Willkommen in der Schatzkammer

Für Kenner und Liebhaber öffnet Constantin Wild

Tür und Tor: In seinem weltweit einzigartigen

Showroom sind kostbare Edelsteine in Szene gesetzt.

Mit außerordentlichem Geschmack und viel

Liebe zum Detail.

Das elegante Haus an Deutschlands bekanntester

Edelsteinstraße hat noch weitaus mehr zu bieten.

In jedem Winkel, jeder Ecke: ein Stück „Deutsche

Vita“. Von der traditionellen Edelsteinschleiferei

bis zum erfrischenden Glas Riesling unter der

Kirschblüte im Garten.

Constantin Wild GmbH & Co. KG • Hauptstrasse 103 • 55743 Idar-Oberstein • +49-6781 94500

Besuchen Sie uns auch bei Facebook, Instagram und YouTube unter @constantinwild.gems oder constantinwild.com/blog







which directly




is a


- wassily KandinsKy -

www.karl-faller.de - info@karl-faller.de

Richard Hans Becker



“One of the major advantages of Idar-Oberstein is being at the source, hearing about new stone

discoveries quickly,” say the Beckers, of the manufacture Richard Hans Becker.

Fotos: Peggy Picture

008 GZ plus 05/18

When we ask Birgit Becker about

new developments a few weeks

prior to the publication of this

special edition, the wife of Managing Director

Hans-Joachim Becker waxes lyrical

about a particular lot of red tourmalines.

“All we need to do is turn them into jewellery,”

she says. No sooner said than done:

three weeks later we receive the jewellery

for our photography, four rings and two

pendants with the aforementioned tourmalines.

the best red tourmalines that the market

has seen for a long time,” says Hans-

Joachim Becker. We ask him why the Idar-

Oberstein location is important for the Richard

Hans Becker jewellery manufacture.

The first reason is self-evident: “We are

specialists for coloured gemstone jewellery,

which is why we could not consider

any other location than the gemstone city.”

Secondly: Years of contacts to gemstone

traders enable fair prices and increase the

chance of acquiring unusual stones.

facturing processes – from CAD design to

refinement and setting – in house, apart

from a few exceptions such as casting or

the cutting of stones. For these tasks we

require local specialists. As a result, our

jewellery is not only ‘Made in Germany’, but

also ‘Made in Idar-Oberstein‘. This overall

package is decisive for both our specialist

retail partners and for us, because it is the

unique features that distinguish us from

the online trade.” Saraj Morath


Photo: Martin Glauner


Their colour is bold, varying from pink to

red. “The coloured stones are also known

as rubelite. They come from Brazil and are


Reason number three for Hans- Joachim

Becker is the pool of possible co-operation

partners. “We perform all jewellery manu-

Examples of jewellery pieces with Brazilian

rubelites, in 750 white gold, some with

brilliant-cut diamonds: The rings “Pure”, “Just

Simple petit”, “Vintage” and “Balance” (clockwise

from bottom left) and the pendants “Balance”

and “Vintage” (right side, from the left)

GZ plus 05/18 009

Editorial / Contents / Legal






mbedded in the beautiful

landscape of the Hunsrück,

Idar-Oberstein, the town on

the River Nahe, has much to offer.

Three years ago it was already the

subject of a GZ special publication.

High time for an update! So our editorial

team set off on another excursion

to the gemstone metropolis. What we

wanted to know: What has happened

in the past few years? What news is

there to report? How sustainable is

the city as an industrial location? The

findings of our research reveal places

and people, movers and shakers with

their products, ideas and visions.

Perhaps this GZ will also inspire

you to return to Idar-Oberstein. It is

certainly well worth the visit, say …

Dr. Christian Jürgens

Axel Henselder

12 Greeting


20 Anna-Lena Märker

24 Ekkehard F. Schneider

28 Kai Uwe Hille

32 Constantin Wild


38 Trier University of Applied Sciences

42 Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument

48 German Gemstone Museum

50 German Federal Association

of the Precious Stones and

Diamond Industry



56 DPL


60 Galle Werttransporte

62 Schwardt Versicherungsmakler

64 Günter Effgen

66 Förderverein

Deutsche Edelsteinstraße

68 Parkhotel



72 Groh + Ripp

74 Ph. Hahn Söhne

76 Paul Wild

78 Karl Faller

80 Wild & Petsch

82 A. Ruppenthal

84 Cullmann-Türkise

86 Gebrüder Kuhn

88 Gerd Märker

90 Constantin Wild


92 Heinz Mayer

94 Hans D. Krieger

96 Herbert Giloy & Söhne

98 Engel & Co.

100 Rolf Pauly

102 Jungbluth

Technical equipment

104 Walter Fischer

106 Horbach

108 ITA -Goldwaren


116 Chinese Trade Centre

120 ‘Vision 2030’ masterplan


Jewelry Design

Ernst stEin E.K.

Mainzer Straße 104

55743 Idar-Oberstein

Tel. +49 6781 404-277




Untitled Verlag und Agentur

GmbH & Co. KG


Medienpark Kampnagel

Jarrestraße 2

22303 Hamburg

Telephone: +49 (0)40/18 98 81-0

Fax: +49 (0)40/18 98 81-111

E-mail: info@untitled-verlag.de

Internet: www.untitled-verlag.de

010 GZ plus 05/18


Grünstraße 1

75172 Pforzheim

Telephone: +49 (0)72 31/8 00 57-0

Fax: +49 (0)72 31/8 00 57-15

E-mail: info@gz-online.de

Internet: www.gz-online.de


Dr. Christian Jürgens

Senior Editor:

Axel Henselder

Duty Editor:

Dr. Ulrich Schmid

Executive Editor:

Nicole Maibaum

Editorial staff:

Swantje Friedrich, Katharina

Harde-Tinnefeld (final

editing), Saraj Morath,

Christel Trimborn, Andre

Weinberg (photo editing)

Art Director:

Karola Warnick


Janina Demiana Roll

Advertising Manager:

Benjamin Heidke



Alexander Steffl


Madeliene Osterhoff


Manuela Rapp



Dierichs Druck + Media

GmbH & Co. KG,

Frankfurter Straße 168,

34121 Kassel

Title: Annette Cardinale; Photos: Hannes Magerstaedt

Es ist ein langer Weg

zur Einzigartigkeit

In unserem ewigen Streben nach absoluter

Schönheit, unterziehen wir jeden Forevermark-

Diamanten einem rigorosen Auswahlverfahren.


Daher dürfen weniger als 1% der weltweit

gefundenen Diamanten eine Forevermark-

Gravur, die Schönheit, Seltenheit sowie

verantwortungsvolle und nachhaltige Förderung

verspricht, tragen.



With the latest edition of the

Goldschmiede Zeitung you

once again have an up-todate

overview of the most important

commercial sector in our

district, perhaps even the entire

national park region. A flagship industry

that has lost none of its international


The capability of the jewellery and gemstone

sector companies based in Idar-Oberstein

and its surrounding area is acknowledged worldwide.

I am proud of the fact that this sector is located in our

region. In recent days I have also received a compliment

from an investor who made a conscious decision for the

Landkreis Birkenfeld district: “I am more than impressed by

the region and the support that I have received here.” Words

that embolden us to continue along the path of progressive

further development of our national park district. The national

park region has drafted a master plan to highlight this.

With this we also want our district to offer people an attractive

alternative to the metropolitan regions. This also includes

unmistakable attributes such as the jewellery and

gemstone town of Idar-Oberstein.

This issue also reports on the latest trends and noteworthy

individuals. A portrait such as this is important. It illustrates

the diversity of the life around us and the minds and

ideas that lend it its creativity. People need orientation points

if they are to form a lasting bond to their home region. On

that note, I would like to wish all those involved in our jewellery

and gemstone sector continued creativity and good conditions

for business – and the readers of the Goldschmiede

Zeitung every enjoyment in reading this issue and on your

visits to our district.


Dr. Matthias Schneider

Head of the District Authority

012 GZ plus 05/18





Extravagant and equally elegant: the Paraiba tourmaline is a star –

rarer than diamonds and highly valuable.

M I N I N G • C U T T I N G • C R E AT I O N

PAU L W I L D O H G • AU F D E R L AY 2 • 5 574 3 K I R S C H W E I L E R • G E R M A N Y

T: +49. (0) 67 81 .93 4 3 - 0 • F : +49. (0) 67 81 .93 4 3 - 4 3 • E - M A I L : I N FO @ PAU L-W I L D. D E • W W W. PAU L-W I L D. D E



The GZ has evidently struck a chord amongst readers

with its special editions on our gemstone metropolis

Idar-Oberstein. The magazines are always highly

sought-after, quickly disappearing from the shelves. This is

no doubt due to the unusual design of the GZ plus. It offers

facts and emotions, granting readers a peek behind

the scenes of the gemstone and jewellery

sector, showing the people and families who

not only work in this fascinating trade, but

also live it.

Gemstones continue to characterise

our region to this day - a period

of over 500 years. They are

omnipresent, in both the

commercial and tourist sectors.

Not for nothing have the

tourist marketing bodies of the

town of Idar-Oberstein and the

Herrstein local authority joined forces in

the EdelSteinLand marketing alliance.

However, Idar-Oberstein and the region

have more to offer than gemstones and jewellery,

of course. In the commercial sector the town is a location

for companies including international automotive

suppliers and manufacturers of innovative medical and

laboratory equipment, as well as premium cookware. The

Hunsrück-Hochwald national park and the Saar-Hunsrück-

Steig walking trail enable the almost unlimited enjoyment of

nature in a unique landscape. The range of cultural events

throughout the year is broad and the culinary treasures of

the region are also well worth discovering. Whether it is the

legendary Idar-Oberstein rotisserie, prepared on an open

beechwood fire, or other specialities: dining is a very enjoyable

experience here.

This handful of examples serve to illustrate that Idar-

Oberstein is an attractive town with a number of factors enabling

enjoyment of your precious time here. A town that people

enjoy living in.

So gain a foretaste of the gemstone region and allow

yourself to be convinced of the numerous options that Idar-

Oberstein and the surrounding district have to offer.

See you here soon!

Best regards

Frank Frühauf


014 GZ plus 05/18




© LovelyColorPhoto/


Places & People

Green expanses are

opened up to all those

who embark on a voyage

of discovery through the

beautiful surroundings

of the gemstone





& People

20 Exploring hidden gems

with Anna-Lena Märker

24 In the footsteps of history

with Ekkehard F. Schneider

28 With Kai-Uwe Hille in search

of adventures for all ages

32 A walk through the

Traumschleife with

Constantin Wild

016 GZ plus 05/18



Wild & Petsch Lapidaries GmbH

Hauptstr. 69-71 · 55743 Kirschweiler · Germany

Tel: +49 6781 9370-0 · Fax: +49 6781 9370-33

www.WildPetsch.com · mail@WildPetsch.com

w w w . g e m t i m e . d e · i n f o @ g e m t i m e . d e

Places & People

The journey

is the destination

There is far more to discover in and around Idar-Oberstein than “just”

gemstones. Numerous tours, the so-called Traumschleifen - dreamy meanderings -

lead to landscape gems that are practically unknown to outsiders.

Deceleration at its finest. Join us on a journey to encounter nice people,

fantastic nature and great excursion destinations.

Text Axel henselder

photos Herbert Piel

018 GZ plus 05/18

GZ plus 05/18 019

Places & People

anna-Lena Märker

020 GZ plus 05/18


small town living

Gemstone queen Anna-Lena Märker, 22, shows us just how

urban small town life can be for young people in Idar-Oberstein. She leads us

to selected locations that make the small town on the River Nahe such

a pleasant place for her to live.

GZ plus 05/18 021

Places & People

anna-Lena Märker


walking tip

Beginning in the historic town centre,

the walk follows the ‘Traumschleife’

medieval path through the varied

landscape. Gentle ascents and

descents, along quiet paths and

stream banks as well as spectacular

views across the Hunsrück reward the

walker. The ‘Jammereiche’ and

‘Rabenkanzel’ natural monuments and

benches on which to rest complete

the features of this 8.4-kilometre walk.


he young woman - unsurprisingly

in this region - comes from a gemstone

dynasty. Her father, Gerd

Märker, runs a highly-successful diamond

manufacture. He is still one of the youngest

freelance master diamond cutters in

Germany. Although his daughter Anna-Lena

has chosen another profession – she

works as a tax clerk –, she still has an affinity

to the trade: Since 2016 she has been

the 21st German Gemstone Queen.

“I’m an ambassador not only for the industry,

but also for the region as a whole,”

she says. In the scope of her part-time office

she has already represented the gemstone

region in Hong Kong and visited the

members of parliament of the Birkenfeld

and Bad Kreuznach district, including Antje

Lezius, in Berlin. “But no matter where I

travel, I always enjoy coming back here,”

the young woman adds. “I have my family

and friends here, and much more freedom

than I would have in a city,” she continues,

“In our rural region I can simply head out

into the countryside and party. It doesn’t

bother anyone if we’re a bit loud. We are

famous for roasting meat here in Idar-

Oberstein. A tripod with a grill, some beech

wood and a few drinks, you’re ready to go.

Things would be more complicated in a




Cultural offers are also to be found here,

such as the biannual ‘Open Air Electro

Love’ held at the end of August near

Juchem. Firstly DJs rock the stage at the

Juchem quarry. One evening the Neue Philharmonie

Frankfurt presents classics. “An

unforgettable midsummer night’s dream

when the moon rises above the jagged

rocks of the quarry, against an ink-blue sky,

accompanied by the sound of classical

music – simply fantastic.”

But it is not just beyond the boundaries

of Idar-Oberstein that there are experiences

to be enjoyed, but also in the town itself.

“These are all inside tips, but known to all

the locals, obviously,” explains Märker. First

stop is the ‘Teehaus Marion Galle’. In the

pedestrian precinct of Idar an inconspicuous

courtyard entrance leads into a wild

and romantic little garden. The tea house

is covered with ivy; groups of seats are

scattered around in quiet corners. “Even in

winter this is jam-packed,” she says, Idar-

Oberstein residents of all ages come here

at lunchtime and in the evening, for example

to enjoy a refreshing tea punch.

One thing is immediately apparent:

Wherever Anna-Lena Märker appears, everybody

greets her. Is that thanks to her

popularity as gemstone queen? She

laughs, and says: “No, not at all, people just

know me here. Everyone knows everyone

in fact, either from your school days or

through your parents, who they know in

turn from their own youth and school days.

People are close here, and that’s nice.”

In the evenings Anna-Lena Märker likes

to go with her family to dine at the ‘die Villa’

restaurant, another inside tip, where

guests can take a seat in a stylish building

dating from the turn of the century, with

022 GZ plus 05/18

excellent food. Another address often overlooked

by visitors passing through is the

‘Galerie Angelika Gerwert’. Originally a

framing shop, alternating exhibitions of

pictures and sculptures are now held here,

and there are home accessories, jewellery

and other gift ideas as well as wine from

the region. In the gallery visitors can not

only admire and shop, they can also take a

seat amidst the art in a carefully-crafted

ambience and enjoy a coffee, homemade

cake, wine and other snacks. In summer

the garden offers romantic seating areas.



The town tour continues to Oberstein. In

the old town lies the pedestrian area with

its carefully laid-out historic market place.

A holiday feeling prevails here, the view of

the rugged, grey stone walls with the

‘Felsenkirche’ church and the ruins of the

castles ‘Schloss Oberstein’ and ‘Burg Bosselstein’

is simply spectacular. Built between

1482 and 1484, the location and

visibility of the church make it a landmark

sight of the town of Idar-Oberstein. Legend

has it that in the eleventh century the

brothers Wyrich and Emich von Oberstein

lived at Burg Bosselstein. Both were in

love with Bertha von Lichtenburg. When

Wyrich learned of the engagement of his

younger brother to the object of his desire

he pushed Emich from the castle window.

Wyrich confessed the act to an abbot,

who told him to atone for his sins by building

a chapel on the site where his brother

died. When the building was completed

Wyrich asked God for a sign of forgiveness.

A spring rose up from the rocks,

which still flows to this day. At the inauguration

of the chapel Wyrich is said to have

fallen dead onto the altar. A romantic tale.

But back to the present day. “This is also

where the youngsters meet in summer,

when we head to the ‘Venezia’ ice-cream

parlour on the market place, run by a genuine

Italian,” says Anna-Lena Märker. “You

can sit outside and enjoy wonderful icecream.”

Afterwards the route leads out of Idar-

Oberstein again, to Herrstein, a jewel of the

German Gemstone Route. The medieval

timber-framed setting is perfect for the

young gemstone queen. It is the best-preserved

medieval town in the entire Nahe-

Hunsrück region. By the way, in 1798 the

legendary robber Johannes Bückler, known

as Schinderhannes, spent a night locked

up in the ‘Schinderhannesturm’ tower in


This setting is also the venue for the

well-known ‘Schinderhannes-Räubermarkt’,

on the 2nd weekend in September, and the

‘Martinimarkt’ on the 1st weekend in November.

The town is also the starting point

for the 14th stage of the ‘Saar-Hunsrück-

Steig’ hiking route and the ‘Mittelalterpfad’,

a Traumschleife trail that was awarded the

distinction of being one of the most beautiful

walking trails in Germany in 2010.

So there is also a lot for young people

to do in and around Idar-Oberstein, and, as

Anna-Lena Märker points out: “It all depends

on what you make of it.”

GZ plus 05/18 023

Places & People

Ekkehard F. schneider


at the side of

the route

Vibrant history and tradition also characterise the gemstone trail in the small

village of Kirschweiler, near Idar-Oberstein. Ekkehard F. Schneider,

proprietor of the eponymous gemstone manufacture, shows us his home

region, accompanied by his father, Lothar, and giant schnauzer Luna.

024 GZ plus 05/18

GZ plus 05/18 025

Places & People

Ekkehard F. schneider


walking tip

With a length of 9,1 kilometres and a

height of just 300 metres, the

‘Traumschleife Kirschweiler Festung’

national park can be walked around

comfortably in around three hours.

The ‘Traumschleife’ is linked to the

‘Saar-Hunsrück-Steig’ hiking trail.

Routes are signposted from Hettenrodt

and Allenbach.

Our search of the region for the

traces of the history of the Schneider

family takes us out of Kirschweiler,

to Niederwörresbach, to be precise.

