11th August 2018 - No Comments!

Jeremy’s Stories

The Aqua Brooch 

The history of Pinns stretches back 125 years in my family within the City of Cape Town so, inevitably generational stories emerge.  This one involves my late dad.

In the early 1960's, on his travels abroad, he was offered a very rare and beautiful 34-carat Aquamarine for an excellent price.  If this offer was made by a stranger he would definitely have rejected it.  One can't be too careful in our industry.  The first fear is the stone may be fake but more importantly, even if you know its genuine it is also vitally important to know its source.  One would not wish to be caught out purchasing stolen merchandise.  Not only can this place the buyer in hot water legally but its also believed to bring bad karma.

But this was a gem dealer from Brazil well known to my dad and he was just trying to liquidate this prized gemstone as he was in urgent need of the money.  In a flash, my dad realised the opportunity and purchased it, much to the Brazilians gem dealers delight.  It turned out to be a win-win deal as both parties were extremely satisfied.

My dad then took a decision not to place this rare gem for sale.  But instead he designed an exquisite “art Deco” style diamond brooch to set this magnificent Aqua and give it to his wife (my late mother).

As you can see from the photographs of the brooch, which I still proudly own and have on display in my showroom, it is a truly magnificent piece.

My late mother wears it here while she posing in all her finery with her sister - in -law and the ships captain on the Pendennis Castle steamship that used to ply the oceans connecting Southern Africa to the United Kingdom.

What marvelous days those were.  And my family count ourselves blessed  to still have such a world-class item of jewellery to remind us not only of those heady days, but of both my mother and father.


27th July 2018 - No Comments!

Pinn’s Client Stories

Old friends, new friends, and new memories.

Pinn's creates truly bespoke jewelry and service 

Being in the jewelry business for nearly 40 years has its advantages.  And I count those advantages mostly in the wonderful relationships forged with great friends.  Friends who continue to surprise me by remembering our bespoke services and how these can serve their own friends.

I was part of a very exciting Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing back in 1997 called Tourvest.  The group acquired a CEO named Steve Griessel who did a magnificent job of growing the group. During the process, we struck up a friendship.  Some years later he and his family decided to immigrate to the USA.

15 years following I received an email from Steve, and his lovely wife Bridgit, detailing that they were currently visiting South Africa with business colleagues and could we host them at our showroom.

This turned out to be a fantastic experience for me. What wonderful people his colleagues turned out to be.

Steve’s colleagues purchased a magnificent cluster ring set in 18 karat gold with intense fancy yellow and white diamonds.  We further went on to customize other pieces to make up a truly unique, bespoke set. We converted another ring into a pendant and handcrafted a pair of earrings to complete the spectacular matching suite of jewelry.

bespoke ringbespoke earrings

bespoke pendant








I was tasked with delivering these gorgeous creations to them at Babylonstoren, the beautiful wine estate between Paarl and Franschhoek.  Being a biker I leaped aboard my motorcycle and took the opportunity to take a ride out to the beautiful wine lands surrounding our city.  Needless to say, they were delighted with their delivery method and their purchases. Catherine, the gorgeous recipient, kindly obliged me with some photographs.

All in all a very enjoyable experience and one that we find we often repeat due to old friends and colleagues.



18th April 2018 - No Comments!

The Pinn Family Jewellery Business

We have been in business for 126 years. I mean the Pinn family jewellery business was started in 1893. That may roll easily off the tongue but when you think about it there are not that many companies in the world that could boast such a legacy. And particularly with the original family still at the helm.

This competitive advantage often plays out in very pleasing ways.

Here’s a story

Last June upon returning from an overseas trip I found a letter on my desk. It had been posted from Australia. And sent by old fashioned “snail mail”. Wow!!! Who sends a letter by snail mail anymore. Nonetheless, there it was. The letter went on to describe how in 1999 this couple had been on holiday in Cape Town and purchased a particularly beautiful heart shaped diamond from our store. Now this same couple almost 20 years later was planning another visit to our beautiful city. The husband secretly set out to contact me to arrange that we manufacture and a magnificent pair of matching heart diamond earrings to match the originally stone purchased.

The story becomes even more interesting because at the time they purchased the original diamond we had designed a ring but there wasn’t sufficient time to manufacture the ring. So it was agreed that we would make the ring and I would deliver it to them in Europe 2 weeks later where they were going to watch the Rugby World Cup in 1999. And it just so happened that I was planning to go and watch the World Cup too. So these perfect strangers took a decision to trust this at the time 106-year-old company. Of course, this trust proved to be well justified when I delivered their exquisite diamond ring to them as arranged.

heart shape diamond jewelry

And therefore the letter which resulted in a beautiful surprise for the wife in this story. And if the beautiful pair of diamond earrings wasn’t enough they promptly commissioned us to manufacture a matching brooch/pendant with 3 more heart diamonds.

I will not disclose their identities but here are some pictures of the earrings and brooch/pendant.

