10 FINE JEWELLERY DESIGNERS YOU SHOULD KNOW, COUTURE 2016

So many new discoveries at this year’s Couture Las Vegas that I can’t wait to share with you. I’ve narrowed it down to 10 fine jewellery designers that I’m sure you’ve never heard of before. It’s one of the reasons why I love the jewellery world so much. It’s always vibrant and full of surprises. You’ll fall in love with Paula Crevoshay and her selection of stones, just like I did. Prepare to be amazed at the fluidity of jewels of Mike Joseph, the vibrant shapes of ARMAGGAN, the organic world of Neha Dani, the everyday opal bracelets of Victor Velyan, the sculptural jewellery of Aida Bergsen, the sapphire mystery setting of STENZHORN, the magical and mysterious jewellery (like the legend of Atlantis) of Lydia Courteille, and finally, the fresh approach to everyday jewellery of ROULE AND CO and Nikos Koulis.

WHICH ONE IS YOUR FAVOURITE? TELL ME WHY IN THE COMMENTS BELOW.

1. PAULA CREVOSHAY

As a student of fine art, Paula Crevoshay says she feels like a painter creating each design from a colour palette of gemstones rather than paint. Rich symbolism plays heavily in each piece, revealing Crevoshay’s background in anthropology. She is interested in exploring different cultures and archetypes to bring expression to each jewellery piece. You can find Crevoshay’s work displayed at the Gemological Institute of America, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History and in the National Gem Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

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2. MIKE JOSEPH

“I love working with contrasts and creating jewellery that is both powerful and subtle. My creations are meant to become part of a woman’s image, not just to be worn on special occasions.”  Mike Joseph

Trying on these pieces was a magical experience. Craftsmanship like I’ve never seen before. Each piece fits fluidly without bulky clasps or fasteners. So organic. I had been warned that Mike Joseph captures the hearts of women and wins them over. You can count me in; he’s won me over!

Armenian born, Mike Saatji is one of many jewellers in his family known for his exquisite work. For the past 22 years he’s perfected his craft and created such avant-garde pieces as the Feather collection. A feminine line of soft, organic elegance with 10 different, romantic designs. Each piece is graceful, edgy, and seductive, showing a masterful technique of working with gold. The Feather collection bends and curves to the body by a complex metal structure that somehow always holds its shape. Beautiful diamonds run along the feather strands, crafted with precision and skill, catching the light perfectly. Magic!

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3. ARMAGGAN

The world of ARMAGGAN brings to life the forgotten values of Anatolian civilisation and creates the kind of jewellery that draws you in with its fascinating story. Because each design is made by hand, every creation is “Unique by Design” and is a beautiful and rare thing of beauty.

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ARMAGGAN PEARL MULLET NECKLACE

Just look at this beautiful Pearl Mullet necklace from the ARMAGGAN Fauna collection that brings to life the colours and vibrancy of the Anatolian region. The Pearl Mullet is a fish that inhabits the waters of Lake Van, an area known for its rich variety of fauna, climate and geography from Central Asia to the Ottomans. You’ll find traditional elements from Anatolian history in every design of ARMAGGAN.

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ARMAGGAN PEARL MULLET RING

4. NEHA DANI

Neha Dani brought something unique to the jewellery world. Fresh, never the same, modern before their time, her jewels are something I could study for hours. An artist who takes great pride in the details, Neha’s unique perspective reveals a different side and emotion at every turn. At once bold and dramatic, but feminine and beautiful, you’ll marvel over her creations and get lost in their story.

Neha’s high jewellery collection is a wonderful array of sculptural masterpieces in 18-karat gold with colourless and natural fancy coloured diamonds. Each piece is charged with emotion and natural beauty and an abstract feel. There’s a popular theme of dried leaves and flower petals that repeats itself in many beautiful variations.

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Neha carves each creation from a wax model before creating her magnificent multi-layered undulating designs. She then hand selects the diamonds for each piece that will be meticulously set by a master craftsman using traditional technique and modern technology. Every design from start to finish is an incredible undertaking of mastery and labour.

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5. VICTOR VELYAN

Victor Velyan was a diamond setter before apprenticing as a jeweller. Over the span of 11 years he mastered his craft and created his signature style that is timeless and edgy. In 1995, he opened up Victor-Christy, his manufacturing shop in Los Angeles California, which gave him the freedom and flexibility he needed to create magnificent jewellery for the industry’s top designers. Victor’s designs were so successful, they won over 27 awards. But the world was yet to see the true Victor Velyan and his own branded creations.

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VICTOR VELYAN BRACELET WITH BLACK OPALS & DIAMONDS, 24K AND SILVER, IN ANTIQUE WHITE PATINA

It was the day he designed a cuff he loved so much he wanted to wear it himself, that he knew it was time to start his own collection of jewellery. Drawing upon the old Aragon world and his passion for architecture, music, nature, travel, unique cultures, history and fine art, Velyan created bold and vivacious jewellery, combining different metals and gemstones, saving the diamonds for the grand finale.

