I am writing this as I freeze in my office, in what is supposed to be a "green" building. It's boiling outside, but the temperature inside has to be about 21 degrees, maybe less. I have a scarf on at my desk! I've brought it to the attention of my boss several times, but he doesn't seem bothered. Is there such a thing as a fashionable office blanket?
The Dictator rules: In a word, no. While I actually love a cold room, it's important to speak up. Much has been made recently of the gender bias behind low temperatures in male-dominated offices (the cold better suits the faster metabolism of men). But this issue affects not just women, it's the environment, too. Perhaps you need to embarrass your boss in order to effect change? Raise eyebrows and stumble into client meetings cocooned in a supersized, chunky knit blanket from Ohhio by Anna Mo (HK$3,312.10; www.etsy.com). Go branded with an iconic Hermès Avalon blanket in cashmere mix (HK$11,251 and up); a giant Maison Martin Margiela angora scarf scattered with random words (HK$4,690); or Burberry's continuing series of cashmere/wool blanket ponchos in check or animal pattern (HK$13,000 each). If I were to bring a blanket to the office, which I wouldn't, I'd opt for solid colours, preferably cashmere, by Frette (HK$11,000 and up; Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, Central); Feine (HK$2,558; 1/F, 37 Staunton Street, Central); or Bypac (HK$2,180; Man Yee Arcade, 68 Des Voeux Road, Central).
I just received a pair of diamond earrings that are, shall we say, more "important" than anything I've ever owned. They're amazing! I need an appraisal asap for my home insurance, but I have no clue how to go about it. Could you please guide me?
Carbon Data, Mid-Levels
The Dictator: Did you write in just to show off? We're suspicious. Truly important pieces come with certificates from jewellers, detailing colour, clarity, cut and carat weight ("the 4 Cs") of the diamond or diamonds, settings, and a dated estimated. The obvious answer: ask your insurance providers who they trust. Duh. Jewellery values have been proven to go up over time, so some recommend updating appraisals every two years. A reputable broker recommended Celso Alejo, at D'Alejo Appraisal Services (www.dalejo.com), who charges HK$400 per item. If there is a certificate, Alejo uses that to determine the value of the piece. If not, it takes about 30 minutes per piece to evaluate each component. Based on his assessment and price references online, Alejo will estimate what it would cost to replicate your piece, then add standard retail mark-ups and, if applicable, additional mark-ups, if your piece is hallmarked by a famous designer. Should your jewellery ever be, God forbid, lost, you will at least have all the info you need to have it replicated. Our source also recommends: Hong Kong Gems Laboratory (www.hkgems.com.hk); Asian Gemological Institute & Laboratory (www.agil.com.hk); and GRS (www.gemresearch.ch).
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