We are indeed very blessed with our 4 generation legacy not to mention a global community of loyal and trusting clients.

heart shape diamond jewelry

2nd October 2017 - No Comments!

The Beginning of Pinns

When Lazarus Pinn immigrated to South Africa from Lithuania in search of a better life and to escape persecution little did he know that what would follow is a 125 year old legacy through 4 generations. And who knows where this may still go with the next generation looking to get involved.

Lazarus was a watchmaker by trade and started out repairing watches and pipes to survive. When he handed the business to his son Barney it had become Cape Town’s best known jewelry store situated at 45 Adderley Street.

Another 2 generations later the business was sold into a Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed company who stopped trading under the name in 2007. Meanwhile 4th generation Jeremy Pinn started a new jewelry business called Destinee but has now resolved to re-establish the original family name in the jewelry industry and this website is the start of the rebirth of the Pinn Jewelry Dynasty. Jeremy is a GIA qualified gemologist and runs a showroom and manufacturing business specializing in bespoke diamond jewelry designs which has been renamed Pinns Diamonds and Jewellery.

We look forward to welcoming you either online or in person. We have secure client parking on the premises so please contact us to arrange an appointment.

13th June 2016 - No Comments!

Wow!!! What a diamond!!!

Industry Analysis: Archduke Diamond Sets Price Record

Elizabeth Taylor, move over for Archduke Joseph.

The 76.02 ct type IIa, Golcanda diamond, which belonged to the Archduke of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire, brought $21.5 million Nov. 13 at Christie’s Geneva auction. The diamond, a GIA-graded diamond D-If, achieved a record per-carat price of $282,545. Elizabeth Taylor’s diamond, which sold last December, brought $265,697 per carat.

The buyer of the famed Archduke diamond wished to remain anonymous.

The history of the Archduke diamond is obscure, but it is believed to have come from India’s Golcanda mine, which produced many legendary diamonds before the 19th Century. Golcanda was a major source of Type IIa diamonds that are often more “limpid” than Type I stones, which contain trace amounts of nitrogen, a yellowing agent.

The following day, Laurence Graff paid nearly $11 million at Sotheby’s for a 10.48 ct Fancy Deep blue briolette cut diamond, also graded by GIA.

The Christie’s auction had 19 lots that drew bids topping $1 million. They included a 3.33 ct. fancy intense blue GIA-graded diamond that a European dealer bought for $2.47 million and a pair of Burmese ruby ear pendants (7.94 and 7.22 cts) set by Bulgari, that brought $2.1 million from an American dealer. In addition, a British jeweler purchased a 60.44 ct Ceylon sapphire for $1.86 million.

7th September 2012 - No Comments!

Gold set to rise

Thomson Reuters GFMS anticipates that investment demand and monetary stimulus would push gold prices higher for the next three quarters. In an update to its Gold Survey report from April, Thomson Reuters GFMS expects gold to challenge the $1,800 per ounce mark before the end of 2012 and trade at or above $2,000 per ounce within the first six months of 2013 before entering a decline. GFMS predicts that gold investment demand will rise 3.1% for the second half of 2012. However, gold demand from jewelry makers fell 13% year on year during the first six months of 2012, primarily due to weak demand out of India, and the group expects a 4.4% decline for the second half.

20th August 2012 - No Comments!

Botswana’s gain…South Africa’s loss???

De Beers has moved its aggregation department from London to Gaborone as part of the ‎gradual transfer of its Diamond Trading Company (DTC) operations to Botswana. ‎

‎“As De Beers shifts more and more of its sales operations to Botswana over the next ‎year, we will solidify the long-term future of the partnership and work to transform ‎Botswana into one of the world’s leading diamond trading and manufacturing hubs,” said ‎Philippe Mellier, De Beers chief executive. ‎

Aggregation is the process of mixing same category of diamonds from De Beers global ‎operations in Botswana, South Africa, Namibia and Canada, before they are prepared for distribution to sightholders.‎

With aggregation now taking place at the DTC Botswana facility in Gaborone, De Beers ‎estimated that approximately $6 billion worth of diamonds will now flow through the ‎country. Until this week, aggregation had taken place in London for nearly 80 years, the ‎company explained.‎

The transfer of aggregation is part of DTC’s overall migration of its London sights and ‎sales operations to Gaborone, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2013. ‎

Essentially, from now until the transition is complete, the sight boxes will be created ‎in Gaborone and forwarded to the U.K. for distribution to the 66 London sightholders and ‎two Canadian sightholders. The appropriate boxes will be sent directly from Gaborone to ‎Johannesburg for the 10 South African sightholders and to Windhoek, the capital of ‎Namibia, for the 13 DTC Namibia sightholders, with the remainder staying in Gaborone ‎for DTC Botswana’s 21 sightholders.‎

The move was part of the sales agreement between De Beers and the Botswana ‎government signed last year and forms an integral part of governments plan to develop a ‎diamond trading hub in Gaborone. ‎

‎“This is a key milestone for the diamond industry in Botswana. By shifting the center of ‎gravity of the diamond world here, we are bringing in more economic activity, more skills ‎and more broad-based business opportunities to the country,” said Ponatshego H.K. ‎Kedikilwe, the Vice President and Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources. “We are ‎also growing our international profile and establishing the kind of platform that all ‎economies need for sustainable growth and diversification.” ‎

By the end of 2013, De Beers reported that more than $22 million (BWP 170 million) will have been invested to have its DTCB building ready for the first sight in Gaborone.