A short distance further is the ‘Geracher

Wasserschleife’, an old cutting mill. “It’s a

wonderful feeling, standing here where my

forefathers once worked,” says Ekkehard F.

Schneider: “My great-great-grandfather,

Friedrich Schneider, was one of the four

companions that built this cutting mill, in

1847. Since then, all male descendants

have borne the name Friedrich as one of

their first names. This is what the “F” in my

name stands for.” On both sides of his family

he can look back on ten generations

working in the gemstone trade. He therefore

feels very interwoven with the region.

“Homeland” is not an abstract political

term here, but rather an authentic, natural

feeling free from pathos.



The romantic, well-preserved state of the

cutting mill today is a far cry from when it

was in operation. “Only the bare minimum

was kept in order, it was a strictly utilitarian

building,” the gemstone enthusiast reports.

In the period around 1850 there were

over 150 cutting mills along the German

gemstone route. The work was very hard.

To apply the force needed to press the

gemstone firmly enough against the cutting

stone the cutters had to work lying on

their stomach, their feet supported by a

beam. They were constantly breathing in

fine dust mixed with water vapour. The life

expectancy of a cutter at that time was

less than 40, with most dying of silicosis,

dust in the lungs. By the way, the sandstone

cutting stones were brought in from

the Pfalz region. Not every type of sandstone

was suitable for cutting gemstones.

Sometimes two people worked on one cutting

stone, resulting in the conical forms of

the old millstones that are still draped

around the cutting facility. Today only four

remain, or have been carefully restored.

Above the old cutting house is the

Juchem pit, another impressive setting, resembling

a wild west landscape. Gravel is

mined here for road construction. At the

weekends, when the quarry is silent, up to

50 private individuals have the opportunity

to look for minerals such as agate, rock

crystal, amethyst and other treasures. In

summer a market is also held at the cutting

house at the weekends, where finds

can be purchased. “Collectors come from

far and wide, sometimes from abroad,

that’s how attractive the range is,” says

Ekkehard F. Schneider.



Back in Kirschweiler the journey continues

to the ‘Traumschleife Kirschweiler Festung’

national park, a well-signposted walking

trail through glorious landscapes with grandiose,

far-reaching views. One is reminded

of a quote by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche,

who once said: “We feel so at home in nature,

because she does not judge us.”

Ekkehard F. Schneider: “Part of the

route we are following was laid by the Romans

2,000 years ago to connect Mainz

with Trier.”

026 GZ plus 05/18

Our walk takes us further, to the socalled

fortress. However, this is by no

means the defensive feature that the name

suggests, but an impressive quartz rock,

from the top of which fantastic views can

be enjoyed. The gaze sweeps over meadows

and forests in all shades of green,

from tender, light nuances of deciduous

trees to the almost blue-looking conifers.

In between, the blossoming cherry trees

are scattered.

Not far away is an actual fortification,

the remains of the Celtic ‘Ringskopf’ fort. A

brief diversion should definitely be undertaken

to the so-called ‘Bärloch’. Again, the

name is a misnomer. “This is a cave in

which no bear has ever lived,” grins Schneider.

“But it’s simply a nice place, people

come here from Kirschweiler to have barbecues

and socialise.”

As we are walking through the forest

Ekkehard Schneider’s mobile rings. “That

was a WhatsApp from my source in Thailand.

He’s offering me a couple of beautiful,

untreated rubies from Myanmar, 10 carats

each, with certificate. Very rare.”

We continue, the dog always 20 metres

ahead, the delicate spring-green roof

of leaves of the gnarly oak and beech trees

above our heads, to a Roman grave dating

from the second half of the 2nd century. In

the middle of the forest a circular, enormous

feature emerges, with a five-metre

mound crowned by a pillar with an eagle. A

very important individual was buried here.

By the way, the grave lies on the Sirona

Way, an over 100-kilometres-long trail past

historic sites from the Roman era. Historians

suspect that the Romans were already

mining agate for cameos here. If true, the

history of the local gemstone industry

goes back much further than the documented

500 years.

“It could just be wishful thinking,”

smiles Ekkehard F. Schneider, continuing:

“But the region must have meant more to

the Romans than just a waypoint on the

route to Trier, otherwise such a high-ranking

individual wouldn’t have been buried


We return to the parental home of

Ekkehard Schneider directly on the River

Idar. The force of the water in this small,

babbling brook once served to power the

cutting stones. 150 years ago there were

still 56 cutting mills on the Idar, competing

to take each other’s water. Schneider: “In

the old days, in summer in particular the

water was collected in ponds and then

used to power the mills. Once the water

supply was exhausted, work would stop.

As the majority of cutters were also farmers,

they would return to the fields.”



Also situated on the Idar is the ‘Kirschweiler

Brücke’, one of the best restaurants in

the region, which has been serving guests

for over 105 years, with specialities including

the popular rotisserie. In 1958 Curd

Jürgens stopped here whilst making a film

about Schinderhannes with Maria Schell.

“The father of Schinderhannes came from

Kirschweiler,” reveals Schneider.

Life writes stories as exuberant as the

little Idar stream that flows past here continuously.

GZ plus 05/18 027

Places & People

Kai-Uwe Hille

028 GZ plus 05/18



for all ages

The region around Idar-Oberstein also has much to offer families.

Fair Managing Director Kai-Uwe Hille is accompanied by his sons

Keanu and Alexandre on a visit to the Wildenburg with adjacent animal

enclosure and the Bike-Park Nahbollenbach, providing proof that there

is ample enjoyment for young and old.

GZ plus 05/18 029

Places & People

Kai-Uwe Hille

Wow, what an amazing sight:

Standing in front of the viewing

tower located on the mighty

spur of the ‘Wildenburger Kopf’, one cannot

fail to be impressed.

“The numerous destinations that can be

reached from Idar-Oberstein in just a few

minutes offer a wealth of options for wonderful

day trips; many attractive sites can

also take up a morning or afternoon,” says

Kai-Uwe Hille, and shows us how he likes to

spend the weekends with his sons: For example,

the ‘Wildenburg’ has lots to offer –

firstly for all those looking to hit the heights.

OK, climbing up 80 steps to the top is hard

work. But the reward is sensational views

from a height of 676 metres: The picturebook

landscape with its patchwork of forests,

fields, towns and villages is overwhelming.

With good visibility, the eye can

stretch as far as the Taunus, Eifel and Ardennes.

No wonder that the Celts erected a

fortress on this strategically-favourable hill

2,300 years ago, which the Romans continued

to use. By the way, the Wildenburg received

its name from Wildgraf Friedrich von

Kyrburg from Kirn on the River Nahe. In

1328 he built a small castle here, using

parts of the Celtic circular wall for his

stones. Due to the exposed position, there

was only one practical route to access the

castle on the ridge of the hill. Two artificial

trenches hewn deep into the rock ten metres

apart were sufficient to secure the fort

and are still visible today. Erected by the

Hunsrück Association in 1981, the 22-metre

observation tower now stands on the outcrop

of the Wildenburger Kopf.


Keanu and Alexandre are already excited,

their father has promised to launch a drone.

The quadrocopter is not easy to control, the

father takes charge of it. “It’s very windy

here, the expensive aircraft can soon end up

in the trees,” says Kai-Uwe Hille, who, in addition

to the drone, likes to bring out his

mountain bike in his precious free time.

Afterwards they can follow a 3.5. kilometre

adventure trail through the woods,

learning how the forest rejuvenates itself,

030 GZ plus 05/18


walking tip

Part of the ‘Saar-Hunsrück-Steig’ to

the ‘Wildenburg’ castle near Kempfeld

with ‘Rosselhalde’, ‘Felsenweg’ and

‘Mörschieder Burr’. The route covers

12 kilometres in total and can be

adapted individually at many points.

Well-signposted paths offer numerous

alternatives. Parts of the route lead

through the ‘Hunsrück-Hochwald’

national park.

what characteristics can be used to tell different

trees apart, where wild animals like

to live, how charcoal used to be made in

kilns and much other knowledge besides.

In addition, there is also a “historical” learning

trail, following over three thousand

years of human history - from the Celts to

the Romans and on to the counts of

Wildenburg, who all left their traces here.

However, today the boys want nature first

hand, so we head off to the wild animal enclosure.

“I think the wolves are cool,” says

Keanu. Alexandre is more interested in the

petting zoo. On the extensive site there are

creatures including European grey wolves,

deer, goats, sheep, wild cats, martens, owls

and buzzards, everything that an animal

lover could wish for. Tired from an eventful

morning, the Hille family heads to the

‘Burggaststätte’ at the foot of the ‘Burgberg’

for refreshments and a snack. The

restaurant was established on the medieval

foundations of the lower castle and is

run by the family that owns the Paul Wild

gemstone cutting firm. By the way, following

careful redecoration, the historic great

hall is once again a public venue of

Herrstein registry office.


In the afternoon the family first heads to

the Bike-Park Nahbollenbach, opened two

years ago. “The park is located directly on

the exhibition site, which is obviously

handy for me if I want to do something

with the boys after work,” says Kai-Uwe

Hille. The bike park has three courses, offering

enjoyment for all age groups. It is

suitable for both experts and beginners.

Naturally, one prerequisite is the right protective

clothing, from helmet to arm and

leg protectors. Because it is easy to fall off.

Keanu and Alexandre are certainly having

fun, boldly blazing down the steep

slopes, making spectacular leaps and rearwheel

drifts, wheelies and much more. The

bike park is an example of how Idar-Oberstein

also offers activities for the sportily

active. By the way: the best bike park in Europe

is set to be created on the ‘Idarkopf’.

Provisional opening date is in 2019.

GZ plus 05/18 031

Places & People

Constantin Wild

032 GZ plus 05/18

A river

flows from it

Adventure waits on the doorstep, at least in and around Idar-Oberstein.

Just a few minutes from the town centre there are spectacular landscapes

to experience and wonderful paths to walk along. Constantin Wild

and his German wirehaired pointer Arras take us on a short break for the

soul in the ‘Kama’.

GZ plus 05/18 033

Places & People

Constantin Wild

The career of Idar-Oberstein as gemstone

metropolis began with the

rivers Idar and Nahe as natural

energy resources, as well as the hills with

their deposits of rare minerals. Although the

Nahe has disappeared from view in the

centre of the Oberstein district, covered by a

road, it is nonetheless still there in its

natural course, covering many kilometres.

Constantin Wild of the eponymous gemstone

manufacture takes us on a walk

along the Nahe valley, cut deep into the hills.

“In five minutes I can drive to the

‘Traumschleife’ trail around the ‘Kama’ and

walk my dog for an hour at lunchtime, other

people would need to take holiday for

such a trip,” says the gemstone and nature

enthusiast. “In Idar-Oberstein we’re right in

the landscape. Whether I head out on the

motorbike or mountain bike or go walking

with the dog - I can immediately enjoy the

most beautiful landscapes without having

to travel miles to get here. This is the special

quality of life that I appreciate.”



The ‘Traumschleife Kama’ is part of the

‘Saar-Hunsrück-Steig’ walking trail and extends

six kilometres through the ‘Kammerwoog-Krechelsfels’

nature reserve to

Erzweiler. We begin at a car park by the

weir. Its purpose is to protect the covered

section of the Nahe from flooding. “Years

ago there was an open-air performance of

Dante’s Inferno here,” says Wild. “It was the

most spectacular opera I’ve ever seen. As

a finale, the performers emerged from the

foaming waters of the Nahe, right behind

the weir.”

The path hugs bizarre, sometimes

overhanging rocks, on which grow a large

number of warmth-loving plants otherwise

found only in southern Europe or Asia.

Bees and butterflies of all kinds fly

amongst the host of blossoms. Gnarled

beech and oak trees with fresh foliage

shade the path and cast speckled shadows

on the forest floor. The reddish lava

stone rhyolite and the black-grey latite-andesite

glow in the sunshine. The rushing

sound of the river accompanies us along

the gently climbing path.



The conversation swiftly turns to the subject

of homeland - Heimat - and the film

trilogy of the same name by Edgar Reitz.

The first film, which made television history

30 years ago, focused on a village

smithy in the fictive parish of Schabbach in

the Hunsrück. Constantin Wild talks of the

034 GZ plus 05/18


walking tip

Narrow paths lead through the valley

of the River Nahe. The 6.2-kilometre

route runs through the ‘Kammerwoog-

Krechelsfels’ nature reserve and

passes the remains of the Hoppstädter

agate cutting mill as well as a

Roman settlement. In between lie

observation points with views of the

Nahe and steep, rugged rock faces.

third part, entitled “The other Heimat”, featuring

emigrants from the region to Brazil.

“Heimat is a battlefield of the emotions,”

said director Reitz. Heimat today is no

more than a longing that exists in the mind,

but is otherwise gone. Constantin Wild refutes

this: “Heimat is this beautiful landscape

that I grew up in, in which my forefathers

lived and where my family and

friends are today. However, we Idar-Obersteiners

are not tied to our region, for many

generations our profession has made fartravelled

cosmopolitans of us. Hong Kong

or Tucson are important to me, but the

Hunsrück is my Heimat.”



Whilst Arras the dog would rather chase

ducks, we enjoy the views across the course

of the Nahe and the rock formations opposite.

Nature all around us. We arrive at the

ruins of the Hoppstätter agate mill. Only the

foundation walls remain. It was erected in

1850 as a twin cutting mill with a total of

four millstones. A channel guided the water

from the Nahe through the two buildings. In

the centre was the waterwheel. Electrification

of operations led to the mill’s abandonment

in 1937. A few years later it was no

more than a ruin. “I find myself reminded of

my roots here,” says Wild.

During the photo shoot he requests a

making-of for Facebook and Instagram.

“We need to drum up some publicity for GZ

Plus,” says the businessman, who combines

his own marketing with that of the

region, skilfully drawing attention to the local


The walk continues to the excavations

of a former Roman “villa rustica”. The valley

broadens here, impressive rock formations,

as if cut by a giant knife, deliver a wonderful

panorama. “This is where our version of the

Loreley rock can be seen, but over the Nahe,

not the Rhine,” laughs Constantin Wild, and

shows us the steep ascent.

The path crosses the Nahe via a footbridge.

Beneath us the water glitters in the

sunlight, swarms of tiny fish gather in the

shallows. This area is also home to the

largest number of dice snakes in northern

Europe, they inhabit the bank of the river

over a distance of 20 kilometres, feeding

on the fish. They are otherwise only found

in parts of the Moselle and have died out

elsewhere. The water seems to be clean.

“You can swim in the river at many points

here, if you don’t mind the snakes – they

aren’t venomous,” grins Constantin Wild.

And on the other side of the river is the

path that takes us back to our starting

point …

GZ plus 05/18 035


Close contact,

outstanding professional

expertise and unrivalled

support services are

what make Idar-Oberstein

truly stand out.




& institution

38 Trier University of

Applied Sciences

42 Jakob Bengel Industrial


48 German Gemstone Museum

50 German Federal Association

of the Precious Stones and

Diamond Industry



56 DPL


60 Galle Werttransporte

62 Schwardt Versicherungsmakler

64 Günter Effgen

66 Förderverein Deutsche


68 Parkhotel

036 GZ plus 05/18


Mainzer Straße 82 · D-55743 Idar-Oberstein

T 06781 9494-0 · F 06781 9494-50


Tradition & Institution

Trier University of Applied Sciences

Chinese-born Kun Zangh created

object-like brooches with extremely

reduced forms out of the especially

hard-wearing wood from the pink ivory

tree as part of her Master’s project

Just like all her work, this

necklace by Iranian-born

Sharareh Aghaei is made

of silver, metal mesh,

aventurine and epoxy

resin and is inspired by

her cultural heritage. The

shape of the hollow part

acts as a kind of ‘memory


Born in Argentina but

now living in Bilbao, art

restorer and jewellery

designer Eva Burton’s

final project is “Grave

Good, IV”, a ‘hand

piece’ made of

anodised aluminium,

synthetic zirconium

and rose quartz



The slogan “Big Bang smashes fresh ideas in the world of jewellery”

is just right for seven talented creators from the Gemstone and Jewellery Department at

Trier University of Applied Sciences, Idar-Oberstein campus who are

displaying their graduate work to experts in the field. The students, who come from

all over the world, will be exhibiting at five different fairs in 2018.

Inhorgenta Munich and the SCHMUCK

trade fair in Munich have already welcomed

the “Big Bang” participants,

meaning the trade audience has already

had the opportunity to meet the artists

from Argentina, China, Colombia, Germany

and Iran. “For some of the graduates, these

two fairs were the first opportunity to show

their graduate work off to an (expert) audience,”

says Carolin Denter. Carolin, who

completed her own Bachelor of Fine Arts

at the Idar-Oberstein campus last year, has

been working as a marketing assistant in

the Design, Gemstone and Jewellery De-

partment ever since. “All of our graduates

have mentioned the great conversations

they have had with visitors. Some have

even been asked totally new questions

which will give our artists ideas that can be

implemented in their future working processes,”

enthuses Denter.

Photos: Wang Qi (1), Kun Zangh (1), Nima Ashrafi (1)

038 GZ plus 05/18

Mühlwiesenstraße 31

55743 Kirschweiler


Phone: +49 (0) 6781 350-00

E-Mail: info@efs-gems.com

Internet: www.efs-gems.com

Tradition & Institution

Trier University of Applied Sciences

Helen Habtay’s work

often displays strongly

geometric patterns.

Her piece “Map and

Territory No 8”, made

of leather, tiger eye,

textile and rubber,

brings together body

and jewellery

Creative graduates such as Stefanie

Thalhammer (photo left) had the chance to

meet the visitors to the fair. Throughout

2018, “Big Bang” will be attending a total of

five different fairs

The “Big Bangers” have

also received excellent feedback

from the visitors to the

fair due to the “distinctness of

the pieces”. In fact, a considerable

number of gallery owners

and specialised dealers mentioned

the fact that a visit to the

stand run by the Idar-Oberstein

campus had been a highlight of

the whole fair. This is no surprise

to us, as it is part of the

faculty’s philosophy that jewellery

shouldn’t just be a decorative element,

but should instead be understood as a

contextual statement. What is being created

are not just works of ‘ornamental’ jewellery

in the narrowest sense of the word;

the artists are actually creating portable

sculptures which bring together the characteristics

of their component gemstones,

precious metals and other innovative materials

with artistic statements. “Thanks to

each of the graduates this year displaying

conceptually strong pieces, most visitors

“Big Bang”

participants 2018

Sharareh Aghaei (Iran), Adriana Almeida

Meza (Colombia), Vesal Bahmani (Iran),

Eva Burton (Argentina), Helen Habtay

(Germany), Stefanie Thalhammer

(Germany), Kun Zangh (China)


have really invested a lot of time in us,

studying our jewellery and pieces and also

appreciating the overall concept and talking

to us personally,” says Helen Habtay

about the first two fairs of the year. Born in

Eritrea but now living in Frankfurt, Helen

finished her Bachelor studies at Middlesex

University London before completing her

Master of Fine Arts in Idar-Oberstein, and

was one of this year’s seven “Big Bang” exhibitors.

