John France is a fine diamond jeweller and advisor, specialising in the creation of unique, one off jewellery pieces that are crafted with the world’s most sought after fine diamonds. Diamonds are hand-selected to create stunning pieces of jewellery under his brand, JF diamonds. Five ‘investment-pieces’ have recently been released, with a Black & White collection due to launch this spring. Viewing and purchase of the collection is generally by appointment only, with only one piece of any particular JF diamonds jewel ever being made.
Luxurious Magazine asks John France himself some more…
Q. What inspired you/ led you to get into designing and selling diamond jewellery?
Diamonds are at once the most beautiful, delicate and precious stone known to man and yet at the same time more or less the hardest and toughest stone known to man. I find the juxtaposition of the two irresistible.
It always amuses me to watch a diamond piece being delicately handled as if it were a piece of fine china and yet I know I could drive my car over it and it would be the car that gets damaged not the diamond.
I love that diamonds guarantee a sense of delicacy that a piece of jewellery made from any other material would never have.
Q. Where are you based? Do you get to travel the world for your job and if so, where?
I am based in the Quadrilaterale in Milan. I travel to London and Monte Carlo mostly, Tel Aviv and Anversa for diamonds and soon, further afield to inspect the diamond fields of Canada and Brazil.
Q. Tell us a bit more about your background.
I grew up in England, where I studied Italian Literature at Oxford and then worked in Italy for many years. Here, I developed a career as a consultant for luxury Italian brands, assisting troubled companies in securing foreign investment. Through this work, my love of diamonds was ignited. I admire the Italian tradition of design and quality of artisanship a great deal. Our aim was to create a brand with attitude and personality. Our designs are daring yet sophisticated; graceful but cutting edge.
Q. Where do you manufacture your jewellery?
Some of the jewellery is manufactured in Valenza, a region rich in diamond-manufacturing heritage, but we change manufacturers and locations depending on the demands of the piece being made and the needs of the designer.
Q. What is the most expensive piece of jewellery you have created and can you describe what it looks like/ what is was made out of and the value?
Gladiator bands in ice diamonds. They look as the name suggests, like gladiator bands to protect the forearms. Made from any other material, these bands would look like a heavy piece of armoury, but made from diamonds, they are absolutely exquisite. They cost approximately £3,000,000. They are also available in black diamonds at around a third of the price.
Q. Are you seeing any new trends in the preferred style, or cut, or colour in diamonds, or shapes/designs in jewellery for 2013?
I ignore the traditional cuts and cut the diamonds to suit the taste of the client. Each piece is made to measure. We specifically look at the cuts to be found on the high street and seek to do the opposite. I strive to create pieces that can not only be worn with a stunning dress, but can be paired with a leather jacket and jeans. I look at edgier, everyday styles, like a leather bracelet with studs for example and see how I can recreate it using the finest quality of diamonds, to produce a piece of exclusive, cutting edge jewellery.
Q. Which is your favourite piece in your current collection for spring, Black & White?
Cinderella heels. White satin with diamond heel and sole.
Q. Where do you source your diamonds from? How do you try to ensure your diamonds meet ethical standards in trading?
We have an arrangement with one of the world’s largest diamond companies, which derives several billion dollars a year from diamond sales. They advise us on our choice of diamonds. Their reputation rests upon ethical standards being met. We cannot mention their name here but their reputation precedes them.
Q. Where are your favourite destinations to get away to, or to be when you’re not working?
St Moritz, St Barths, The Seychelles and Ibiza.
Q. Are there any exciting future plans/ developments for JF diamonds that you wish to tell us?
Yes – we will continue to make pieces which are simply not available anywhere else. We plan to make only one of any particular piece and will contractually bind ourselves to that commitment. We also plan to increase our trading operations by guaranteeing to buy back any piece of JF jewellery at a price determined by the markets at the time, hence clients may well make a monetary gain on their purchase. We also offer clients the ability to request that their piece be modified, adjusted or reworked in any way they so choose at any time.
For more information, you can visit http://www.jfdiamonds.com/
To book a private appointment, email [email protected] or call + 39 (0)2 7634 0079