'EMERALDS FOR ELEPHANTS' IS A BRILLIANT INITIATIVE BY WORLD LAND TRUST, GEMFIELDS, JAGUAR LAND ROVER, GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (GIA INDIA) AND 10 OF INDIA'S TOP JEWELLERS TO CREATE BLING INSPIRED BY THE ASIAN ELEPHANT USING ZAMBIAN EMERALDS AND OF COURSE GOLD AND DIAMONDS AS ACCENTS.
MARK 14 OCTOBER 2011 IN YOUR DIARY, HEAD TO MUMBAI AND CHECK INTO THE OPULENT TAJ MAHAL HOTEL WHERE YOU CAN PLACE YOUR BIDS FOR THE BLING OF YOUR CHOICE AT THE SOTHEBY'S AUCTION IN THE GRAND BALLROOM.
AS EXPECTED, SUCH MASTERLY WORKS DO NOT COME CHEAP. PRICES RANGE FROM US$ 40,000 TO US$ 270,000 SO WHILE IT IS NOT LOOSE CHANGE, IT IS NOT OUTRAGEOUS EITHER AND FOR SURE THESE JEWELS WILL INCREASE IN VALUE IN THE NEAR FUTURE SINCE THEY WERE EXPRESSLY CREATED FOR THIS SPECIAL EVENT!
Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers
Nirav Modi brooch
Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers
IT IS ONE OF LIFE'S IRONIES THAT THE PLANET'S BIGGEST AND STRONGEST ANIMALS IS NOW IN MORTAL DANGER OF LOSING THEIR HABITATS AND POSSIBLY THEIR VERY OWN SURVIVAL IN THE WILD. THE ASIAN ELEPHANT, SO BELOVED BY HUMANS ONCE TAMES, IS A SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND EVEN RELIGIOUS ICON IN MANY ASIAN NATIONS.
THE MOST FAMOUS AND POWERFUL MANIFESTATION IS GANESHA OR GANESH OR GANAPATHY, THE WELLKNOWN ELEPHANT-HEADED GOD WHO REMOVES ALL OBSTACLES IN LIFE AND IS THIS NOT THE MOST DESIRED WISH? GANESH IS ALSO WORSHIPPED FOR WEALTH, EDUCATION SUCCESS, BUSINESS LUCK AND A WORRY-FREE LIFE.
GANESH HOLDS A HIGH POSITION IN HINDUISM'S PANTHEON OF GODS, GODDESSES, DEITIES AND DIVINE HEROES BUT EVEN NON-HINDUS ARE AWARE OF HIS NAME AND POSSIBLY EVEN HOW HE IS THE ONLY MAJOR GOD WITH AN ANIMAL'S HEAD.
IT IS SAID WHEN HE WAS BORN, GANESH WAS SO FLAWLESSLY PERFECT AND BEAUTIFUL HIS MOTHER PARVATI WAS SO PROUD SHE BEGUN SHOWING HIM OFF TO ALL THE GODS AND GODDESSES DURING AN ASSEMBLY. EVERYONE MARVELLED AT THE CHILD'S RADIANCE AND PARVATI WAS SO HAPPY SHE EVEN SHOWED GANESH TO SHANI (SATURN) WITH THE CLOSED THIRD EYE ON HIS FOREHEAD. SHANI OPENED THIS EYE, SOMETIMES CALLED THE EVIL EYE, AND INSTANTLY, A RAY SHOT OUT AND BURNED THE HEAD OF GANESH INTO ASHES.
AMID SCREAMS AND LAMENTATIONS, VISHNU TRIED TO SAVE GANESH'S LIFE FORCE WITH A REPLACEMENT HEAD. AS TIME WAS RUNNING OUT, VISHNU COULD NOT FIND A RECENTLY DECEASED HUMAN SO HE SNATCHED THE HEAD OF THE FIRST LIVING CREATURE HE SAW WHICH HAPPENED TO BE AN ELEPHANT! AND THIS IS HOW GANESH'S LIFE WAS SAVED ALTHOUGH HE ENDED UP WITH AN ELEPHANT'S HEAD!
IN ANOTHER VERSION, GANESHA WAS BORN AS A DIRECT RESULT OF HIS FATHER SHIVA'S LAUGHTER. AS THE PERFECT BABY WAS BORN, SHIVA HAD A GLIMPSE OF THE CHILD'S FUTURE WHICH WOULD BE CALAMITOUS DUE TO HIS INCREDIBLY, BREATHTAKING BEAUTY. TO PREVENT FUTURE TROUBLES SHIVA REPLACED HIS SON'S HEAD WITH ONE OF AN ELEPHANT AND GIVE HIM HIS PROTRUDING BELLY!
