…and as a designer and gem lover this is always an exciting occasion, especially when it is to be featured in an engagement ring. Usually, our customers come to the beginning of the design process with a bit of an idea of what sort of piece they would like: perhaps they know what gem they would like, a favourite colour, or a period of jewellery they love. In this particular case the client had some initial thoughts but was also open to suggestions and happy for us to go on the hunt for something a little bit different.
So, off we went on the search for a special diamond. And as it happens this particular diamond comes with its own very special story. The chosen stone was a responsibly sourced champagne diamond which can be traced back to its geographical origin of Lesotho, Southern Africa.
Ever seen that little country completely encircled by South Africa? That’s Lesotho. Although a small country, it has the fourth largest Kimberlite pipe in Southern Africa and is home to the Kao diamond mine. The Kao mine, located in the north of the country and owned by Storm Mountain Diamonds Ltd produces an array of rare coloured diamonds along with the more common colourless stones. These diamonds are then sold on tender in Antwerp, Belgium.
Responsible, ethical and sustainable sourcing are terms that hold differing definitions and weight to each individual and is a complicated topic to navigate. Storm Mountain Diamonds recognise the importance of collaborating with the communities in which they work. They provide financial support to local businesses, community health providers and offer continued education and training programmes. They employ over 700 people and have contributed over 700 million to the Lesotho government fiscus. More information about their practices can be found at stormmountaindiamonds.com.
Our diamond supplier, through their vendor purchased the parcel of rough material from the Kao mine, accompanied by official documentation, including the Kimberly Process Certificate, verifying all aspects of the transaction. Each piece of rough was weighed and photographed in its crystal form to then be matched back up to the final, polished gem. Our supplier also has input into the way each diamond is cut from the rough, ensuring the best possible outcome. This diamond has been cut into a striking kite-shaped step cut, enhancing is high clarity and golden brown colour.
The unique cut and colour of this stone was always going to dictate the overall design. We chose to follow the simple, geometric lines of the kite-shaped champagne diamond, adding a row of baguette and round brilliant cut white diamonds to create a simple but striking cluster design.
Good design isn't about being flashy for the sake of it, especially when we have a special gem to work with. Naturally, our tastes change over the years, so when we are going through the design process often we will decide on a look that is more timeless rather than one that is fashionable at the time. This was definitely the case with our beautiful champagne diamond - our final design has echoes of the Art Deco period. Simple but timeless.
At Frances Adrian we're not about fast fashion. Our passion is creating beautiful jewellery that will be enjoyed forever. Our piece has been constructed from 18ct yellow and white gold in a weight and quality suitable for the guardian of this ring to wear and love - not a catchy claw or flimsy setting in sight.
As a designer, seeing everything come together at the end of the process with the production of a truly special ring is incredibly satisfying. Plus, having the extra knowledge of the journey our diamond has taken contributes to the story the owner will be able to pass on for years to come.
Anna Seelye FGA022 460 firstname.lastname@example.org
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