Proud of his bounty, a gem collector came to me with a wonderful assortment of rare Demantoid garnets he had been gathering. Demantoid garnets, primarily mined in Russia and Namibia, behave in light similarly to diamonds and appear fiery. They are rare, beautiful and quite collectible.
My client’s desired to showcase his collection of gems in a custom designed piece of jewelry that would be interesting to a future buyer at an auction. In the meantime, his fiancée could wear it to events.
Designing a Visual Story
His desire collided with my challenge: to create a visually cohesive jewel out of a mélange of differing sizes, hues, and quality of Demantoids. To meet the client’s goal of eventual action sale, I thought we needed to reinforce a visual “demantoid story” to captivate a future buyer-collector. Then, we had to beautifully showcase the Demantoid Garnets of many sizes and colors. With so much variety, the challenge is one of creating continuity out of chaos.
For eventual auction sale, I wanted to avoid the sizing issues that accompany rings and bracelets for resale. A pendant seemed the most fitting choice.
Field of Brilliant Green Demantoid Garnet
I began to view the pendant as a bouquet or mosaic that mimicked the field of green found in an Impressionist painting. This field included shades of emerald, olive, and green colored with yellow. The metal selected to frame the piece would need to pair well with all hues. I wanted to add warmth to the gems, so I selected yellow and rose gold.
Mindful of cost and knowing my client’s goal was eventual profit at auction, I located pre-manufactured palladium baskets in which to set the gems, tweaking each one to fit its intended recipient and adding grace by refashioning the prongs. The one oval Demantoid Garnet I set as a drop… an exclamation point to end the sentence.