IN OLDEN DAYS, ONLY THE KING OF SIAM WAS ALLOWED TO KEEP WHITE ELEPHANTS AS THESE WERE AND STILL ARE, CONSIDERED SACRED ANIMALS AND MUST BE TREATED WITH THE MOST COMPLEX CEREMONIES AND RITUALS. THE APPEARANCE AND CAPTURE OF A WHITE ELEPHANT WHICH WOULD BE PRESENTED TO THE KING WAS REGARDED AS AN AUSPICIOUS EVENT THAT WOULD HERALD A TIME OF GREAT PROSPERITY TO THE NATION...PROVIDED THE WHITE ELEPHANT (WHICH IS USUALLY LIGHTISH BROWN AND NOT SNOWY WHITE NOR AN ALBINO) IS LOOKED AFTER WITH GREAT CARE.
THE EXPENSES OF KEEPING SUCH ANIMALS WERE SO HIGH ONLY THE KING COULD AFFORD THEM. AS A RESULT, THE KING WOULD USE THIS TO PUNISH RECALCITRANT NOBLES, UNFAITHFUL GENERALS OR THOSE WHO HAD FALLEN OUT OF FAVOUR BY PRESENTING HIM WITH A WHITE ELEPHANT AT A LAVISH CEREMONY. SUPERFICIALLY, THIS IS SEEN AS AN IMMENSE HONOUR BUT THE HORRENDOUS COSTS OF MAINTAINING IT AS DICTATED BY TRADITION WOULD SOON BANKRUPT THE UNHAPPY RECIPIENT!
HENCE, THE IDIOM 'WHITE ELEPHANT' WHICH MEANS SOMETHING USELESS YET IS EXPENSIVE TO UPKEEP!
AND OF COURSE NO MAHARAJAH WORTH HIS NAME WOULD TRAVEL IN ANYTHING LESS THAN A SPLENDIDLY CAPARISONED ELEPHANT DURING CEREMONIES AS THE SIGHT OF A PARADE OF ELEPHANTS DECKED IN COLOURFUL, EMBROIDERED AND BEJEWELLED BANNERS, BUNTINGS AND FLAGS IS A SIGHT TO BEHOLD THOUGH THESE NORMAL COLOURED ELEPHANTS ARE INFINITELY CHEAPER TO KEEP THAN WHITE ELEPHANTS.
THE JEWELS INSPIRED BY ELEPHANTS ARE ALSO PRICEY BUT EACH IS ONE OF A KIND AND PART OF THE PROCEEDS WILL GO TOWARDS WORLD LAND TRUST'S 'ELEPHANT CORRIDOR' PROJECT SO YOU WILL ENJOY GOOD KARMA AND AN OBSTACLE-FREE LIFE AS GANESH WOULD SURELY APPROVE OF YOUR BOY SCOUT DEED.
'EMERALDS FOR ELEPHANTS' MIGRATES FROM LONDON TO INDIA
This is the second time such a project is being held as the first was last year in London when the jewels were sold at auction by Sotheby's to raise funds for these magnificent pachyderms.
The World Land Trust and ethical coloured gemstones mining company, Gemfields, together
with Jaguar Land Rover and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA India), have
collaborated with ten of India’s top jewellery designers to create Zambian emerald jewellery. Following the success of ‘Emeralds for Elephants’ in London in the summer of 2010, the aim of this collection is to create awareness and raise crucial funds for the conservation initiatives of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) for the Asian Elephant in India.
The headline piece of the collection is, naturally, a Ganesha sculpture with a 638 carat Gemfields
Zambian emerald created by renowned artist, Arzan Khambatta. The collection will be launched
in July and end with a Grand Auction at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai on 14 October
2011 when Sotheby's will auction them to the highest bidders.
As India’s farmlands and cities expand, the Asian Elephant is experiencing large-scale habitat
fragmentation and loss. India is home to 60% of the world’s Asian Elephant population, making
their survival in India critical to the survival of the whole species. An extensive survey across
India conducted by WTI resulted in identifying 88 vital corridors for elephant movement. The
Wildlife Trust of India with its conservation partners subsequently set about securing these vital
corridors, of which the World Land Trust has partnered with WTI in the northern Indian state
of Uttarakhand, southern Indian state of Kerala and the north eastern state of Meghalaya.
