Yellow sapphires set in yellow 18k gold,featuring rubies and white diamonds, convertible to a broach
Imperial yellow-brown tourmaline set in yellow 18k gold, featuring white diamonds, topaz, aquamarine and citrine
Green tourmaline set in yellow and white 18k gold, featuring pink tourmalines and round white diamonds
Rectangular spessartine broach set in white 18k gold, featuring rubies , white diamonds and tsavorite, mounted on 8mm white pearls
Pearl and marquise diamond sautoir mounted with spessartine broach, set in white 18k gold, featuring yellow and pink sapphires and tsavorite
Broach set in white 18k gold, featuring marquise, rose cut baguette and round diamonds mounted on 8mm white pearls
White, golden and grey pearl set in white 18k gold, featuring round white diamonds, green diamonds and
Black galuchat set in white 18k gold, lock features marquise and princess cut diamonds, with removable broach that includes cabochon aquamarine, kyanite and moonstones
Spessartine broach set in white 18k gold, featuring rubies, diamonds and tsavorites, mounted on a red galuchat bangle set in white 18k gold and round white diamonds
Kyanite set in white 18k gold, featuring white South Sea pearls and marquise and round white diamonds
Alexandrite – colour change capabilities
A rare variety of chrysoberyl, the alexandrite is prized for its ability to change colour. In daylight, when light waves are shorter it looks bright green whilst in the long waves of produced by candles or light bulbs it takes on a red-to-brownish appearance.
The colour change is due to the presence of chromic oxide and is generally more dramatic than that found in other types of stones that can have pleochrmic properties, such as sapphires, tourmaline and apatite.
As with the chrysoberyl, its hardness is 8.5, making it one of the hardest as well as the rarest stones. Until 1987 the only source was the Ural Mountains in Russia. And in the 150 years since its discovery, and subsequent naming after Alexander II, supplies had been largely depleted. However, in the late 1980’s new deposits were discovered, in Brazil and shortly after that on the border of Tanzania and Mozambique.
With a high refractive index of 1.745-1.757 there is plenty of fire to be had in stones that are cut either in cushion or brilliant designs which tend to the most common for the Alexandrite.
Specimens that exhibit a strong colour change, from emerald green to raspberry, are very rare in sizes greater than 5ct and reach prices in excess of USD100,000 per carat.
Aquamarine – Ocean blue
Unlike other beryls, such as emerald, aquamarine commonly occurs with few or no noticeable inclusions. It is also pleochroic, sometimes appearing blue or colourless, depending on the angle of viewing, or blue and greenish blue – this is also one of the main optical differences between aquamarine and topaz, another commonly seen blue stone.
The name aquamarine is derived from latin, meaning water of the sea. The best aquamarines range from sky blue to dark blue and most ideally coloured aquamarines available today have been heat treated. Submitting the stones to 850 degree farenheit drives the yellow and green tints off and deepens the blue in a permanent colour change.
Gem quality, near flawless aquamarine crystals can be very large compared to many other fine gemstones. For example, the largest gem quality aquamarine, mined in Brazil in 1910, weighed over 110kgs and was cut into more than 100,000 carats of gems.
Today the best sources of high quality aquamarine tends to be Brazil, although we also get some very nice pieces from the other major gemstone countries such as Madagascar, Mozambique,, Zimbabwe, India and Pakistan.
A wide variety of cuts is typically available, including emerald, cushion and oval although we often re-cut these to match the specific requirements of our clients. The larger sizes of the aquamarine lends itself well to the bolder ring designs from Damian By Mischelle. We regularly set in excess of 50 carats for clients that want a very high quality, ‘statement blue’.
Kyanite earrings set in white 18k gold, featuring white South Sea pearls and marquise and round white diamonds
Black galuchat bangle set in white 18k gold, lock features marquise and princess cut diamonds, with removable broach that includes cabochon aquamarine, kyanite and moonstones
Pearl earrings set in pink 18k gold, featuring mother of pearl, pink sapphires and round white diamonds
Cabochon ruby necklace set in white 18k gold featuring yellow sapphires, white pearls and round white diamonds
Imperial yellow-brown tourmaline set in yellow 18k gold, featuring white diamonds, topaz, aquamarine and citrine
White South Sea pearl necklace set in white 18k gold, featuring rose-cut and round white diamonds and small white pearls
White, four strand, pearl bracelet set with white 18k gold and diamonds. Broach as shown elsewhere in set.
