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PAPEETE, Tahiti (Tahitipresse, November 16) – Robert Wan, the world's biggest producer of Tahitian cultured pearls, is among the first 10 jewelry firms to sign up to become tenants in a one-million-square-foot, mixed use World Jewelry Center skyscraper in Las Vegas.

The World Jewelry Center (WJC) announced Thursday that the building due to open for business between late 2009 and mid-2010 will be "one of the largest jewelry projects in the world".

The 50-plus-story trade tower will combine the corporate offices of several hundred domestic and international gem and jewelry companies in "one of the tallest office buildings in Las Vegas along with a separate, free-standing gallery of retail jewelry stores with broad middle-market appeal".

Wan is one of Tahiti's pioneers in the Tahitian cultured pearl industry. There are eight Robert Wan Tahiti-Tahiti Perles Boutiques in French Polynesia spread over three islands. There's also the Robert Wan Pearl Museum in downtown Papeete, the only museum in the world devoted to cultured pearls in general and Tahitian pearls in particular.

He operates Robert Wan Luxury Ltd. out of Hong Kong, Tahiti Perles Hong Kong Ltd. and has points of sale in three Japanese locations, two in Hong Kong, one in Dubai, in Montreal and Vancouver, Canada, in two New York locations and Newton and Boston MA, six locations in Spain, three locations in Paris, one location in London, Padova, Italy and Brussels.

The nine other jewelry firms who have committed to becoming the first occupants of the tower are:

--Lucent Diamonds of Russia, an industry pioneer and leader in producing color enhanced natural-origin diamonds using cutting edge technology. The CEO is Alex Crizenko.

--Estet Jewelry Company of Russia. Gagik Gevorkyan is the president and founder.

--Kazanjian Bros., Inc., of Beverly Hills, Calif., a jewelry industry with a long family tradition that began in Europe and moved to New York and then to Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles. Michael J. Kazanjian is CEO and chairman.

--Chow Tai Fook Group, a privately held enterprise of Hong Kong New World Development that specializes in jewelry and luxury properties. Dr. Yu-tung Cheng is the owner.

--Super Bell Jewelry of Los Angeles, is one of the leading suppliers of fine jewelry, watches and collectibles to retailers in North, Central and South America. Super Bell Jewelry is part of Super Bell International, a Hong Kong based global distributor of fine jewelry, timepieces and collectibles. Lo Huang is the company's principle.

--Tycoon Inc., a Los Angeles-based designer jewelry company. Toros Kejejian, president, and Toros Z. Kejejian, CEO, are cofounders.

--SimplexDiam Inc. of New York, a distributor of jewelry, watches and precious gems. Yogesh K. Madhvani is the chairman and CEO.

--Alan Friedman Designs of Beverly Hills, a designer of diamond jewelry. Alan Friedman is president and Layna Friedman is vice president.

--JPI Packaging Inc.

Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman was joined by developer Robert Zarnegin and William Boyajian, former president of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and current managing director of the WJC, to formally announce the project to the jewelry industry late last month.

Occupants will own their own subdivided space in the tower, which also will include meeting and exhibition facilities, several international restaurants, a private club and a fitness center. The tope floors of the tower will be dedicated to luxury residential condominiums with panoramic views.

The adjacent three-story retail jewelry center will have a world-class gem and jewelry museum and exhibition space open to the public.

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