The participants should be especially

proud of what they have achieved at the

fair: some owners have expressed interest

in all of the “Big Bang” group exhibiting at

their galleries, and the work of Beijing-born

Kun Zhang has already held its own at the

Galerie Door in the Netherlands right after

the end of Inhorgenta Munich. Plus it looks

like the graduates will continue to go from

strength to strength with a great line-up of

fairs: Eunique in Karlsruhe (8 - 10 June),

Intergem in Idar-Oberstein (28 September

- 1 October) and the Grassimesse in Leipzig

(26 - 28 October). Christel Trimborn

Photos: Wang Qi (1), Yuxi Sun (1)

040 GZ plus 05/18

Tradition & Institution

Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument

Giving the old

a new lease of life

After a decade of planning and reconstruction, the extraordinary historic

Jakob Bengel factory in Idar-Oberstein will reopen its doors on 12 – 13 May

as an impressive new cultural monument.


ccording to Julia Wild of the Circle

of Friends of the Jakob Bengel

Monument (founded back in

2006), it wouldn’t be completely accurate

to say that the industrial monument is

looking forward to a huge reopening party,

as it never actually fully shut down. As a

registered association (e.V.), the Circle of

Friends of the Jakob Bengel Monument

has been supporting the foundation for

many years. Over the last decade, both the

inside of the building and the outside walls

have undergone comprehensive renovation

and extension work (including the installation

of new, more technical fire prevention

measures and the careful

preservation of the factory floors) while the

business was still running. The invitations

042 GZ plus 05/18

Jakob Bengel’s former jewellery factory still

has countless old sketches and machines

from its heyday

As part of a project run last year, Masters

students from Trier University of Applied

Sciences and the Rietveld Academy in

Amsterdam worked on the original machines

of the former Jakob Bengel chain factory on

the historic factory floors

lopment and history of the charming industrial

complex to the history of the fashion

jewellery industry in Oberstein.

During its heyday, Oberstein employed

some 5,000 people in the jewellery and

metals industry, with Jakob Bengel’s chain

and jewellery factory remaining one of the

few still running today – a special glimpse

back into the region’s past.

Photos: Freundeskreis Jakob Bengel Denkmal e.V. (2)

state that there will be a “festive handover

of the historic factory building back to the

public”, and that seems to be a much more

appropriate way of describing it.

Together with the Rheinland-Pfalz

region’s Cultural Summer, the Jakob Bengel

Foundation is looking forward to welcoming

guests to numerous events over the

second weekend in May. As well as tours

around the building, visitors can also listen

in on different lectures covering everything

from the structural maintenance and deve-

Industrial history at

your fingertips

The accurately and lovingly reconstructed

factory floors in Wilhelmstraße will bring to

life the company’s production methods

used between 1870 – 1990 for visitors.

The aim of the very active Jakob Bengel

Foundation and Circle of Friends is to “preserve

the memory of the Idar-Oberstein

chain and jewellery industry and to highlight

the life achievements of the people

who worked their whole lives in this field.”

Everyone involved agreed from the be-

GZ plus 05/18 043

Tradition & Institution

Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument

ginning of the project that part of the renovations

should include a few rooms to hold

a permanent exhibition. The ground floor is

home to a presentation on Oberstein fashion

jewellery and is open to the public,

whereas the former production department

on the upper floor is only open as

part of a guided tour. A visit to the monument

truly is a wonderful opportunity for

all guests: the machines – still in operation

– give visitors a glimpse into the methods

and techniques of the past. There are 40

chain-making machines in the production

hall, and the oldest of them is over 100!

Creation of a fashion

jewellery museum

13 May will also mark the opening of the

new permanent exhibition entitled “The

Oberstein Jewellery and Metalworks industry

in the 19th and 20th century” which

ventures beyond just the work of Jakob

Bengel. “Until now, the focus of the permanent

exhibition has been the Art déco work

produced in this company from 1873 onwards,”

says Julia Wild. The long-term goal

is to have a display of fashion jewellery

Practically unchanged:

the Art déco jewellery of Jakob Bengel

In the 1920s and 1930s, the Jakob Bengel

factory was known for producing Art

déco jewellery. This meant they created

pieces with a very unique style, but also

with the help of unusual materials such

as the (nowadays) little-known synthetic

The old books of samples still serve as template for Jakob

Bengel jewellery. Shown here: ‘Lips’ necklace

plastic erinoid in combination with silver,

and Jakob Bengel was known the world

over for his exquisite fashion jewellery.

After a boom followed by a gradual decline

in demand as the result of cheap

imports from lower-paying countries, the

company stopped producing jewellery in

1993. The Foundation has since re-granted

a manufacturing licence in order to

bring the Jakob Bengel brand back to life

once more. Once again, a limited number

of pieces is being created using original

tools and working methods, but the designs

still remain those dating back to

the books of samples from the 1930s. All

the pieces bear a hallmark and receive a

certificate of authenticity from the Jakob

Bengel Foundation.


Photo: Freundeskreis Jakob Bengel Denkmal e.V.

044 GZ plus 05/18

are & precious

since 1894


Tradition & Institution

Jakob Bengel Industrial Monument



from different representative makers in the

region whose roots lie firmly in the Idar

jewellery sector, adds Ms Wild. The current

exhibition displays pieces by Ziemer &

Söhne, Gebr. Schmidt and Carl August

Haupt, as well as many other jewellers and

accessories manufacturers in the area.

Modern artists

in residence

But this isn’t a place to look back longingly

at the past within the historic walls of the

factory; no, the monument is very definitely

looking toward the future with its modern

artistic jewellery. There is even a

scholarship programme called “Artists in

Residence (AIR)”. For the twelfth year running

now, the Jakob Bengel Foundation

offers international jewellery artists a working

scholarship in the historic “Jakob Bengel

Jewellery and Watch Chain Factory” in

conjunction with the Trier University of Applied

Sciences/Idar-Oberstein Campus.

“The AIR programme in the gemstone capital

Idar-Oberstein is very popular indeed,

and not just because of the special connection

between old and new, stone and

metal,” explains Julia Wild, who is currently

a research assistant and who teaches

theory of jewellery at the University. The

invited jewellery students can work in both

the totally up-to-date workshops in the

University, but can also study in the inspiring

workshops in the Villa Bengel. They

have all the historic machinery at their disposal,

including metal rollers, presses and

many other original tools. This year, the

three renowned artists Estonian Kätrin

Beljaev, American Rebecca Hannon and

the German jewellery designer Julia Walter

were given a warm welcome in Idar-

Oberstein. Traditionally, at the end of their

stay, each AIR participant leaves a piece of

their own making at the Bengel House,

sort of like a thank you for their board and

lodging. Thanks to this wonderfully

generous tradition, Idar-Oberstein already

has built up an impressive collection of

pieces for display. Christel Trimborn


A wide range of different fairs, forums and projects to

open international debate on jewellery are taking place all

year round. Many of these events will be held in Villa

Bengel under the title ‘Idar-Oberstein schmückt sich’

(Idar-Oberstein sparkles).

12 MAY - 17 JUNE

“nsaio 6” – New Jewellery from Idar-Oberstein

(abbreviated in German to “nsaio”) is

the sixth edition of this series of exhibitions

in which selected pieces from the Gemstone

and Jewellery Department of Trier University

of Applied Sciences can be seen by visitors.



“Bengel in focus” – The

‘Photography’ study group of

the Obere Nahe Art Association

will be presenting the result

of their long-standing

photography project on the

industrial monument.

Piece by Julia Obermaier

Photograph ‘Verzahnung’ (Gearing) by Jürgen Heyer


“200 years of Gebrüder Schmidt” –

The exhibition will bring together jewellery

and fashion accessories, business

and sample books and photos

from the 1818 archive of Johann Karl

Schmidt, the founder of the Gebrüder

Schmidt company.

Vases by Schmidt

Photos:Anastasiya Larionova (1), Jürgen Heyer (1)

046 GZ plus 05/18



the rainbow collection


GZ plus 05/18 047

Tradition & Institution

German Gemstone Museum

01 02


01 This agate bowl is one of the many pieces on display 02 The listed Wilhelminian style Villa ‘Purpers Schlößchen’ is home to the German

Gemstone Museum 03 Amethyst druze cluster



With its thousands of gemstones, fascinating minerals and elaborate engravings

and sculptures, the German Gemstone Museum in Idar-Oberstein is a real visitor magnet.

And right now it truly has some spectacular treasures on display.


he German Gemstone Museum in

Idar-Oberstein is unique anywhere

in the world,” boasts Director Anette

Fuhr with obvious pride. “There is nowhere

else that deals with gemstones so

broadly and so deeply.” And she’s right: if

you want to find out all about the fascinating

world of precious stones and minerals,

the Villa ‘Purpers Schlößchen’ – a renovated

Wilhelminian style villa located at

Hauptstraße 118 – is just the right place

for you.

Three floors spread over 660 square

metres bring together several thousand

polished gemstones, specimens, crystals

and rough gems.



The converted arched cellar is the ideal location

for annual special exhibitions. It is

currently the home to the “Treasures of the

Roman Emperors” collection, a series of

gem engravings by Gerhard Schmidt.

Why not start at the large collection of

selected local precious minerals which

formed the basis for the gemstone industry

in the Idar-Oberstein region? Visitors

are also drawn to the extensive sculpture

collection which combines both the 6,000-

year old history of gem carving with the

modern art of gem engraving. Another fascinating

focus of the museum is the optical

reflectance seen in some gemstones

such as asterism (star-like concentration

of light) or chatoyancy (cat’s eye effect).

Engraving tools, examples of the use

of gemstones in technology and a display

of synthetic stones with the newest products

and models for gemstone cutting

techniques round the exhibition off. But

there’s even more – in the coming months,

the youngest visitors will be able to enjoy a

very special attraction: a reconstructed

gemstone cave full of colourful stones to

discover and enjoy! Swantje Friedrich


Opening hours

01 February to 30 April

daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

01 May to 31 October

daily 9:30 am - 5:30 pm

01 November to 14 January

daily 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

The museum is closed on 24, 25 and

31 December.

048 GZ plus 05/18


Qualität & Vielfalt







Schachenstraße 14

D - 55743 Idar-Oberstein

Fon +49 (0) 67 81 - 4 23 90

Fax +49 (0) 67 81 - 4 23 60


Tradition & Institution

Association / DEIO




Jörg Lindemann, Managing Director of the

German Federal Association of the Gemstone

and Diamond Industry, talks to us about the

challenges facing Idar-Oberstein.

GZ: How would you describe Idar-Oberstein’s position in the

gemstone industry today?

Jörg Lindemann: Well, obviously Idar-Oberstein moved away

from mass production in gem cutting quite some time ago due

to our comparatively high labour costs. Now we concentrate on

intermediate and high-quality pieces, keeping the cutting and finishing

here in our town. Idar-Oberstein is a sort of ‘all-inclusive’

supplier of diamonds and gemstones. What I mean by that is

that here we bring together all the experts from the different

fields associated with gems and diamonds to work side by side.

The standard of specialisation we offer here can be found nowhere

else in the world, and it makes us truly stand out. And, last

but not least, we mustn’t forget our outstanding training, research

and services infrastructure.

What challenges do you think are facing the sector?

One of our greatest challenges is the sourcing of raw materials.

As we know, the gemstone industry has been building up good

relationships with supplier countries for many generations now.

Those of us still on the market find ourselves facing stiff competition

from very wealthy buyers, especially those from China,

who are not just interested in buying stones, but are looking to

buy entire mines. Another clear issue we’re facing is a lack of

new junior talent entering the sector.

What do you think makes ‘made in Idar-Oberstein’ diamonds

stand out from the offers buyers can find on the internet?

The internet has brought about huge changes and shifts in the

sales and purchasing structures of practically all sectors. I, personally,

would never buy a diamond off the internet though. And

I guess that’s the same for a lot of buyers: they want to consult

an expert they know and trust. I bet the excellent advice and

service you get from an expert is way better than anything

you’d get from most internet suppliers. And don’t forget:

all our regional diamond jewellers are bound by an

ethical commitment: they all follow the Kimberley

Process or commit to using the correct designation,

as well as offering total transparency

with regard to international agreements

and recommendations (like those of the

World Federation of Diamond Bourses

and CIBJO).




Jochen Müller, President of the Diamond

and Precious Stones Bourse Idar-Oberstein

(DEIO), talks to us about the importance of

the institution in the digital era.

GZ: We now live in a globalised world with global marketplaces.

Is there really a need for a regional platform such as the

Diamond and Precious Stones Bourse Idar-Oberstein?

Jochen Müller: The fact we have this globalised world means

there’s even more need for diamond and precious stone bourses.

The membership of experts in the field results in better transparency

– and therefore trust – for everyone at all levels. This is

the most important element of what appears at first sight to be

just a limited regional body, but which has – over time – actually

developed many important international connections.

To what extent do local industries and the increasing digitalisation

of the market affect the activities of the bourse?

Being a member of the World Federation of Diamond Bourses

WFDB gives every small bourse credibility and background just

as in any other marketplace. We can see this by how the Board

of the World Federation came to us here in Idar-Oberstein in

March for the second time since 2015 to hold their regular meetings.

We looked intensively at how the sector is developing, and

studied the local market in detail. When selling products that

people need to see and touch to get a feel for them, the electronic

market just cannot compete.

What are the current and future challenges of the bourse and

the industry as a whole?

Our current key issues are the availability and quality of the uncut

gems, the preservation and advancement of our expertise

gained over many centuries and dealing with the liberalisation of

the market by creating and utilising our personal connections –

just like our experts have been doing for a long time. The DEIO

also does everything within its power to support its members,

where appropriate, by providing information and combating fake

news and unfair practice. One particular challenge I see coming

up in the next years is the new generation, and how that will affect

the bourse.


Photos: Hannes Magerstaedt

050 GZ plus 05/18

Federal Association of the Precious Stones

and Diamond Industry

Member of:

ICA – International Coloured Gemstone Association

CIBJO – The World Jewellery Confederation

IDMA – International Diamond Manufactures Association

Federation of German Jewellery and Silverware Associations

German Gemmological Association

Organizer of:

German Award for Jewellery

and Precious Stones


German Young Talent Competition

for Gemstone and Jewellery Design


Diamond and Precious Stones Bourse


Member of:

WFDB – World Federation of Diamond Bourses






Industrial Association

for Jewellery and Metalware


Member of:

Regional Industry Federation in Rhineland-Palatinate

Tradition & Institution


Ehenis est des et

laborem ea dolupta

tiatia quiaeserum qui

dolessi tatur Vendam

eat alis acipicim quam

Hot on the

trail of fakes

As we all now know, not everything that glitters is gold.

Whether in Idar-Oberstein or out and about in their mobile lab, the experts at the

DSEF German Gem Lab will sniff out anything that’s not quite right.

For as long as people have worn precious

stones, there has always been

the temptation to improve their external

appearance or attractiveness using

a range of different methods. There are

also all kinds of different synthetic versions

or imitations made out of glass or

reconstructions created from crushed

stone. Of course we understand why

people want these engineered stones: they

give people who wouldn’t normally be able

to afford precious stones the opportunity

to wear beautiful jewels at a fraction of the

cost. What we object to is unscrupulous

salespeople passing off these imitations

as real stones without making the buyer

aware, and unfortunately this is a problem

that we see time and again. “Occasionally,

there is a real intention to deceive,“ says Dr.

Claudio Milisenda. The mineralogist and

head of the DSEF German Gem Lab in Idar-

Oberstein and his team are always one

step ahead of the counterfeiters: “Whether

it’s uncut stones, high-value jewels or piec-

es from the middle-low range, we see imitations

of stones and jewels across all of

the price brackets,” confirms Milisenda.

Since its foundation in 1969 by the German

Gemmological Association (DGemG),

the DSEF German Gem Lab has proven itself

a valuable partner to anyone working

in the gem industry or trade. The permanent

laboratory in Idar-Oberstein satisfies

all the demands for a modern, international

gemmological service facility. On top of

that, the DSEF also recently acquired a mo-

052 GZ plus 05/18

German Foundation for

Gemstone Research

DSEF German Gem Lab

Dr. Claudio Milisenda at

the world’s largest ruby

mine in Mozambique

bile lab which can be used to test precious

stones out and about, for example

at trade fairs or abroad. It offers

gemstone determination and authenticity

testing, as well as diagnostic

findings reports on the origin and possible

artificial changes in the properties

of coloured gemstones according

to international standards, all using

the very latest in testing techniques.

Special analyses such as the diamond

colour or the determination of pearls

or cultured pearls are also possible. A

team of geoscientists and experts

from other scientific fields work together

closely in a laboratory at the

forefront of modern technology.

Being located at the very heart of

the German gemstone industry is an

invaluable advantage, as those working

at DSEF are the first anywhere in

the world to analyse new discoveries

in the world of gemstones, as well as

new synthetic production methods,

imitations and artificially enhanced

gems. Thanks to its scientific contacts

with the world’s leading precious

stone-producing countries and a close

working partnership with the trade

market, the DSEF always has ‘the real

deal’ on hand for comparison – its employees

regularly undertake trips to

the most important mines across the

planet to collect originals. The results

of their findings can regularly be found

in different national and international

magazines and are presented to experts

in the field at different events.

Swantje Friedrich


Your reliable partner for all questions regarding

the identification of gemstones!

We examine rough stones, single cut and

mounted gemstones for their authenticity,

treatments as well as origin.

We offer you a secure and internationally

recognized determination of your gems!

Photos: Heike Rost (2)

Dr. Claudio Milisenda and the DSEF team check precious stones for

possible manipulation in the lab in Idar-Oberstein

GZ plus 05/18 053

Come to where the knowledge is!

