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Selection Stones and Pearls

B a s e l w o r l d S e l e c t i o n / 1 0 1 3.1/D33 FEI FEI is a family gem business now reaching back over half a century. “My uncle Sunil Jain, who is the president of the company, came over to the States in 1983,” notes Sudhir Jain, CEO of FEI. “Actually, he was one of six brothers, all in the emerald business.” Nowadays, FEI carries a lot more than just emeralds. “Of course, we began in the emerald business, and have been in that business for almost 60 years now. Initially we were only buying and selling emeralds, but sometime around 1988/1989, we expanded into all other coloured gems, including rubies, sapphires, semi-precious stones and natural pearls.” Now the 3rd generation has just come into the business. The past two generations are now legends. “Our main focus is to provide mostly unheated rubies and ­sapphires,” says Jain. In fact, more than 80 per cent of FEI’s ruby and sapphire inventory is unheated. “And our inventory of important emeralds is untreated. But emeralds are not like ruby and sapphire where you can have that many untreated emeralds. So our focus is on untreated and minor enhancements for our emeralds.” “Our speciality is really more in the ­traditional, but beautifully cut. We ­concentrate on creating Old French Cuts and many other more elegant shapes.” You won’t find radiant cuts, or very modern cuts in their emeralds, rubies, and ­sapphires. “They will mostly be ­traditional and old-style cuts,” says Jain. “What we specialise in is very fine quality in all traditional elegant cuts – and this is where we rise above the competition. In fact, the quality of cabochons and beads that we make are of exceptional quality as well. No one has as high quality cabs and beads as we do.” There’s this image, this expectation that “cabochon quality” can only reach so high, or command a certain kind of price, but not at FEI. “For example, you will find emerald cabochons up to $12,000 per carat in Zambian material, with Colombian material going up to $30,000 per carat. We keep this quality material in ­cabochons, and not many people attempt, or dare to do. We make incomparable quality cabochons and faceted beads.” What is to be expected from FEI at ­Baselworld 2014? “Exceptional ­investment quality gemstones and natural pearls will be the highlight of our show. I think we’ll have the best collection of natural pearls ever shown.” Look for Kashmir Sapphires and Old Mine Colombian Emeralds at FEI this year. There may also be some amazing and unique pink sapphires, say 20 carats plus, unheated. Or look for very important museum-quality Alexandrite. And it’s not only the large important pieces that FEI provides. FEI also handles enormous custom orders in melee. “Right now we’re cutting 10,000 pieces of 2 mm diamond cut red to top pinkish red spinels.” Custom orders tend to range from small melee up to 5 carats, says Jain, “but in semi-precious, we go all out, where we might need twenty 50-carat amethysts.” Every gem, precious or semi-precious, large or small is beautiful. As Jain notes, “everyone comes to us looking for ­exceptional gems.” FEI is headquartered in New York, USA m u c h m o r e t h a n e x c e p t i o n a l e m e r a l d s FEI · 3.1 / D33

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