June 11 2011
Since the 19th century, when The Jungle Book author Rudyard Kipling dreamt up his iconic Shere Khan character, the world’s tiger population has decreased by around 95 per cent, leaving only 3,500 tigers remaining in the wild. So it’s fitting that the fictional feline is the inspiration behind a necklace specially designed to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation, a conservation charity working to protect the threatened species.
Created by Guernsey designer Catherine Best, who is renowned for her use of rare stones, the striking necklace (pictured) is encrusted with 182 diamonds set in almost one kilo of 18ct gold, and the centrepiece is two stylised enamelled tigers, a female clutching a four-carat diamond and a male embellished with a 27ct scarlet rubellite tourmaline.
Valued by Wartski’s Geoffrey Munn at more than £500,000, the future-heirloom is set to raise at least £300,000 for Born Free’s Big Cat Campaign and tiger conservation programmes.