Rivière – Engraved Pearls
I stumbled across one particularly interesting concept for a piece of jewellery at a debut stand: that of the Italian label Rivière. Their Savoir-Faire collection included pieces featuring pearls that had diamonds inserted into them. The way they do it, they told me, is to cut a section out of the pearl, pour in gold, finish with a pavé of diamonds and then polish the whole thing. Rivière should be lauded for their skilful use of techniques which have enabled them to create such a quirky design without damaging the pearl.
Qayten – Rare Type of Wood
Another new find for me was Qayten’s T. T. collection featuring rare types of wood. The raw material for these pieces is extracted by environmentally friendly means before being cut into patterns and finished with wax detailing. On top of this, the jewellery is decorated with diamonds, which form a delightful contrast with the dark brown of the wood. Combine all these elements and there you have it – a totally unique piece of jewellery!
Maria Kondakova – Fluorescent Diamonds
Maria Kondakova’s latest collection didn’t just catch the visitors’ eye – everyone taking part in the show was interested. At first glance there was nothing particularly new – different shaped diamond studded disc pendants with sculpted figures of men, women and children in the middle. But these jewellery pieces harboured a secret: highlights in the diamonds fluoresce under ultraviolet light and give the engraved figures angels’ wings.
Roberto Coin – Rare Gem Danburite
Over at the Roberto Coin stand they suggested I take the world’s most expensive selfie, wearing a gold Venetian mask which forms the centrepiece of their Tanaquilla collection. The collection is named in honour of the legendary woman from Ancient Rome who possessed the gift of clairvoyance and prophesied that her husband, Tarquinius Priscus, would become Emperor. But it is not the name that makes this collection special; it is the stones decorating the gold frame, which are not in fact diamonds but the mineral danburite.
Sicis - Micromosaic Artistry
The Italian label Sicis occupy a key niche in the field of micromosaic jewellery, one of the oldest and most complex styles of jewellery design. Assembled by hand under a microscope, the image on each piece of jewellery is formed from hundreds of tiny details. I could not possibly finish without mentioning their brand new Quetzal ring, consisting of a surrealistic depiction of the eponymous bird from Guatemala. In order to convey the bird’s bright colours and create a piece which is relatively light, the designers used a combination of yellow gold and green titanium. Fixing the stones to the titanium to create the micromosaic on the edges and curved surface of the ring did not make life easy for the designers, and in the end the creation of this miniature masterpiece took three whole months.
The collections I have described above are just an example of how much the jewellery industry is developing and evolving – no doubt even more unusual discoveries await us at Baselworld 2016.