The Royal Jewellers S04 ep4 : Moussaieff [London]

Interview with Alisa Moussaieff

Moussaieff Jewellers Ltd. has two London stores and a shop at the Grand Hotel Kempinski Geneve in Switzerland. Moussaieff's clients have included government figures such as Imelda Marcos and Princess Ashraf and Princess Shams of Iran, and celebrities Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Stavros Niarchos, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Collins, Bob Cummings, Shirley MacLaine, George Raft, Peter Sellers, and Frank Sinatra. Moussaieff owns rare stones worth millions of dollars, such as the Moussaieff Blue Diamond, a flawless 6.04 carat stone that Alisa purchased at a 2007 Sotheby's auction in Hong Kong for $7.98 million, setting a world record in price per carat, with a final bid of $1.32 million per carat. The Moussaieff Red Diamond, a trilliant cut, 5.11 carat red diamond purchased in 2001, is the world's largest known red diamond.


Moussaieff is the name of my husband’s family. His family has been in the jewelry trade since 1860. There was a wholesale office
established in Paris and the family has been trading in gems, pearls, and diamonds for that many years.

I originally come from Vienna and my father was a little bit dabbling in the gems as well. I met my husband when I was 15 and I
got married before I was 18.

They were a few stops in between in the olden days in Palestine. Then moving into London to experience the world.

Moussaieff emeralds

We have a branch in Geneva which is doing alright. We have lately opened a small branch in Corshebelle [02:17] where we are
working during the season. We are now establishing office in Hong Kong which is going to serve clients for private appointments
and the branding of course is the success story of the last 20 years. We didn’t catch on to it because businesswise we didn’t
need to, but if we look into the future this is the only way.

Clients are a lot more sophisticated now, clients are a lot more knowledge of the now, which is a good thing because it’s a
pleasure to deal with knowledgeable people. The plant that knows what he’s looking for a knows to appreciate quality and price
is very easy to get on with.

Of course you have to first of all gain their trust but what is more important is to retain their trust. That means over and over
and over again you’ve got to prove yourself and to prove yourself right. So that nobody can fault during this. Anybody have a
complaint, give it back to me, no problem take your money back.

Moussaieff sapphires

The main thing is to grab an opportunity when you see it and grab the item, the item. No not the normal item but the item
when you can put your hands on it.

The red diamond is still the red diamond in the world and it hasn’t changed. Very, very cherished, I had many opportunities of
selling it but I always backed out because I thought this was really the special piece of the house. And then of course we have
some wonderful blue diamonds. With a very special blue diamond which we accompanied from the mines to the polish [04:29]
and it was sold recently. We have a very fine pink diamond again where we were partners in the mining. We have some
wonderful gold quanda diamonds [04:39] which are gone, you can’t keep it all.

Over the years there was always a group of wealthy customers and it to rotates. You have the following the path is exactly and
you have to cater for the demands. Even if they are ups and downs in the market, if there is a little blip downwards history
shows that it can only go up again.

Moussaieff rings

We look at designs from everywhere, but the end of the day it’s not the designs but the stones thrown on the table, to play with
them and create the end-design on the table with the stones, not with the pencil.

Somebody can come to us and see, what can you offer me in the way of an emerald necklace? Then I can pull out a drawer of
emeralds and put them together with the diamonds together with the client and have the first rough mount ready for the client
to look at. If it works it works,she’ll buy it. If it doesn’t work then keep it for the next one.

$1 million can be a lower price range here. I mean you can have a whimsy collector for a million dollars, but the customer who
wants investments strictly. No I suppose they can want something strange, why not? Because you see the basic remains, all you
need is change the market [06:32]which is nothing compared to the intrinsic value of the stone.

Moussaieff ring

First of all you’ve got to love it and there’s nothing wrong with knowing that you got your money with you and that it doesn’t
lose its value. But that’s the bonus.

One of my daughters married the president of Iceland and he is very busy as the ice lady. I’ve got another daughter who is doing
bank [07:18] all over the world.

London is the definitely a center, very much so. London is an international center; everybody comes to London at some stage.