The Colombian emerald mine Muzo’s tie-ups with jewellery designers always grab worldwide attention. In fact, with each passing year, Muzo’s collaborations are getting more creative. Here’s a look at the 2020 collection designed by 10 top jewellery artists that will set your heart racing!
The inspiration for Muzo Emerald Colombia’s latest collaboration – featuring 10 contemporary fine jewellery designers – was not merely using organic material such as tumbles, beads and slices as in the previous years, but using faceted stones, too. Several designers in the tribe incorporated luxe emerald cabochons – a smooth, rounded-edge gemstone known for its vibrant, saturated hue.
“For this collaboration, we had access to faceted material, which opened up a whole new audience, design aesthetic and price point for us,” says Gabbi Harvey, Head of Business Development for Muzo. The collection comprises 34 pieces, priced from $1,000 to $100,000.
The legendary Colombian emerald producer Muzo’s fourth such initiative since 2018 had another interesting business idea going for it. “It was also the first time that we sold our collaboration through retail channel – Moda Operandi. Offering a full, shoppable Muzo collection in one place was incredibly exciting for our brand and community,” says Gabbi.
Each of the independent women designers – Colette, Harwell Godfrey, Jenna Blake, Katherine Jetter, Loren Nicole, Michelle Fantaci, Nina Runsdorf, Robinson Pelham, Silvia Furmanovich and Sorellina – created a capsule set or signature piece that highlights Muzo’s responsibly-sourced emeralds while staying true to their design DNA.
Loren Teetelli of Loren Nicole has dreamed up around half a dozen pieces for her capsule line. The designs look at the history of emeralds, centered on Latin American. “My specialty as a pre-Columbian archaeologist drove a lot of excitement to create pieces about the period’s history, most directly, the Mochica earrings, which reference a common shape seen across most pre-Columbian cultures,” says the Los-Angeles-based designer.
New York jeweller Michelle Fantaci wanted to create a luxe modern version of vintage cluster rings. In her design, the materials and craftsmanship elevate the idea but it underlining a laid-back luxury. Michelle has used various shapes of the emerald in her capsule line, including an organic slice. “One of my favourite aspects about emeralds is the jardin: looking into an emerald with clusters of inclusions really does look like a wild little garden,” she says of the design. Regarding the Muzo collaboration, the Michelle believes that concept is demonstrated in the relaxed opulence of the rings and simple richness of the emerald lariat.
British jewellery brand Robinson Pelham’s design for Muzo is symbolic of the brand’s vision, light and positivity in an ever-changing world. The emerald portrays the pupil of the eye, ever watchful and surrounded by rays of colour extending outwards. “It was only natural that we would incorporate sapphires and tsavorites to complete the rainbow,” Vanessa Chilton, Creative Director of Robinson Pelham. “We love Muzo emeralds specifically; the traceability is a huge bonus as is their compassion for gender equality in their mines. We love the intensity of the Colombian emeralds in particular – it is the perfect accompaniment to our colour wheel,” she adds.
Muzo’s rich green stones proved to be the perfect match for Colette Steckel’s Penacho collection that is inspired by the vibrant feather headdresses worn by ancient Aztec warriors of her home country, Mexico.
Jenna Grosfeld, of Jenna Blake Jewelry, drew on nature and sentiments she discovered during the quarantine. “At the time, we were adjusting to a more pared back lifestyle. With the absence of the hustle and bustle of real life, we had time to re-engage with all the beauty before us that we had previously taken for granted. My Muzo collection reflects those observations,” says Jenna. The Los-Angeles jeweller has used enamel in two of her pieces – the star and shell charms. “One of my favourite ways to highlight beauty is through the use of colour. When I see the vibrancy of something as beautiful as a Muzo emerald it only makes me want more colour. To me, colour is a gift and the more we can incorporate it into our lives, the happier it makes us. Finding the perfect balance, however, is the challenge,” she adds.
New York jeweller Nina Runsdorf has created a luxurious modern piece that is both inspired by her flip ring and her love of movement and charms, while Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich’s pieces feature Muzo emeralds alongside humble materials such as bamboo that adds visual interest to the designs.
Lauren Harwell Godfrey’s collaboration with Muzo is one of her first forays into working with larger and more precious gemstones. Along with the deep, vivid colour of Muzo’s emeralds, the designer was inspired by the “lore surrounding these ancient stones, from Cleopatra’s obsession to Elizabeth Taylor’s unrivalled collection.”
Nicole and Kim Carosella of Sorellina have always been drawn to emeralds because of their rich colour and the fact that they can also be worn as a neutral. Using natural, responsibly sourced materials in all of their works is important to both of them. “We’re excited to use Muzo emeralds to create some big, cool pieces that can be worn every day,” say the Brooklyn-based designers.
Australian designer Katherine Jetter’s love of emeralds has grown as she continues working with these vibrant and magnificent gems. Muzo’s cut gemstones have added “an entirely new creative angle” to her designs. “Collaborating with Muzo has been a special privilege for me as a designer,” she adds.
The ten talents have drawn an amazing amount of attention to gorgeous emeralds in various shapes, sizes and forms through their collaboration with Muzo. One can see perfectly well why these wearable contemporary designs command such love.