Sotheby's and the Gulf Institute of Gemology (GIG) partner up to host a series of webinars inviting viewers to get up close and personal with natures brilliant gemstones. Sotheby’s is the world’s largest broker of fine and decorative art, jewelry, collectibles, and real estate and has 80 locations around the world. The Gulf Institute of Gemology is the Middle East’s leading gemological research, analysis and academia institution and ranks in the top 10 of the worlds gem research labs with its current headquarter in Muscat, Oman.

The joint webinars will be hosted by Sophie Stevens F.G.A. D.G.A Deputy Director and Jewelry Specialist from Sotheby’s Middle East and Eva Kountouraki, Gulf Institute of Gemology Academy Director.

The webinar will grant viewers insider knowledge on some of the worlds most sought out precious gemstones and magnificent jewels, allowing them to understand the allure behind some of the world’s rarest Kashmir Sapphires and Natural Pearls, from their history to their technical characteristics and gemological features. One of the pieces discussed will be the Marie Antoinette Pearl sold by Sotheby’s in 2019 as well as a unique pearl tiara by Musy; a special item that will be showcased at the Sotheby’s auction on the 11th of May 2021.

The webinar will take place on the 10th of May 12 pm UAE/OMAN, 11 am KSA, a day before Sotheby's Iconic Majestic & Noble Jewels Auction on the 11th which will showcase the largest Kashmir Sapphire to ever appear at an auction.

Sophie Stevens joined Sotheby’s as Jewellery Specialist for MENA in 2019, having consulted for the company in Dubai since 2016. Sophie advises clients on buying and selling jewellery through Sotheby’s international auctions and private sales and participates in the department’s regional exhibitions and educational events.

Eva Kountouraki was born and raised in a family of goldsmiths, jewelers, and sculptors. Eva is certified gemologist and long experienced Gemology teacher. She is specialized in jewelry business administration and holds a Masters in Jewelry Business Management. Eva joined GIG as Academy Director in 2019.

About Sotheby’s

Established in 1744, Sotheby’s is the world’s premier destination for art and luxury. Sotheby’s promotes access, connoisseurship and preservation of fine art and rare objects through auctions and buy-now channels including private sales, e-commerce and retail. Our trusted global marketplace is supported by an industry-leading technology platform and a network of specialists spanning 40 countries and 50 categories, which include Contemporary Art, Modern and Impressionist Art, Old Masters, Chinese Works of Art, Jewelry, Watches, Wine and Spirits, and Interiors, among many others.

About the Webinar:

Magnificent Jewels & Noble Metals, Kashmir Sapphires and Natural Pearls

10th of May, 2021

12.00pm, Muscat/Dubai

Duration: 45 minutes

Speakers: Sophie Stevens and Eva Kountouraki.

Moderator: Fabio D’Amico

GIG & Sotheby’s Webinar Registration Page

#GIG #Sotheby

With the green shoots of spring now all around, jewellery lovers’ thoughts will turn to emeralds, the birthstone of May, symbolising hope, peace and renewal. And for those who yearn for a cut and polished, responsibly sourced emerald to call their own, a natural port of call is Eshed – Gemstar.

Eshed is a longstanding partner of Gemfields – a world-leading supplier of responsibly sourced coloured gemstones – who specialises in Zambian emeralds and has one of the largest collections of certified emeralds from the Kagem mine in Zambia. Buying through them, or via one of the other trusted sellers Gemfields work with, means owning a top-quality Gemfields gemstone really is as easy as a few clicks.

A third-generation family-owned business led by Avraham Eshed, Eshed has over 80 years of experience of working to the highest standards. The company, which has won a raft of industry awards, prides itself on its master cutting skills and state-of-the-art technology; it has a well-deserved international reputation for excellence, supplying high-end jewellers and retailers all over the world. With offices in Los Angeles, Hong Kong, New York and Israel, where its factory is located, Eshed is used to catering to the most discerning customers, and has adapted its business model also to online retail beautifully in recent years by launching

The website takes the complication and stress out of the buying process. Rather than being convoluted and behind closed doors, as once was the case with some gemstone purchases, it is easy, transparent and far more straightforward than some might think. There is a gem for everyone, at a range of price points, with emeralds from 0.5 to 20 carats available, in all shapes, sold as single gemstones or in pairs.

Five of the famous “six Cs” that all gemstone buyers must consider – carat, cut, colour, clarity and certification – are listed online at for each gemstone; the sixth C – character – is in the eye of the beholder! With enlargeable photos and videos, it is easy to get a sense of the unique personality and emotion that lies within each ancient gemstone, and to arrive at the right decision, ending up with the one that the buyer really loves. This sense of personal connection is, after all, the first – and most important – rule to follow when buying coloured gems. For more information, the Gemfields Buyer’s Guide provides a step-by-step guide of the all-important purchase process.

With a wealth of information and advice available on both and in the Gemfields Buyer's Guide, purchasing an emerald can be the first step in the exciting process of creating a bespoke piece of jewellery to be cherished and even passed down through generations. Thanks to selling partners, like Eshed, buyers have a direct avenue to the finest Gemfields gemstones and can have the confidence to enjoy the purchase process for themselves.


Skydiving has been introduced in the Maldives and can now be experienced by guests at Niyama Private Islands in the country’s southern Dhaalu Atoll. The new tandem skydiving experience, which launches for guests to experience this month, takes place from Dhaalu Airport just a short speedboat ride from the resort.

Tandem skydiving is the best way for first-timers to experience this thrilling, adrenaline-fuelled sport in the safest of environments, with the opportunity to descend over the tropical islands of the Indian Ocean. Guests play an active part in the jump, descending by freefall and parachute, with the seasoned instructor connected from the leap to the landing.

The exhilarating experience begins with a seven-minute speedboat ride to Dhaalu Airport on a neighbouring island, followed by a short briefing before boarding the plane for a 20-minute ascent to 12,000 feet. The jump involves a one-minute freefall at the extreme speed of 200km/hour before the parachute opens for a five minute ‘flight’ down to the white sand beaches, whilst enjoying spectacular birds-eye views of the resort and the wider atoll.

The tandem sky-dive costs from USD 639 per person (based on two people skydiving) including the roundtrip transfers to Dhaalu Airport. The dive can be captured by a hand camera for a small additional charge, whilst for those wishing to share their full dare-devil experience with family and friends and on their social channels, an outside camera can be arranged with a separate skydiver, to create the ultimate memories.

Niyama Private Islands offers a collection of 134 villas, suites and pavilions, located over the turquoise lagoon and dotted along the beaches of two islands – Play and Chill, which are connected by a bridge. The laid-back resort offers an abundance of space and privacy and a multitude of experiences tailored to adventurous honeymooners, active couples and style-savvy families.

#NiyamaPrivateIslands #Maldives