Securing corridors for elephants involves working closely with local communities and
governments and this renders the entire process time and resource-intensive. WTI and its
conservation partner WLT aim to facilitate the creation of conflict-free corridors and improve
conservation prospects of the Asian elephant.
Gemfields hand-picked ten leading jewellers from around India to create a one-of-a-kind
piece or set of jewellery, incorporating Zambian emeralds. Gemfields’ focus is on ethically
produced Zambian emeralds that follow fair-trade, environment, social and safety best practices.
The Company’s unique mine-to-market capability guarantees the provenance of every gem
through a full disclosure and certification programme. The deep green of these gems and the
ethical nature of their mining and route to market, form a perfect fit with the World Land
Trust’s goals and objectives.
Each designer has created a unique piece /set inspired and featuring elephants in various manifestations. The jewellers are just as diverse in their style and designs; Abaran Jewellers (Bangalore), Anmol Jewellers (Mumbai), Gem Palace (Jaipur), Khanna Jewellers (New Delhi), Meena Jewellers(Hyderabad), Narayan Jewellers (Baroda), Nirav Modi (Mumbai), Sawansukha Jewellers (Kolkata), Talwarsons Jewellers (Chandigarh) and Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers (Chennai).
The collection will tour India and be displayed in each of the designers’ boutiques from August to
October 2011. On 14 October, Sotheby’s will auction the collection at an exclusive event held
in the Taj Mahal Hotel Mumbai, with a percentage of profits from each jewel going towards the
World Land Trust’s ‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project.
John Burton, CEO of World Land Trust, whose patrons include Sir David Attenborough and
David Gower, says “Gemfields have not only demonstrated their ethics, but are also
committed to helping the natural environment of Elephants, both in Africa where their
emeralds are mined, but also in India where many of them are sold. In 2010 they were one
of the major contributors to the programme managed by the Wildlife Trust of India and
supported by the World Land Trust, creating corridors to allow elephants to move freely
between protected areas.”
The partnership between World Land Trust and Gemfields is an on-going one and both
organisations have long-term aims for their work together. Ian Harebottle, CEO of Gemfields
says that “Gemfields is very pleased to bring Emeralds for Elephants to India this year.
Our London auction for the ‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project helped to raise a
significant amount last year, and we are sure of a good response in India. Gemfields is
proud to have partners who support us wholeheartedly on this initiative and we sincerely
hope that our efforts in giving to the environment will help build larger and more viable
Sponsors include Jaguar Land Rover, The Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces, Sotheby’s,
CanazWest Pictures, Mumm Champagne, BVC, Show Stuff and Gemological Institute of
America (GIA India) which has issued the identification report for each piece of jewellery'
THE WORLD LAND TRUST
WLT is marking 2011 by organising a diverse range of events to celebrate their work to date. A
particular focus will go on projects that are in urgent need of funds, and one of these is the
‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project in India.
The World Land Trust partners with Wildlife Trust of India to safeguard traditional migratory routes for Elephants so they can move safely between National Parks and other protected areas. Elephants need large areas to feed and breed, and habitat loss, leading to the fragmentation of their forests, is the greatest threat the Asian Elephant. This results in small, isolated
populations of elephants just managing to survive beacuse if they stray outside protected areas in search of food, they are likely to come to into conflict with humans as elephants unfortunately do destroy crops and cause damage. Persecution of elephants can be in the form of
huge trenches to stop them crossing, firecrackers to scare them away and, in some
Ensuring the survival of a ‘flagship’ species like the Asian Elephant requires the protection of the
entire habitat/ecosystem. Fortunately this initiative also benefits other wildlife which rely
on the forest for their survival. The tiger, also critically endangered, shares the
corridors with the Asian Elephant so this is a case of killing two birds with one stone, so to speak.
WILDLIFE TRUST OF INDIA
Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is a non-profit conservation organisation committed to the protection of India's wildlife. Its mission is to conserve nature, especially endangered species and threatened habitats, in partnership with communities and government.
WTI was formed in November 1998, in response to the rapidly deteriorating condition of the
country's wildlife, with only three staff members. Today WTI works with a team of over 120 fulltime professionals, consultants and volunteers from all walks of life. Within a decade, WTI has made significant innovative and pioneering contributions to wildlife conservation, making it one of India's key wildlife NGOs. The principal concerns of WTI include crisis management and provision of quick, efficient aid to individuals, species or habitats.
Gemfields PLC, an AIM listed company, is the world’s foremost coloured gemstone producer,
positioned at the intersection of exploration, mining and marketing.