Prof.-Schlossmacher-Straße 1

D-55743 Idar-Oberstein, Germany

Telefon: +49-6781-5084-14

Telefax: +49-6781-5084-19

E-Mail: gemlab@dgemg.com

Internet: www.dsef.de

Tradition & Institution


Grading cut diamonds

during the diamond

expertise seminar



The German Gemmological Association (DGemG) is very highly regarded at an international

level. Tens of thousands of participants have acquired valuable expertise during its

seminars and its employees are represented on all the key international committees.


GemG has developed over its 85+

year history to become an institution

with a global reputation. It is

committed to promoting gemmology as a

science and technique and to developing

education and training offers in the gemstone

expertise sector. And it is certainly

on the right track, as demonstrated by the

35,000 participants from over 80 countries

who have taken part in the DGemG training

programmes and seminars to date. Leading

experts share their expertise in the

fields of gemstone expertise, diamond expertise

and pearls/organic substances and

there is an exceptional teaching collection

available, containing all the standard gemstones,

synthetic stones and imitations.

Graduates of the training programme are

awarded the internationally recognised title

‘Fellow of the German Gemmological

Association’ (F. G. G.).

The content of the training programmes

is constantly adapted to the requirements

of the sector. The focus is currently on synthetic

diamonds and the wide range of artificial

modifications being made to coloured

gemstones, diamonds and cultured pearls.

The distinguishing features are established

and documented in collaboration with the

laboratory of the German Gem Lab (DSEF)

founded by the DGemG. These features are

then shared with the industry, something

which is of particular importance.

Numerous cooperations

The work of the DGemG is professionally

recognised, as reflected by its numerous

cooperation agreements with universities

and gemmological societies and institutes

across the world. DGemG is a shareholder

of the German Diamond and Gemstone

Laboratories (DEL) in Idar-Oberstein. Employees

of DGemG represent the German

gemmology scene on all the key interna-

054 GZ plus 05/18

German Gemmological


An exceptional display and

teaching collection guarantees

practical and up-to-date

education and training,

meeting all requirements of

the gemstone and jewellery

business sector

„profound knowledge -

better opportunities

for your future!”

Come to where the knowledge is!

Europe’s leading

educational training centre for


diamond grading


Photos: Heike Rost

tional committees in the gemstone

and jewellery business sector. These

include, first and foremost, the International

Gemmological Conference

(IGC), the International Coloured Gemstone

Association (ICA), the World

Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO), the

Gemstone Industry and Laboratory

Conference (GILC) and the Federation

for European Education in Gemmology

(FEEG). Highly significant results have

been obtained during the course of the

business-related research projects, including

forward-thinking analysis

methods and numerous original descriptions

of important gemstones.

DGemG benefits greatly from the

location of Idar-Oberstein. It is usually

the case that new gemstones, finds

from new deposits, innovative synthetic

stones, imitations and artificially

modified gemstones emerge here first.

They are available to experts from the

DGemG to carry out their own studies

and the latest research results can

then be shared quickly with the sector

through publications such as its own

‘Gemmologie’ magazine, the latest

newsletter, workshops and in particular

the seminars at the training centre.

Swantje Friedrich


only here you have direct access

to theory and practice.

nowhere else you will find comparable

technical equipment and a similarly

extensive gemstone collection

(all commercial gemstones, synthetics

and imitations).

German Gemmological


GZ plus 05/18 055

Prof.-Schlossmacher-Strasse 1

D-55743 Idar-Oberstein, Germany

phone: +49-6781-5084-0 · fax: +49-6781-5084-19

e-mail: info@dgemg.com · internet: www.dgemg.com

Tradition & Institution




The Diamant Prüflabor (DPL) has been providing

security in the diamond trade for over 40 years.


he Diamant Prüflabor diamond

testing laboratory (DPL) based in

Idar-Oberstein celebrated its 40th

anniversary last year. The renowned nonprofit

company was founded in 1977 to

establish the rules of the International

Diamond Council (IDC) in Germany. The

only other internationally accepted regulations

apart from the IDC rules are the

rules of the Gemological Institute of

America (GIA). The DPL has been providing

security in the diamond trade ever

since with its reliable certification and accepts

full responsibility for the results of

its grading processes.

Trained stone graders work under the

guidance of Christine Roeder-Heiderich

and provide competent and objective advice

to customers based on their longstanding

experience and exceptional expertise.

The laboratory is equipped with

the latest technology and ensures that the

measurement results are both accurate

and replicable.

Any concerns about the latest treatment

methods can be cleared up thanks to

the laboratory’s direct collaboration with

the German Gem Lab (DSEF). The testing

laboratory is characterised by its fast and

uncomplicated handling of orders and di-

rect contact with the customer. If it is possible

to improve the quality of a stone with

re-cutting and the customer requests this,

the DPL can provide specific recommendations

of stone-cutters with whom it has a

collaborative agreement.

The DPL is offering a special service at

Intergem 2018: the laboratory will also be

open at the weekend on trade fair days.

DPL customers can therefore have their

diamonds analysed during the trade fair.

Important: advance registration required!

The usual fast-service supplement will be

waived on these days. Swantje Friedrich


A DPL certificate

contains the



1. Confirmation that this is a genuine


2. Reference number

3. Weight

4. Cut type and dimensions

5 Purity level

6. Colour and level of fluorescence

7. Cut (proportions, symmetry and polish)

8. Comments and distinguishing features,

where available

9. Diagram

10. Place and date of presentation

11. Reference to IDC

056 GZ plus 05/18

The diamonds are carefully checked under the guidance of DPL

Managing Director Christine Roeder-Heiderich

Photos: Nikola Krieger

GZ plus 05/18 057

GZ plus 05/18 057

Tradition & Institution



a purpose

Security, accuracy and objectivity – the German Association for

Gemstone Evaluation (DeGEB) has been representing these values since 1978.


hat is a gemstone really worth?

How much can you charge for

an old item of jewellery? The

German Association for Gemstone Evaluation

in Idar-Oberstein (DeGEB for short)

has a competent answer to all these questions.

The industry-specific setting of the

Idar-Oberstein gemstone industry enables

the DeGEB to provide practical and realistic

valuations with a high level of security,

accuracy and objectivity. A team of over

100 independent experts from the Idar-

Oberstein gemstone and jewellery industry

is on hand to provide well-founded expertise

and long-standing experience to

serve this important purpose. Reference

materials are available for the majority of

the items to be valued. These are sourced

from the comprehensive stocks and products

of the experts and from the wider industry

as a whole. Valuations of objects

are not just based on a single estimate;

rather the opinion of at least three experts

is sought and the average of these three

valuations is then taken. This offers an invaluable

advantage over other valuation

methods and practices.

Swantje Friedrich



They know their stuff: Anette Klein-Leyser, Roman

Ruppenthal, Rolf Goerlitz and Astrid Knapp (from left).

Alexander Wild (not pictured) is also part of the team

058 GZ plus 05/18



Photos: Lens n Roses Photographie

a) Coloured gemstones

1. Weight and measurements of the


2. Gemmological testing (stone type,


3. Establishing and assessing the colour

intensity = depth of colour and


4. Determining the relative purity and


5. Proportions and cut

b) Diamonds

1. Weight and measurements of the


2. Gemmological testing

3. Identifying the colour level based on a

standardised reference table

4. Determining the purity level (microscope

and magnifying glass)

5. Determining the quality of the cut and

proportions using a proportion scope

c) Precious metals

1. Identifying the alloy

2. Evaluating the processing, technique

and design

3. Labour input

Valuation: The facts outlined in sections

a, b and c form the basis for the price

provided, while also taking account of the

current market situation (supply and

demand), rarity of the gemstone and

specific features of the object.

GZ plus 05/18 059

Tradition & Institution

Galle Werttransporte

The two Managing Directors,

Sonja Galle and her son Florian

Safely to their


Whether valuable jewels, exceptional jewellery pieces or

exquisite watches – Galle Werttransporte ensures the

secure transportation of high value items.


he company Galle Werttransporte

from Idar-Oberstein has been providing

its customers with a safe

means of transporting their high value

possessions since 2004. The company offers

comprehensive protection for all kinds

of valuables and insures them against all

forms of hazard and damage. Employees

transport consignments of valuables in a

fast, reliable and discreet manner using

special secure and armoured vehicles with

GPS tracking. All the drivers are certified in

accordance with §34 a, receive special

training and hold a firearms licence.

The company was established as a

small family business. Sonja Galle has

been Managing Director since the outset

with support from her son Florian Galle

who is now also a Managing Director. The

company has over 30 employees across

two sites – further expansion has not been

ruled out.

The standard programme includes additional

services such as special transportation,

Saturday deliveries, time slot deliveries

and cash on delivery consignments of gemstones,

jewellery, jewels, watches, semi-finished

products and their raw materials. Galle

Werttransporte offers five different routes

covering the areas around Idar-Oberstein,

the Rhineland, BadenPfalz, RheinMain and


Swantje Friedrich


Photo: Hannes Magerstaedt

060 GZ plus 05/18

An der Breitheck 23

55743 Idar-Oberstein

Walther-Rathenau-Str. 9

75180 Pforzheim

Telefon: 0 67 81-45 71 57

Telefax: 0 67 81-45 71 59

E-Mail: s.galle@gallewerttransporte.de

tradition & institution

Schwardt Versicherungsmakler

“We seek

to achieve

close customer


Schwardt Versicherungsmakler does not offer any off-the-peg solutions and

instead focuses on tailor-made concepts. The company has branches in Düsseldorf,

Idar-Oberstein and Pforzheim. Peter Schwardt, head of the Idar-Oberstein office,

explains the role of this location.

GZ: What do you associate with Idar-Oberstein

as a location?

Peter Schwardt: The town of Idar-Oberstein

is renowned far beyond the local borders

for its jewellery and gemstone industry.

Our office in Idar-Oberstein was

established in 1997, shortly after the company

was founded. As a specialist insurance

broker for the jewellery and gemstone

sector, we immediately recognised that

there was a high demand for advice from

the industry based here. And that remains

the case today. Direct, personal contact

with our customers on-site is important

and we are committed to this. In connection

with this, we also play an active role in

a range of associations and attend the local

Intergem jewellery and gemstone trade

fair, among others. We are committed to

this sector, thanks to our excellent connections

and we see great potential for the future


Has your close proximity to the sector

enabled you to devise your own products?

Of course. Unlike insurance agents, as insurance

brokers we can draw up our own

contracts tailored to the individual requirements

of our customers. Our close proximity

to the associations and the industry

means that we are constantly adapting our

offering to the new challenges. The environment

is always changing. So our product

is not static and is constantly evolving

too. We keep our eye firmly on the requirements

of the industry. We know what our

customers need and what insurers maybe

do not offer. Idar-Oberstein is always a

source of motivation because lots of companies

operate at a global level from here.

These global players enable us to look beyond

the German industry and constantly

come up with new ideas. We also support

our customers at foreign trade fairs in order

to understand their daily business. We

want to constantly improve and offer solutions

which are perfectly adapted to our


Why does the industry need such special


We operate in a high risk environment with

a high market value. A standard insurance

contract cannot cover these special requirements.

We design products which

cover all risks and provide the goods with

protection cover wherever they are: from

the gemstone mine to the display window

and during transport, at trade fairs, in a

safe, in a suitcase during transit etc.

Have the risks increased?

The absolute number of incidents has fallen

again. But the number of spectacularly

dramatic events involving violence has unfortunately

increased. This is reflected by

the statistics.

What distinguishes you from other


In our view, there is no other broker on the

market operating like we do, which understands

and intensively manages the customers

as well as we do. Certainly there

are no contracts as individually adapted to

the customer as we offer. Our service is defined

by the fact that we cover all these

aspects. We insure against risk and advise

our customers to avoid risk. We also offer

prevention training and show travellers

how they can protect their goods securely.

Our topics include mechanical and electronic

protection for shops and production

and commercial facilities. We are a service

provider which solves problems, whatever

the nature. The insurance is only there as

protection in the worst case scenario.

How far does this individual service go?

We offer comprehensive security concepts

from the outset. Our customers come to

Photo: Herbert Piel

062 GZ plus 05/18

Peter Schwardt

manages the office

in Idar-Oberstein

us and ask how their store should be designed

to ensure that it is secure and covered

by insurance. We are usually contacted

by the managers at an early stage. We

then work with architects, construction engineers,

fitters and burglar alarm manufacturers

to develop a security concept together.

Our customer has then done

everything possible in terms of prevention

and is easily insurable. No other broker in

the sector goes to such lengths and without

charging any extra fee. Insurers have

eligibility requirements which are often

very difficult for stores to meet. So the earlier

we are involved in the planning process,

the more impact our service can have.

What is your approach in general?

The customer comes to us with their specific

requirements. We define a protection

concept which meets their requirements

and for the next step, search for a suitable

insurer to cover this risk. So there are no

off-the-peg contracts. We work exclusively

with insurers with long-standing experience

in the field because we feel this is the

most important basis for any business relationship.

Axel Henselder


GZ plus 05/18 063

tradition & institution

Günter Effgen

Managing Director

Ralph Effgen

outside the

company’s new

acquisition, the old

tannery in Herrstein

064 GZ plus 05/18

Bringing momentum

to his homeland

Ralph Effgen, Managing Director of the company Günter Effgen,

plays an active role in the region. Here he discusses the concepts of culture

and competence, homeland and the future.

The Effgen company has

developed accurate grinding and

drilling tools for the production of

laser gyroscopes. These are used

in navigation systems, in

particular for the aviation and

aerospace industry

Photos: Martin Glauner

GZ: What is your favourite place in the region

to stop and take a rest?

Ralph Effgen: Oberstein Castle is one of

my favourite places. I grew up nearby and

have been Chairman of the Castle Oberstein

Fortress Association for 13 years.

We organise lots of events such as readings

and small concerts. And the Christmas

market there is a highlight of the region.

What is the driving force behind your


For me, it’s about sustainable projects

which strengthen the region and increase

its renown. Through the ‘HartSpröde’ initiative,

for example, we undertake national

promotion of local people who specialise

in the processing of hard and brittle

materials such as ceramics. We also support

schools, the Idar-Oberstein Summer

of Theatre and the Symphony Wind Orchestra.

You have also owned a book store for the

last 5 years. How did that come about?

After the book store in Oberstein’s pedestrian

area had to close after 120 years of

business, a friend and I decided to preserve

this ‘piece of culture’ of the city. The

three women who were working there

now manage the business independently.

And what are your visions for the future?

Well, another shop in Oberstein, financed

by the ‘Konsumgut’ cooperative. It has al-

ready been possible to purchase the store

through investment from local citizens.

Here there should be regional products

which are not available in the pedestrian

area yet but belong here.

Your production site of Herrstein also reflects

your commitment to your homeland.

Would there be any other potential

alternative for production in Germany?

No, not at all. We specialise in the individual

production of special precision tools

and have short delivery times. We could

not achieve this anywhere else. The dual

training in Germany is fantastic and the

expertise of our employees is irreplaceable.

Saraj Morath


GZ plus 05/18 065

Tradition & Institution

Gemstone Route

A treasure

with many facets

Idar-Oberstein and the surrounded area are home to a wealth of treasures. The multi-faceted

landscape is dotted with endless forests, deeply cut valleys, spectacular rock slides,

mysterious mines, romantic fortresses and small villages. The Förderverein Deutsche

Edelsteinstraße (German Gemstone Route Association) promotes the region’s treasures.

The 21st German Gemstone Queen,

Anna-Lena Märker

Fotos: Peggy Picture

066 GZ plus 05/18


he gemstone industry’s concentration

in and around the Idar-Oberstein

region is truly unique in the

world. Whether diamonds or agate, gemstone

cutting or goldsmithing, mines or

museums, romantic nature or hands-on

history: guests from all over the world value

the region’s brilliant range of experiences.

Visitors can watch gemstone cutters at

their craft in both historic and modern

stone-cutting facilities. Today too, guests

can dig for their own sparkling minerals or

learn the skills of jewellery design on a

hobbies course. The stone-cutters, goldsmiths

and engravers in the area also have

some world-famous treasures to admire.

In short: the heart of the gemstone industry

beats here and has done for over 500

years. Over two circular routes and a distance

of 48 kilometres, the Deutsche Edelsteinstraße

gemstone route links places in

the Herrstein and Idar-Oberstein association

of municipalities which have been influenced

by the gemstone processing industry.

Strengthening identity

and protecting cultural


The Förderverein Deutsche Edelsteinstraße

was founded in 1974 with the aim

of boosting the region’s renown and increasing

interest in mineralogy and gemmology.

The association supports and promotes

the local gemstone and jewellery

industry. Boosting regional identity and

protecting gemstones as a cultural asset

are also a priority. In 1976, the association

created the institution of the German Gemstone

Queen, among other things.

Ambassador of

the industry

Map of the ‘Edelsteinland’ gemstone region

and Gemstone Route

gem trade fair along with national and international

mineral, gemstone, jewellery,

consumer and tourism trade fairs. Anna-

Lena Märker is the current 21st German

Gemstone Queen. Of course, no appearance

would be complete without a crown

and this is produced by renowned companies

in the region and handed from one

Queen to the next. The tiara in yellow gold

features a trapezoidal aquamarine in the

centre surrounded by two citrines and ten

amethysts on the sides. The moving and

detachable pendant at the front is set with

five blue topaz stones and two brilliant-cut


From the Gemstone

Mobile to decorative

bottles of wine

Another means of highlighting the special

features of the region is the Gemstone Mobile

which invites visitors to attend and explore

the trade fairs, presentations, trade

shows and festivals. The association has

Every two years, a young woman from the

region is selected by an independent panel

of judges to capture the hearts of people

from near and far. The German Gemstone

Queen represents the Deutsche Edelsteinstraße

and its gemstone and jewellery industry.

At her presentation engagements,

she discusses and promotes her homeland.

The German Gemstone Queen also

attends key local events such as the Interalready

secured excellent feedback with its

touring exhibition of the ‘Heavenly Jerusalem’

installation. The work is reminiscent

of the city walls described in the ‘Book of

Revelation’ which were decorated with all

kinds of exquisite stones.

