An artwork by Taiwanese artist YEELER titled ‘The Jewellery Magician’. The painting shows a novice jewellery magician wandering through the woods, catching its residents, and through his magical powers turning them into jewels. The painting was showcased as part of the Flair Project at the recent GemGenève show, which was curated by jewellery influencer Katerina Perez.
What does the GemGenève show have in common with museums, jewellery salons, botanical gardens, and institutes of learning? They all exude an aura of serenity, beauty, culture, and intellectual stimulation. Enshrined in European elegance, the recent edition of the show, held in Geneva from 4 th-7 th November brought forth the best in the business showcasing museum-quality vintage jewels, important colourless and fancy colour diamonds, top-grade emeralds, rubies, sapphires along with a plethora of gemstones, natural pearls, contemporary creations by noteworthy designers, collections by award-winning lapidary artists, rare books and more. Our international correspondent, RICHA GOYAL SIKRI reports on the gems, diamonds, and jewels that were on display at GemGenève.
An exceptional ambassador of 1960s jewellery was this significant Papillon (butterfly) gold brooch by Mauboussin from the collection of exhibitor (and one of the co-founders) of GemGenève Horovitz and Totah. The clip features the vitreous enamelling technique of Plique-à-jour, typically associated with the nature-inspired ethereal jewels of the Art Nouveau period (~1890-1910). Mauboussin’s use of Plique-à-jour in combination with Cloisonné enamelling and yellow gold offers a bold alternative. The voluptuous carved emeralds in the centre and candy-like cabochon rubies and emeralds on the butterfly’s wings further enhance this already vibrant work of jewelled art.
Collectors can never get enough jewels from the Art Deco period. This vintage platinum cuff circa 1935 is from the collection of exhibitor Paul Fisher Jewelry. In true Art Deco style, the central section can be removed and worn as a belt buckle, brooch, hair clip, a pendant or if you really want to be adventurous, clipped on to a handbag! Taking centre-stage is a 3-carat E colour diamond in the extremely fashionable marquise shape, which is surrounded by diamonds totalling over 15 carats. The diamond discoveries of South Africa in the late 19 th century along with lapidary developments produced a variety of special diamond shapes and cuts during the Art Deco period. One of the foremost was the baguette shape, which worked well to narrate the modern movement of the period.
To provide support and encouragement to upcoming designers, the GemGenève team curated an Emerging Talents pavilion. One of the designers featured there was Elena Okutova. Her striking brooch amalgamates the ancient Egyptian papyrus leaf motif with contemporary lines to deliver a majestic creation. The piece is made using sterling silver, synthetic ruby, red spinel, rhodolites, and hot enamel.
Another talented designer showcasing under the Emerging Talents pavilion was ENAIRO. Her Torii bracelet in gold featuring amethyst and diamonds is an ‘Art-chitectural’ masterpiece, which blends cultural influences from the Punu tribe in central Africa with Japanese art, and pays homage not only to ancient communities but highlights their reverence for precious metals and stones, which they saw as gifts from Mother Earth to her children.
GemGenève brought the best diamond manufacturers and merchants under one roof. This stellar 25-carat cushion-cut diamond was on display by exhibitor Rosy Blue. Since the pandemic, the demand for top-grade, large diamonds has been on the rise. The affluent members of society continue to see diamonds and gold as safe reservoirs of their wealth, especially during the last two years of turbulence.
Structured, clean patterns bring forth the brilliance of natural diamonds via the Queen of the Night earrings by jewellery designer Hans D. Krieger at the GemGenève show. Here’s an innovative use of the bezel-setting technique to create a distinctive visual.
One of the challenges in navigating large-scale gem shows is the time it takes to find that special treasure. Above is an incredible Paraiba tourmaline by exhibitor Wild & Petsch GmbH Lapidaries.
Mumbai-based Studio Renn was one of the designers selected by historian and author Vivienne Becker to be part of her Designer Vivarium pavilion at GemGenève. Becker presented a carefully curated selection of designers who she believes will be the collectable vintage names of the future. This was the first time an Indian designer was part of the Designer Vivarium pavilion. The image displays a pair of earrings from the Fish Skeleton collection.
Tiaras are back! Brides want to feel like princesses and if you are sensible, you’ll buy one that converts into a necklace like this one by Mellerio from the collection of Alex Rieunier, a GemGenève exhibitor.
Inspired by The Garden of Earthly Delights painting by Hieronymus Bosch, the Chimera earrings by G Suen Jewels is an exquisite work of jewelled contemporary art. The duo behind the brand, Gearry Suen & Jing Zhao, challenge us to pause and reflect on the visual before our eyes. The subtle elements bring the earrings to life, such as the carved nirvana creature drinking water, an omnipresent eye, delicate mineral hues. The amorphous forms of the earrings appear to be immersed in a hypnotic dance delivering a surreal work that will stand the test of time and cultural beliefs.
Designers today are breaking free from conventional stone settings, exploring uncharted territories and materials to bring their vision to life. Interestingly, experimentation doesn’t mean moving away from the intrinsic value that lies at the core of the jewellery sector. GemGenève exhibitor, MASHANDY perfectly exemplifies this movement with jeweller-creator & sculptor Philiippe Guilhem’s vision of creating one-of-a-kind rings featuring rare, collectable precious stones. The MYKLOSS ring pictured above is made of bronze lined with rose gold that caresses the skin. The contrast of the masculine bronze with the feminisne gold creates a captivating visual – both serving to enhance the beauty of the G-Internally Flawless square emerald-cut natural diamond (GIA certified).
We are experiencing a revival of colour in jewellery, which makes this vintage Bulgari bracelet by GemGenève exhibitor ProVockative Gems the perfect acquisition. The rich gold hue forms striking lines drawing the eye towards the warmth of the coral, akin to the light of the life-giving sun. The diamonds accentuate the vista with the black enamel providing the contrast: important in jewellery and life!
Like a magical mineral creature, this sculptural, bejewelled ring by GemGenève exhibitor Regina Gambatesa is arresting, vibrant, and a masterpiece. The undulating curves of the diamond and gem-encrusted ribbons serve to present a spectacular gemstone to the world. Gambatesa was one of the designers featured under the Designer Vivarium pavilion, curated by Vivienne Becker.
Gold has for centuries been revered as a sacred metal, the colour of the sun, and paying tribute to this ancient belief and the skills of generations before her was GemGenève exhibitor IsabelleFa. Her work perpetuates the grand tradition of master chain-makers by expressing it in contemporary creations with straight and elegant lines. Each creation symbolises the essence of fine craftsmanship.
Richa Goyal Sikri
November 22, 2021