White, golden and grey pearl necklace set in white 18k gold, featuring round white diamonds, green diamonds and scapolite
Beryl is an interesting family of gemstones that occurs in such a wide varieties of forms that it is known as the mother of gemstones. In its pure state beryl is colourless and of average fire and brilliance. However, introduce some impurities and things become dramatically more exciting as these trigger the colours that make many of the beryl family so unique.
The presence of chromium and vanadium produces the brilliant green of the emerald. Iron produces the blues of the aquamarine and the yellows of heliodor while manganese triggers the pink of morganite and the extremely rare red beryl. Beryl crystals can grow to some very large sizes, as much as 10 metres and often in association with rutile and chrysoberyl.
Beryl is also one of the oldest recorded stones, having been used in ornaments and jewelry for many thousands of years. An Egyptian mine produced the emeralds so favoured by Cleopatra whilst the Roman Emperor Nero is believed to have used a monacle cut from beryl.
Emeralds and aquamarines are covered elsewhere in the Hall of Stones so we will briefly cover the other varieties here.
Heliodor is a golden-yellow stone first discovered in Namibia in 1910 and famous for its large, perfect golden crystals. Usually cut as step cuts to enhance the depth of colour it is robust (7.5-8 Moh’s scale) and can be either oiled or heat-treated.
Goshenite is the clear variety of the beryl and both facets and polishes well. Its relative abundance makes it one of the cheapest of the family. On the other hand, the pink variety,
Morganite, is fairly rare and ranges from yellowish-salmon through to an almost lilac pink. This is much more sought after and in the higher quality examples will be free of inclusions with a good luster. The best specimens are typically sourced from Madagascar although other mines exist in Brazil and Afghanistan.
However, the rarest of the group is red beryl, only found in three places in the world – and all of them in the U.S., between Utah and New Mexico. The red colour is derived from manganese and this beryl is both more rare and expensive than its relation the emerald. The best specimens have a deep raspberry colour and is free of inclusions. Large gemstones are truly rare, especially over 2 carats. The average for a faceted specimen is closer to just 0.15 carats.
Chrysoberyl – a truly hidden Gem
Few lovers of gemstones have had the chance to see this prized gemstone so let us start with some key facts. This is one of the hardest gem-quality minerals – registering 8.5 on the moh’s scale of hardness, and exceeded only by diamonds, rubies and sapphires.
Chrysoberyl is also one of the rarest gemstones and is closely related to Alexandrite – the colour change stone. The most common colours for chrysoberyl are yellow, hence the name which means “golden” in Greek, although it also occurs in green and shades of brown.
Above : Colourless chrysoberyl is so rare that our reference books only have this picture of Chrysoberyl crystal in its yellow-brown form
With a refractive index of 1.74-1.75 the chrysoberyl has a very similar fire to that found in sapphires and rubies. The most significant locations for finding this rare stone are Mynamar, the Ural Mountains of Russia, Sri Lanka and Brazil.
The Damian By Mischelle Chrysoberyl
The famous Mogok-region in Mynmar has been the source of some of the most sought after rubies and sapphires for several centuries. For precisely this reason it is also the rare source of some truly exceptional chrysoberyls.
In 2011 Danian By Mischelle was fortunate to secure a 23.9ct colourless chrysoberyle from our partners in Mogok. In its rough form the stone weighed in at 47.44ct. The decision was made, and rightly so in our view, to maximise both the brilliance and the clarity of this stone, and 50% of the rough was lost in the cutting and polishing process on site. However, the result speaks for itself.
There are several unique aspects to this stone. The absence of colour makes it even rarer within the group whilst at 23.9ct the size is truly exceptional. With its cushion cut, this stone can be mistaken for either a white sapphire or even a diamond. The crucial difference is that it is far rarer than either of these.
We have both the local certificate, proving it’s origin, as well as a full laboratory certificate confirming the exact status of the stone. As an illustration of just how rare this stone is, the team at the laboratory have not analysed another one in the past twenty-five years !
To find out more or to initiate a specific stone search or discuss creating a one-off design with Damian By Mischelle click on the following link : email@example.com
Radiant Lemon Hues
Commonly known as gold topaz, or Madeira or Spanish topaz, in actual fact the citrine has very little in common with the unrelated topaz – except for a few nuances of colour. However, the history of the citrine is closely interwoven with that of the topaz. However, the citrine is a member of the large quartz family that is characterized by a multitude of colours and different crystal structures.
