Kazumi Arikawa, 57, is the president of the Albion Art Co. Ltd. in Tokyo. Arikawa is one of the world’s top dealers and collectors of historical jewelry, from the Greco-Roman era to the Art Deco period. He specializes in tiaras and cameos of European monarchs, and jewels that adorned historical figures. The cameo that Napoleon I carried with him to his exile on the island of St. Helena in 1815, and the Diadem of Princess Marie Bonaparte, created by Cartier, are just the type of pieces that Arikawa falls in love with. And once that happens, he doesn’t rest until he gets his hands on them. His formidable collection is frequently on display in museums around the world. In 2007 he was the biggest lender of jewels for the “Brilliant Europe: Jewels from European Courts” exhibition in Brussels, preceding even the Louvre Museum in Paris. And this January, he is again the top lender for the “Pearls” exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha. For his contribution to preserving jewelry by historic French houses, such as Chaumet, Boucheron, Cartier, Mauboussin and Mellerio, in March 2007 he received the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Ministry of Culture.

I am not important. Who cares about who sold the Mona Lisa to whom! We care about the Mona Lisa. Same with me: I’m a nobody, but the jewels I love are treasures.

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