13th July 2012 - No Comments!

History of Gold in South Africa

Johannesburg’s early history is the story of gold. In 1853 Pieter Jacob Marais, a South African prospector, recovered alluvial gold from the Jukskei River, north of what would become Johannesburg. The years that followed brought several modest strikes, but the Witwatersrand Main Reef eluded searchers until 1886, when George Harrison, an Australian prospector, chanced upon an outcropping on a farm called Langlaagte. Ironically, Harrison failed to appreciate the significance of his find: he sold his claim for £10 and embarked for the goldfields of the eastern Transvaal region.

Others were more farsighted. By mid-1886 an army of diggers had descended on the Witwatersrand, hacking away with picks and shovels along a line that soon stretched 40 miles west to east. In response to this influx, the government of the Transvaal, the small Boer republic under whose jurisdiction the Witwatersrand fell, dispatched two men, Vice President Christiaan Johannes Joubert and Deputy Surveyor-General Johann Rissik, to inspect the goldfields and identify a suitable city site. The new city was called Johannesburg, apparently in their honour.

As the scale of the gold deposits became apparent, Johannesburg became the 19th century’s last great boomtown. Fortune hunters from as far afield as Australia and California joined skilled Cornish and Welsh miners, who brought to South Africa a strong trade-union tradition. Destitute Afrikaners, driven from their rural homes by debt and drought, clustered in slums such as Brickfields and Vrededorp. Africans from every corner of the southern African subcontinent migrated to the city, often in large ethnic cohorts, adding a dozen more voices to the cultural and linguistic babel. Most Africans worked on the mines, completing six- and nine-month contracts before returning to their rural homes. Others settled permanently in the swelling city, carving out niches as rickshaw drivers, domestic workers, and washermen. By 1896 Johannesburg had become a city of 100,000 people.

Conceived in avarice, the young city nurtured every species of vice. Banks and boarding houses jostled for space with more than 500 saloons. Criminal syndicates with roots in New York City and London found fertile soil in Johannesburg. The predominantly male population provided a robust market for prostitution. “Ancient Ninevah and Babylon have been revived”, a visiting journalist wrote in 1913. “Johannesburg is their twentieth century prototype. It is a city of unbridled squalor and unfathomable squander.”

The gold deposits of the Main Reef, for all their uncanny dependability, were also extremely low-grade. Tons of the pebbly conglomerate had to be mined, crushed, amalgamated with mercury (later cyanide), and retorted in order to produce even an ounce or two of gold. This fact, combined with gold’s internationally fixed price, produced a perennial problem of profitability, which increased exponentially as the reef dipped away to the south to depths of hundreds, and ultimately thousands, of feet. (South African gold mines would eventually reach depths of over two miles, making them far and away the deepest mines in the world).

All these factors promoted a rapid consolidation of the industry. By the mid-1890s control of the entire Witwatersrand gold industry rested in the hands of a half-dozen massive mining houses, each of which commanded thousands of workers and millions of dollars in capital, most of it raised from investors in Europe and the United States. Control of these companies lay with a small number of so-called “Randlords”, men such as Cecil John Rhodes, Alfred Beit, Barney Barnato, and J.B. Robinson, who had made their fortunes on the Kimberley diamond fields and well understood the exigencies of large-scale industrial mining. The company called Goldfields of South Africa, started by Cecil John Rhodes is till in existence today.

29th June 2012 - No Comments!

The Martian Pink Diamond

RAPAPORT… Christie’s Hong Kong sale of Magnificent Jewels today achieved a total of $80,258,468 (HKD 623,124,750) and was 79 percent sold by lot. The top lot, the Martian Pink (pictured), a 12.04-carat, fancy intense pink diamond signed by Harry Winston sold to an anonymous bidder for $17,395,728 or $1,444,823 per carat.

The Martian Pink

18th April 2012 - No Comments!

Latest Christies Auction

Christie’s New York sale of Magnificent Jewels on Tuesday realized $70,726,650 with strong sell-through rates of 95% by lot. The top lot was The (Huguette) Clark Pink, a cushion-cut fancy vivid purplish-pink diamond ring of 9.0 carats by Dreicer & Co., circa 1910, which sold for $15,762,500, setting a new auction record for the most valuable pink diamond sold in the United States. The successful bidder was Brett Stettner of Stettner Investment Diamonds. A second top lot was a 44.09-carat, D, IF rectangular-cut diamond that sold for $7,474,500.