Lebanon born Samer Halimeh opened the flagship store for his eponymous brand from which to sell certified diamond jewellery, in Knights bridge, London. The store is considered to London’s most fortified boutique store. The store is set display several pieces consisting of necklaces, rings and polished diamonds, totalling in the hundred million pound range.
The single most expensive piece in the collection is the ‘Vivo Per Lei’ (I Live For Her), a £20 M 65 carat diamond ring, cut using emeralds.
According to official releases from the brand, it sells certified diamond jewelry verified by the Geological Institute of America, who only certifies diamonds after they have ensured that they have been acquired via legal and ethical means from South African mines.
The Lebanon born businessperson stated that he chose London, instead of the more obvious choice of New York, due to London’s status as the world’s billionaire capital; The Sunday Times Rich List released an article sometime late April this year revealed that the number of resident billionaires in London rose to a new record-high of 134 from 120. Another reason for his choice, he says is the fact that London iseasily accessible by customers hailing from even the Middle East region and Russia, and, of course, Europe.
The shop is intricately designed, with interior design by the Paris based Caroline Perrin of AC Matiere, who has a history working with Chanel, Cartier and Tiffany, and other high-end jewellery brands. The collections in the store shine by a light from a chandelier composed of 600 handmade Bohemian crystal.
The reputation of the store as the most fortified boutique store is gained from a myriad of details in its construction, starting with the windows. The picture windows of the shop are fitted with bulletproof glass, 30mm in thickness, and further fortified with curtains made with ‘weaved steel’. The shop’s black stone-faced facades are with reinforced concrete and ‘anti-ram raider’ steel.
Then, on the inside, the display cases holding the products are made with glass, steel, and marble weighing 150kg each. The internal doors of the store weigh 300kg and are constructed of 6mm thick steel.
To top it all off, the basement vault that holds the most expensive items and the raw diamonds is a vault, heavily secured via embedding in 12 tonnes of reinforced concrete, watched by CCTV, infra-red beams and motion sensors.