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Steeped in a dangerous, otherworldly glamour, these brilliant creatures link us to the prehistoric and the sacred. Indeed, you only have to read the Bible or look to Ancient Egypt to see the species at their most powerful. Fast-forward to a sci-fi future, and it’s reptiles that help spark our imagination and shape our perception of a possible inter-galactic life to come.
No wonder then that these scaled creatures are a motif that jewellers across the millennia have turned to, time and again.
The unique skin and texture of crocodiles, alligators and turtles heavily influence Eugenie Niarchos’ Venyx line’s ‘Reptilia’ collection. We love her ‘Coloured Stones Chamaeleo Ring’ honed from 9ct yellow gold, with its textured surface further enhanced by a scattering of gems including diamonds, topaz and citrines. This bold ring symbolises transformation for the designer, taking its name from the lizard renowned for its ability to change colour.
Honing her pieces from fragments of 40,000 year-old fossilised woolly mammoth tusk, Bibi van der Velden carves the material into the shapes of prehistoric animals that roamed the world at that time, inlaying the designs with 18ct gold and dotting them with precious stones. Who could resist the limited edition ‘Crocodile Bangle’? It’s sure to have all eyes on any wearer’s wrist. It combines 18ct yellow gold with a hand carved, highly detailed crocodile honed woolly mammoth tusk, a material that was originally discovered under the melting permafrost in Siberia.
The ‘Pave Serpente Ring’, from the serpent-themed Victoria collection by Sorellina, is another head-turner. In 18ct gold, it twists and winds around the finger echoing the shape of a coiled snake, while the serpent’s head is artfully depicted using pavé diamonds set in blackened silver.