The name is derived from the colour – the yellow of the lemon – although the most sought-after stones have a clear, radiant yellowish to brownish red. Like all crystal quartzes, the citrine has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale and is, to a large extent, insensitive to scratches. Even if their refractive index is relatively low, the yellow stones have a mellow, warm tone that is reminiscent of late afternoon sunshine.
Historically, it has been found in Spain, on the Scottish island of Arran, in France and Hungary. In Europe, the boom on these yellow to reddish crystal quartzes didn’t begin until, in the 1930s, expatriate agate cutters from Idar-Oberstein sent large quantities of citrine back home, along with amethyst and agate, from Brazil and Uruguay. Thus the golden-yellow quartzes made a contribution to Idar-Oberstein becoming – and remaining – one of the world’s great gemstone centres.
The origin of the name may come from the Greek ‘korallion’, which denotes the hard, calcareous skeleton of the coral animals, or from ‘kura-halos’, for ‘mermaid’, as the fine branches of the coral sometimes look like small figures. In fine jewelry, it is corals such as ‘corallium rubrum’ and ‘corallium japonicum’ that are used, and typically in small quantities due to the restricted access to high quality samples. Like pearls, these consist of more than 90 per cent calcium carbonate.
Traditionally, the fragile coral trees were brought up from the depths with trawl nets. However, since first-class corals have now become rather rare, divers are now deployed, in a less destructive process that involves direct harvesting of the sensitive coral branches. After that, the branches are cleaned, sorted and processed by means of saws, knives, files or drills. Coral is not usually ground or cut on a wheel. Unprocessed, coral is matt. It is not until it has been polished that it takes on a beautiful shine. High-quality coral is of an even colour and free of cracks, blotches, striations and holes. Since genuine untreated coral is rare it tends to fetch relatively high prices.
Most coral types exist in warm waters from five to three hundred metres deep, with the best best quality occurring in the shallower depths to fifty metres. Red and pink corals exist along the Mediterranean coast of Italy, France and Africa. Black and gold coral appears off Hawaii, Australia and the West Indies. Whilst Japan yields pink, red and white corals. The Red Sea is another source of deposits, together with Malaysia.
With a hardness of only 3.5 coral is much softer than any other gemstone material and as such is not for novices of fine jewelry. Their beauty can easily be impaired by the wrong treatment, for example cosmetics, hot water or bright light. Fine coral jewelry should be kept in a safe place and from time to time cleaned with a soft, damp towel.
Coral has been used for decorative purposes and esteemed as a protective stone for thousands of years. Even today, red corals are still worn as a talisman to protect the wearer against evil spirits in many cultures.
At Damian By Mischelle we receive very limited quantities of true, high quality coral, and usually from Japan. After selecting the most impressive paler shades of pink through to white, we set either in necklaces, bracelets or rings, depending on the size of the individual pieces and the design specifications. The ring shown to the left is a truly beautiful 50ct example from Japan that shows only the faintest tinges of pink around the edges before moving into a pearlescent white in the centre. This is part of the private collection of Mischelle but can be viewed upon special request.
The first diamond deposits were brought to the surface of the earth approximately 2.5 billion years ago. The most recent deposits are roughly 50 million years old making each diamond a truly unique piece of ancient history.
Diamonds are made up of pure carbon atoms that exist deep in the ground, exposed to intense heat and pressure over billions of years. Over time, this pressure builds up and forces the diamonds and rocks up toward the surface in a volcanic-like explosion. The explosion creates a very deep, wide hole called a “pipe” into which most of the diamonds settle; these deposits of diamonds are known as primary deposits. Other diamonds are washed away by water or erosion, and often settle into the coastal waters of nearby bodies of water; these are alluvial deposits. These deposits occur in many places around the globe; however, the largest commercial deposits exist in Angola, Australia, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Russia and Zaire, which produce 80% of the world’s diamonds.
In addition to their superior brilliance and dispersion, diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth. Diamond rates a 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness, which means that it is extremely resistant to scratches; it is several times harder than the next-hardest substance, corundum, which is more commonly known as ruby and sapphire. Over 250 tons (500,000 pounds) of ore must be mined and processed to produce just one carat of rough diamond. Since a rough diamond typically loses 40% to 60% of its weight when cut, that means that all these efforts are necessary to produce just one of the .50 carat of a polished diamond. When you also consider the fact that only about one quarter of all rough diamonds are actually suitable for gem cutting, you can begin to appreciate the rarity and uniqueness of each diamond.
