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What is fine jewellery? The strict definition of fine jewellery has ebbed and flowed over the years, as both new, inventive techniques and the elevation of semi-precious stones and materials have brought down the more restrictive boundaries of what fine jewellery is. As Borro Private Finance reports, fine jewellery has traditionally been defined as “exceptionally-made jewellery in gold or platinum set with precious gemstones.”
However, as designers have sought to expand their horizons beyond stones such as diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, intricately-made jewellery set with semi-precious stones is now considered worthy of being called fine jewellery, too. Increasingly, jewellery designers are highlighting stones such as turquoise, aquamarine, labradorite, and pyrite. Some stunning examples of this new wave of fine jewellery can be found among Auverture’s designers’ collections. There’s Fernando Jorge’s dazzling Fusion Rounded Ring, that’s set with a milky aquamarine stone embellished with topaz and white diamonds. Or Daniela Villegas’ Ibeji earrings, which take their name from the African word meaning “twins of joy and happiness”, set in 18k yellow gold, and bordered by a delicate row of emeralds.
Indeed, beyond the visual appeal of a stone, many of these modern fine jewellers see value in a stones’ energy and how that’s said to impact the wearer. Fernando Jorge tells Auverture that he envisages the stones he works with as “hidden parts of nature that we dig out and we treasure…they tell a story about where they’re from and carry with them some of that energy.”
So too, Pippa Small makes a feature of the story behind the myriad stones that she highlights in her bohemian luxury designs, explaining the significance and energy said to be contained within certain stones. That could be amethyst’s reputation as aiding intuition, or chrysoprase’s ability to “generate a strong sense of spirituality.” Indeed, Pippa tells BA First Life magazine that when designing, “for me, it is more the power and individuality of the stone than its place in the hierarchy of the precious gem world.”
Below shown the Navratna necklace which in Asia, is said to be auspicious, as the nine stones represent nine planets, with the jewellery said to harness the power of these planets. The Navaratna Necklace is designed in 18k yellow gold and set with ruby, pearl, red coral, emerald, yellow sapphire, diamond, blue sapphire, hessonite, and cat’s eye. Beside it, is a cluster of colourful, rough cut stones set in an artfully undone arrangement. This particular necklace is part of the designers’ collection, Amorphous, that celebrates raw, uncut stones from around the world.
And of course, beyond a stone’s materials, the craft associated with creating a jewellery design is what elevates a piece to fine jewellery status. Peggy Gottlieb, a jewellery specialist at Christie’s in Los Angeles, says that “a great piece of jewellery, most of the time, is just as beautiful on the back as it will be on the front. That’s the way to tell a good piece from a bad one.”
And for Auverture’s designers, the craft that goes into their jewellery is central to their oeuvre. Bibi van der Velden’s designs look like miniature works of art – no surprise, given that she’s a sculptor alongside designing jewellery. Some of her standout pieces number the Monkey Ring, an intricately-crafted cocktail ring that spotlights sweet monkeys embellished with brown diamonds that are captured scampering around the ring. And her Man in Shell Necklace has an intriguing backstory, taking its cues from the often-surreal, fantastical works of 15th Century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch. And for a more minimal – but just as striking – approach, Ana Khouri’s jewellery spotlights a spare, clean aesthetic that conveys a true artist’s touch – take the purity of line in designs such as Ana’s Mirian Ring, an open-ended ring that elegantly curves around the finger.
To discover more about the designers creating the best in modern fine jewellery, and to buy their unique creations, explore our exciting selection on Auverture.com.