Summery collections from three global brands include Neopolitan opals set in statement rings, floral motifs with a profusion of gems, and versatile fun jewels.
Neopolitan Opals Shine in Le Vian Rings
What draws you to opals? For some it is the play of colours, for others it is the mystery revealed by silica spheres within the opal. And for some it is a rare find.
Le Vian’s new assortment of statement rings pays homage to Neopolitan Opals. “Neopolitan Opals are the finest of a phenomena gem where silica platelets form randomly within each stone creating a unique prism-like play of colours, including pinks and greens that is different in each stone,” says Eddie Le Vian, CEO of the brand.
The classic design is crafted from strawberry gold – a subtle, pink tone. Each ring is set with a stunning opal in a beautiful halo basket of diamonds in nude, vanilla, chocolate hues, or blueberry hued sapphires. “In our collections, we have used different colours of diamonds and gems to provide dramatic backdrops that set the stage for the Neopolitan Opals to shine in different ways,” he adds. Heart-shaped, pear and oval cabochon opals take centerstage in the design. Sapphires in orange, blueberry, bubble gum pink, green, yellow studded on the shank of one of the Neopolitan Opal rings lend opulence to the design.
“For many years Le Vian did not work with opals because of their fragility. What we call the Neopolitan Opal is the highest grades of opal from a new Yawah mine that was discovered in Ethiopia five years ago. What changed our minds was that these opals had an exceptional iridescence, and a lower water content, making them more beautiful and more durable. Considering that the mine was new, we decided to take only the top five percent of the gems that exhibit the highest play of colour; knowing as is true in our history many times that as the mine gets depleted, the best gems will appreciate the most,” adds Eddie.
New Jewels in the Karina Brez’s Garden Collection
Karina Brez’s bejewelled garden has some new blossoms this season. Rings and earrings in pink sapphires and diamonds set in yellow, white and rose gold form part of the new addition to the Garden collection. The initial collection was inspired by the designer’s love of gardens, from her travels to the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia to the opulent gardens of Versailles. Her flagship store in Palm Beach has a garden jewel box theme, with the pantone colour emerald green being the canvas on which to embellish the garden of jewels. “What is great about the Garden collection is that it will always be ever-changing, like the seasons and styles we celebrate. I recently added elegant designs that are easy-to-wear, to brighten up one’s day,” says Karina.
Playful Fine Baubles by McFarlane Fine Jewellery
Esther McFarlane’s passion for the jewellery making prompted her to train at 16, as a goldsmith at Bucherer in Lucerne, Switzerland. This went on to cement her love of the craft. “My passion for jewellery comes from my mum. She is so creative, and I grew up around her sketching, playing with loose stones and falling asleep to her working in the workshop,” says Kathleen McFarlane.
The mother-daughter duo launched their brand, McFarlane Fine Jewellery, in 2013, with a focus on wearability. “Most of our earrings, rings and necklaces are transformable, stackable or made to be layered. We like playing with that earthy luxe feel and use a brushed matte gold finish or mix uncommon gemstones with better known stones,” says Kathleen. “Fine jewellery is an investment and it’s important your pieces are versatile.” The designers admit to getting “really excited” about the gemstones. Whether it is the hue, the cut or the way the light moves through a stone almost all their designs start with the stone. “Our summer selection includes splashes of colour, transformable day-to-night earrings and pieces that are made to be layered.” All the pieces are crafted in Switzerland.