EXCLUSIVE: Kathy Hilton Unveils Salvaged Lab-grown Diamond Jewelry Collection With Anna Zuckerman

The trend of late for the diamond-loving women of Tinseltown has been to keep their precious jewels stored in the vaults.

“I don’t want to be a prisoner of possessions,” Kathy Hilton said in her Bel Air home on the topic on Wednesday.

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With the world opening back up after lockdown came the return of industry events and charity galas. Women wanted to sparkle again in their gowns; they wanted the pieces just as big and bold but less treasured, and less risky amidst an unfortunate rise in crime, all of which has created space for the lab-grown industry.

“We have our own technique where we make our gems appear like real diamonds,” said jewelry designer Anna Zuckerman, based on Florida’s southeastern coast in Boca Raton. She’s behind the namesake brand launched in 2020 specializing in lab-grown diamond-coated crystalline in clear and colorful stones. “And that’s the whole point of this, that you don’t have to worry about going outside [with it]. You don’t have to worry about traveling. I used to lose jewelry all the time, too.”

Hilton nodded in agreement, “I know I have.”

The two have teamed for a capsule collection out May 30. Hilton has welcomed Zuckerman into her Los Angeles world, introducing her brand to her circle of friends while sporting her pieces around town. In turn Zuckerman has been sharing her know-how.

“I actually reached out to Anna two years ago, I want to say,” Hilton explained of initially connecting on Instagram. “I wasn’t sure if [the jewelry] was real, if it wasn’t. At that point I had put all my jewelry in the bank.”

They exchanged messages and met in-person through a friend. “We started talking,” she continued, of Zuckerman. “And, you know, this has always been a dream of mine to be able to do something like this.”

While collaborating with Zuckerman, Hilton found inspiration from her personal collection of pieces, gifts from her husband Rick Hilton, as well as her mother and mother-in-law, inviting Zuckerman on a trip to the bank to check them out.

“Some of them had been made for me,” she said. “Like, my husband had bought me a bracelet that he and the girls designed before the boys were born. So, we did exactly a replica of that.”

There are butterfly motifs as an ode to her daughter Paris and feather earrings influenced by a pendant belonging to Nicky Rothschild. “Feathers are good luck,” Hilton said.

“It’s always 100 percent sustainable,” Zuckerman added of her creations and process, which includes repurposing salvaged lab-grown diamonds and gem materials. She uses Diamond Crystalline, a man-made gem with cubic zirconia that’s coated with tiny particles of lab-grown diamonds. Prices are low; among the bolder pieces is “The One and Only Statement Necklace” at $2,300, made with canary yellow crystalline. The matching ring, at 10 carats, is $285.

“We have something for everyone, starting at $100,” said Hilton, of the studs in the line.

There’s a sense of liberty that comes with the accessibility, said Hilton. “I’ll be honest with you, at a certain price, I don’t buy anything without speaking to my husband. This is something that you can do on your own — and be a sneak,” she laughed.

Next, Zuckerman is getting ready to unveil her second shop in June in Aspen (the flagship is in Boca Raton). It’ll be her first in the West, with a third possibly coming to L.A. “We should be looking to open another store in Beverly Hills.”

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