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VICTOR VELYAN PENDANT “BUTTERFLY” WITH FIRE OPALS, BLACK AND WHITE DIAMONDS

Victor also find inspiration in Africa, his second home. He loves the vibe of this place, especially its nature and the animals who live there. He loves to study these animals and since his 20s has sponsored photographic safaris. His love of nature extends all over the world. Every September he swims with the hammerhead sharks in Mexico, as they allow him to tap into their their free and insightful outlook of the world.

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VICTOR VELYAN JELLYFISH NECKLACE WITH ROUND DIAMONDS, DIAMOND BRIOLETTES, WHITE SAPPHIRE BRIOLETTES, CABOCHON MOONSTONES, BLUE FIRE OPAL, JELLY OPAL, 18K AND 14K GOLD CHAIN

6. AIDA BERGSEN

Based in Istanbul, jeweller and sculptor Aida Bergsen creates jewellery with different themes that reflect traces of her hometown and its multi-layered cultural fibre. Her headpieces are breathtaking.

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Most of Aida’s inspiration comes from mythological heroes, organic forms and the human body that she transforms into wearable sculpture with gemstones. Each piece starts off life in wax form before being re-imagined in precious metals and jewels using traditional techniques. So enchanting is each piece, it will cast a spell on you. Aida Bergsen’s collection of cocktail rings present a fascinating glimpse into a micro-world, a gorgeous fairytale with over-sized smoky quartz adorned with flowers, insects and other creatures of the forest.

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7. STENZHORN

Masters of the invisible setting technique, German jewellery house Stenzhorn is a band of brothers each intent on bringing the most impeccable aesthetic to life in gemstones and jewellery. Founded in 1979, Stenzhorn House is admired for their mosaic settings, a technique used masterfully and elegantly throughout their collections.

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From the collection called the Noble Ones, the Chrysanthemum represents autumn as seen in Chinese culture and is often thought to bring joy, laughter and happiness to a home.

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Velutto Ring from the Mosaic Classical Collection – 18kt gold and white diamonds, sapphires

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8. LYDIA COURTEILLE

With 10 years of avant-garde jewellery design under her belt, Parisian jeweller Lydia Courteille knows how to thrill and amaze her audience. A respected resident of the Place Vendome Jewellery core, Courteille is a scientist, collector, gemologist, traveller, and above all, antique jewellery dealer. With a unique perspective and a breadth of passion, knowledge and creativity, Courteille has created a magnificent 30 collections of jewels for her many admirers. If you’re not familiar with her work, don’t worry. She has a new book out called, Lydia Courteille: Extraordinary Jewellery of Imagination and Dreams.

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Her jewellery creations speak for themselves and always make a statement. For the bold, confident, sensual woman who loves colour and unusual gemstones, each piece reveals a cultural, literary reference to France and its history. Nothing can restrain the free spirit and audacity of Lydia’s creativity. With humour as her anchor, her artistic imagination is free to explore, provoke and intoxicate with mystery, symbology, archaeology, flora and fauna, and fascinating colour. You’ll feel like a princess in charge of her own destiny when you wear Lydia Courteille.

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LYDIA COURTEILLE DEEP SEA PENDANT

This lovable octopus pendant is crafted in 18 carat white gold and hand set with a remarkable 779 stones, including sapphires, tsavorites, diamonds and an opal. You can see Lydia’s playful nature in this loveable Octopus character, as he undulates and bobs from a beautiful piece of green tsavorite algae. Lydia captures the iridescence of the deep blue sea and the underworld of Atlantis in this collection.

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9. ROULE AND CO

A labour of love and more than a decade of perfecting the skill of wireform metalwork jewellery has resulted in sheer perfection in Roule & Co’s signature Wired Collection. The work of husband and wife team Christopher Roule and Laurin Lucaire, design elements bring movement and sound to a clean aesthetic and an innovative collection of jewellery. Roule and Lucaire have worked together on a number of jewellery projects in the past, and in 2010 they joined forces to create Roule & Co.

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Roule, the master of wireform metalwork, and Lucaire, the guru of graphic design, come together to create architectural jewellery with an industrial feel. Softened with beautiful gemstones and gold, each piece is engineered much like a beautiful structure.

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10. NIKOS KOULIS

Nikos Koulis is a Greek contemporary jewellery designer with worldwide recognition and success. Coming from an established family business in jewelry, he studied Gemology and Glyptography in the Gemological Institute of America and created his own brand, Nikos Koulis Jewels, in 2006, showcasing his elaborate technique along with his deep knowledge in the quality jewelry making.

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The Spectrum collection draws heavily from his Mediterranean background with its beautiful palette of colour and light. Each piece is a display of radiance and beauty, and a variation of shapes and cuts of white and coloured diamonds, as well as lapis, corals, sapphires, pearls, iron oxide, and cold hematite. Koulis loves to play with movement and incorporates rotating parts into his cuffs and rings for flexibility and wearability. A true testament to his precision and skill as a designer.

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In timeless tradition, his art deco jewellery won me over for its modernity and fashionable good looks.

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Thanks for stopping by! Who is your favourite designer? Leave me a message in the comments below.

I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, The New York Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

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