Diamond grading covers numerous aspects of each individual diamond’s qualities, but there are four grades which are critical to understand: cut, clarity, color, and carat weight.
- Cut – the brilliance of a diamond depends heavily on its cut.
- Clarity – most diamonds contain some inner flaws, or inclusions, that occur during the formation process. The visibility, number and size of these inclusions determine what is called the clarity of a diamond. Diamonds that are clear create more brilliance, and thus are more highly prized, and priced.
- Colorless diamonds are the most desirable since they allow the most refraction of light (sparkle). Off white diamonds absorb light, inhibiting brilliance.
- A carat is the unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. Because large diamonds are found less commonly than small diamonds, the price of a diamond rises exponentionally to its size.
The existence of fluorescence in a diamond (caused by the natural mineral properties of the diamond), often influences the pricing of diamonds. It is common to find that diamonds with colorless grades (D-E-F) or near colorless grades (G-H-I-J) are lower in price when they exhibit fluorescence and faint yellow grades (K-L-M) are higher in price when exhibiting fluorescence as this helps to lift the colour of the diamond towards the higher grades.
At Damian By Mischelle we undertake many bespoke diamond searches for clients, particularly in the larger sized white diamonds or for the rarer coloured diamonds. Our global supplier network yields a rich cross-section of stones from the major cutting centres around the world. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss both the diamond of your dreams as well as a bespoke design to maximize its beauty.
The name emerald comes from the Greek “smaragdos” via the Old French “esmeralde”, and quite simply means “green stone”. Emeralds have the most beautiful, most intense and most radiant green of all of the stones. The lively luminosity of its colour makes the emerald a unique gemstone. However, really good quality is fairly rare, with inclusions often marring the evenness of the colour. Those inclusions are the signs of the turbulent genesis that has characterized this gemstone. Fine inclusions do not by any means diminish the high regard in which it is held. On the contrary: even with inclusions, an emerald in a deep, lively green still has a much higher value than an almost flawless emerald where the colour is paler. Affectionately and rather poetically, the specialists call the numerous crystal inclusions, cracks or fissures, which are typical of this gemstone, “jardin”. They regard the tender little green plants in the emerald garden as features of the identity of a gem that has grown naturally.
Emeralds from Zimbabwe are among the oldest gemstones anywhere in the world having started forming some 2,600 million years ago. From a chemical-mineralogical point of view, emerald is a beryllium-aluminium-silicate with a good hardness. Like the light blue aquamarine, the tender pink morganite, the golden heliodor and the pale green beryl, the emerald belongs to the large gemstone family of the beryls.
The colours do not occur until traces of some other elements are added. In the case of emerald, it is mainly traces of chromium and vanadium that are responsible for the fascinating colour. Normally, these elements are concentrated in quite different parts of the Earth’s crust to beryllium, so the emerald should not, strictly speaking, exist at all. But during intensive tectonic processes such as orogenesis, metamorphism, emergences and erosion of the land, these contrasting elements found each other and crystallized out to make one of the most beautiful gemstones. The tension involved in the geological conditions conducive to the above processes produced some minor flaws, and some major ones.
A glance through the microscope into the interior of an emerald tells something about the eventful genesis of the unique gem: small or large fissures; the sparkle of a mini-crystal or a small bubble and shapes of all kinds. While the crystal were still growing, some of these manifestations had the chance to “heal”, and thus the jagged three-phase inclusions typical of Columbian emeralds were formed: cavities filled with fluid which often also contain a small bubble of gas and some tiny crystals. Logically enough, a genesis as turbulent as that of the emerald impedes the undisturbed formation of large, flawless crystals. For this reason it is only seldom that a large emerald with good colour and good transparency is found.
It is in South America where the best emeralds are still found today. Columbian emeralds differ from emeralds from the other deposits in that they have an especially fine, shining emerald green unimpaired by any kind of bluish tint. The colour may vary slightly from find to find. Even if many of the best emeralds are undisputedly of Columbian origin, the “birthplace” of the stone is never an absolute guarantee of its immaculate quality. Brazil supplies rare emeralds cat’s eyes and extremely rare emeralds with a six-spoked star.