Exquisite stones and wine – these are

the precious treasures yielded by the nature

of the Nahe region. So why not bring

together the best of both worlds, the instigators

of the association thought. Since

1999, the collaboration between the

Förderverein Deutsche Edelsteinstraße association

and Weinland Nahe wine promotion

has given rise to the creation of a special

decorative bottle of wine from the

Nahe region each year, known as the

‘Edelschliff’. Only 1000 bottles are produced.

Each vintage is selected by an independent

panel of judges. The wine for the

20th ‘Edelschliff’ is sourced from the Edelberg

vineyard at the Gonratherhof (Weiler

near Monzingen) which also produces the

national park wine. Axel Henselder


GZ plus 05/18 067

Tradition & Institution


A traditional hotel in a

natural idyllic setting:

the Parkhotel


A top address

for gourmets

Feast on delicious treats from the award-winning chef, celebrate at the hotel’s own

club and enjoy a dreamy night’s sleep: the Parkhotel Idar-Oberstein is the

perfect place for tourists and business people to while away the day.


he Parkhotel is one of the top addresses

in Idar-Oberstein. Not only

does the hotel have 37 elegant

rooms and suites to offer, it also serves up

a wide range of culinary delights such as

hearty neck of pork cooked over an open

beechwood grill, delicacies such as veal

cheeks with truffle sauce and classics

such as beef carpaccio. The dishes are

prepared by award-wining chef Renato

Manzi who, together with his team, brings

a creative new interpretation to international

dishes and regional specialities –

using exclusively fresh ingredients. In addition

to the restaurant aptly named ‘Manzi’s’

after its star chef, guests can also visit the

‘Classico’ bistro which offers a different

lunchtime menu every day as well as some

regional treats. After eating, guests can

while away the evening in the Cohibar with

its broad selection of top quality cigars and

international drinks. On selected weekends,

the Parkhotel also has another special

highlight to offer when the hotel’s own

Club PH1 opens its doors.

Swantje Friedrich


068 GZ plus 05/18

4-star hotel

in the centre of Idar-Oberstein

Our multiple award-winning chef, Renato Manzi,

will spoil you at our restaurant and bistro.

For hotel guests

Sauna – Steam bath – Infra-red cabins – Fitness equipment – Free Wi-Fi

Conference and banqueting rooms

Tel 06781-50900 – info@parkhotel-idaroberstein.de – www.parkhotel-idaroberstein.de

Park Hotel – Hauptstraße 185 – D 55743 Idar-Oberstein

Craftsmanship & design

The gemstone

metropolis offers a

unique tradition of

craftsmanship with the

ideas of today for





& design


72 Groh + Ripp

74 Ph. Hahn Söhne

76 Paul Wild

78 Karl Faller

80 Wild & Petsch

82 A. Ruppenthal

84 Cullmann-Türkise

86 Gebrüder Kuhn

88 Gerd Märker

90 Constantin Wild


92 Heinz Mayer

94 Hans D. Krieger

96 Herbert Giloy & Söhne

98 Engel & Co.

100 Rolf Pauly

102 Jungbluth

Technical equipment

104 Walter Fischer

106 Horbach

108 ITA-Goldwaren

070 GZ plus 05/18

Connecting Global Competence




FEBRUARY 22–25, 2019


Craftsmanship & Design

groh + Ripp

A strong family: Jürgen Brunk, Nicole

and Sandra Ripp with parents Stefanie

and Bernd Willi Ripp (from the left)

A family with

many facets

The manufacture Groh + Ripp is one of the most versatile gemstone

specialists in Idar-Oberstein. In addition to a large range of exquisite coloured

gemstones from the firm’s own studio, the company also boasts a

state-of-the-art cutting facility for technical applications.

Whilst tidying the attic recently I

found the apprenticeship diploma

of the engraver Otto Bengel

from 1910, an ancestor of ours,” recounts

Bernd Willi Ripp, senior manager of Groh+

Ripp, displaying the now-framed certificate.

“Our passion for the beauty of gemstones

appears to be genetic,” he continues

with a grin. “It fills us with pride to be

able to continue this generational journey

and hand it on to the next,” adds his wife,

Stefanie: “It’s also a real calling, working

with these wonderful natural objects.” Over

the course of 50 years the couple established

the company as one of the most

modern gemstone-cutting operations in

the world, with a workforce of 45. The company

remains a family-run business. The

onward journey continues and daughters

Nicole and Sandra Ripp are the next generation

to assume management responsibility.

It is immediately evident: everyone is

pulling in the same direction, tasks are assigned

sensibly and the company is well

prepared for the future – and the family atmosphere

ensures a relaxed, positive

working environment.

Glittering treasures

from all round the


A visit to the modern plant in Tiefenstein

should always include a tour of the vault,

the treasure chamber of the company, as it

were. Here sparkle cut Paraiba tourma-

072 GZ plus 05/18

Sandra Ripp is responsible for technical

matters at Groh + Ripp

Nicole Ripp and brother-in-law Jürgen Brunk take care of the coloured

gemstone side of the business

Photos: Herbert Piel

lines, rubies, emeralds, sapphires, aquamarine,

tanzanite, lapis and many more

besides, in every colour of the rainbow –

grouped together as opulent ensemble or

as spectacular solitaires. Rarities that are

no longer normally available on the world

market can be found here. This range of

beautiful and rare stones is down to one of

the strengths of the company: it has direct,

very personal contacts to the uncut stone

suppliers of the world. Since 2004 these

family contacts have been nurtured by

Nicole Ripp together with her brother-inlaw

Jürgen Brunk. When an attractive

stone is discovered anywhere around the

globe it is purchased – without yet knowing

what the stones are to be used for. The

enormous stock in the extensive cellar

rooms bears witness to generations of

careful foresight. And the

uncut stones, packed in

wooden boxes and jute

bags as well as lattice boxes

with labels from their

countries of origin tell the

tale of their exotic provenance.

“Who would have

thought at the time, when

we were buying the stones,

that the markets would shift

the way they have. The materials

used to seem inexhaustible.

It’s a good job

that we always bought the

rarities of tomorrow when

they appeared on the market

– without knowing exactly

what we would use the

material for,” says Bernd

Willi Ripp, contemplatively.

Today his daughter Nicole

continues the task: “Many

stone deposits have already been exhausted,

the wonders of nature are finite. Demand

continues to grow, however,” says the

gemmologist. She accompanies all processes

from uncut stone to the finished, cut

jewel and works with the best jewellers in

the world on new creations. The co-operation

with goldsmiths is particularly important

to her: “It goes without saying that we

always give our partners the best advice -

regardless of whether they are large goldsmiths

or a small enterprise.”

High-tech in gemstones

In the realm of her sister Sandra, the utmost

precision is key: She is head of the

technical department at Groh+ Ripp. Here

items such as dials and case rings for

The manufacture of Groh + Ripp works

the finest gemstones from around the

world into glittering works of art

watches or cover glasses for microscopes

and lenses for laboratory use are produced.

Here too, the process begins with

gemstones from the uncut stone store,

such as lapis, tiger’s eye, coral, obsidian,

rock crystal or mother of pearl. CNC-assisted

machines enable the finest stone

slices with tolerances of hundredths of a

millimetre. Permanent quality and production

control means the pieces are produced

exactly to customer specification.

“It is incredibly fascinating to see such

a hard material suddenly transformed

into wafer-thin, fragile-looking gemstone

slices,” says Sandra Ripp. She works with

leading companies of the jewellery and

watch industry to realise the visions of the


Axel Henselder


GZ plus 05/18 073

Craftsmanship & Design

Ph. Hahn Söhne

An impressionistic

take on the coveted


“Thinking in

the long term”

At Ph. Hahn Söhne diamond evaluation is strict, the expertise

independent. “Because we are liable for every stone sold,” says

Christian Klein of the family-run company.


completely normal morning at

Ph.Hahn in Mainzer Straße: In the

cutting workshop there is a gentle

humming in the background, the telephone

rings in the order office. In the “diamond

office” opposite all is quiet. This is

not a sign of the absence of people, but of

concentration: Christian Klein and his colleagues

are busy with the sorting, calibration

and evaluation of diamonds.

“We are liable for our stones, so we examine

each individual diamond, even the

smaller stones, to ensure that the cut is

executed perfectly,” explains Klein, who

runs the family company together with

his father-in-law, Dieter Hahn, and his

wife, Annette Klein. We ask him if he has

noted a trend in the diamond trade at the

current time. Christian Klein replies: “People

are still looking for good quality at a

reasonable price. But ‘good quality’ can

mean different things. Because the standards

used to grade the diamonds vary

greatly, unfortunately.”

At Ph. Hahn Söhne there is only one

standard applied for diamond evaluation:

Christian Klein’s tasks

include the sorting

and grading of the


strict adherence to the rules of the International

Diamond Council, IDC for short.

Long-term, responsible thinking is part of

the company philosophy: “It has been that

way for over 130 years and will remain so

in the future.“

Saraj Morath


Photos: Martin Glauner

074 GZ plus 05/18

Shells, Belemnites, Opalized Wood

More than

Passion for Opal!

Boulder Opal

Fire Opal Matrix

Water Opal

with play-of-color

Black Opal

Fire Opal

with play-of-color

Crystal Opal

Fire Opal


Auf dem Huettenflur 8, D-55743 Kirschweiler, Phone: 49 - 67 81 - 3 33 70, e-mail: opals@emilweis.com, www.emilweisopals.com

Field Address: P.O.Box 778, Coober Pedy, S.A. 5723 Australia

Craftsmanship & Design

Paul Wild



The uniqueness of the loose gemstones

is matched by that of the opulent jewel arsource

of glittering


Paul Wild is regarded as a worldwide leading specialist in unusual coloured

gemstones. The family-run company recognised at an early stage the importance

of procuring uncut stones to ensure future supply.

The passion for gemstones is in

Markus Wild’s blood, after all, the

family tradition stretches back over

ten generations, to 1660. Grandfather Paul

Wild founded the eponymous company in

1927, with son Hans Werner Wild taking

over in 1977. His son Markus Paul Wild, the

current CEO and grandson of the founder,

joined the firm in 1992. However, his fascination

for the colourful diversity of gemstones

emerged much earlier. As a child he

would walk around the cutting shop, whilst

as a ten-year-old he was already accompanying

his father on purchasing trips to Africa

and to international fairs. “It became

clear to me at an early age just how important

the securing of uncut stones is for

long-term success,” says Markus Wild. As

a consequence, over the years the company

has opened its own mines as well as

sales offices in various parts of the world

– including Beijing in 2012.

Own mines

secure supplies

As a result of this strategy, one of the

strengths of the company lies in its broad

range of stones, including some from its

own mines. Markus Wild: “As we have access

to the deposits, we can offer many

gemstone varieties first hand.”

In 1974 Paul Wild acquired a stake in

an aquamarine mine in Africa, further partnerships

with mines in Africa and Brazil followed.

Wild is also sightholder of the Tan-

zanite One mine in Tanzania. In addition,

the company has long-term contacts with

key gemstone suppliers worldwide.

Markus Wild travels constantly, visiting deposits

and traders around the globe, always

in search of the best and newest rarities.

The result is extensive stocks of the

finest tourmalines, especially Paraibas

from the firm’s own mines, as well as sapphire,

ruby, emerald, spinel, tsavorite, demantoid,

tanzanite, opal, aquamarine and


Sets and suites

as inspiration

076 GZ plus 05/18



01 Set with spinels from Tanzania (total

112.35 ct.) 02 Layout proposal for earrings

in red tourmaline (21.34 ct.) and tanzanite

(29.74 ct.) 03 The Paul Wild workshop in

Kirschweiler 04 Markus Paul Wild is the

third generation of the family to manage

the company

rangements of Paul Wild. These are a continuous

incentive to jewellers to create

new, unusual pieces. “Our design team is

always developing new layouts and sets,

to inspire our customers to new creations,”

says Markus Wild. “It often takes

years to find and assemble the gemstones

for the finely-harmonised colour

nuances. These are all just suggestions,

which can be altered at any time. Everything

is possible.” Customers also come

to the experts at Kirschweiler with sketches

and specific ideas. “Then we discuss

the stone types and co-ordinate the colours.

Where necessary, new rough stones

are specifically sought out and purchased.

Continuous communication and contact

between our sales team and customers

enable us to react promptly to specific requests.”

An innovator in

gemstone cutting

The second key factor in the success of

Paul Wild is the cutting facility. In addition

to the workshop in Kirschweiler, near Idar-

Oberstein, since 1988 the firm has also operated

its own cutting plant in Thailand.

Paul Wild has also styled itself as an innovator

in gemstone cutting. Since 2009 the

specialist has worked with the Fraunhofer

Institute on the development of a new, fully-automated

cutting machine. This is capable

of precisely calculating cuts in order

to extract the maximum from the rough

stone and make the colour radiate perfectly.

However, in spite of all the technology,

what counts at Paul Wild is still primarily

traditional craftsmanship. In the workshop

master cutters and lapidaries work to create

precious, exceptional stones in which

the “Idar cut” is a sales argument, standing

for particular quality. Markus Wild: “Every

year we train new gemstone cutters and

enjoy having young people who share our

enthusiasm and passion for the profession,

helping to preserve this site for the

gemstone world in all of its diversity.”

Talking of location, Markus Wild stresses:

“In spite of the constant transition, the

tradition of the local gemstone sector is

very important to me. I have many memories

associated with my home town of

Kirschweiler. After my travels around the

world I still enjoy coming back here.”

Because in addition to his business, he

also associates the region with family and

friends. This is where his career started

and it is where he now finds personal


Axel Henselder


GZ plus 05/18 077

Craftsmanship & Design

Karl Faller

The colours

of light

The three primary colours red, blue and green

are frequently encountered at Karl Faller: in the

form of three stone specialities, of course

Ruby, sapphire and emerald make up the majority

of the range of the Kirschweiler-based

company. Offering these three gemstones at

a high quality requires great spontaneity on the part

of proprietor Heike Faller, her husband Dr. Konrad

Henn and her daughter Michelle Althöfer. When suppliers

inform them of new finds they travel as fast as

they can to the countries of origin, typically Myanmar,

Sri Lanka or Colombia.

“It is important for us to assess the stones at the

place in which they were found, placing us at the

front of the chain of dealers, because only then can

we offer our customers high-quality examples at

reasonable prices,” says Heike Faller.

The only question that remains is what is meant

by the colour of light. It is quite simple: red, blue and

green are elementary - both for Faller and in the

physical respect, with the three colours forming

white light.

Saraj Morath


Some rare examples: two oval rubies with 5.88 ct. (middle

right) and 4.00 ct. (bottom right), two emeralds in

octagonal cut with 13.07 ct. (top left) and 12.78 ct. (left,

second from bottom), oval sapphire with 9.09 ct. (bottom)

and two antique-cut sapphires with 10.58 ct. (left, second

from top) and 7.09 ct. (top right)

Photo: Martin Glauner

078 GZ plus 05/18


Karl Ernst Cullmann

Inh. Alexandra Cullmann e.K.

Alte Poststraße 87

D-55743 Idar-Oberstein

Telefon: 06781/3277 • Telefax: 06781/3278

info@cullmann-tuerkise.de • www.cullmann-tuerkise.de

Craftsmanship & Design

Wild & Petsch


with character

At Wild & Petsch the ancient beauty of finest gemstones

is presented to perfection. Whether it is single pieces,

pairs or sets: careful hand craftsmanship lends each stone

its unmistakable character.


workforce of 40 long-serving employees at Wild

& Petsch makes sure that each stone leaves the

company in a state of inimitable brilliance. For

generations, the gemstone cutting company has processed

rough stones, refining these with the hands of

master craftsmen. Customers from throughout the

world appreciate the optimal cuts and perfect proportions.

Specialists in the various trades combine modern

design, traditional craftsmanship and the latest technologies.

The highest standards

are required from the very

beginning of the production

chain by Thomas Petsch, who runs the venerable

company, founded in 1901, together with Alexander

Wild. When the stones first see the light of day he is on

hand in the mines in Mozambique and Tanzania to assure

himself in person of the quality of the spinels, tanzanites

and tourmalines that will later be carefully hand

crafted in Kirschweiler. Only original stones with a high

degree of yield, purity and quality make it that far.

There is one natural wonder that is in particular focus

at Wild & Petsch: the radiant blue Paraiba tourmalines

for which the company is world renowned. The cut

is paramount when it comes to working the rough

stones. Thanks to precise HIS technology (hand-guided,

080 GZ plus 05/18

individual cutting technology) each stone

becomes a minor masterpiece. The perfectly-cut

gemstones in turn form the basis

for unusual jewellery creations.

“We combine traditional craftsmanship

with innovative technologies,” says

Thomas Petsch, explaining the successful

concept. Customers can examine the results

for themselves in a spacious display

room in Kirschweiler, with the entire range

of coloured gemstones on show.

Swantje Friedrich


GZ plus 05/18 081

Craftsmanship & Design

A. Ruppenthal

Mandalas are the

latest trend product

from A. Ruppenthal

Building blocks

for creative


Loose gemstones such as

these Ceylon sapphires are

one of the strengths of A.


A. Ruppenthal offers goldsmiths, jewellers and creative

individuals all the ingredients that they require for new jewellery

creations. The diverse range extends from loose stones to

clasps and on to finished jewellery.


ust recently the readers of the Diamantbericht

trade service voted Ruppenthal

number 1 amongst coloured

gemstone suppliers – for a further time.

“We are the specialists for goldsmiths, jewellers,

jewellery artists,” says Albert Ruppenthal,

the fourth generation of the family

to run the company. Ruppenthal supplies

thousands of customers with loose gemstones,

gemstone strings, jewellery and

clasps, cultured pearls as well as diamonds,

diamond chains and much more

besides. The company also exhibits at the

leading fairs in the sector. “Many people

are surprised at how much is going on at

our stand,” says son Roman Ruppenthal.

“Our broad range ensures avid interest.”



secures jobs locally – every fourth product

in our range is produced at this location,”

adds son David Ruppenthal.



