HERKIMER — Meghan Markle has had a pretty extraordinary week, so far, with the announcement Monday that she and her husband Prince Harry are expecting their first child shortly after they arrived in Australia for a 16-day tour of the region.
This was days after the newlyweds attended the wedding of Prince Harry’s cousin — Princess Eugenie — on Oct. 12 at St. George’s Chapel, the same place Harry and Meghan married five months ago.
As a result of Meghan’s attendance of the wedding and the jewelry she chose to wear for the occasion, Herkimer County has had a pretty extraordinary week, too.
Media reports confirmed the Duchess of Sussex — the title bestowed unto Meghan after her wedding to Prince Harry — wore a Herkimer Diamond jewelry collection to Princess Eugenie’s wedding.
Renée Scialdo Shevat, owner and operator of the Herkimer Diamond Mines, said she had recently been in touch with the jewelry designer — Pippa Small — about the publicity the duchess has received from wearing the collection over the weekend, which included four rings, a bracelet and earrings.
“Pippa has designed some beautiful pieces,” said Shevat in a telephone interview Tuesday. “Pippa called us this morning from England and indicated [that sales] have skyrocketed. The order of Herkimer Diamonds is extraordinary.”
Shevat said the mines have previously worked with Small, who she said Tuesday had placed a “sizeable order” after the attention Meghan received for wearing the collection.
Shevat said Tuesday that the stones Meghan wore came “right from Middleville, New York,” noting they were “honored” Meghan chose to wear Herkimer Diamonds for the occasion.
Shevat said there were three things that attracted Meghan to the jewelry: The aesthetics, the organic value of the gemstones and “how purposeful these diamonds are in the international marketplace.”
“I’m excited [Markle] likes the aesthetic look and she understands the organic value,” she said.
Shevat said she was also glad to see Markle promoted “a product like that, it’s a different kind of style that is price-sensitive.”
Shevat said she was excited the jewelry “happens to get the attention of [this] particular” royal.
Small was quoted in Monday’s edition of People Magazine that “I thought [Meghan] looked beautiful and she looked so radiantly happy, which was lovely to see … She wore quite a few rings, which was really great to see, especially with her stacking them all up like she did — I just love the way she put it all together.”
About the Herkimer Diamond, Small said in the People Magazine article that “They are uneven, imperfect stones that aren’t cut or polished — they are very organic, simple and pure which somehow works really beautifully with her style.”
The article also states Small has made jewelry for more than 20 years and “was thrilled to receive an order from Kensington Palace, just days before the wedding after getting in touch with Meghan personally to introduce her brand.”
Herkimer Diamonds aren’t officially diamonds but are instead, according to the Herkimer Diamond Mines website, “double-terminated quartz crystals found in Herkimer County.”
The website states the gemstones are close to 500 million years old.
“The crystals are magnificent works of nature, found in the rock, having a diamond-like geometrical shape,” according to the website. “Thus, the name recognition of ‘Herkimer Diamonds.'”
The Herkimer Diamond Mines have been in the Scialdo family since 1979, and also includes the Diamond KOA Kampground and the Miner’s Table. The Herkimer Diamond Mines held a grand re-opening in June for a newly constructed facility, after a fire destroyed the previous building just over a year ago.