these branches would need to be articulated… to move and flex at the right points. A rigid or stiff earring would not be acceptable and never look beautiful on the ear, so we played with the ‘points’ of articulation, until they seemed fluid and natural when moving.
  • Also, the colors of the pearls necessitated extremely white diamond briolettes.

For more information or to see the Winter Branches in person, contact Duvall O’Steen of Luxury Brand Group at



This Third-Generation Jeweler Was Ready for Retirement. He Called Wilkerson

Retirement is never easy, especially when it means the end to a business that was founded in 1884. But for Laura and Sam Sipe, it was time to put their own needs first. They decided to close J.C. Sipe Jewelers, one of Indianapolis’ most trusted names in fine jewelry, and call Wilkerson. “Laura and I decided the conditions were right,” says Sam. Wilkerson handled every detail in their going-out-of-business sale, from marketing to manning the sales floor. “The main goal was to sell our existing inventory that’s all paid for and turn that into cash for our retirement,” says Sam. “It’s been very, very productive.” Would they recommend Wilkerson to other jewelers who want to enjoy their golden years? Absolutely! “Call Wilkerson,” says Laura. “They can help you achieve your goals so you’ll be able to move into retirement comfortably.”

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