Fancy These Diamond Beauties?

US-based designer Swati Dhanak talks about her new lines and bestselling rings and her proclivity for fancy-cut diamonds.

Fancy diamond cuts are the inspiration behind New Yorker Swati Dhanak’s Floating and Duo collections that borrow on her signature aesthetic – architectural elements and clean lines. Although she loves most diamond cuts, she has clear favourites: heart, pear, emerald and marquise cuts.

Designing new pieces, while adding to the Floating and Duo lines has kept this designer busy during the pandemic. Her version of “Yin and Yang” takes the form of Emerald Column earrings, which she describes as “luxurious oversized studs”, which feature emerald-cut central diamonds and round diamonds pavéd along six vertical rows.

Earlier, most of the Dubai-raised designer’s jewellery was manufactured in workshops in her home city as well as in Los Angeles. But after the pandemic broke out, subsequent lockdowns workshops in the UAE and the US came to a grinding halt, forcing her to look elsewhere.

Swati Dhanak

“I have now started to produce in Thailand,” she says. Troubleshooting production delays, challenges and shooting a new campaign towards the end of last year – after having to reschedule multiple times – took up much of her time. “The shoot was one of my favourite projects; I always style my shoots as this allows me to bring forth my vision to the brand,” says Swati.

What inspired your popular Duo collection?

With the Duo collection, I wanted to bring texture to gold. My inspiration was drawn from these columns used in ancient Greek and Roman structures. I always love contrast in design and you’ll see that as a theme, especially in the Duo line, the columned gold is set against pavé or floating fancy-cut diamonds.

Emerald Column 18-karat white and yellow gold earrings set with fancy-cut diamonds.
Duo Half Column Pave ring in 18-karat yellow gold with pave diamonds.

The Duo line has chunky cigar bands – what do you like about cigar band styles?

I love wearing rings that have a certain heft to them, and look and feel significant. I created the Duo cigar bands to represent the contrast between the gold and heavy diamond pavé. I also took into consideration the utility aspect while designing the pieces so that they can be worn on different sides for a slightly different look; there is also a classic element to the design.

Duo Column Cluster earrings in 18-karat yellow and white gold set with round, pear, baguette, trillion, marquise and princess-cut diamonds.

What are your best-selling ring styles?

The Orbit and Caged ring are definitely some of the bestsellers from the collection. That said, all the rings from the Floating collection sold really well because they are easy to wear and layer; the design is timeless. Although the Caged rings can be customised, clients have loved the original version that I created and they ended up buying them.

The Floating Cage ring in 18-karat yellow and white gold accented with round, pear and heart-shaped diamonds.
Floating Fan 18-karat yellow and white gold earrings dotted with fancy-cut diamonds.

The Duo Column Bar pendants, earrings seem to be new additions.

Indeed, they are. The Duo Column Bar pendant was inspired by the classic bar necklace; I have a version of this in the Movement collection as well. I wanted to create an updated version of a design by using mixed-cut diamonds.

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