Earlier this year I was asked by a particularly special client to design her engagement ring. She has been a long time supporter of my work and I was extremely excited when she asked me. The brief was for a 'halo' style design with the central stone to be a big, green, oval sapphire. The fun part is sourcing the stone and on this occasion one of my interstate gem merchants happened to have the most spectacular Tanzanian sapphire. Several meetings and emails later, this was the outcome.
I was recently asked by one of my representing galleries to design a surprise engagement ring for a special client, who fell in love with the original 'Amoli' ring. We spent a few weeks sourcing a magnificent 1.68ct cushion cut, green sapphire, for the central stone and designed the rest of the ring around this. Surrounding the sapphire is a halo of very fine, white diamonds. To refine the ring further, we set marquises & round brilliant cut diamonds in the shoulders for a little extra detail and femininity. The result was absolutely spectacular.
A variation on the 'Ring of Ganga', the 'Indian Summer' Ring was created for a recent exhibition at e.g.etal entitled 'Rarer Than Diamonds' which celebrates the diamond in all its forms, including the more unfamiliar such as icy rose cuts and opaque coloured diamonds that you might by now be familiar from previous blog posts and in the online store.
This gorgeous 1.10ct buttery yellow, opaque rose cut diamond was one I had bought a few years ago from a merchant in Indian. The colour is quite unusual and is complimented by the richness & warmth of the 18KT yellow gold & a halo of brilliant cut champagne diamonds.
Late last year I was asked to redesign a diamond engagement ring. The couple had a 0.65ct lovely white, brilliant cut diamond which was set in a classic white gold 6 prong setting. The couple decided that they wanted something a little more lively with a few extra fancy cut stones and more detail. Both really loved the sapphire and diamond 'giardinetti marquise' ring from the collection and asked if I could design something similar but with white diamonds rather than sapphires.
A few quick sketches to begin the process and a little further refining to produce a result that was quite spectacular. Here are a few images of the finished ring and initial sketches I thought Id share. xx
If I asked what colours one would typically associate with the Arctic, most would probably say brilliant whites or blue reflections against sea ice. Arctic summers however reveal a much broader spectrum, ranging from hues of reds and pinks to greens, yellows, browns and many other unexpected colours. The ice starts to melt and life springs into action again.
The ‘Arctic’ ring series is inspired by my interest in the unique qualities of semi-translucent diamonds, with their range of subtle colours and clarities. I've not been to the Arctic region myself but imagery I have seen of seasonal, frozen landscapes, remind me of these pastel ‘icey’ diamonds and the softness of colour that one might encounter during a summer Arctic ice melt.
The 'Arctic Summer' ring, pictured above, is 18ct white gold and set with 1.30ct (C.T.W) of rose cut diamonds. It is accented with 10 round brilliant cut white diamonds. It's available at the online store and also through Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne. Crafted in white gold, yellow gold, pink gold and platinum, the 'Arctic' ring series can be designed with your choice of precious metal and coloured diamonds. Enquiries and consultations are welcome and contact can be made via the enquiry page or by phone.
All diamonds sourced are 100% natural, conflict free and purchased through the most reputable suppliers here and overseas.
Gaston Lacombe’s photography captures these Arctic landscapes beautifully with a great accompanying article, ‘The stunning, unexpected colours of Antarctica and its penguins’, by Pete Brook.
I thought Id share a very short video with you to show you how bright and lustrous these semi translucent, rose cut diamonds can be. These diamonds (conflict free) come in a range of colours, from rusty reds, browns & yellows, to some gorgeous icey whites and greys. I have recently seen a pale pinkish/purple variety but these are on the rarer side of the spectrum.
Over the next few months stayed tuned as I will be sharing some custom designed engagement rings I've been working on recently, which are set with these fabulous gems. In the mean time, if you have an idea for an engagement ring, wedding ring/s or simply a gift for yourself or significant other, feel free to get in touch.
A friend of mine is a gem merchant of Sri Lankan heritage. Her and her father have a long history in the gem trade and both are connoisseurs of fine, unheated Sri Lankan (Ceylon) sapphires. The 'Isle of Serendib' ring is set with one of these amazing gems which is an intense pink cushion cut ceylon sapphire of around 2 carat. The pink fiery blaze of this stone, when viewed in natural light, is truly spectacular and extremely beautiful.
The ring was custom designed and handmade for a very loyal client & friend. Together, we chose materials that would compliment the stone. The precious metal we selected was 18ct rose gold (pink gold), framed with 28 soft pinkish champagne diamonds of very fine quality (VS) to match the brightness and elegance of the central stone.
Pink sapphire is commonly heat treated these days. I may have mentioned this in other posts but eventually gem deposits do get mined out and until new sources are located, fine material can become scare and very expensive (ruby is a prime example of this). The industry then looks for other ways to enhance the gem material that is available. Heat treatment is an acceptable way to bring out a stones 'potential' colour and the majority of sapphires on the market today have been subjected to some form of heat treatment. If you prefer a sapphire that is completely natural, make sure you ask your jeweller and be sure to get certification.
If you have a particular gemstone that you would like to use for a custom designed engagement ring, get in touch via email or phone +61 401 326 881 to make an appointment. It can take a few weeks to source fine gems so please allow enough time when planning your engagement ring and wedding ring sets.
