Berr & Partners – The source for splendour

June 2014

By Diana S. Zimmerman

Since 1986, Geneva-based Berr & Partners has been one of the industry’s most trusted sources for many of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful coloured gemstones. The search for these stones has taken internationally renowned gemmologists, Thomas and Elke Berr, to some of the most remote corners of the globe.

Elke Berr
Elke Berr

With a passion for rare beauty and the remarkable talent to find it, Thomas and Elke Berr are not only recognized the world over for their ability to unearth extraordinary stones, but for timeless jewellery that is destined to become tomorrow’s trends. Designed by Elke and marketed under the Elke Berr brand, these pieces are sold in limited collections through the world’s most prestigious retailers, who also come to Elke for exceptionally precious stones and customwork for their special customers. Other clients include an increasing number of individuals who ask Elke to find a particular stone, and then have her design and craft a unique piece around it.

B&P’s exotic one-of-a-kind gems can range from unheated rubies and sapphires from Burma, Kashmir, and Ceylon to fiery majestic agate opals from the heart of Africa. Elke also works with lesser known gems such as spinels, in their lovely range of colours, and the dazzling neon-blue Paraiba tourmalines.

Lovers of coloured gems not only appreciate Elke and Thomas’ talent for sourcing rare stones, but also Elke’s ability to capture the essence of their beauty in fine jewellery.

Some examples of her custom-made pieces include a rare 33.9-carat unheated Burmese star-ruby set in gold with black and white diamonds—a true masterpiece—as well as a 4.65-carat royal blue unheated Burmese sapphire ring in the ICY collection and a 29.66-carat agate opal ring from the African Flame collection.

A rutilated 15.69-carat Paraiba tourmaline set in gold with diamonds is also a showstopper, as is a splendid 7.14-carat pink spinel set in gold with white diamonds.

Having won critical acclaim from both the press and various trade associations, B&P is recognized internationally for its unwavering ethical standards and high-degree of service. In 2005, the International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) recognized Elke for her outstanding efforts as a longterm and valued ambassador of the global gem trade.

B&P’s ethics extend also to helping people in some of the poorest mining areas of the world. One such endeavour is a children’s orphanage in Mogok, Myanmar (Burma) that Thomas and Elke help support. thanks to B&P’s efforts, along with other gem dealers, children are raised by volunteer “mothers” and can attend school for a basic education.

When asked about the inspiration for her creations, she answers that it comes from the exploration of mining sites and their raw materials as well as a love of all things natural. For example, the invigorating freshness of snow-capped peaks, majestic glaciers, delicate icicles, and frozen shimmering blue water inspired her new ICY collection. then, she turns up the heat with this season’s African Flame line as she captures the mysterious lustre of agate opal combined with brilliant yellow sapphires, tsavorites, and diamonds.

Because of their knowledge of antique jewellery, Elke and Thomas are also in demand with investors, banks, and insurance companies who rely on their expertise in “art banking.” their opinion is also sought for highvalue gemstones as investment vehicles.

Berr & Partners is the source for gemstone splendour, and Elke Berr takes splendour to new heights with each captivating piece of jewellery she creates.