Diamonds (and Rubies!) are a Girl’s Best Friend

“The Office’s” Jenna Fisher in Roberto Coin diamonds, with cast mate, Leslie David Baker.

With the Emmys right around the corner, actors, actresses and their stylists are scurrying for the best red carpet looks. Every year, time and time again, most selections are made at the 11th hour.

On the 14th floor of a newly-remodeled Four Seasons suite on Doheny, we had a private viewing of selections of Roberto Coin jewels, as well as, Roger Dubuis and Raymond Weil. The companies were in Los Angeles to showcase their latest designs for Hollywood’s best.

“We’ve come up with 750 new designs each year, which is quite a turnaround, says British-born Peter Webster, co-founder of Roberto Coin and head of its North American division. “Roberto (based in Vincenza. Italy, the city of gold) is very current with fashion. Our styles fit with what people are wearing, whether it’s a green, blue, red or black year. Well, it’s always black!” (Model Christie Turlington appears in their ads.)

Roberto Coin is known for the Cento Diamond, pronounced Chento. It’s designed and cut with 100 facets, nearly twice as many as the traditional with 57 or 58. “100 is the number of perfection. These sparkle a lot. It’s a very clasic, sophisticated add-on to our collection.”

Marilyn Monroe told us that diamonds are a girl’s best friend. But what about the ruby?

It’s the company’s signature. The use of rubies and rubellite is in almost every jewelry creation. Ancient Egyptian legend holds that when touching the skin the ruby is to bring its wearer health, happiness and good fortune. “The Egyptian pharaohs gave rubies to their concubines.

“Rubies go back to Babylonian times. Going into battle, warriors put rubies under their skin to protect from them being wounded in battle. There’s so much history. We decided that since it was invincible and denoted eternal youth, we’d design all the jewelry with a hidden ruby to touch the skin and be a secret between the giver and the receiver. It’s powerful.”

In the late seventies, Webster and Coin, who became business partners, met in Gurnsey while pursuing other occupations. Webster was a CPA, Coin in the hospitality business. “Jewelry just happened. We were both sportsman. I played rugby at Cambridge, so I really didn’t have to study! I lucked out. I feel bad for these kids now in Brown or Duke. They really have to work.”

The company is growing rapidly. “We just opened in Prague. Moscow is just opening. We’ve got five stores in this country. Let’s see – Rome, Venice, Dubai.” Webster was a former Angeleno, residing in Malibu, before opening up headquarters in New York City.

He favors Diane Lane, Elizabeth Hurley and Sandra Bullock as clients. The list also includes Nicole Kidman, Ashley Judd, Cate Blanchett, and Jenna Fischer. Maria Menounos, Sharon Osbourne and Mad Men’s Christina Hendricks will probably wear his designs to the Emmys.

“I would select a very classic diamond necklace for Christina. I wouldn’t want to go too way off with her. Sharon Osbourne would be better suited for a colorful, big diamond piece.”

He describes Bullock as enchanting. When he first met her, she selected a diamond piece that her boyfriend at the time (pre-Jesse James) gave her. “Diane (Lane) is ageless, so beautiful.

“With all the other styles, Roberto seems to be very cutting edge. Our trends go with fashion. The current rage: lots of colors: big, colorful cocktail rings and longer necklaces.”

Sue Facter writes about all things A-list for publications worldwide. Her credits include USA Today, People and Los Angeles Times.