Natural, untreated gems are at the heart of the operation. Our focus is on providing the market
with reliable and ethically mined Zambian emeralds, which uphold global best practices while
remaining in accordance with the highest levels of environmental, social and safety standards.
Gemfields’ unprecedented mine to market strategy allows us to work to ensure the provenance
of every gem. Supported by a world-class management team of seasoned industry experts,
Gemfields prides itself on excellence and transparency.
JAGUAR LAND ROVER
Jaguar Land Rover, part of the Tata Group, is a business built around two iconic British car
brands that designs, engineers and manufactures premium vehicles for a global market. With
investment in product creation topping £1.5 billion a year, Jaguar Land Rover is at the centre of
the UK automotive industry’s drive to deliver technical innovation in all areas of vehicle
development. Land Rovers are exported to over 176 countries and Jaguars exported to over 65
On Jaguar Land Rover’s association with ‘Emeralds for Elephants’, Mr Rohit Suri, Head, Jaguar
Land Rover (India) said: “Jaguar Land Rover is pleased to be associated with the 'Emeralds
for Elephants' initiative, as we view this as an extension of our role in working with the
world's top humanitarian and conservation organisations. Jaguar Land Rover is committed
to corporate social responsibility, environmental awareness and sustainability and this
penetrates through every aspect of our business. Our approach is focused on minimising the
environmental impact of our products and operations."
TAJ HOTELS, RESORTS AND PALACES
Taj Hotels Resorts & Palaces, one of the Asia's largest and the most admired group of hotels, is
immensely concerned about responsible tourism. To embrace wildlife in India, Taj Safaris -
India’s first luxury wildlife circuit in Madhya Pradesh - has come a long way in collaboration with
& Beyond. Taj Safaris, a TATA initiative, is known to provide its guests with an exquisite,
interpretive wildlife experience based on a proven and sustainable eco-tourism model.&Beyond’s
collaboration with Taj Hotels has to its credit, decades of expertise in providing exciting wildlife
experiences with a host of renowned services blended in tranquil hospitality.
Reinforcing the signature value system behind almost every venture undertaken by the TATA
group, Taj Safari carries out a host of other conservation initiatives. Like the first ever
translocation of gaur to an area where they were extinct. Taj Safari works closely with the local
communities and educates them about the importance of conserving the jungle for future
Founded in 1744, Sotheby’s is the oldest and largest publicly traded auction house in the world
that engages in art auction, private sales and art-related financing activities. The company has a
long history of engaging in the support of philanthropic activities across the globe, through both
sponsorship and charity auctions. Sotheby’s staff do a huge amount to support charities, and
where possible provide advice and assistance in the organisation of charity auctions. Sotheby’s
auctioneers also take charity auctions across the globe, including in the US, UK and the rest
Europe, as well as the Middle East, Asia and India. Globally, in 2007 Sotheby’s raised in the
region of £70.7 million for charitable causes, which increased to the remarkable sum of £94.4
million in 2008.
Commenting on Sotheby’s involvement, Auctioneer for ‘Emeralds for Elephants’, Lord
Poltimore, Deputy Chairman Sotheby’s Europe, said: “Sotheby’s is delighted to be supporting
‘Emeralds for Elephants’ charity auction in Mumbai this coming October, which will
generate much-needed funds for the protection of the Asian Elephant. The combination of
jewellers and gemstones has resulted in some truly magnificent jewellery pieces of
outstanding workmanship, inspired by the very cause they will be sold to benefit. We very
much look forward to playing a modest role in raising funds for this worthy cause.”
GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (GIA INDIA)
Established in 1931, GIA was founded by the visionary and former retail jeweller Robert M.
Shipley, who dreamt of professionalizing the industry and protecting all buyers and sellers of
gemstones through education, research, and gemological instrumentation. GIA is the global
leader in gemological grading – be it diamonds, coloured stones or pearls. Using sophisticated
technology, GIA researchers analyse thousands of samples each year. GIA is often the first to
detect any new synthetic gems and gem enhancement processes that enter the marketplace.
Considered the world’s most respected gemological laboratory, GIA is entrusted with
grading and identifying more gems than any other lab including famous stones and coloured
diamonds like Hope, Taylor-Burton, De Beers Millennium Star and The Incomparable.
Ms. Nirupa Bhatt, Managing Director, GIA India & Middle East says, “Elephants have been an
integral part of Indian culture. For centuries, these gentle giants have inspired
jewellers across the world. Now their habitats are being affected by deforestation and human encroachment. Conservation in such a scenario is of paramount importance."