Launch Alert: Orchids & Bicolour Gems Anyone?

Here are collections that add colour to Spring.

Double Trouble by Akaila Reid

New York jeweller Akaila Johnson is fascinated by bi-coloured tourmalines. “I love that a single stone can feature two or more distinct colours, and this is what spurred me into action.”

Launched mid-February, the Double Trouble collection brings bright wearables to jewellery enthusiasts. The Gloria Bangle, Stack Necklace, Stack Ring, Gypset Ring and Eternity Band are part of the new offering that employs gypsy setting and bezel settings to encase the gems. The inside of the Gloria Bangles features geometric accents in gold. “It can be found on the inside of many of our pieces. I think it’s just as important for the inside or bottom of the piece to be equally beautiful,” she adds.

The Gypset ring by Akaila Johnson

When she is not busy designing a new collection, Akaila is on a gem hunt. “Every year, I go to Tucson to source stones at the many different shows that are in town at that time of year. It’s a great time to visit with vendors from all over the country and world. I also source stones from local dealers here in NYC,” says the jeweller.

The Stack necklace by Akaila Johnson.

The young designer specialises in creating custom pieces. “I made a custom birthstone necklace for a client that was very special. It featured our signature ball and chain design on one half of the chain and bezel-set diamonds on the other half. We made three charms to begin with that represented the clients, her husband’s and her daughter’s birth month. We’ve since added more charms to represent other family members and it’s been such a fun project.” Akaila also made a version of the toi-et-moi ring for a client; it featured both of her children’s birthstones as well as her and her husband’s. “I also made a ‘just because’ ball and chain necklace for a client that featured opal beads and ended up being very special.”

The Stack ring by Akaila Johnson.

So, what kind of jewels appeal to her clients these days? “I think now, more than ever, people want pieces that have some meaning behind them. Whether it’s a piece that uses stones from a family heirloom or uses family birthstones, people want sentimental items,” explains Akaila.

Zahra by Lana Al Kamal Jewelry

Flowers bloom in Dubai-based designer Lana Al Kamal’s new Zahra collection. Inspired by the dendrobium, a type of orchid, which grows on the Pacific Islands, this collection is a lovely way to step into spring. “The dendrobium orchid is often associated with grace, life and freedom,” points out Lana, who spent three months making the Zahra collection.

White enamelled Zahra gold earrings lined with diamonds by Lana Al Kamal Jewelry
Open Zahra gold ring set with diamonds and beautified with white enamel by Lana Al Kamal Jewelry

Crafted in the UAE, the orchid petals are envisioned in two shapes and assorted around the centre in two layers, explains Lana.

The orchid petals of Zahra have been envisioned as two shapes and assorted around the centre into two layers, informs the designer. The petal swirls are subtly outlined in diamonds. “I have designed the jewels in a near 3D way as every part and side of the pieces are equally beautiful. I have employed modularity to make these pieces versatile,” she adds.

The 18-karat gold Zahra necklace is decorated with red enamel and diamonds by Lana Al Kamal Jewelry

The Zahra capsule line made in 18-karat gold and accented with enamel and diamonds includes a long necklace, earrings, ring and two short necklaces with inscriptions – love and mom.

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