Bling Empire makes beautiful jewellery, especially extravagant ones. It’s in the name. Netflix’s reality TV series, “The Rich Asians of Los Angeles,” follows the lives and times of wealthy Asians. The cast often wear diamonds to do sexy yoga, get mouth massages (it’s a thing! ), or exchange thinly-veiled insults while sipping cocktails.
Just like Lamborghinis and designer clothes, jewellery is one of their many hobbies. They can treat one another to Boucheron friendship rings, or they can show their love with promise ring that could pay for an entire wedding.
This level of opulence is something that few people would know about. Christine Chiu, a millionaire socialite and one of Bling Empire’s shining stars, said, “In high jewellery, not everybody is invited.” We are not completely ignorant. We wouldn’t be so foolish as to misspell Hermes like Kevin Kreider (an Asian in Bling Empire that isn’t insane rich). The show might have left you scratching at the end. What is JAR What’s the deal with that Louis Vuitton Necklace?
Don’t be confused any more. We answer all your burning questions about jewellery from the Bling Empire binge.
Which jewellery brands are featured in Bling Empire?
Each cast member has a different taste in jewels. The short answer is that there are quite a few. Anna Shay, a Russian-Japanese billionaire and a part of the show’s matriarch is fond of Boucheron. A client executive at the fine jewellery company is one of her closest friends. She has the boutique close to her when she shop in Paris for new pieces.
Cherie Chan is a huge Van Cleef & Arpels floral designs fan. As you would expect from the elegant denim empire heiress, Christine is passionate about haute jewellery and Piaget. (The latter sponsored her extravagant Chinese New Year celebration on Rodeo Drive.) Kane Lim, the son a millionaire in Singapore, loves diamonds, especially Cartier.
Where do all the tiaras come from?
During the interview, you may have seen quite a few crowns on cast members. Even for super-rich, the bejewelled crowns on cast members seemed a bit excessive. Dolce & Gabbana is all about extravagance. It makes sense to Gabbana, the high-end fashion brand behind these regal accessories. It is strange that Cherie and Christine, both Chinese, are so attached to the Italian brand. Its designers made a number of racist moves that resulted in their “cancellation” in China. Maybe money and morals are not always compatible.
What was the price of that Louis Vuitton necklace with high-end jewellery?
Bling Empire’s first episode is titled “Necklacegate”. In a primal struggle to be the dominant character, Christine provokes Anna with a necklace she also owns. This sets the stage for the hilarious power moves and brilliant lines the two will make throughout the series.
At the heart of all this drama was a Louis Vuitton necklace, made from white gold, pink sapphires, and diamonds. It is part of the 2010 Les Eclatantes haute-joaillerie collection by the French brand.
Fun fact: Gong Li, a Chinese actress, wore the same ring at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. Christine was forced to pay a lot more than her original US$152,000 to buy her ring from an online or auction. She couldn’t have been more petulant.
Is Anna truly “a JAR type person”?
Christine, who is known for her name-dropping skills, casually mentioned to Anna that she was a JAR fan. Even Anna, an experienced patron of high-end jewellers at Place Vendome was shocked by the statement. This is not surprising considering Anna shares many similarities with Joel Arthur Rosenthal (the elusive jeweller behind this label).
Interviews with the American designer are rare and he does not advertise his brand. He has not even put up a display outside of his boutique at Place Vendome since 1978. Rosenthal instead lets his artistic jewels speak for themselves. Rosenthal creates around 70 designs per year and is very selective about his clients.
An auction is the only way to buy a JAR jewel. They can fetch millions. Each one is a work of art. The intricate pave designs of fine needlepoint stitches are used to set the gems on JAR jewels. Rosenthal uses blackened metal instead of silver or gold to bring out the stones’ colours even more. The end result is a miniature sculpture of natural forms like flowers or butterflies.
These details would excite Anna who is often described as “a child at a candy shop” when she shops for jewellery. Too bad she wouldn’t give Christine the satisfaction that Christine would be right.
Who is older: Boucheron or Mellerio?
Anna and Christine attempt to outdo each other in Bling Empire’s knowledge of jewellery, but they end up in a dispute. Christine claims that Mellerio is “the oldest high-end jewelry house in Paris”, but Anna insists that it’s Boucheron. Who’s right?
Boucheron was founded in 1858 by Frederic Boucheron and is the oldest jewellery brand in Place Vendome. The brand was able to create royal jewels, particularly for the Russian Imperial Family as well as the Queen Mother Elizabeth.
Mellerio holds the title of oldest Paris jewellery atelier. Mellerio dits Meller founded it in 1613, more than two centuries before Boucheron. Its first boutique was located on Rue de la Paix just a few steps from Place Vendome. Its clientele included the Medici family and Queen Marie Antoinette, as well as Empress Josephine.