Thirty-one jewels by 31 jewelers all with different perspectives and from all over the world. They were among the 200 or so fine jewelry and watch firms that exhibited at the recently concluded Couture Show in the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas Resorts.
In the aisles of the main ballrooms and in the private rooms and villas during the annual trade fair were some of the biggest names and most promising jewelers in the world. There are certainly more high-quality creations that could have been included in this list, but even on an online forum there are limitations. The collection of jewels below has several Italian brands and a number of first-time exhibitors. The only other thing that is in common with these pieces is that from top to bottom they are exceptional.
Dutch jewelry designer, Bibi Van der Velden’s Big Tulip Ring is inspired by the Parrot Tulip. The ring’s petals are crafted out of 18k white and yellow gold with blackened details; and embellished with brown and white diamonds, and green tsavorites. A tiny, blackened silver human head sits within the flower’s pistils, while a moonstone symbolizes a water droplet. A carved rock crystal maggot and blackened silver ants crawl over and under the petals. The ring’s stem-shaped shank is embellished with green tsavorites, with a moonstone that represent where the stem has been cut.
The French-Filipino company, Jewelmer, specializes in South Sea pearls grown in the Philippines. Among their unveilings at Couture was a set of bridal jewels that includes an elegant pair of gold and diamond drop earrings each completed with a golden South Sea pearl.
Italian jewelry brand, Qayten, used Couture to launch the Origami collection with rings and pendants inspired by the clean lines and angles of the ancient Japanese art of origami. The intricate paper folding techniques reveal sculpted and crafted three-dimensional landscapes using yellow and white gold with diamond pavé.
Ara Vartanian had quite an impressive first showing at Couture. The Sao Paolo, Brazil-based jewelry designer with an international following and star collaborations, became the first recipient of the “Best in Debuting” prize from the Couture Design Awards. A new Octopus two-finger ring, one of his most popular designs, is in 18k white gold set with diamonds and centered with a 27.76-carat pear shaped Paraiba tourmaline.
Another first time exhibitor, Gismondi 1754, also had a very good show receiving the People’s Choice prize from the Couture Design Awards. The Italian jewelry brand won for a one-of-kind Essenza necklace. The sleek jewel was crafted with diamonds and Colombian emeralds in long shimmering strands.
Italian jewelry brand, Vendorafa, had a strong showing with its Anaconda Mosaic Collection that showcases its gold hammering, engraving and embossing techniques. In this case, the finish resembles snakeskin. The jewels are further enhanced with different colored diamonds. They are available in colors such as black, green, and brown. The Mosaic Cuff (pictured) received the Couture Design Awards Editor’s Choice prize.
Los Angeles jewelry designer, Suzanne Kalan, unveiled a number of new pieces using her signature baguette-cut diamonds, sapphires, and colored gemstones in various settings. One of the winners was the Rainbow Frenzy Eternity Band in 18k gold with multi-colored baguette sapphires and round diamonds.
This year’s Couture Show marked the first appearance of Robert Procop, gem dealer, personal jeweler and designer whose clientele includes Hollywood stars and jewelry and gem collectors around the world. He appeared for one day in a private villa crowded with friends and collectors, many to see his special guest, Brooke Shields. The two collaborated on a jewelry line for charity called Legacy Brooke and the second grouping of creations were unveiled publicly for the first time.
The collection includes long earrings and sautoir necklaces with matching rings and bracelets in colors of pink, purple and white. To create those colors, the design partners used rose quartz, amethyst, white quartz, colored topaz, white sapphires and white jade—occasionally matched with pavé pink spinels. The main gems are formed as sugarloaf cabochons.
Muzo is both the name of a company and the name of the legendary mines in Colombia known for producing some of the world’s most legendary emeralds. The company that owns the mines north of Bogotá is mining, distributing and marketing the emeralds that are discovered. In addition, they are creating and selling jewels made of Muzo emeralds. This includes the Muzo Necklace, with more than 228 carats of emeralds along with yellow and white diamonds set in 18k yellow gold.
First time Couture exhibitor, Moksh, from Mumbai, provided a strong first impression by introducing a technique where jewels are created using hand-woven Japanese micro-keshi pearls, often combined with diamonds and colored gems. The end result is a bejeweled fabric.
Lepa Galeb-Roskopp, the founder and the creative head of Misahara, says her luxury jewels reflect both her home in Montenegro and the diversity of her travels to Africa, Europe and the U.S., from large cities to remote locations. Her luxury Serene Eyes Ring reflects this diversity using two large pear-shaped emeralds, along with drop emeralds and diamonds set in 18k yellow gold.
Maison Tabbah, the Lebanese designer who produces both high jewelry creations and fine jewels, unveiled new pieces from its Reptilia Collection, made of a myriad coiled shapes that resemble a snake in rose gold with touches of diamonds. They can be stacked in many creative ways.