One distinctive feature of Ruppenthal is

the large selection of engravings, such as

pompoms, flowers, cameos etc. The engraving

of coats of arms for signet rings is

a particular speciality of the family-run firm

– up to 2,000 coat of arms engravings

leave the company each year. A further

area of specialisation is interchangeable

clasps in numerous variations and set with

diverse gemstones. Loose gemstones and

gemstone jewellery in the trend colours –

the latter with the subsidiary Ernst Stein in

particular – also enjoy great popularity. Albert

Ruppenthal observes: “This year amethysts

are in great demand, which is no

doubt due to the fact that purple is currently

a trending colour. The somewhat

more reasonably priced moonstone is also

selling well.” In addition, the all-rounder

also offers Buddhist mandalas in motherof-pearl

and onyx, which are very popular

with goldsmiths. Axel Henselder


The capability of Ruppenthal is due in part

to the decision of the company to combine

purchasing in the Far East with manufacturing

by local craftsmen. ”This enables us

to retain the expertise of cutting, engraving

and drilling specialists, as well as other

crafts in the region, whilst still offering our

range at extremely competitive prices,” explains

Albert Ruppenthal. “Our work with

the freelancers makes us more flexible and

Gemstone bracelets from

the subsidiary Ernst Stein

082 GZ plus 05/18

Gebr. Kuhn GmbH & Co. KG • Hauptstraße 5 • 55758 Mörschied/Idar-Oberstein

phone: +49 6785 99769-0 • fax: +49 6785 99769-10 • www.kuhngems.com

Craftsmanship & Design


Bead chains made from

natural momo coral,

lapis lazuli, sardegna

coral, chrysoprase and

uncoloured turquoise

(from left)

Vibrant hues

Natural treasures from Arizona, Australia or the sea off Sardinia can

be found at Cullmann-Türkise in Tiefenstein.

The term “statement colours” could be

used to describe the hues that radiate

from the vault of proprietor Alexandra

Cullmann. Comparisons could also

be found with peach, pomegranate or apple.

However, the best option is probably to

allow the colours to speak for themselves.

Cullmann-Türkise is known for its turquoise,

lapis lazuli, chrysoprase and coral,

offering these as bead chains, cabochons,

in fancy forms and set into gold or silver jewellery.

“Our extensive stock means that we

are also able to address the more unusual

customer requests and supply qualities

that are currently scarcely available due to

the shortage of rough stones,” says Alexandra


Alexandra Cullmann took over the company,

founded by her grandfather and previously

run by her father, in 1996. She is very

appreciative of her home region - particularly

when returning from a metropolis such as

Hong Kong. “A walk in the forest and enjoying

a coffee at the Weiherschleife with my

husband and dog, this is the ideal relaxation

for me,” she laughs. Saraj Morath


Photo: Martin Glauner

084 GZ plus 05/18








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Untitled Verlag und Agentur GmbH & Co. KG · Medienpark Kampnagel, Jarrestraße 2, 22303 Hamburg

Craftsmanship & Design

Gebrüder Kuhn

At the centre of the 750 yellow

gold pendant sits an onyx disc,

including gold and diamond ring

by Gebrüder Kuhn

A little


The gemstone cutting enterprise Gebrüder Kuhn of Mörschied turns 65 this year.

The latest display pieces show what the products of the company can be turned into.

The products of the “Bright Circle” collection

are a bit like buttons. Luxurious

buttons, it should be said, because

the circular discs are made from

onyx, mother-of-pearl, turquoise or lapis lazuli

and feature an inset ring of diamonds

set in gold. To demonstrate how the discs

can be utilised the team at Gebrüder Kuhn

has had them made into jewellery.

”The pendant, the earrings and the cufflinks

are intended as display pieces.

Because the options that we have for cutting

and working the surface of stones and

other natural materials are extensive, unusual

customer requests are welcomed,”

says Susanne Schuler, who runs the familyoperated

company of 50 employees together

with her sister.

Over time the range of offers has

changed, as Sabine Herbert explains: “The

increasing demands for precision mean

that we now supply what has become a

technical product in the field of cut semiprecious

stones, with quality assurance

becoming increasingly important.”

Saraj Morath


Photo: Martin Glauner

086 GZ plus 05/18


Individual and Serious Advice · Perfection and Precision · State-of-the-Art Measuring and Analysis Technology



Masterful Execution

Diamond Cutting and Wholesale · Diamond Recut and Repairs · Diamond Cutting Demonstrations

Finkenbergstraße 25 · 55743 Idar-Oberstein · Germany · Phone +49 (0) 67 81 4 43 64 · mail@gm-diamanten.de


Craftsmanship & Design

Gerd Märker

Cutting diamonds requires

concentration, dexterity,

knowledge and experience

Emotion and


“Diamonds are one of those things

whose value exceeds the financially

measurable,” Gerd Märker is convinced.

He loves his profession, which

puts both his expertise and social

competence to the test every day.


utting a diamond requires expertise

and experience, dexterity, a trained

eye and good ears. In addition, spatial

perception is called for to “feel” the stone in its

uncut form, explains master cutter and diamond

assessor Gerd Märker. “The stone is always

the ‘boss’ during cutting, because its

properties determine what processing is possible.

You need to consider the fact that the

cutting angle for a standard cut changes up to

56 times,” the self-employed specialist continues.



His area of expertise is cutting, repair, recutting

and grading in accordance with IDC requirements.

Gerd Märker describes the level of accomplishment

required as “absolute perfection”.

He is aware of his responsibility when

handling the precious stones, also because

they have an emotional value to his customers

in addition to a material one. Regenerating old

or damaged stones is worthwhile, he says:

“The drawers of many jewellers and goldsmiths

contain treasures that can be easily

brought back to life.” Saraj Morath


Diamond expert

Gerd Märker

Photos: Gerd Märker

088 GZ plus 05/18

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Craftsmanship & Design

Constantin Wild

A global player

steeped in history

The gemstone manufacture Constantin Wild enjoys first-class international

connections in all channels. And the exquisite products of the venerable company make

Idar -Oberstein sparkle beyond the boundaries of the town.


n a well-regarded television report on

Idar-Oberstein and the Hunsrück,

broadcast last year, one feature was

the Constantin Wild manufacture. No wonder:

It is a) one of the leading protagonists

of the town on the Nahe and b) bears the

family crest with the year1557, meaning

that the dedication of the Wilds to the precious

stones can be traced back nearly 500

years. The forefathers were amongst the

first cutters of the gemstone metropolis.

For over 170 years now the company

has offered top-quality, hand-selected and

exclusive gemstones under its own name.

“Our gemstone manufacture has always

been a global player,” says Constantin Wild.

“My ancestors were already travelling to

places such as Russia, North America and

Australia.” Just how international the manufacture

is can also be witnessed in the

well-travelled gemstone collection of

grandfather Wilhelm Constantin Wild,

which a Pakistani fisherman pulled out of

the Indian Ocean at the end of last year

and sent to Idar-Oberstein. “Nobody knows

how it got there. But I found the fact that

the collection came back to me very moving,

it’s a message from my grandfather,

which has reached me 60 years later,” says

the gemstone connoisseur.

Accumulated expertise

“Rooted in Idar-Oberstein, at home in the

world – this saying applies perfectly to us

gemstone traders from Idar-Oberstein,”

says Constantin Wild with a grin. “The travel,

the establishment of contacts around

the globe, the nurturing of relationships

with mine owners and traders on the one

hand and jewellers, jewellery manufacturers

and goldsmiths on the other - worldwide

- are all part of being successful in

this business.” In addition to this internatio-

Well connected:

Constantin Wild posts

news immediately

in the social media

090 GZ plus 05/18

nal aspect, he also sees the local expertise

acquired over generations as a key pillar of

the sector. Because for centuries now Idar -

Oberstein has lived from the know how of

evaluating and processing gemstones.

Real passion

At the in-house manufacture of Constantin

Wild the rough stones receive numerous

facets, revealing their true radiance. Constantin

Wild: “Know-how is one thing; excellent

networks are another. But it is no normal

job for me. I genuinely enjoy making

the gemstones shine - and delighting my

customers in the process.” Constantin Wild

wants to bring that shine out of his manufacture

into the world, to share it with international

gemstone enthusiasts. And the

relationship with both suppliers and customers

is friendly, almost familial.

Wild has been working with many of

them for decades, some contacts have

even been in place for generations.

Digital presence

“Think global, act local” is a saying that

could be tailor-made for our trade,” laughs

Constantin Wild. “In the beginning is the treasure

hunt, which is becoming increasingly

difficult due to the exhaustion of deposits.

Then you have participation in all leading

gemstone fairs worldwide. In addition, the

digital media is becoming ever more important

for the international gemstone community.”

A pioneer in this sector, Constantin

Wild already recognised the opportunities

of the internet in the 1990s and was the

first gemstone dealer to launch his own

website. Today Constantin Wild also uses

digital channels to bring his jewels to gemstone

lovers all around the world. Blogs, Instagram,

Facebook, co-operation with digital

influencers – Constantin Wild and his

treasure chamber are present on all channels.

Axel Henselder


At home in the world, rooted in Idar-Oberstein:

Constantin Wild at the gemstone fair in Tucson

GZ plus 05/18 091

Craftsmanship & Design

Heinz Mayer

More than

just beautiful

“Panta rei” is the motto of

Heinz Mayer, meaning

“everything flows”. And it is true:

the pieces from the diamond

jewellery manufacture caress

the skin. The premium nature of

the jewellery has also won over

De Beers – resulting in the Idar-

Oberstein firm being awarded the

coveted Forevermark licence.

Paraiba tourmalines certified by

leading gemstone laboratories,

worked into collector-quality

jewellery in 750 white gold, set

with fine white diamonds


he company with the large “Y” in its

logo really only wants to make

beautiful jewellery. That may

sound like a modest goal. However, the results

of this clear intention are glittering

works of art that cause discerning women

worldwide to swear by the products of

Heinz Mayer. Because these are masterful

works of craftsmanship, featuring superb

quality and precision. Similarly impressed

were De Beers, which granted their Forevermark

licence for the German market exclusively

to Heinz Mayer. “The fact that

there is only one licensee per sales market

is a source of pride for us,” says Stefan

Mayer, who runs the firm with his brother

Frank. “Forevermark looks exclusively for

partners with a thorough understanding of

their market. And we appear to satisfy that

requirement very well.”



“Everything flows” has multiple meanings

at Heinz Mayer. Because on the one hand,

none of the collections has displayed an

abrupt shift for many years. The Mayer’s

have pursued continuity for over 60 years:

Just as the River Nahe has flowed through

Idar-Oberstein for centuries, the collections

flow seamlessly into one another. A

key role here is played by the patented

“Rolling Diamonds” collection. This is a

riviere worked entirely on a hinge principle,

a much-admired reference feature of Heinz


“We see ourselves as artisans, not as

designers,” explains Stefan Mayer. Trained

goldsmiths apply precision, skill and passion

to create the premium jewellery in the

manufacture. The jewellery collections are

worked from 750 white, yellow and red

gold or 950 platinum and the finest diamonds

and coloured gemstones. All stages

of work are performed under one roof.

“This high standard of quality for the material,

in particular the diamonds, seems to

have convinced De Beers to choose us for

the award of the Forevermark licence,”

says Stefan Mayer. “The contact was established

via our diamond supplier, who

was convinced that we were the right

choice.” In addition to classic and tradition-

al jewellery Heinz Mayer also offers highly

modern, contemporary pieces. These are

now joined by the Forevermark collections.

Axel Henselder


The fine collections are presented in the

modern rooms

092 GZ plus 05/18

A glittering


1599 Agate cutter Johannes Becker establishes

the family tradition

1875 The Bohemian garnet cutter Gustav Postler

teaches the first lapidaries in Idar-Oberstein,

amongst them great-grandfather of the current

proprietors, Frank and Stefan Mayer

1926 The grandfather of the current proprietors

acquires the qualification of master gemstone

cutter and lapidary. He is one of the early protagonists

of the buff-top cut.

1928 Work for the Grünes Gewölbe and the Vatican

An archaic moment in the creation

of earrings with Paraiba tourmalines

and diamonds

1950 Heinz Mayer launches his own diamondcutting

operation, his first acclaimed customer is

Harry Winston

1960 Heinz Mayer opens his first purchasing office

in Antwerp

1970 The focus on the manufacture of rings in the

70s and 80s results in Heinz Mayer acquiring the

sobriquet “the ring expert”

1989 Launch of the “Rolling Diamonds” bracelet

1994 In collaboration with Wolfgang Joop, a

jewellery collection is created for a fashion label for

the first time

2004 Heinz Mayer takes part in the

De Beers “Supplier Of Choice” programme

2005 Heinz Mayer creates an exclusive bracelet for

Rolls-Royce to mark its centenary

2006 Invitation from the German ambassador to

Japan to present Heinz Mayer in his residence in


2013 Presentation of the ”Rheingold” collection

Photos: Annette Cardinale (1)

Custom adjustment of a bespoke necklace

from the “Rolling Diamonds” collection

2018 Heinz Mayer receives the Forevermark

licence from De Beers

GZ plus 05/18 093

Craftsmanship & Design

Hans D. Krieger

In search

of light

For generations, Hans D. Krieger has dedicated itself

with great passion to the working of natural-coloured diamonds

and gemstones. Combined with high-karat gold or platinum,

the result is masterpieces for all eternity.


reated millions of years ago in the

depths of the earth, diamonds and

coloured gemstones are some of

the most precious natural wonders. These

are one-offs that tell the story of their creation,

long before man existed. Hans D.

Krieger has dedicated itself to these rarities

with a passion. It is the secret of the

immaculate cut that allows the radiance of

the stones to emerge. Numerous stages

are required for this – and at Hans D. Krieger

they are carried out par excellence.

After all, the company boasts a family

tradition dating back nearly 300 years. Experience

gathered across the generations

and the finest craftsmanship coupled with

state-of-the-art technology form the basis

for the masterpieces of the manufacture,

03 Polishing one side lifts

the veil on the rough

diamond and reveals a lush

colour of an extremely high


01 The unprocessed rough stone

bears little indication of the beauty

of the 14-carat diamond


A laser analyses

the rough stone to

achieve the best

possible cutting outcome.

Nevertheless, the final decision

is based on the extensive

experience of the diamond


094 GZ plus 05/18

led today by Andreas Krieger. In addition to

great tradition and expertise, there is a further

aspect that distinguishes the company:

Hans D. Krieger is one of the few companies

worldwide to combine all steps of

jewellery production under one roof, from

diamond and gemstone cutting to goldsmith

work and on to the setting studio

and jewellery designers. The in-house

casting facility rounds off the Germanmade

quality promise. As a consequence,

each step in the strive for perfection remains

under the control of the company.

And there is more. Hans D. Krieger is

regarded as a leading specialist for jewellery

with natural-coloured diamonds. “Nature

is the greatest artist. Her beauty is inimitable,”

says Andreas Krieger. “Whether it

is radiant yellow, delicate rose or gentle

caramel – the colours are breath-taking.”

Jewellery featuring the coloured diamonds

of Hans D. Krieger are an indication of the

fascination of this extremely rare natural

wonder. Andreas Krieger: “They number

amongst the rarest and most precious

treasures, as only some two carats per

3,000 carats extracted can be designated

‘fancy colour diamonds’. Their fascinating

colour comes from a quirk of nature.”



The secret of the breath-taking radiance of

these fancies is revealed in every piece by

Hans D. Krieger - thanks to the in-house

diamond-cutting facility. Here the fire of

the precious diamonds is stoked and their

full, glorious colour revealed. This calls for

a good eye, a lot of experience and sure instincts,

coupled with state-of-the-art technology.

In an exclusive interview, the GZ

editors were able to watch cutters processing

a cinnamon-coloured rough stone of

some 14 carats (see image bar). Step by

step, the art of the lapidary is revealed,

conjuring a sparkling jewel from inconspicuous

rough stones.

Created by nature, perfected by human

hands: the family-run company takes the

most beautiful treasures of our planet and

creates jewels for the precious moments

in life. Finest diamonds and coloured gemstones,

beguiling forms, timeless designs

– Hans D. Krieger creates jewellery to last

for eternity.

Axel Henselder



Great patience,

skilled craftsmanship

and a good eye

are called for when



The more perfect the cut, the more intense

the radiance. Constant inspection of the diamond

between cutting stages ensures an excellent

cutting result


The finished jewellery:

The collaboration of the

specialists under one roof

results in the creation of premium



A superb polish

underscores the brilliance

of the diamond and

rounds off its beauty


After over a week of hand craftsmanship

and the loss of over 50

percent of its weight the now 5-carat,

cinnamon-coloured stone leaves the

diamond cutting facility

GZ plus 05/18 095

Craftsmanship & Design

Herbert Giloy & Söhne


diamond expertise

Herbert Giloy & Söhne is one of the leading suppliers

of diamond jewellery in Europe. And this position is not coincidental.

The family-run company can look back on a long tradition.

Entering the modern production site

high above Idar, in which over 200

employees create engagement

rings, wedding rings, solitaire and memory

rings and many other pieces with the king

of the gemstones, the dimensions of the

operation provide a swift indication of the

market significance of Herbert Giloy &

Söhne. The company is one of the bestknown

diamond specialists and is one of

the most significant producers of diamond

jewellery in Europe. The manufacture

is even regarded by many experts

worldwide as a synonym for outstanding

diamond competence. “We have decades

of expertise in this segment, which it

would be difficult to find elsewhere,” says

Managing Director André Christian Giloy,

with a touch of pride. He runs the company

together with his father, Manfred Giloy,

who has been providing new impulses to

the diamond jewellery business for 60

years now. “With our German-made jewellery

we guarantee the quality of both the

stones and the workmanship. This is a

purchasing argument that is gaining in

significance in the face of increasing

anonymous online competition, our good

name stands for the particular quality of

the products.” This message should also

be imparted by specialist retail to its customers.

Because the fact that the coveted

jewellery comes from a renowned diamond

specialist in the gemstone metropolis

is undoubtedly a key statement when it

comes to winning over customers at the

point of sale. The origin and identity of

products are becoming increasingly significant

in a globalised, confusing world.



The stamp with the stylised lily points to

the long tradition of the company. It is

based on the family crest. The roots of the

Giloys reach back into the 16th century.

Protestant religious refugees, so-called

Huguenots, they came to Germany from

France in the 17th century. With them they

brought the know-how to establish a manufacture.

Herbert Giloy, a descendant of

these migrants, established a diamond

cutting facility in 1931, laying the foundations

for what is now a globally-active


The long tradition is one side of the

coin, the breadth and depth of the range

the other. The spectrum ranges from engagement

rings to wedding rings, jewellery

sets and the “Solitaire – World of Diamonds“

(SWOD) jewellery concept and on

to the Bellaluce jewellery brand.

