Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 22, Tuesday June 3, 2008



Hot rocks

The room was white, and completely so- from the walls to the coffee mugs and every small detail in between. Serene and surreal was the exact feeling.

'My friend, the entrepreneur from Antwerp, Belgium, at Hoveniersstraat diamond centre, led me to a vault, he pulled open a tray and held it at such an angle that the cache of thousands of diamonds inside, instantly caught the sunlight and dazzled, as if on fire.

'The rocks glittered and glowed in their own light and beauty and enflamed a passion within me.

'My life changed there onwards. I had to be in the diamond business.'

And there you have Onu Jaigirdar's story of how he became Bangladesh's only certified diamond manufacturer.

Jaigirdar, recently launched his brand of diamond jewellery called 'JAGIRDAR' and is awaiting permission to sell his exquisite collection at the local market, namely at stores like Aarong, Etc Fashion Exclusives and his own small studio at The Westin, Dhaka. Being a successful, entrepreneur all his life, Jaigirdar shows character that says 'never die'.

“Diamond business in Bangladesh is quite a challenging venture and more so for a pioneer. We started as a joint venture with Sri Lanka in 2000, mainly to train the artisans and ourselves and faced our first hurdle around that time. That year the UN passed a resolution to control import of rough diamonds in African mines, because these were used instead of money to buy ammunition to fund wars and violence in Africa. Every rough diamond had to come with a KPCS certificate, (Kimberley Process Certification Scheme). Thus, I started lobbying for Bangladesh to become a KPCS member in 2004 and finally made it after almost two and a half years of literally drafting the law and helping our government hands on in this regard,” he recollects, taking pride in the fact that he represents Bangladesh in such matters and also that every one of his rough diamonds are purchased and imported with KPCS certificates.

Jaigirdar's factory has employed almost 200 women artisans, their diamonds meet the HRD standard (high diamond council of Belgium) and are all Belgium cut. 80 percent of his productions are exported to Switzerland and the remaining portion goes to his own jewellery production.

The diamond industry in Bangladesh has huge potential and has been declared as a thrust sector; however these facts need to be translated into reality. Jaigirdar strongly feels that women are the backbone of our economy, and cites that all our successful industries like, tea, garments, pharmaceuticals are thriving because women workers operate in majority of the sectors. He upholds this principle at his factory.

Diamonds from JAGIRDAR, like other brands in the world, will also cast its hypnotic spell on our women; because modern women thrive on pampering themselves after a hard day's work.

Each diamond, with its 57 facets, is different. And price depends solely on its cut, clarity, colour and carat. The jewellery of this local brand are designed by Shadab Zafar, who has attained his degrees from Shantiniketan; he keeps them simple and exclusively deshi. JAGIRDAR's 'Jasmine' line stands true to the claim, which is contemporary as well as timelessly local. They also do bespoke service, therefore if you feel like surprising your wife with a certified, flawless one carat solitaire, that too designed the way you want, you know where to touch base with dreams.

Jagirdar awaits its official launch in the local market in a short while. Till then, keep saving because desire has a price!

By Raffat Binte Rashid


Devotion to Your Diamonds…
The best way to buy a diamond and to select a diamond merchant is to arm yourself with information. You need the A,B,C,C,C,Cs of diamond buying: Ask questions, Be patient, and know the four C's of diamonds - cut, color, clarity and carat.

Diamonds are rare and expensive, and diamond purchases are often emotional ones, so it is important to educate yourself before choosing a stone and a dealer that is right for you.

Diamonds need caring to keep them looking at their brilliant best. They should be cleaned at least once a month to keep away the "dullness" that can be caused by skin oils, soap, cosmetics and even cooking grease. The only substance that does not stick to a diamond is water. A clean diamond will reflect better light. There are several ways of keeping diamond jewellery clean.

The detergent bath is performed with a small bowl of warm suds using any mild liquid detergent. Immerse jewellery pieces in the suds and brush gently with a toothbrush. Rinse under warm running water and pat dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.

The quick dip method uses one of the liquid jewellery care products available. Follow the instructions on the kit.

The latest jewellery-cleaning device is the sonic jewellery cleaner. It is electronically operated and comes with its own solution and directions.

Some extra helpful hints to keep diamond jewellery looking at its best.

It is better not to wear diamond jewellery when doing rough work or the dishes. Despite the durability of a diamond, it can be chipped by a hard blow along its grain.

Take care when doing the housework, not to let diamond jewellery come into contact with chlorine bleach, as it won't harm the diamond but can pit or discolour the mounting.

When placing diamond jewellery in a jewellery case, be sure to wrap them individually as they can easily scratch each other as well as other gem jewellery. Be sure to take all types of precious mounted jewellery to a jeweller at least once a year to check for loose settings and signs of wear

Photo courtesy: JAGIRDAR
Photo: Sazzad Ibne Sayed

Thank You Note

Eight steps to style

Our journey together has just crossed another milestone. That's right, readers, Star Lifestyle has just completed its eighth year. We've brought you fashion, food, home decor, travel, relationships, and just about anything that helps make life beautiful. This year, we're celebrating our birthday by giving this bouncing baby a brand new look.

Watch out for new columns, exciting new stories, and all the glam and glitz that make us what we are. Flip through our pages for familiar faces as well as fresh changes.

We at Lifestyle would also like to thank our readers, well-wishers, and advertisers for their continued support in bringing us where we have come today. So come join us as we celebrate eight years of positive living, on your favourite magazine.

Raffat Binte Rashid
Editor, Star Lifestyle

Photo: Munem Wasif
Ensemble, jewellery and styling:
Maheen Khan
Make-up and hair style: Farzana Shakil
Location: Sheraton, Dhaka
Model on the cover: Priyanka


The Office

Three days absence without a leave and you can just imagine the look in your boss's face, furious and disappointed. Not an uncommon sight at office, which by all means can be avoided, provided you take the extra initiative.

It is essential to maintain a healthy relationship with your office superior to ensure a friendly office environment. The stereotyped image is that of an uncooperative boss who literally 'bosses' on everybody at every given opportunity. However, if we carefully look into the matter, the situation is far from the norm.

The corporate structure is based on a hierarchy. We play our part ensuring the smooth function of the workforce. All elements are important starting from the top to the bottom.

The first rule of co-existence is to maintain a friendly relationship with your superior. Remember, friendship goes beyond age, gender and office hierarchy. It is as true in an office environment as it is in normal life.

Don't just make a poker buddy out of your boss; make a true friend. Although this is not possible overnight but with time and some effort it can be achieved. True, an office friend may never be your chum, but friendship comes in different forms in different environment.

Keep your boss well informed. If you are having a problem in your life or with office work let your boss know about it. The thin line that separates 'personal' affairs with 'office' business is for you to draw. But as we stress on the importance of co-existence, do let in your superior and also your colleagues into your life. These are the people with whom you are spending a great amount of time. Completely shutting them out will only add to your misery.

- LS Desk



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