Coloured gemstones intricately woven into fine jewellery designs mirror the unequivocal artistry of European jewellers.
Rings with moonstones and diamonds by Victor Mayer
‘Era’ bracelet with diamonds, amethysts, prasiolites and London blue topaz stones by Victor Mayer
Blue topaz, peridot and diamond ring by Tamara Comolli
Tamara Comolli’s Mikado flamenco bracelet from the Candy Collection
Citrine earrings by Tamara Comolli
Sapphire and diamond earrings and ring by Frieden
Citrine earrings by Frieden
Emerald and diamond ring by GioMio
Sapphire and diamond earrings by GioMio
Green turquoise ring in pink gold by Indygo
In a world grappling with macroeconomic and geopolitical upheavals, ingenuity continues to thrive in the fine jewellery sector. Complementing this creativity boom is an assortment of coloured gemstones in the market.
Resplendent reds, pristine blues and enchanting greens still dominate classic collections while unconventional gems in hazy pinks and yellows, or subdued purples, are gaining traction in the trade.
Colours play a twofold role in the jewellery sector – a conduit to express one's individuality and a critical factor in formulating businesses' design and branding strategies.
This special feature delves on European jewellers' steadfast pursuit of perfection through coloured gemstone jewellery pieces in timeless yet trend-defying designs.
Legacy and expertise
With more than a century of experience in the fine jewellery sector, Germany-based Victor Mayer has amassed a solid following from Europe, the US, Middle East and Asia. What sets the company apart from its counterparts is the distinctiveness of its designs, according to fourth-generation jeweller and managing partner at Victor Mayer, Marcus Oliver Mohr.
The company was established in 1890. “We sell to retailers who are into exquisite, extraordinary jewellery pieces since we have one-of-a-kind products,” he noted. “We are known for enamel jewellery, which is our best seller, as well as coloured gemstone pieces.”
All jewellery pieces are in 18-karat gold. At the centre of these are tourmalines, tanzanite and topaz stones, amethysts, and moonstones, to name a few.
The designs, aptly described as cosmopolitan, demonstrate sophisticated patterns and details achieved through decades-old craftsmanship and modern technology.
Mohr remarked that Victor Mayer's success is largely anchored on its artistry and ability to meet difficulties head on such as changes in consumer behaviour.
“Jewellery has lost its appeal in industrialised countries but there's potential in new markets such as Asia, particularly China. It's imperative to have exceptional products and a more focused marketing initiative,” continued Mohr.
The present situation also necessitates working closely with retail partners to identify emerging design trends and appropriate promotional tools.
For instance, buyers are now on the lookout for dainty jewellery pieces that can be worn every day as opposed to ostentatious designs. There is also heightened interest in bespoke items and stories behind the products as part of an overall unique buying experience.
Patrick Aeschbacher of Swiss jeweller Frieden likewise banks on the company's jewellery making heritage to sustain growth. With a rich repository of special, top-quality gemstones, Frieden has built a wide customer base composed of retail brands mainly from Europe and the US.
“We are experts in the business, having been around since 1898. We have access to special stones, thanks to our global contacts and a good eye for outstanding pieces. This is our competitive advantage,” revealed Aeschbacher. “We also offer different price ranges.”
Headlining the manufacturer's coloured gemstone jewellery collections are sapphires, rubies, emeralds and tsavorites, among other stones.
The company mainly caters to customers who favour inimitable jewellery pieces with a personal touch. A sure-fire way to rise above the competition is to be different, according to Aeschbacher. Frieden also counts on the market's increasing affinity for individuality and colour. Nature-inspired pieces are the stars of the jeweller's well-loved collections, with investment-grade gemstones at the centre of the jewellery pieces.
The company official cited strong potential in both high- and mid-end gemstone and jewellery categories since some buyers, specifically those from Asia, are now acquiring middle-range products before moving on to the luxury segment.
“There are customers who remain keen on investing in premium coloured gemstones such as sapphires. High-quality sapphires comprise around five percent of what's in the market today, so these are quite attractive to our clients,” disclosed Aeschbacher.
Colours are woven into the very fabric of award-winning German designer Tamara Comolli's miscellany of fine jewellery pieces.
At the core of her creations are a diverse array of gems, from delicate rose tourmalines to vivid amethysts and iolites, mesmerising blue topaz stones, refreshing peridots and ravishing garnets, to mention a few.
Her eponymous brand, Tamara Comolli, offers rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants in 18-karat rose, yellow and white gold.
A winner of the De Beers Diamond Award in 2004, Tamara describes her design philosophy as largely hinged upon versatility, redefined elegance and a celebration of originality. Her creations often evoke a sense of unpretentious sophistication, with the coloured gemstones injecting a dose of novelty to the pieces.
“We have a very colourful world,” remarked Tamara. “Creating fun and visually stimulating jewellery using a wide range of gemstones is in our DNA. Our buyers count on us to deliver such products to them.”
Another defining characteristic of the designer's collections is the inspired combination of colours, which Tamara aptly termed as “colour stories.”
Among the jeweller's vivid collections are Candy, Caribbean, Indian Summer, Rainforest, Cashmere, Mandarin and Cinnamon – all of which make use of coloured gems in dazzling patterns and permutations to create standout, ultra-feminine pieces.
Tamara said she presents “casual luxury” to buyers, adding that every piece is stunning yet convenient and easy to wear.
Her focus this year is to enrich her collection of earrings to include more creative pieces such as longer, statement or mismatched pairs.
Tamara's main buyers are from Europe and the US but she's also building a solid base of clients from Asia, Philippines in particular, and a few Middle Eastern countries.
“Our advantage is we are colourful and adventurous when it comes to using exotic materials such as wood or jasper from Madagascar,” continued Tamara. “From a design perspective, the pieces are trendy yet classic. This is a great niche to be in.”
Belgian jeweller GioMio primarily offers diamond jewellery collections but its coloured gemstone pieces are also consistent crowd drawers at international trade shows.
Georges Sabbagh, designer and CEO at GioMio, highlighted the company's Camélia Collection, which features an assortment of floral-inspired earrings, rings, pendants and bracelets in 18-karat gold, adorned mainly with emeralds and sapphires.
“Our designs are mostly influenced by nature, so they are timeless and don't go out of style,” explained Sabbagh.
GioMio's products are especially attractive to retailers and corporate clients from Europe, but the company recently started exploring business opportunities in the Middle East. It has been around for 25 years but the GioMio brand was launched only six years ago.
Colours are also the crux of every Indygo jewellery piece, according to company designer and founder Yves Laumonier.
The French jewellery manufacturer uses a great deal of coloured gemstones such as turquoise, lapiz lazuli and tiger's eye stones, and mother-of-pearl, to name a few, to adorn its 18-karat gold pieces.
“There's a deluge of pavé diamond jewellery in the market and it's quite challenging to be creative using these materials. We offer colourful options that truly stand out. This is the road that we want to follow,” shared Laumonier.
From experience, the veteran jeweller said buyers are drawn to exceptional products that don't break the bank. At retail, Indygo's jewellery pieces fall under the US$500 to $2,000 medium-price range, with the most expensive piece at US$5,000.
The jewellery pieces are meant for self-actualised women who buy jewellery to celebrate a promotion, complement a new outfit or just because they're happy, noted the company official. The pieces can also be mixed and matched easily to create fresh, trendy looks.
Indygo mainly sells to Europe, Japan, the Caribbean and South America.