The strangeness of 2020 has seen many of us searching for timeless jewellery pieces that highlight the finest earthly treasures, namely rubies, emeralds and sapphires. There is, however, a contingent of jewellery connoisseurs looking to brighten up a miserable year with unique creations that evoke parties, grand adventures and holidays… all the things we’ve missed. Here’s a selection of gorgeous Christmas treats that will suit all tastes this holiday season.
Driven to create jewels that uplift their wearer, Sunita Nahata focuses her designs around vibrant coloured gemstones set in unconventional ways. Her cocktail rings play with proportions to draw the eye of bold personalities everywhere – these are adornments that will not go unnoticed at a festive party! Her Floral Fantasy earrings create distinctive palettes of coloured gemstones that skim the shoulders, while her Happy Moods Collection seeks to inspire joy with amethyst, guava quartz, London blue topaz, black onyx, honey quartz and green amethyst. Although Sunita Nahata draws on her Indian heritage when designing jewellery, there’s always a twist on a classic shape, pattern or motif that keeps her clients entertained and desiring more.
Perhaps your loved one has a jewellery box full of a single colour and a passion for collecting a particular gemstone. If so, Piranesi reverently creates fine jewellery pieces that celebrate coloured stone icons, including rubies, sapphires and emeralds in cabochon and faceted forms. There are whispers of the House’s Italian heritage in each design, but it’s the boldness, vivacity and larger-than-life appeal of New York City – Piranesi’s home since 1976 – that takes the dominant leading role. Vibrant emerald earrings, with three uniquely shaped emeralds descending to a diamond drop, are so timeless they could have been plucked straight from Elizabeth Taylor’s legendary jewellery box.
For jewels that tell a story, I am always drawn to Lydia Courteille and her whimsical pieces, which look like they’ve been taken straight from the pages of a fairy tale. These are opulent Christmas gifts and you’ll no doubt need time to choose the right creation that resonates with the special individual in your life. Your matchmaking skills will be distracted, however, by the plethora of colour combinations, styles and motifs that wind their way through Lydia Courteille’s collections. There are billowing clouds of blue gems, diamond-set squirrels, sunbursts, contemporary cameos and Aztec-inspired birds, and that’s just the tip of the fantastical iceberg.
This fine jewellery house perfectly captures the idea of American individualism with jewellery creations that deviate from the status quo. Within Paul Morelli’s collections, you will find confidently proportioned solitaires, starbursts of pavé set gemstones and fancy cut diamonds, as well as more unusual materials like carved lilac jade. The House can trace its history back to the Philadelphia Theatre District in the early 20th century. At the time, Paul Morelli was known as a premier costumier and craftsman of unique theatre garments. This showman spirit is still evident in the jewellery creations of the house and would suit the performer, drama queen and entertainer in your life.
Delve into the collections of JRS by Julien Riad Sahyoun if you are Christmas shopping for a maximalist who loves layering pieces and combining gold tones, with just a smattering of carefully placed diamonds. The eponymous designer, who hails from Morocco, has broad inspirations that range from reviving lost languages to encouraging communication between cultures. And while his pieces have a strong message, they’re perfectly wearable for every day, with just the right amount of conversation-starting charm. The 3ternity cuff bracelet in yellow gold and diamonds is an especially lavish piece in the JRS collection and always catches my eye, as does its platinum cousin with sensational pear-shaped diamonds.
Christmas presents shouldn’t just inspire conversation on the day itself, but for months if not years to come. If you’re looking to gift striking pieces that will inspire Christmas memories, take a look at the Genesi collection by Gismondi 1754. A crisp swirl of pear-shaped emeralds appears fringe-like on a curl of white diamonds in the collection’s signature earrings, which are complemented with matching rings and cuff bracelet designs. The brand’s Essenza collection is also eye-catching thanks to its blend of white diamonds, pink sapphires and emeralds in daintier pieces that sit delicately on the wrist or hover about the neckline.
If you know someone who’s in need of a vibrant pick-me-up this season, the colourful creations of Alexander Laut will do the trick. My eye is immediately drawn to a lavish suite of aquamarine jewels, accented with green tsavorites, blue sapphires and white diamonds, and a red spinel and diamond collar necklace with a dizzying array of shapes and cuts. Alexander Laut was born in Moscow but moved to Hawaii in the early 1990s to live a life filled with sunshine. His background as a medical student may explain the exacting standards and meticulous way in which he crafts his fine jewellery pieces, which are fantastically detailed and architectural in nature.
Described as Salzburg’s hidden gem, Aenea Jewellery should be high on your Christmas shopping list if your loved one’s jewellery box needs a touch of the avant-garde. You’ll struggle to choose between asymmetric earrings, including a pair with 11.64 carats of perfectly coordinated candy green and pink tourmalines, and pieces that utilise more unusual materials like the Wave Earrings with blue anodised titanium and diamonds. These designs emerge from the mind of AENEA creative head, artist and designer, Costán A. Eghiazarian, who takes a personal approach to matching the right client with the right jewel. Perhaps his expertise is what will take your festive shopping to the next level this year.
When it comes to spoiling the precious people in your life, sometimes only equally precious stones will do. Making a choice may not feel easy at first, but when hunting for the perfect gift you will soon discover a moment of clarity when you say: “She would love that.” This intuitive gut reaction to a piece is what makes shopping for jewellery so exciting.