MARCO HADJIBAY: 40-YEAR WAIT FOR THE MIRACULOUS EMERALD
July 4, 2013
Bayco is a relatively new name in the world of precious gems, however, the Hadjibay family have already put their name out there by creating jewels that effortlessly mix old and new trends. Bayco’s pieces are often influenced by the Mogul era, jewellery of the Indian maharajahs, and classical jewellery, which makes the beauty of each stone stand out.
The fuel for their passion lies in the awed faces of people who lay eyes on their family’s creations for the first time. This year there were thousands of those people at the Baselworld exhibition who stared in disbelief at one of the most treasured Bayco’s possessions – the recently acquired magnificent unenhanced emerald.
This emerald is the most precious stone I seen in my life and I could not miss an opportunity to talk to Marco Hadjibay about Bayco’s most precious acquisition.
K.P.: To begin with, please tell us where this emerald originates from?
M.H.: The stone is from Colombia, from Muzo mines to be precise. It is a true masterpiece by Mother Nature, which sometimes goes above and beyond. This is one of the examples when it does.
K.P.: Please, explain what makes this emerald such a rare find?
M.H.: First of all its unusually large size. Second reason is the clarity of the stone: it is almost completely clean of inclusions, there is only one small inclusion and this is about it. And thirdly its brilliance is astonishing thanks to the crystal material of the stone. Let me also emphasize the amazing colour of this emerald, the rich green that is not too dark or too light. This is extremely rare that one emerald combines all these properties.
K.P.: Do you know how large was the rough stone?
M.H.: The yield of an emerald is probably between 20% and 25% depending on the cut. Therefore the original rough of this stone was probably about a thousand carats, maybe a little less, we do not know exactly because we purchased the stone as it is.
K.P.: Can you unveil us a secret where or who you bought it from?
M.H.: It was actually in hands of a very important private collector and my grandfather saw it by chance 40 years ago. He wanted to buy it then, but the collector never wanted to sell it. My grandfather then said that if one day there was an opportunity to buy the stone, he wanted to be the first one to have the choice. So years went by and finally the stone came in front of us…
K.P.: What was your reaction when you set your eyes on this emerald for the first time?
M.H.: When I saw it my head started spinning. Our grandfather never told us about the stone. It is of incredible value and this time we could not let it go. It hurt to see so much money go with it, but seeing the stone become a part of Bayco gave us so much pleasure.
M.H.: Of course! Our granddad bought and sold some treasures that do not exist anymore, but this is a crowning achievement of his career. Our family is so happy and honoured to share the emerald with the rest of the world, because the stone like this deserves attention, it deserves to be seen and shared with the rest of the world.
K.P.: How did you grandfather start working in stone-dealing? Tell us briefly about his career.
M.H.: Amir Hadjibay was born very poor in Iran. 70 years ago, at the age of 14, he travelled to India by himself. He started by selling stones to the British colonies and with the money he earned he would go and buy more stones from India and bring them back to Iran to sell. He was doing it for some time and by the age of 18 he had a very good name and reputation. He started buying stones for maharajahs, but eventually he moved to Italy where his business flourished: he was doing wholesale of stones to very high jewellery brands.
M.H.: Today many companies want to do more commercial things, rather than high jewellery. So as we have plenty of high jewels we decided to start a retail company ourselves. Now Bayco is at the beginning of a brand new stage and it helps to have a stone like the emerald we have just obtained.
K.P.: So what is the plan for it now? Will you display it in your store in New York?
M.H.: The plan is not set yet. We are probably going to lend it to one of the museums or might send it on a round-the-world tour. This stone is priceless and not for sale as it took us so long to obtain it. This is for our soul. For the time being we just want to enjoy it and share this joy with the rest of the world.
Article by: Katerina Perez