With this, Giloy und Söhne offers partner

jewellers a cohesive overall concept

with which to accompany their customers

from the first delicate wedding bands

through the numerous stations of romance

with exquisite diamond jewellery.

096 GZ plus 05/18

All of this comes with excellent value for

money and outstanding service. The Giloy

range includes private label collections exclusive

to partner jewellers.



But what is so special about Bellaluce?

“Well, with Bellaluce the jeweller receives a

strong brand concept with advertising

budget, PR work and all that this entails.

With the solitaire segment he has complete

freedom as far as target group approach

is concerned and can also offer

solitaires under his own name,” André

Christian Giloy explains. “He selects the

solitaires that his customers are looking

for. He can then sell these using his own

expertise.” This concept works very well.

Many specialist retailers make use of this

diamond jewellery offer with its own concept.

Giloy: “We are very competitive as far

as prices are concerned, even compared

to online offers. The jeweller can define his

diamond jewellery expertise himself with

the right mix.”



The Bellaluce diamond

brand enjoys success

thanks to the rhomboid

setting with high

recognition value

For some years now

the wedding rings

have closed the gap in

the diamond jewellery

range revolving

around the theme of


Photos: Rainer Schaele (2)

For three years now Giloy has also offered

wedding rings. “We are very strong in the

memory and solitaire segment – gifts of

love in which diamonds play a key role,”

says André Christian Giloy, explaining the

underlying idea. “With this we have closed

a gap. Diamonds feature prominently in

the rings of course, as our expertise in this

field determines our positioning.” The

small but well-rounded collection is joined

each year by new models and fits perfectly

to the eternity and engagement rings of

the manufacture. The popularity with specialist

retailers shows that the Giloy approach

to wedding rings is the right one.

A further strength of the company is

its ability to supply. The goods are in stock

and can therefore be sent out immediately.

In addition, Giloy also maintains an inventory

of stones, enabling it to maintain

long-term price stability. To ensure staff at

point of sale have enough arguments the

diamond jewellery manufacturer offers

training sessions, including sales training

on site. The extensive diamond marketing

service with numerous POS material and

well-thought-out advertising concepts

rounds off the one-stop offer.

Axel Henselder

www.giloy.de, www.bellaluce.de

The spectrum ranges

from engagement rings

to memory rings and on

to wedding rings

Giloy manufactures

diamond jewellery in Idar-Oberstein,

with a high proportion

of hand craftsmanship

GZ plus 05/18 097

Craftsmanship & Design

Engel & Co.

Tokyo, Tucson,


The family-run company of Engel & Co. is made up of three generations.

All agree on what they like to do best: trade fairs in Germany and abroad.

changeable clasps by moonstone, aquamarine,

sapphire and other gemstones,

the business links to Japan still exist. In

addition, the International Jewellery Tokyo

marks the beginning of the trade fair year

for the Engels, followed by the Tucson

GJX Gem Show, the Inhorgenta and the


“We usually all travel together on business

trips and to fairs,” says Reiner Engel.

Like his daughter Stefanie, grandson Moritz

became familiar with trade fairs at an

early age: “Moritz was born at the time of

the Basel fair and a year later he was there

Stefanie Engel with her

parents Monika and Reiner

Engel and her son Moritz

(from the left)


Thursday afternoon on the terrace

of Stefanie Engel: The forsythia is

in bloom, the sun is shining, the

birds singing. An inviting location with

views towards Oberstein. “We enjoy sitting

here,” says Stefanie Engel, who describes

her home region as “completely adorable”

and joined her parents’ company in 2004.

Engel & Co. was founded in 1978 by her

father, Reiner Engel.

In the early days Reiner Engel was often

in Japan, buying coral. Although in the

meantime coral has been replaced as the

main product for necklaces and interhimself,”

recalls his wife, Monika. Her

grandson is now 16 years old, attends

grammar school and accompanied the

family to Tucson in February for the first


Saraj Morath


Photo: Martin Glauner

098 GZ plus 05/18

Walter Fischer GmbH & Co. KG

Ketten- und Schmuckwarenfabrik

Struthstraße 39 · D-55743 Idar-Oberstein · phone: +49 (0) 67 81/ 20 02-0 · fax: +49 (0) 67 81/ 2 66 21 · e-mail: info@walter-fischer.de

Craftsmanship & Design

Rolf Pauly

Supple: Bracelet in 750 yellow

gold and platinum with 103


Ceylon sapphires (105 ct.)

Shiny gold,

radiant stones

At Rolf Pauly fine jewellery awaits, solid and

detailed in its creation. And a family that is both down to

earth and welcoming.

Photos: Martin Glauner

100 GZ plus 05/18


bracelet with natural-coloured

sapphires lies on the table in the

office of Rainer Pauly. It is created

in lush 750 yellow gold. As with all bracelets

and earrings by Rolf Pauly, the links

on the back are made from platinum, because:

“Our jewellery is made to be robust,

it can be worn every day. The linking sections

are made from platinum, because

this precious metal doesn’t wear,” says

Rainer Pauly. He and his sister run the

company, which was established by their

great grandfather in 1894.



Triad: Rings with brilliant-cut diamonds in 750 white gold with tanzanite (4.42 ct., left),

in 750 white gold with rubellite (10.09 ct., centre) and in 750 white and yellow gold with

tourmaline (8.46 ct., right)

Sabine Pauly-Grimm gradually brings out

more pieces of jewellery to show us: a tray

of rings featuring distinctive tourmalines,

a number of sets in the typical rhomboid

design. The set diamond square is a form

of “signature” at Rolf Pauly, along with selected

gemstones. These include rubies,

sapphires, emeralds, opals, tourmalines

and aquamarines. Their form should be

even, their radiance and brilliance distinctive.

“The stones that we set around them

are flawless diamonds in the finest white,”

explains Sabine Pauly-Grimm, who is

wearing a ring with aquamarine cabochon.

“Feel it,” she says.



The jewellery pieces are created by hand

in the in-house workshop. The feel is important,

as this provides an indication of

the quality of the workmanship. “Although

our rings are large and distinctive, the

lightly flowing edges mean they do not appear

bulky. The ring shanks feel pleasant

to the touch,” says Rainer Pauly.

“Jewellery should be supple, and we

pay attention to this,” he adds, as his sister

puts on one of the bracelets. “My brother

likes tinkering, he developed the clasps

himself,” she tells us. “The clasps are selfsecuring

and so discreet that they make

the bracelets look like endless bands on

the arm.”

Saraj Morath


The two managing directors: Sabine Pauly-Grimm and her brother Rainer Pauly,

accompanied here by the two family dogs

GZ plus 05/18 101

The other side



other side

Whether it is an unusual hobby or

social commitment: here we portray

personalities from the trade outside

of their professional environment,

from an unknown perspective,

their “other side”.

Ellen and Ingo

Jungbluth in front of

the Mikadohalle in



push, bend

“Exercise is important,” say Ellen and Ingo Jungbluth of the Jungbluth

jewellery manufacture. Which is why their strength and endurance training has

a firm place in the weekly schedule.


alf an hour warm-up and stretching,

then circuit training with 30

pieces of equipment, including

bench press, deadlifts, rowing etc, with

gymnastics to close with. This is the

75-minute programme of Ingo Jungbluth

every Wednesday evening, plus free

weights on Saturday. He works out with his

friends from the Idar gymnastics club -

Wednesdays in the gym at the Mikadohalle

in Vollmersbachstraße, Saturdays at the

Turnerheim gymnastics club.

His club membership is purely for

sporting reasons, as: “I’m not really a club

person,” says the goldsmith, with a laugh.

His wife also works out regularly at a gym

for women, following an individual training

plan. “It just does me good to be able to

focus completely on myself for around 30

minutes three evenings a week. In addition,

exercise is not only good for the body and

for health, it also clears your head,” says Ellen


As she talks, as always before exercising

she removes her ring from the Rainbow

Collection. Her husband wants to show us

his favourite machine, the so-called donkey:

the steel frame has two angled struts

which you can suspend yourself from. The

goal of this exercise is to pull yourself up

using only the strength of your upper arms,

explains Ingo Jungbluth. “This special

piece of equipment is both simple and effective,”

he says. And adds: “My current

record is 28 repetitions.”

Saraj Morath

Photos: Martin Glauner

102 GZ plus 05/18

Bench presses

are just one of

30 circuit training


Fotos: Peggy Picture

GZ plus 05/18 103

Craftsmanship & Design

Walter Fischer

The majority of the 50-strong workforce

with the specially-produced chain

snake, near the company building

Photos: Martin Glauner

104 GZ plus 05/18

The snake

from the River


Walter Fischer is a company that always has a lot of chains in

various materials, patterns and lengths in stock. This gave birth to the

idea of an improbably long chain snake.


he figures that one hears when

touring the production area at Walter

Fischer are truly remarkable.

Operating area: around 5,000 square metres.

Chain machines: over 1,000. Annual

production volumes: up to 40 tonnes. The

globally-active chain manufacturer is

based in the Oberstein district of Struth

and supplies wholesalers, jewellery manufacturers

and fashion labels with chains in

every conceivable variety.


The primary materials used are brass, sterling

silver and aluminium. Manager Oliver

Fischer is currently seeing increasing demand

for silver. “We have just established

a new stock programme with fine necklaces

in sterling silver. Silver makes up around

35 percent of our total volume at this time,”

he explains. This gives rise to a spontaneous

idea: the manufacture of an enormous

silver chain symbolically linking the employees

in the group photo.


Once begun, the chain snake developed its

own momentum, becoming longer and

longer in the build up to the photo appointment.

Ultimately it comprises 25 strings of

chains, each 20 metres long, with a total

length of 500 metres, weighing around 120

kilograms. And the story is only just beginning,

because Oliver Fischer has already

registered the “snake from the River Nahe”

with the Guinness World Records as the

longest chain in the world. Saraj Morath


View of manufacturing with a

number of employees and the

two managing directors Oliver

Fischer (right) and his father

Jürgen Fischer (2nd from right)

GZ plus 05/18 105

Craftsmanship & Design


Team members with

some 3D printers in front

of the company building

106 GZ plus 05/18

A fit


Horbach has a total of 25 employees. Their expertise is essential

for the company, which is known throughout Europe.

The two bosses:

Klaus Müller (right) and

his son Christian Müller

Photos: Martin Glauner


degree of technical understanding

is a natural prerequisite at Horbach,

knowledge of the sector an added

advantage. However: “What we do does not

constitute a training profession. As a result,

many come to the firm from other branches,

from toolmaker to electronics specialist

and aviation mechanic. We hire people according

to their talent, i.e. the area of tasks

they are best suited to. They have gradually

built up their specific knowledge, some of

them have even developed it further on

their own,” explains manager Christian

Müller. Talking of knowledge: “At least 70

percent of the success depends on the expertise

of our typically long-serving employees,”

his father, Klaus Müller, is convinced.


The trained goldsmith, car and technology

enthusiast took over the company in 1980

as a “convenience store”, as he says. Today

the family-run company stands for

technology that moves the industry forwards.

Horbach is a tool and machinery

supplier, jewellery caster and “all-rounder”

in 3D printing: a provider of multiple printing

systems, service partner, service provider.

The Müllers and their team have been

involved with 3D printing for around 20

years now. Initially the subject was more of

a burden than a benefit, as the technology

was not yet advanced enough, the target

group hard to convince. Asked why they

persevered nevertheless, Klaus Müller

sums up simply and succinctly: “We knew

that the world needs this technology.”

Saraj Morath


GZ plus 05/18 107

Craftsmanship & Design


The offer is based on

an extensive stock of

classic jewellery blanks

in gold and platinum

for all stone sizes

The shortest route

to the finished

jewellery piece

How can the gemstones cut in Idar-Oberstein be made into jewellery items

more efficiently? The jewellery blanks from ITA-Goldwaren are one way of

creating finished jewellery pieces more quickly.


e are actually a dream for any

goldsmith or jeweller because

all they need to do is integrate

their selected gemstones into the high

quality jewellery blanks,” says Marion

Milisenda, second generation manager of

the company. “In this way, we enable jewellery

designers to work much more efficiently

and save them the effort of having

to also create the jewellery setting”. The

jewellery blanks from ITA are made by

hand to the highest of standards in Italy.

Classic bracelets, rings, necklaces, pendants

and earrings in platinum and gold

form the basis of the ITA offering. There is

also a wide range of young Italian designs

which are constantly being updated to include

the latest trends. The ITA is happy to

produce individual jewellery pieces based

on customer designs and can handle the

stone-setting and provide other goldsmithing


“There is a clear trend towards the

classic; in particular, there is a demand for

wedding and engagement rings and slender

bracelets,” says Marion Milisenda.

“This is also our core field”. The family business

has an extensive stock to enable the

creation of these classic jewellery pieces.

All of the models are immediately available

to fit different stone sizes. In this way, ITA

guarantees its customers a fast selection

service and the shortest possible supply

times. The particularly popular solitaire

models are constantly being improved and

new variations developed. “We have noticed

a significant increase in demand for

our offer,” says the entrepreneur.

Good connections

in the industry

In her opinion, Idar-Oberstein is still an important

industrial centre in the sector and

combines all of the trades and technologies

at a regional level. She feels that the

short distances to the customer offer significant

advantages – both in terms of lo-

Marion Milisenda is

the second generation

manager of ITA-Goldwaren

gistics and the very personal and direct

level of contact. She senses a spirit of optimism

following the change in generation,

leading to the renovation of the local industry.

But Marion Milisenda’s ties with the

gemstone metropolis are more than just

business-based: “Idar-Oberstein means

one thing above all else for me: home. It is

my home – that of my family, my children,

my friends. And the region is all about

slowing down due to the diverse natural

environment. In short: I have my roots


Axel Henselder


108 GZ plus 05/18



Von Deutschlands führendem Versicherungsmakler







+49 211 91524-0


Craftsmanship & Design






Breathing life into gemstones is the aim of the Herbert

Klein workshop for fine engravings in Idar- Oberstein.

The result are life-like sculptures – masterpieces of

gemstone engraving which justify the region’s global

reputation. The specialist refines selected raw stones to

create individual pieces, all accurately cut by experienced

experts. The beauty of nature often serves as a

source of inspiration. One example are these tanzanite

leaves with rubellite flowers. These unique pieces are of

a very high quality and look

deceptively life-like.



Besuchen Sie uns auf folgenden Messen:

GJX TucSon Show 2019

InhorGenTa MunIch 2019

One speciality of this jewellery and gemstone

designer are chains featuring porcelain pendants.

The imaginative and multi-faceted jewellery

combines Meissen porcelain with gemstones

and precious metals. “Using porcelain

as a jewellery material enables me to move in

completely new spheres of design,” says Gaby

Wandscher. The precious items of jewellery are

either unique pieces or small limited edition series.

Wandscher transforms her jewellery,

based on various basic porcelain models, using

different processing methods and combinations

of gemstones, precious metals and

porcelain decoration. The multi-faceted range

of designs encompasses everything from playful

to formal and austere and from hard to soft

– the works contain completely different approaches

without ever forgoing the designer’s

signature feel.


Iris hartenberger und Susanne Teiwes Gbr

Tiefensteiner Str. 451· 55743 Idar-oberstein

Tel.: +49 6781 450787 · Fax: +49 6781 450788




This object artist from Kirschweiler has become a living legend

thanks to his exciting vessels made from wafer-thin gemstone

which break down any established notions. All of Wolf’s objects are

characterised by unusual dimensions and depict a symbiosis of creations

from nature, artistic design and exceptional expertise in

craftsmanship. However, the process from the raw stone to the artistic

vessel is arduous. There is always the risk of it breaking during

processing and all efforts being in vain. The object is often polished

by hand over the weeks despite already being cut and still being

breakable. There is therefore an understandable and indescribable

feeling of happiness when the finished bowl is tapped with a thumb

nail and a high-pitched sound chimes out across the room. His

latest coup is a rock crystal bowl with a silky smooth surface and

leaf gold with a natural crust. On 24 February, Wolf was presented

with the Honorary Art Award for his life’s work by the Ike and Bernd

Roland Foundation in Mannheim.





GZ plus 05/18 111






with crystal and leaf gold 39 x 35 x 24 cm

ruby rough stone: 140 kg from Africa

jade stele 85 x 62 x 40 cm

This unique ruby piece was made from a 140 kg

rough stone. The inside and base feature rock

crystal tips with leaf gold. This combination

gives rise to a playful and romantic perspective.

A ruby of this size and quality is unique.

The processing of this stone (hardness rating 9)

is more than difficult. It took around 8 weeks

alone to make the bowl smooth and polished.

And there is always the risk of the stone

shattering during one of the approx. 14 work

processes involved.



Garnet is one of the most sought-after coloured gemstones

due to its captivating and diverse intensive colours and unique

brilliance. Even the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (372–287

BC) and famous Roman scholar Plinius (23–79 AD) praised the

warm, red tone of garnet and named it ‘carbunculus’ because it

was reminiscent of flowing coals (lat. Carbo). Its timeless beauty

works with high quality jewellery items in any style. The specialist

Hermann Lind II offers perfect, high quality and finely cut

garnet pieces under the brand name ‘LindGranat’. Whether in

large series or as delicate individual pieces, the expert from

Idar-Oberstein guarantees a special quality and special cut design.

Hermann Lind II has an extensive store of rough stones

which enables the quick production of both classic standard

cuts and special individual cuts of any size. Standard sizes are

always in stock.


112 GZ plus 05/18

Craftsmanship & Design




This graduate in gemstone and jewellery

design from Idar-Oberstein has

been fascinated by working with the

wonders of nature from a young age.

She discovered a passion for gemstones

and their processing at her father’s

workshop. As a skilled goldsmith,

a harmonious interplay of stone

and metal is important to her. Both

components should blend together to

form an aesthetically appealing whole.

She skilfully reinterprets this repeatedly

through her works.


H & T


This is all about real art – gemstone engraving. Few specialists today master

this challenging skill as well as Susanne Teiwes and Iris Hartenberger, whose

surname initials form the name of this company. Both have been masters of

gemstone processing since the mid-90s. After decades of creating pieces together,

they founded their own company in 2010: H & T Carvings. Their masterful

works quickly attracted attention in the industry. They develop individual

ideas and solutions with and for their customers, for example animal and

human portraits using every conceivable technique such as painted rock

crystal cabochons with Essex engraving, layer agate and half-relief Komesso

engraving. www.ht-carvings.de

GZ plus 05/18 113

Projects & Visions

One city,

one region and their

future as an

industrial centre.




