Inspirations

Melanie Georgacopoulos’ New ‘Carats’ Natural Hippopus Pearl Jewelry Collection Celebrates Design, Rarity, and Ingenuity

New York City. Feb. 2, 2021. To celebrate her 10th year in business, UK jewelry designer Melanie Georgacopoulos offers a natural pearl jewelry collection with one-of-a-kind designs. Called Carats, offerings include Hippopus non-nacreous natural pearls from the Hippopus tropical marine bivalve mollusk, or giant saltwater clam, along with diamonds and mother-of-pearl. The collection name refers to the fact that both diamonds and natural pearls, unlike cultured pearls, are measured in carat weight.

Many know of Georgacopoulos’ love affair with pearls and her ongoing desire to push the boundaries of designs with them, so to mark her special anniversary, she ensured that a specific type of natural pearl—the rarest of all pearls—took center stage. The name Hippopus comes from ancient Greek and means horse foot. Hippopus pearls are whitish in color and have a flame pattern like other non-nacreous natural pearls (think conch and melo melo), but cost less, and aren’t as widely seen in fine jewelry. Another positive in Georgacopoulos’ view?

“They look more special than natural freshwaters,” she explains of the gems she sourced from Indonesia.

TARA Inventory Reduction Blowout Sale 40% Off Wholesale Prices for the trade

Hard to miss in the collection is Georgacopoulos’ new embedded jewelry technique, where diamonds or pearls appear to be pushed into mother-of-pearl to create a cushion-like effect.

“It took a lot of time to develop it with the carver,” she reveals. “We did several plasticine models, and the carver did a few samples with mother-of-pearl, before agreeing on the best way to make it look more ‘cushiony.’ I wanted the nacre to really look like it had been spontaneously pressed into, so as to highlight the softness of the mother-of-pearl, especially in contrast to the hard diamonds. The feeling of not being able to entirely control everything, such as the position of the most precious elements, feels appropriate at this time. COVID-19 has hindered production but also highlighted the importance of consuming less but better goods.”

Eliko Pearls has specialty pearls of all types, including Maki-e mosaic pearls, faceted pearls, and blue akoyas.

Also unique in the collection is the diversity of looks within it. Typically, collections feature matching pieces, but not Carats, which is an ongoing body of work featuring one-of-a-kind jewels that complement one another. Earrings, bangles, and rings bear different styles of diamonds with multiple shapes, cuts, colors, settings, and sizes. The resulting pieces don’t follow one single narrative or aesthetic. The artist also plans to show designs as they are completed, not all at one time, a move that eliminates a rigid race to finish items.

“I’m giving myself the freedom to design pieces that form a group whilst being different to each other rather than rolling out the same technique over 20 to 30 pieces as I’ve done in the past,” Georgacopoulos adds. “As more additions come in, you will see the narrative of pearls, mother-of-pearl, and diamonds evolving in terms of design and techniques used.” Eleven pieces are currently available, with more in production. All are made in recycled 18k white, yellow, and rose gold to complement the colors of the diamonds. Retail prices range from $5,400 to $30,000. To date, three pieces are on hold and several private commissions have been initiated. Interested parties can email info@melaniegeorgacopoulos.com for purchase.

V signet ring in recycled 18k white gold with lavender and white mother-of-pearl and 0.78 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, £4,800; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos

V signet ring in recycled 18k white gold with lavender and white mother-of-pearl and 0.78 ct. t.w. colorless diamonds, £4,800; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos

Asymmetric drop earrings in 18k white and rose gold with 5.5 cts. t.w. white hippopus pearls and 0.91 cts. t.w. white and purple radiant-cut diamonds, £4,800; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos

Asymmetric drop earrings in 18k white and rose gold with 5.5 cts. t.w. white hippopus pearls and 0.91 cts. t.w. white and purple radiant-cut diamonds, £4,800; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos

Embedded bracelet in recycled 18k yellow gold with white mother-of-pearl and 11 cts. t.w. white hippopus pearls, £16,200; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos

Embedded bracelet in recycled 18k yellow gold with white mother-of-pearl and 11 cts. t.w. white hippopus pearls, £16,200; available online at Melanie Georgacopoulos


This content is copyright protected and many not be reproduced.

