Master jeweller Michél Nunes shows off the diamond and tanzanite necklace that is to be auctioned off to raise funds at the Gourmets and Gourmands dinner in aid of Carpe Diem School in George. Photo: Pauline Lourens
GEORGE NEWS - Award-winning jeweller Michél Nunes, from Raffaele D'Amato Jewellers, astounded Carpe Diem Headmaster Karools Hauptfleisch with his extremely generous gesture this week.
Nunes revealed a magnificent diamond and tanzanite necklace worth R95 000 that he is donating to the school. The 18ct white gold neckpiece set with 1,47ct diamonds and 1,95ct tanzanites will be auctioned off during the annual Carpe Diem fundraising Gourmets and Gourmands dinner on 23 August.
While Nunes designed the piece, he credited his entire workshop staff for working on it for many painstaking hours.
Revealing it on Monday Nunes said he follows the proud tradition of his family, who is of Italian origin. His grandfather, Raffaele, who came to South Africa as a prisoner of war, made a better life for himself after marrying his wife Monica and founding the family jewellery business.
"I designed the necklace with the Roman themed evening in mind," said Nunes who, whenever he undertakes something, does so with great passion. He used to be a crack ra-cing driver and is an experienced pilot.
He has lectured jewellery design at the University of Stellenbosch and is one of South Africa's leading jewellery designers. Nunes won the 'Elegant Man of the Year Design Award' for his 'Elegant Time' brooch in 1990. All these achievements are despite some serious health setbacks, which he has weathered stoically.
As Nunes revealed the beautiful necklace, gasps of wonder could be heard from all those present. Nunes said he had decided to support the Carpe Diem school when, during a visit, he saw how well the community's money, raised during special events, is being put to use.
Last year Nunes donated two diamonds to the school and he expressed the wish that the necklace brings in much needed funds for the school.
For those who are unable to attend the dinner, closed bids can be made by contacting the headmaster at email@example.com. There are a few tickets left to the dinner, which can be obtained by contacting Hauptfleisch at the aforementioned e-mail address.