Bling bonanza overflows with expensive sparkle and shine

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 September, 2007, 12:00am

Many of the city's retail jewellers and their socialite clients gathered on Thursday night at the China Resources Building's exhibition centre for the De Beers Group's lavish Forevermark diamond extravaganza.

The big show included light- and baton-twirling performers called the Flowtoys, 21 models wearing custom dresses by Spy by Henry Lau and, naturally, really expensive jewellery, some more showy than practical - including neck chokers that threatened to poke out models' eyes and a neck chain that went down to the knee.

However, the jaw dropper was a piece called Ponahalo worn by model Qi Qi (pictured). Embedded with 305 diamonds totalling over 290 carats, the US$15 million design has five big rocks all cut from the same rough diamond. To give you a sense of how big the stones were, guests were referring to the big 105-carat centrepiece as a mahjong tile.

'I'm amazed that De Beers trusts me enough to let me wear it backstage, and even when I ate or went to the bathroom,' Qi Qi said, offering more detail than we needed. 'But the diamond I love the most is still the first heart-shaped diamond my husband [actor Simon Yam Tat-wah] gave me.'

Well, until I can afford such ostentation, I subscribe to the Swiftian idea that only primitive people are fascinated by shiny things.