The jewelry brand searched the world for its special pieces, which will be presented at the Maison’s first retrospective exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris in the autumn of 2022, then in Asia during 2023
January 10, 2022: Fred Samuel, who founded his Maison in 1936, had a clientele of celebrities and royal and princely families. To fulfil their special commissions, the jeweler would seek gemstones to help him create true masterpieces. The jeweler’s visionary spirit and expertise gave rise to exceptional pieces, including “Pretty Coeur”, fascinating jewels, such as the “Oiseau” (Bird) brooch, made of multicolored sapphires, just to name of few, and the Soleil D’Or.
Fred crossed path with this exceptional stone in 1977. Weighing an incredible 105.54-carat with a “Fancy Yellow” shade, it quickly became one of the most fascinating pieces of its time. Unusually beautiful in every aspect, its solar radiance and glittering color was enough for Henri Samuel (Fred Samuel’s son) to dub it “Soleil D’Or”.
It embodied the joie de vivre, optimism, energy, and warmth that have brought to life every jewelry piece designed by the Maison. Soleil D’Or was unveiled to the general public on November 24, 1977, during an exhibition organized at Fred’s boutique in Paris. Another event, held before the exhibition at Maxim’s, was which actress Margaux Hemingway attended, where she playfully pretended to lose the stone for a short amount of time. The incident turned the stone into an eternal icon.
Soleil D’Or disappeared from view in the secret coffers of private collectors after November 1977, but its memory has been kept alive. It was ranked 52nd in the list of the world’s largest cut diamonds in Ian Balfour’s book “Famous Diamonds”. It also introduced Fred to the private circle of jewelers to hold stones of over 100 carats.
In 2021, after more than 44 years apart, Soleil D’Or reappeared thanks to the search for archive material led by Valérie Samuel – the Vice President and Artistic Director of Fred, and the granddaughter of the founder. Ms. Samuel had launched the global campaign ‘Fred seeks Fred’ in 2020, to restore jewels and pieces made by Fred, to be showcased at the brand’s first exhibition in Paris.
Soleil D’Or has been polished and recut in an emerald cut with angled corners. It now weighs 101.57 carats, and the new shape magnifies its color, described as “Fancy Intense Yellow”.