Inspirations

Coin Stars: Coin-Shape Pearl Jewelry Is on a Roll

New York City. Feb. 1, 2021. Coin-shape pearls are showing up more frequently in designer lines. The shape is the result of a disc-shape mother-of-pearl bead implanted into mainly freshwater mollusks for a resulting cultured pearl that is the same shape as the bead. These round, flat pearls make for a fun, lustrous silhouette ideal for creative minds to design with. Here are five fresh looks featuring coin-shape pearls.

TARA Inventory Blowout Sale 40% Off Wholesale Prices for the Trade
Amore necklace in 14k yellow gold with heart-shape freshwater coin pearl, $220; available online at Nishi Pearls

Amore necklace in 14k yellow gold with heart-shape freshwater coin pearl, $220; available online at Nishi Pearls

Pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with a 12–13 mm freshwater coin pearl, $650; Imperial Pearl, email Customerservice@imperialpearl.com for purchase

Pendant necklace in 14k yellow gold with a 12–13 mm freshwater coin pearl, $650; Imperial Pearl, email Customerservice@imperialpearl.com for purchase

Eliko Pearl has specialty pearls of all types, including Maki-e mosaic pearls, faceted pearls, and blue akoyas.

Halo earrings in 14k yellow gold with cultured 11 mm coin-shape freshwater pearls, $880; K. Mita Jewelry, email design@k-mita.com for purchase

Dylan necklace in 24k gold and oxidized silver with a 14 mm cultured coin-shape freshwater pearl and 0.21 ct. t.w. diamonds on a 23.5k gold and oxidized silver adjustable chain, $2,060; Lika Behar, email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase

Dylan necklace in 24k gold and oxidized silver with a 14 mm cultured coin-shape freshwater pearl and 0.21 ct. t.w. diamonds on a 23.5k gold and oxidized silver adjustable chain, $2,060; Lika Behar, email likabehar@likabehar.com for purchase

Trinity Collection drop earrings in 14k yellow and rose gold with 0.52 ct. t.w. garnets cut from heirloom Mociun family rough and cultured coin-shape pearls from North America, $3,325; Mociun, available online at Mociun

Trinity Collection drop earrings in 14k yellow and rose gold with 0.52 ct. t.w. garnets cut from heirloom Mociun family rough and cultured coin-shape pearls from North America, $3,325; Mociun, available online at Mociun

For more jewelry trends, click here!


This content is copyright protected and many not be reproduced.

Inspirations

5 Jewelry Designers with Drool-Worthy Modern Gemstone Inlay

New York City. Jan. 8, 2021. Gemstone inlay is a beautiful type of jewelry setting popularized by mother-of-pearl, coral, and shell pieces in Native American jewelry and traditional designs, but time and talent have paved the way for newer interpretations. The five following jewelry designers cast a fresh spotlight on a traditional category; their pieces stand out in the realm of inlay jewelry in the marketplace today. Which look is your fave?

Ambre Dahan of Ambre Victoria

Dahan debuted her jewelry collection in 2016, which features graphic inlay pieces like turquoise in chevron shapes.

Jewelry Designer: Cuff bracelets in 18k with diamonds and turquoise inlay (the fifth cuff belongs to another brand); DM @ambrevictoria on Instagram for purchase info.

Cuff bracelets in 18k with diamonds and turquoise inlay (the fifth cuff belongs to another brand); DM @ambrevictoria on Instagram for purchase info.

Source: @ambrevictoria on Instagram

Delphine Leymarie of Delphine Leymarie Jewelry

Leymarie debuted her inlay pieces in 2017; click here to read the whole story.

Jewelry Designer: Boheme Confetti chain in 14k yellow gold is 16 inches and has white mother-of-pearl, $1,625; available online at Delphine Leymarie.

