Finer Things

of the Jewelry World

Veranda - - CONTENTS -

The seven won­ders of the jewelry world, from rare yel­low di­a­monds to Sri Lankan sap­phires

The largest square emer­ald-cut di­a­mond, a bril­liant jasper mined only at low tide: here, a look at the most cov­eted gems right now.

1 SRI LANKA Pad­parad­scha Sap­phire

Though the of-the-mo­ment stone took on a re­newed mys­tique last year when it ap­peared at the cen­ter of Princess Eu­ge­nie’s en­gage­ment ring, the rare South Asian sap­phire has in­trigue built into its very name. From the Sin­halese word “pad­mara­gaya”—or lo­tus color—the stone’s moniker is said to honor the ex­otic blos­som with its tinges of red, pink, or­ange, and yel­low. It took sev­eral years to col­lect match­ing stones for this ra­di­ant neck­lace: “The gems are so ex­cep­tional that we wanted them, not the de­sign, to be the fo­cus of the jewelry,” notes Tom Hey­man from Os­car Hey­man. Un­heated Pad­parad­scha Neck­lace by Os­car Hey­man, $450,000; os­carhey­man.com

2 PA­CIFIC ISLES An­gel Skin Co­ral

An ethe­real shade of blush, An­gel Skin co­ral was har­vested from deep be­low the sur­face of seas around Ja­pan, Tai­wan, and Hawaii un­til the 1980s, when the practice was sus­pended to pro­tect the dwin­dling re­source. This makes As­sael’s dis­cov­ery of a sup­ply har­vested prior to the ban all the more prized. Here, it’s paired with the pre­cious stone chameleon tour­ma­line, in pink. An­gel Skin Co­ral Drop Ear­rings with Bi­color Tour­ma­line and Spinel by As­sael, $68,000; avail­able at Neiman Mar­cus, 1-800-365-7989

3 BOTSWANA Lesedi La Rona Di­a­mond

The largest square emer­ald-cut di­a­mond in the world, the 302.37 carat Graff Lesedi La Rona is also the largest high­est color, high­est clar­ity di­a­mond ever cer­ti­fied by the Ge­mo­log­i­cal In­sti­tute of Amer­ica. Found at the Lu­cara Karowe mine in north-cen­tral Botswana and ac­quired by Graff in 2017, the orig­i­nal rough was an­a­lyzed, cut, and pol­ished over more than 18 months. This pen­dant is crafted from one of the 66 spec­tac­u­lar satel­lite stones, mak­ing it a deca­dent slice of the historic gem. 26.22 carat D Flaw­less Pear-shaped Pen­dant from the Lesedi La Rona by Graff, price upon re­quest; graff.com

4 BRAZIL Blue Beryl

The 1917 find was fan­tas­tic: a beryl of a blue so deep it ri­valed sap­phires. Pulled from the Max­ixe Mine in Mi­nas Gerais, Brazil, the stone was an in­stant sen­sa­tion. But one af­ter an­other the rare beryls lost their color in di­rect sun­light. Soon, de­mand col­lapsed and the mine closed. But with care (and lim­ited ex­po­sure to the sun), this Brazil­ian gem re­tained its color. It’s shown here in a folk­loric tiara de­sign in­spired by the huipil, an em­broi­dered blouse worn by women in an­cient Mayan civ­i­liza­tions. Nuevo Mundo Tiara by Ly­dia Courteille, price upon re­quest; ly­di­a­courteille.com

MADA­GAS­CAR Ocean Jasper

Some of the earth’s se­crets are more tightly held than others. This or­bic­u­lar jasper was dis­cov­ered in the early 1900s along the north­west coast of Mada­gas­car, in a spot ac­ces­si­ble only dur­ing low tide. And then it was for­got­ten for nearly a cen­tury. In 1997, a photo of the stone sur­faced and the search was on again for this rare gem. With the trade name “Ocean Jasper,” it’s mined only here, and only at low tide, mak­ing the be­guil­ing pat­terns, bound by white gold and di­a­mond pavé in this ring by Ta­mara Co­molli, like a glimpse into that se­cret, water-guarded world. Large Ocean Jasper Ring by Ta­mara Co­molli, $6,620; 631-283-7600

CANADA Yel­low Di­a­mond

Con­sider this the gift of ni­tro­gen. Di­a­monds are nor­mally prized for their ab­sence of color. But when ni­tro­gen atoms—in the rarest of in­stances— sub­sti­tute for car­bon in a di­a­mond’s crys­tal lattice, the re­sult is a stun­ning yel­low gem that oc­curs in only one out of 16,500 di­a­mond carats mined. Here, they find a dra­matic pair­ing in de Griso­gono’s drop ear­rings with black di­a­monds, which found se­ri­ous fame when Mr. Big gave Car­rie Brad­shaw a five-carat black di­a­mond en­gage­ment ring in the 2010 film, Sex in the City 2. One-of-a-kind Cre­ation High Jewelry Yel­low and Black Di­a­mond Ear­rings with 18 karat gold by de Griso­gono, price upon re­quest; de­griso­gono.com

PERU Blue Opal

What the na­tional stone of Peru lacks in the clas­sic color-play of a tra­di­tional opal, it makes up for with its rel­a­tive rar­ity. This blue opal is found only in the An­des Moun­tains, and its del­i­cate hue and iri­des­cent qual­ity are of­ten likened to rip­ples cut­ting across trop­i­cal seas. That res­o­nance was not lost on de­signer Rachel Clin­nick, who com­bined the oceanic color with Ro­man in­flu­ences in the gold de­tail­ing “to cre­ate what I would like to find on a ship­wreck of an­cient trea­sures,” she notes. Peruvian Opal One-of-a-kind Neck­laces with 18 karat gold and di­a­monds by Thalia Jewelry, price upon re­quest; thali­a­jew­elry.com

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