& Visions

116 Chinese Trade Centre

120 ‘Vision 2030’ Masterplan

114 GZ plus 05/18

28. Sept. - 01. Okt.



Projects & Visions

Trade Centre

Chinatown in


One of the most unlikely hubs of globalisation is based in the province of Palatinate.

Europe’s largest Chinese trade centre, known as the ‘Headquarters of the Global Factory’,

is being developed in a town with 3,400 inhabitants. Some 600 Chinese citizens live here and

trade wine, fitness equipment and “canned Alpine air” – as well as pursuing other goals.


journey to the district of Birkenfeld

in Rhineland-Palatinate could hardly

be more full of contrasts. The

journey takes you to Idar-Oberstein, the

Nahetal’s stronghold of the gemstone industry

with quiet alleyways where it feels

as though every third shop is empty. It

takes you to the small town of Birkenfeld,

home to the offices of the district authority

with a masterplan for the future which is

presented in a classic castle setting. It

leads through a town where ‘Erika’s Wollstube’

wool shop no longer has any customers

while the tills are ringing in the Chinese

snacks establishment next door. And

it leads to a former barracks in Neubrücke,

an area of Hoppstädten-Weiersbach in the

district of Birkenfeld. The words ‘Work, Leisure,

Relax’ are featured on a sign which

marks the entrance to the Oak Garden settlement.

Behind the ‘Hong Kong’ building,

there are low residential blocks huddled

along the edge of a forest, reminiscent of a

model socialist settlement – were it not for

all the Mercedes and BMW cars in all the

driveways. Some of the doorways still feature

Christmas decorations hanging alongside

garlands bearing Chinese characters.

The streets between the houses are deserted.

Only in the afternoon will a few

youngsters weave their way home from

school here.

A man with a vision:

Andreas Scholz is the CEO

and initiator of the

German-Chinese Oak

Garden project

Young talent

from the Far East

In the past, US soldiers lived in these houses

and brought money and affluence to the

local shops. When they moved away, this

prosperity and jobs were lost. Today Hoppstädten-Weiersbach

is one of Germany’s

most economically underdeveloped regions

battling demographic change and a

poor digital infrastructure. The district of

Birkenfeld with some 80,000 inhabitants is

losing around 1,000 inhabitants each year.

Young people in particular are trying their

luck elsewhere.

However, there is a lot of young talent

in Neubrücke. Some 600 Chinese people

now live on the site of this former barracks

and make up around a fifth of the inhabitants

of the town of 3,400 people. And they

are not just living here; they are doing business

here too. 260 firms are based in Oak

Garden and one day it should be around

500. The project is based over an area of

30,000 square metres. In total, 18 office

buildings with 500 showrooms will be set

up here and there are also plans for a hotel,

116 GZ plus 05/18


01 The project is supported by Matthias

Schneider, head of the district authority of the

Birkenfeld district 02 A residential building at Oak

Garden on the site of the former US Army

barracks 03 The third office and showroom

building will soon be complete



Photos: Annette Cardinale

restaurants and a cultural centre. The vision

on the project website states: “Over

the next five years, we want to develop one

of Europe’s largest showroom, warehousing

and e-commerce centres”. European

firms can present their goods in the showrooms

alongside the Chinese companies

and a few German manufacturers from the

region are already making use of this opportunity.

The trade centre here at Oak Garden

is known as the ‘Headquarters of the

Global Factory’.

A gigantic project

“Our customers,” says Andreas Scholz,

talking about the Chinese entrepreneurs,

“trade everything you could imagine. Having

just one field of business is inconceivable

for the Chinese”. In some cases, they

import palettes of LEDs in a container and

then use the same container to send back

wine from the region. The entrepreneurs

sell their goods over the internet or welcome

business partners to their office

premises who then place orders there.

Oak Garden is the work of Andreas

Scholz who registered the company and is

CEO. He launched the gigantic investment

project in 2012 together with his Chinese

business partner Jane Hou, whom he met

by chance on a flight. Hou and Scholz set

out with 25,000 euros of start-up capital

and to date, 20 million euros of private

funding have been invested – without subsidies.

They buy, renovate and sell empty

buildings on the site of the former barracks

in Hoppstädten-Weiersbach to Chinese

people who, like Jane Hou herself, run import

and export businesses here. Various

companies are assembled here under the

umbrella of the Oak Garden project, for example

the investment company ICCN

GmbH, of which Scholz and Hou are Managing

Directors and CCN Investment & Development

AG which is responsible for the

construction projects and supporters of

the ‘Headquarters of the Global Factory’.

GZ plus 05/18 117

Projects & Visions

Trade Centre

Andreas Scholz is under enormous

stress. Today more than usual. It’s the day

of the opening of the second of the 18 office

and showroom buildings – featuring a

German-Chinese art exhibition. He and

Matthias Schneider, head of the district authority

of the Birkenfeld district are giving a

speech at the opening reception. On the

way there, Scholz will meet the Mayor of

Hoppstädten-Weiersbach, exchange opinions

and give employees instructions in

fluent Chinese on the side. “We are trying

to cover all areas of the two cultures, bit by

bit,” Scholz says of the art exhibition. “No

two countries complement one another as

well as Germany and China”. In addition to

culture, investment is being made in football

in the Oak Garden: German-Chinese

youth football camps are being offered in

cooperation with SC Birkenfeld. “We want

to develop further in the field of coach

training too,” says Scholz. “It’s a huge market

in China”.

Seeking a safe haven

Head of the district authority Schneider is

often approached by Chinese artists during

his annual trips to Asia where he advertises

the investment project. They want to

exhibit in Germany but in particular they

want a residence permit, “that’s a key issue”.

But why are so many Chinese people

attracted to the province of Palatinate?

Scholz always likes to share the story of

how he impressed the first interested parties

to Hoppstädten-Weiersbach in 2012

by turning on the tap. He drank the water

from the tap, much to the amazement of

those watching. “This is not possible in the

big cities of China”.

Nature, good air quality, reasonably

priced properties, the fact that the school

day in Germany is much shorter than in

China – but there are also hard facts to accompany

these well-being factors: growth

on the domestic market is declining and so

Chinese entrepreneurs are seeking new

sources of income and turning to the West.

There are agencies which help people to

set up a new home abroad with their money.

The business world also has little confidence

in the Chinese government being

able to guarantee stability in the country

during hard times. “Many people are worried

about their assets and want to take

them to a safe haven,” Schneider says of

the charm of Hoppstädten-Weiersbach.

And Germany has an excellent reputation

in China. Apartments are available in

Hunsrück from 90,000 euros, for example.

A member of the district authority recently

established a house building programme

for Chinese people with the aim of building

100 single family homes. A kind of house

auction was held in the ballroom of the

‘new’ castle where the district administration

is based. “The Chinese were there with

their plastic bags and put their money on

the table,” Schneider recalls. “Suddenly

there were 2 million euros on the table”.

Access to a Schengen visa is also of

key significance for the traders of Oak Garden

because this allows them to travel

freely in Europe. Some EU countries have

developed a business model from this – a

minimal investment in property is required

to acquire a Schengen visa. In Germany it

is much more difficult. An investment

must be made and a handful of jobs created.

Gaining the favour of the local chamber

of trade and industry is crucial. It is

here that the business plans of any interested

parties are assessed before passing

on a recommendation to the immigration

office as to whether or not a residence permit

should be granted.

At Oak Garden, Chinese people receive

additional start-up support as well as being

able to purchase property. The service

Since customers prefer to shop on

the internet, Erika Clerf has a lot of

time to crochet (below). Her wool

shop is based next door to a

Chinese shop (right) in Birkenfeld.

package includes help with applying for a

visa, translation services and consulting.

One entrepreneur who has made the

move from China to Hoppstädten-

Weiersbach is Christina Liang. She initially

completed a business studies course in

Marburg and in 2011 set up Goldene

Brücke GmbH, based at the ‘Headquarters

of the Global Factory’. The businesswoman

sells German products, such as fitness

equipment, to China via her own internet

platform. However, the core business of

Liang and her team is consulting. ‘Goldene

Brücke’ has already provided support to

150 Chinese and German companies in

fields such as tax law, investment, market

entry and the acquisition of selling rights.

“Chinese customers are particularly interested

in industrial machinery from Germany,

kitchen products and alcoholic drinks,”

Liang explains. “Many Chinese entrepreneurs

also want to invest and carry out

business transactions in Germany”. German

entrepreneurs, by contrast, are very

interested in everyday Chinese products

and raw materials.

Companies from the region are already

doing more business with China. “Some

winegrowers even sell their entire batch of

wine to China,” says Schneider. And the

next project is already in the planning stages:

an internet platform through which only

118 GZ plus 05/18




01 Jane Hou (centre), founder of Oak Garden and the entrepreneurs invited guests

to a reception to mark the opening of the second office building 02 Chinese

characters are paired with Christmas decorations on the doors of homes 03 ‘Alpine

air in cans’ is one of the products being sold to China

Photos: Annette Cardinale

German products can be marketed on the

Chinese market. ‘Alp Air’ - Alpine air in cans

is one of these products and is on display

in one of the showrooms.

“Why shouldn’t the traditional local industry,

such as the jewellery and gemstone

sector, take advantage of this selling opportunity?”

the head of the district authority

asks. Some companies are sceptical

about the Oak Garden project. Schneider

understands their concerns when it comes

to creating replicas. “Of course the Chinese

might pick apart some of the jewellery

items. But that does not mean that they

have the skills to copy the products”. Andreas

Scholz too is familiar with these reservations

– and when he discusses the issue,

his close connection with the East

Asian country is clear: “We Chinese are always

interested in avoiding conflict,” says

Scholz. “But of course, there was some

conflict during the start-up phase”.

The district of Birkenfeld is also benefitting

from the influx from the Far East.

Around 5 percent of the commercial tax

revenue comes from Chinese companies

and the new arrivals pay income tax too.

“We’re talking about 600 Chinese people

who shop here, eat here, buy furniture and

cars here – this is a factor which should

not be underestimated for an economically

underdeveloped district like ours,” says

Scholz. Young talent is another key factor

and Oak Garden is not just stopping at

sports offers for them.

Nursing staff from China

The ICCN offers a so-called Freshman Student

Programme: young people who have

completed the ‘Abitur’ examination in China

come to Hoppstädten-Weiersbach,

learn German here and can then enrol at a

German university. The number of participants

has really exploded, according to

Schneider. There are now up to 300 freshmen

per year.

A student hall of residence is being built

to accommodate them at Oak Garden and

there is already a cooperative agreement in

place with the Environmental Campus Birkenfeld,

an external site of the Trier University

of Applied Sciences, right alongside Oak

Garden in Neubrücke. “If we can’t have any

other young people here, then we’ll try other

cultural groups,” says Schneider.

And the Asians could even solve the

nursing crisis. Initial attempts have been

made to attract the Chinese to the district

of Birkenfeld where they can be trained in

nursing, Schneider explains. “They could

be kept here for four to five years and then

sent back to their homeland with a vast

wealth of experience”.

So could the Oak Garden project serve

as a role model? The district authority often

receives queries from politicians from

other districts. And investors from other

countries are also taking their chances. “I

recently had a negotiator from Kuwait in

my office,” Schneider recalls. “He was talking

about building a shopping mall, among

other things”. A governor from Kuwait will

be coming to Birkenfeld to engage in further

talks this summer.

Most Chinese people at Oak Garden

have come here to stay. They are involved

in clubs in Hoppstädten-Weiersbach or

with the German Red Cross. At the kindergarten,

close to one in five children come

from China. The local butcher has long

adapted to the new clientele and now offers

more offal. “The Chinese won’t bite,”

says Schneider, “you have to be aware of

that”. The unanimous viewpoint is that

there have been no problems with integration.

And in nearby Birkenfeld, the Chinese

are now part of the urban landscape. ‘Erika’s

Wollstube’ is situated alongside one of

the many Asian snacks establishments in

the town. During these days of internet

shopping, customers rarely enter the wool

shop and so owner Erika Clerf has plenty

of time to crochet. The Chinese don’t bother

her at all, she says. “But they could buy

something”. Swantje Friedrich

GZ plus 05/18 119

Projects & Visions

Urban Development


for the future

Idar-Oberstein’s financial circumstances are certainly no bed of roses. And therefore it was

all the more important to Mayor Frank Frühauf that optimal use of the available resources

be made. The result: the ‘Vision 2030’ masterplan.


he ‘Vision 2030’ masterplan aims

to upgrade the status of the town

of Idar-Oberstein and make it a

centre of the national park region. “There

has already been a range of expert opinions

exploring urban development,” recalls

Mayor Frank Frühauf. “But we don’t just

need expert opinions; we need a masterplan

where every citizen can see what the

next specific steps will be and what has

already been achieved,” he says. The aim,

he explains, is to devise a realistic and target-oriented

masterplan for the development

of the town. Idar-Oberstein should be

perceived as the “treasure of the national

park region”, both at a regional and national


This masterplan was created in 2016

using the town’s own resources. Employees

from the business development, city

marketing, urban planning and finance departments

devised the masterplan and

now keep it up-to-date on a special website.

“Everyone should be able to understand

that something is happening here,”

says Frühauf. The ‘Urban Development

Day’ on 5 May of this year revealed exactly

what is happening! Three projects have so

far been launched: the redeveloped train

station, the new city library and the renovated

Bengel industrial landmark which

will be completed in mid-2018.


Three fundamental tasks were identified

as being key to a successful development

process. Profiling: the town of Idar-Oberstein

requires a clear profile which can be

communicated to the outside world. The

focus is on the town’s unique status as a

town of gemstones and jewellery and a national

park town. Pooling of efforts: the

available potential should all be channelled

in the same direction based on collaboration

between the citizens, companies and

administration. Joint regional development:

Idar-Oberstein sees itself as being

part of the region and a link between the

Naheland region and Hunsrück-Hochwald

national park. The profiling of the town

should also drive development throughout

the region. A joint regional development

strategy without parochial thinking is desirable.

These are certainly noble goals but

many ideas are known to never progress

beyond the paper. Fortunately, the town

has introduced measures to ensure that

the ideas are gradually implemented. The

masterplan will be updated on an ongoing

basis and regularly discussed by the council

and the status of the measures involved

will be kept up-to-date. An initial interim

status report was released in May 2017

and a second at the end of last year.

There are many projects underway and

the sensitive issues relating to the Hertie

property have been resolved. A new attraction

for the city centre will be created here:

the ‘Modepark Röther’ fashion park. Redevelopment

work is already underway and

the ‘Auf der Idar’ car park is also being renovated.

Other empty commercial properties

will also be made available. Plans for

Photos: Stadtverwaltung Idar-Oberstein

120 GZ plus 05/18

Good prospects:

View to the area of Oberstein

the modernisation of the Rampengebäude

building as a crossing point over the river

Nahe are complete and redevelopment

work has already begun. The first measure

involved was installing a lift to provide disabled

access to the crossing over the river


Pooling of resources

Cooperation in the field of tourism has

been achieved between the Herrstein association

of municipalities and town of

Idar-Oberstein. The towns have created a

joint tourist information centre under the

tourism brand name of ‘EdelSteinLand’

with the core aim of achieving more effective

marketing of the region through a pooling

of resources and synergy effects. In

May, the Gemstone Trail (Edelsteinweg)

and Bengel Trail (Bengelweg) themed footpaths,

created as part of the ‘Active City’

project, were officially opened. The magnolia

grove in the Garden of Remembrance

has also been established and developed

with the support of the district of Birkenfeld

and ‘Open Gardens’ association.

In addition to the demographic changes

taking place, one fundamental problem

across the district of Birkenfeld is the anticipated

skills shortage. This is where the

‘jobzzone’ project comes into play, taking

place for the third time this year. The aim is

to make students across the district aware

of the job opportunities on offer in the district

of Birkenfeld and town of Idar-Oberstein

before they graduate from school

and thereby to motivate young people to

stay in the region. The ‘Jump !O’ project run

by the Youth Welfare Service serves a similar

purpose and seeks to better integrate

young people into the municipal processes.

To help cover the region’s gaps in internet

supply, the town is part of the ‘District

of Birkenfeld High-Speed Broadband Network’.

However, there are still plenty of

projects on the to-do list. But the year 2030

is still some time away. So there is time to

implement the remaining projects and get

Idar-Oberstein ready to tackle the future.

Swantje Friedrich

Joachim Köls, Director of the Kreissparkasse Birkenfeld; Head of District Administration Dr. Matthias

Schneider; Publisher Matthias Ess; Gundula Sutter, Chairman of the Board at the Bad Kreuznach

Employment Agency; Michael Dietz, District of Birkenfeld Business Development; Mayor Frank Frühauf;

Holger Baeskow-Ripp, Idar-Oberstein Business Development; Jürgen Schmidt, Executive Board Member

at Volksbank Hunsrück-Nahe eG; Hubert Paal, Head of the District of Birkenfeld Job Centre

GZ plus 05/18 121


The Bachwagge singing group

For Ejrada


The Bachwagge music group sings songs in dialect in Idarer Platt

and consists of around a dozen singers from Idar-Oberstein.

They include Michael Thiel and Wolfgang Schapperth from the company Giloy

and jewellery entrepreneur Hans Dieter Krieger.


he first song from their CD released

in 2015 is entitled ‘Ejra ess Ejra’

which means ‘Idar is Idar’. The

terms ‘Ejrada Mädche’ relate to a girl from

Idar and ‘Schleffersch Trahm’ a ‘stone-cutter’s

dream’. “This is the name of a brandy

which was once produced here,” says Hans

Dieter Krieger, laughing.

The singing group developed from the

motivation to “preserve the local dialect,

which young people are not very familiar

with and to make it accessible to a wide

range of people,” explains Hans Dieter



He really enjoys singing, especially at performances,

of which there have been many

since the group was founded in 2005: “We

have given concerts at the German Garden

Show in Koblenz, the meeting of Carnival

princes in Bad Ems and the Mainz Christmas

Market, where you will also find us

again this year. We also perform at numerous

village festivals across the region”. The

group performs Christmas songs and pop

hits. The name of the group relates to

stone-cutting in the broadest sense:

‘Bachwagge’ are stones from a stream

which have been smoothed down over

time by the water. Saraj Morath


Photo: Bachwagge

122 GZ plus 05/18

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