Araminta Lee isn’t the sort of person who does anything in moderation. If you ask her to select one thing that her heart desires, she will choose two things, and they will invariably be the most gorgeous and unique objects you’ve ever laid your eyes on. After all, this is the heiress and former fashion model whose $40 million wedding featured the Vienna Boys Choir and Cirque du Soleil performers on a private island (see Crazy Rich Asians). As a connoisseur of jewelry, Araminta covets pieces with great history and provenance, and her go-to destination is the legendary Gem Palace in Jaipur, India, where royals and celebrities—from Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Diana to Mick Jagger and Bill Clinton—have gone to shop. Even more impressively, Gem Palace is run by the ninth generation of its original founders—the Kasliwals—who have created jewels for the Mughal emperors stretching back three centuries.
Today the new generation of global elite make the pilgrimage to Gem Palace’s Jaipur or Manhattan locations to acquire some of the world’s rarest jewels, with the pieces designed by the late Munnu Kasliwal being the most highly coveted. Munnu’s original creations have an indescribable magic to them—their originality and intricacy make them all conversation pieces, all the while looking timeless and chic. Take, for instance, this spectacular natural pearl and diamond lotus tassel necklace with Basra pearls from the Persian Gulf weighing a total of 225 carats, a center round cut diamond weighing 9.33 carats, flanked by 9.71 carats of small round cut diamonds, a 3.21 carat cushion cut diamond, and 12.02 carats of briolette diamonds. Accompanying this is an astonishing surprise—a turtle-shaped evening purse crafted in the Indo-Russian style with 127 carats worth of rose-cut diamonds. Boasting fully articulated limbs and a detachable 28-carat diamond link chain, the purse opens up to reveal intricately pierced gold and silver work encrusted with diamonds in a floral pattern. Araminta would snap up these two trinkets faster than you can say “charge it,” and with a total price tag of $2.45 million, it’s just another day for the girl that’s elevated shopping to a high art.
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