BAL HARBOUR (CBSMiami) – Daring, Dynamic, Dramatic. Those are words used to describe handcrafted pieces of exquisite jewelry created by the man dubbed “The King of Diamonds”, Fawaz Gruosi.
At his brand new boutique, de Grisogono at Bal Harbour Shops, the haute couture jewelry designer celebrated 20-years since he first opened a small store in Geneva.
But becoming a world-class designer wasn’t even a thought when, at age 19, he applied for an entry-level position at a jewelry store. “All my life is my accident. I never was taught to be a jeweler. I just had to find a job because I had a baby boy and had to maintain my family,” said Fawaz.
In 1996, Fawaz changed the course of modern jewelry design when he produced the first collection of black diamonds. It was a stone that no one was working with at the time.
“Two years after my company was created, I came out with creation of the of the black diamonds. If black diamonds were not here, I would not be sitting with you today,” Fawaz told CBS4’s Lisa Petrillo. “They brought me very good luck”.
Another de Grisogono signature style is what he calls sugar diamonds. They’re misty, opalescent and glimmering. He even has “Sugar Watches” for men and women.
“I was in a bar in Rome and I saw people dipping cookies in coffee and sugar and it came in my mind, sugar diamonds,” he said.
To celebrate his 20 years in business, Fawaz designed an Anniversary Collection for each year. One necklace, worn by actress Sharon Stone, lit up the party at Cannes in May. It has 9 layers of diamonds and emeralds priced at $2.3 million dollars.
“Would you like to try it?” Fawaz asked Petrillo.
“Twist my arm,” Petrillo said. As she put it on, Petrillo exclaimed, “I’m feeling like the air is filling up my lungs. You get a feeling when you wear something like this.”
There are now 15 de Grisogono boutiques around the world. And despite the fact that Fawaz has become a very wealthy man from his talents, he said his real joy is found from the women who wear them. “When I see a woman at a cocktail party in the evening and I have never met her in my life and she wears my things, something vibrates within me. It’s an amazing fraction of a second” he said.