Thanks for reading x Suzi
Continuing the fascinating subject of India's Maharajas (refer to earlier post 'Beyond Extravagance'), I thought I'd share an interesting documentary with you called 'Munich in India'.
MUNICH IN INDIA tells about the life of Fritz-Munich, the only German court painter of the Indian Maharajas. It is the story of an unknown but nevertheless extraordinary artist and his adventures. It tells about German and Indian history in the first half of the 20th century and simultaneously gets an insight into contemporary India.
Giardinetti Marquise, Study #7 is the latest ring in the 'Giardinetti Reali' (Royal Gardens) series which I began several years ago. The rings and earrings in the series so far, find their composition and form through experimentation with unusual stone cuts and colour combinations. The rings often evolve over extended periods of time. Sometimes I will leave a piece for several months before I come back to finish it.
The ring pictured is 18KT white gold set with marquise white diamonds and marquise sapphires and accented with small white diamonds on the shoulders of the ring. It is part of the custom engagement ring collection at Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne and also available via the online store . For more information please use the enquiry form.
I wanted to share the 'Old World' ring with you mainly because of the remarkable & mesmerising colour of the central 1.2ct sapphire. I acquired the sapphire several years ago, and only just recently paired the ring and stone together. Ive not come across this hue of green/blue in sapphire before. Im not sure how to even describe the colour. Maybe a 'sea' green/blue or a lush green that one might come across in an amazonian rainforest. The precious metal is 18KT yellow gold and the shoulders of the ring are flanked by white diamonds.
Yesterday was an exciting day for both myself and my client, with the completion of 3 custom designed, diamond and rose gold rings. I posted some sketches a few weeks back ('A Rose Cut Diamond') of the initial designs and today I've posted a few images of the completed set.
The solitaire seats a 0.59ct rose cut white diamond, and the accompanying bands are grain set with white diamonds. One band has diamonds set the entire way around and the other band (which is the wedding band) has diamonds set in small groups.
After much time and patience sourcing finer quality and coloured opaque diamonds, I thought I share two rings from my most recent collection of opaque diamond rings. Both rings are now up on the website for purchase. If you would like to see the rings in person, they and can be viewed at Pieces of Eight Gallery in Melbourne.
Each ring is hand made and carefully prepared to seat each individual stone. The ring on the left is 18KT yellow gold, set with intense 'sunset yellow', rose cut, opaque diamonds. The ring on the right is 18KT white gold, set with fresh 'arctic white', rose cut, opaque diamonds. Ive mentioned this in past posts but for the benefit of those that missed the posts, the beauty of opaque diamonds is that each stone is incredibly unique with no two stones ever alike. The rings in themselves are always a little different but its the stones, with their subtle, natural inclusions, that ultimately make each of these rings truly individual.
I have another parcel of coloured opaque diamonds on its way, which is exciting. I haven't seen the stones but I believe my trusty merchant (thanks Salman) has included some pink opaques! Im thinking a rose gold version of this ring? I will post an image as soon as its done !
Thanks for reading x
Opaque diamonds have become quite popular in recent times. The allure of the opaque diamond is its rustic charm and modesty. They do not look like the traditional brilliant & fiery white diamonds that we are all used to seeing and which are also incredibly beautiful.
This is due to the heavy scattering of natural inclusions which gives these exquisite gems their own uniqueness and inherent beauty. No two stones are ever the same, with each as rare as the next.
These are two of my most recent rings which were designed specifically for each of these rose cut opaque diamonds.
I have finally ordered my copy of this amazing publication from Assouline, “Beyond Extravagance: A Royal Collection of Gems and Jewels”. The book presents a journey of over 400 years of important jewels and objects from India, from opulent court jewels to commissions from some of the wealthiest Maharajas.
It is on the slightly pricey side, however, if you are interested in purchasing a copy, the following link offers a good introduction and a peek inside !
There's an interesting interview with the author, Dr. Amin Jaffer, who is also the International Director of Asian Art at Christies.
Until my copy arrives, I thought id introduce you to a few of my favorite Maharajas and the mode of transport for the female members of the royal household.
If you love a good jewel heist, Havana Markings documentary, 'Smash & Grab', is not to be missed.
The Pink Panthers are the world’s most successful jewel thieves. With incredible unprecedented access, gang members Mike and Lela reveal the gang’s networks, history and human story. Playing out like a noir thriller and using cutting edge animation, the film keeps a Hollywood-style heist at its centre. We also follow the global police forces determined to stop them – with increasing success. But beneath the glitz and excitement of the heists lie the dark truths of the illicit diamond trade and the war-shattered ruins of the Balkan states.
It's always a privilege when a client allows me to work with an unusual cut or variety of gem. On this occasion I was asked to source a white, rose cut diamond for a custom designed solitaire ring set. The rose cut is an early, 16th century design (c.1520). Given my interest in historical jewellery, I did not hesitate to take up the challenge and thought I'd share the designs with you.
The main ring is 18KT rose gold set with a 0.59ct (approx 6mm) rose cut, white diamond in an octagon bezel. Its accompanied by two finer 18KT rose gold bands which are grain set with white diamonds throughout.
Stay tuned as in the next few weeks I will post the finished ring set.