Paula Crevoshay is a highly successful jewelry artist who specializes in unique creations. Many are on display at museums around the country including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and in the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. More recently her works have appeared at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and the Mines ParisTech museum in Paris. One of her pieces at Couture was a highly crafted fish made of gold with flowing fins and scaly body blowing bubbles made of blue gemstones.
The internationally renowned and award-winning jewelry designer, Stephen Webster, again was one of the main attractions at the Couture Show and these angular earrings in gold, diamonds and colored gems was one of the reasons why.
Airy and light, these white gold and sapphire and diamond earrings were among the well-designed and crafted gold and titanium pieces on display by Italian designer, Giovanni Ferraris.
Buddha Mama has made quite an impact in a short period of time with its high-karat handmade jewels inspired by Buddhism and ancient Eastern traditions. It’s because of pieces like the Tie Dye Evil Eye Pendant Set (pictured) in 20k yellow gold and blue tie dye enamel, centered with an impressive round diamond surrounded by blue sapphires and “lashes” of diamonds and blue sapphires.
Cobra earrings by Los Angeles-based jewelry designer, Andy Lif, uses a “plique á jour” enameling technique. The blue enamel is encased in 18k yellow gold that appear like windows and are topped with diamonds.
Moon and sun faces are an integral part of Anthony Lent’s hand-made jewels. This gold and diamond crescent moonface ring centered with an opal is an example. The Moonface motif is inspired by a classic image from 19th century illustrations.
Milan-based jeweler, Antonini, personifies the phrase, “less is more,” with its well-crafted contemporary jewelry designs. This ring from the brand’s “Extraordinaire” high jewelry collection uses a center emerald surrounded by pave emeralds set in 18k yellow gold in a smooth, matte finished.
Assael is one of the world’s top jewelers who specialize in pearls, coral and other treasuries from the sea. This set of earrings shows how the firm can combine the “fruits of the sea” with other materials. In this case carved jade and tsavorites are combined with Tahitian pearls.
Jordan Alexander Jewelry, founded by Alabama-based jewelry designer, Theresa Bruno, brought a number of her “contemporary heirlooms,” often inspired by music and travel. The pieces included the diamond-paved Swan bracelet, pictured.
The iconic David Yurman brand was showing several of its high jewelry pieces, including its Petals Ring made of finely crafted and polished 18k gold centered with a cultured South Sea golden pearl and completed with a sprinkling of pavé diamonds.
One of the standouts at the Couture designer section was Lito. Among the creations the Greek jeweler presented, was a pair of Tu Es Partout (You’re Everywhere) earrings with big and small blue enameled eyes and black brilliant-cut diamonds completed with 14k pink gold.
Los Angeles-based jeweler, Vram, was one of the designers who created a lot of buzz at Couture for his handmade jewels. This included four pieces he created in partnership with Canadamark branded Canadian diamonds and the jewelry design showroom, Muse, as part of a special exhibition at Couture. These thin, elegant earrings highlight the natural patterns of pear-shaped Montana agates framed with brilliant diamonds.
Another jeweler making her first appearance at Couture was Loree Rodkin, known for her bold yet elegant gothic themed jewels that are favored by actors, rock stars and even Michelle Obama. Among her most iconic designs is the Bondage Ring that covers the entire finger and was based on medieval finger armor. One of her pieces at the show was the Baby Baguette Bondage Ring in 18k black rhodium gold set with black diamonds.
Lydia Courteille is one of the world’s most important high jewelry artists and her annual appearance at Couture never disappoints. The Parisian jeweler’s newest collection, La Vie En Rose, is a tribute to the glamour of the women in her home city. They include elaborate pink-colored earrings made of pink gold, titanium, sapphires and morganites that easily detail the inspirations for the collection, which are Parisian glamour, sexy lingerie, night cabarets and the erotic side of antique mythology.
Retailers who didn’t order the engraved Unico Africa Bead and Baroque Pearl Earrings by Italian jeweler, Marco Bicego, are probably regretting it. The 18k gold earrings were worn twice in July by Zoe Kravitz at high profile events in Positano, Italy, and Paris, surrounding her highly publicized wedding.
High jewelry designer, Maria Canale, presented her Voyager collection in German walnut wood with 18k yellow gold suglarloaf centers and colored gemstones, including smoky and blue topaz, green tourmaline and rhodolite. The collection is inspired by worldwide travels during the 1920 and 1930s on ocean liners and airplanes. The collection includes the 18k yellow gold and precious wood ring pictured.
Selim Mouzannar, the French-Lebanese jeweler based in Beirut presented these layered pink gold and red enamel earrings set with round diamonds.
The Art Ring by Anna Maccieri Rossi combines the creativity of her native Italy with the craftsmanship of Switzerland where she spent many years doing artisan work in the watch industry. This 18k yellow gold ring has a mother of pearl “dial” (think watches) painted with an art rendering in lacquer and topped with four blue sapphire indexes. The other part of the ring contains a rectangular Lapis Lazuli and four diamonds.