And why perfection isn’t all that in the jewellery world.
“It was a trip to Rajasthan that reignited that passion,” Vanessa Wong says of uncovering and dusting off her love of jewellery making again.
“A chance meeting with an astrologer who told me that I should wear emeralds led me serendipitously to meet a gem trader and jewellery manufacturer … and here we are!” says Wong, whose Stoneleigh line finds the perfect balance between statement rock and every day jewels.
Born in Papua New Guinea Wong’s first foray into jewellery making was born from the colourful washed up, polished-by-the-ocean glass found on the island’s beaches. Now, her design process is more evolved but still very much inspired by colour and the stones themselves.
“Sometimes it’s as simple as falling in love with a particular stone,” Wong says of her starting point, adding that sitting down with a gem dealer is like selecting lollies from a candy store. “I would select my stone, and the cut that I feel brings out the spirit of the stone. I know that sounds strange, but I truly believe the stone selects the design and in turn selects the wearer.”
Working with pearls, diamonds, emeralds and rubies, as well as rose quartz, citrine and topaz, the line accommodates all jewellery fetishes. Stackable fine gold rings in hexagon, zig zag or chain variations sit alongside floating pearl necklaces and a sweet ear bar that wriggles along lobe.
“I think jewellery can be minimal in design but that doesn’t mean you can’t wear more than one piece,” Wong says of her approach to wearing pieces day-to-day. “Buy what you love, don’t over think it. Buy good pieces, don’t scrimp when it comes to quality. Gold holds it value, so always try to buy ‘solid gold’ over gold plated.”
Wong also wisely advocates for avoiding trends when it comes to jewellery, adding that “if you wear the piece everyday – then that’s a good investment”.
Maybe most importantly, Wong believes that gems with imperfections or inclusions (blemishes or characteristics of a stone) can often be more special and set a piece apart from the crowd, so to speak.