Boheme Confetti chain in 14k yellow gold is 16 inches and has white mother-of-pearl, $1,625; available online at Delphine Leymarie

Joel Baynard of Freestone Peach

Baynard debuted his clever inlay technique in 2013; click here to read the story.

Jewelry Designer: Bangle in spalted holly wood with Ethiopian opal; DM @freestonepeach on Instagram for purchase info.

Bangle in spalted holly wood with Ethiopian opal; DM @freestonepeach on Instagram for purchase info

Lauren Harwell Godfrey of Harwell Godfrey Jewelry

Inlay was part of the brand’s DNA at the time of its debut in February 2018 and continues to be a defining aesthetic for it. The designer likes inlay for its clean, crisp, and graphic way to showcase gems and patterns.

Jewelry Designer: Evil Eye Inlay ring in 18k yellow gold with lapis and tanzanite, $3,300; available online at Harwell Godfrey

Evil Eye Inlay ring in 18k yellow gold with lapis and tanzanite, $3,300; available online at Harwell Godfrey

Marla Aaron of Marla Aaron Jewelry

The Inlay series from Marla Aaron features a variety of gems, including opal and malachite (and even Fordite, which is layers of paint from automotive factory floors), in the designer’s cufflinks, locks, rings, bracelets, and charm jewels. Inlay pieces from Aaron debuted in 2017.

Jewelry Designer: Inlay jewels from Marla Aaron are available for purchase online.

Inlay jewels from Marla Aaron are available for purchase online.


This content is copyright protected and many not be reproduced.

Inspirations

Butterfly Jewelry Celebrates Spiritual Rebirth, Transformation, Change, Hope, and Life

New York City. Jan. 5, 2021. Butterfly jewelry seems like a fitting way to kick off a new year. Butterflies are a symbol of rebirth and transformation, and myriad jewelry designers are incorporating them into finished designs. From gemstone versions to all-metal ones, butterflies are an inspiring and pretty symbol to perch in any jewelry box. Here are five newer pieces to ponder collecting.

Butterfly stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 3.69 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstone, $575; available online at Tresor Jewels

Butterfly stud earrings in 18k yellow gold with 3.69 cts. t.w. rainbow moonstone, $575; available online at Tresor Jewels

Cuff in sterling silver with 14k gold accents with a 12.3 ct. pink and orange tourmaline butterfly and 0.13 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, $2,699; available online at Jen Volkodav Jewelry Design

Cuff in sterling silver with 14k gold accents with a 12.3 ct. pink and orange tourmaline butterfly and 0.13 cts. t.w. rubellite tourmalines, $2,699; available online at Jen Volkodav Jewelry Design

Long necklace in black rhodium-plated sterling silver with brown spinel beads, 13.58 cts. t.w. red sapphires, yellow sapphires, and amethysts; black and metallic olive enamel; and a butterfly motif, $3,400; available online at Matthew Campbell Laurenza (MCL) Design

Long necklace in black rhodium-plated sterling silver with brown spinel beads, 13.58 cts. t.w. red sapphires, yellow sapphires, and amethysts; black and metallic olive enamel; and a butterfly motif, $3,400; available online at Matthew Campbell Laurenza (MCL) Design

Award-winning Dancing Butterflies ring in 18k white gold with a white South Sea pearl, 2.30 cts. t.w. pink sapphires, and 1.20 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,000; available for order at Kyllonen Luxury

Award-winning Dancing Butterflies ring in 18k white gold with a white South Sea pearl, 2.30 cts. t.w. pink sapphires, and 1.20 cts. t.w. diamonds, $5,000; available for order at Kyllonen Luxury

Tiger Swallowtail, a large, hinged articulating butterfly necklace with 14k rose and 18k white and yellow gold in Shakudo (a Japanese method of colorizing metal) and black diamond accents on an 18k yellow gold chain, $9,000; available online at James Banks Design

Tiger Swallowtail, a large, hinged articulating butterfly necklace with 14k rose and 18k white and yellow gold in Shakudo (a Japanese method of colorizing metal) and black diamond accents on an 18k yellow gold chain, $9,000; available online at James Banks Design


This content is copyright protected and many not be reproduced.