Whilst its good hardness protects the emeralds to a large extent from scratches, its brittleness and its many fissure can make cutting, setting and cleaning rather difficult, even for a skilled craftsman, firstly because of the high value of the raw crystals, and secondly because of the frequent inclusions. The clear design of the emerald cut, either a rectangular or square cut with its beveled corners, brings out the beauty of this valuable gemstone to the full, at the same time protecting it from mechanical strain.
Today many emeralds are enhanced with colourless oils or resins. This is a general trade practice, but it does have the consequence that these green treasures react very sensitively to inappropriate treatment. For example, they cannot be cleaned in an ultrasonic bath. The cutter during his work seals the fine pores in the surface of the gem and removing them will end up giving to the stone a matt appearance. For this reason, emeralds rings should always be taken off before the wearer puts his or her hands in water containing any cleansing agent.
Whilst diamonds generously scintillate their fire in sizes below 1 carat, emeralds do not really begin to show that beautiful glow below a certain size. Really large specimens of top-quality are extremely rare today. This means that the price of a top-quality emerald may be higher than that of a diamond of the same weight. At Damian By Mischelle our preferred source of emeralds is Colombia. For our discerning clients we can gather some of the finest examples of vibrant green, almost inclusion-free, untreated emeralds. However this are only available by special order and due to the rarity of this quality it may take many months to secure the ideal specimen. As always, anything is ultimately possible so contact us directly to discuss how we can fulfill your emerald dreams.
Garnet is a group of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition. The main differences are slight variations in colour, density abd refractive index. Spectacular finds, especially in Africa, have enhanced the traditional image of the garnet with a surprising number of hues. Although red continues to be its principal colour, the garnet also exists in various shades of green, a tender to intense yellow, a fiery orange and some fine earth-coloured nuances. The only colour it cannot offer is blue.
Garnets are much sought-after and much worked gemstones – the more so because today it is not only the classical gemstone colours red and green which are so highly esteemed, but also the fine hues in between. Furthermore, the world of the garnets is also rich in rarities such as star garnets and stones whose colour changes depending on whether they are seen in daylight or artificial light.
There is its good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. With a few minor exceptions it applies to all the members of the garnet group, and it is the reason for the excellent wearing qualities of these gemstones. Garnets are relatively insensitive and uncomplicated to work with. A further plus is their high refractive index, of between 1.7 and 1.89, that gives the garnet’s great brilliance.
Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years. Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer his ark through the dark night. Garnets are also found in jewelry from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. Early explorers and travelers liked to carry a garnet for it was popular as a talisman and protective stone, as it was believed to light up the night and protect its bearer from evil and disaster.
Its spirited red, often with a slight brownish nuance, was a gemstone colour much in demand in the 18th and 19th centuries. Garnets from a find in the north-eastern part of the former kingdom of Bohemia – small stones of a wonderful hue – were world-famous at that time. In Europe, they were worked into jewelry a good deal, especially in the Victorian period. And today too, garnets are still found in former Czechoslovakia and set close together according to the old tradition.
A further garnet variety, also red, is the rhodolite. a mixed crystal of almandine and pyrope. This popular garnet is of a magnificent velvety red with a fine violet or raspberry-red undertone. Originally found in the USA, it now comes mainly from the gemstone mines in East Africa, India, Russia and Sri Lanka.
The specialist world was amazed in 1991 by the fantastic find of a type of garnet that had been very scarce until then. At the Kunene River, on the border between Namibia and Angola, a deposit of radiant orange to red ‘spessartites‘ was discovered. The spessartite was originally named after the site of a find made in Germany. Spessartites had led a quiet, shadowy existence as stones for gemstone lovers and collectors until that momentous discovery in Namibia. There were hardly any used in jewelry up until this time because they were so rare. But this new find changed the gemstone world with the addition of this unusually fine, intensely radiant orange-red gemstone.
Under the trade name ‘mandarine-garnet‘, this wonderfully orange noble garnet gained world-wide recognition but the mine in the quiet hills of Namibia was only able to be exploited for a few years. That is, until another deposit was discovered, this time in Nigeria.
Several green varieties of garnet are also known. First there is ‘grossularite’, created by nature in many fine tones of yellow, green and brown and esteemed for its many fine interim hues and earth colours. Here too, there was a spectacular find: in the final year of the 20th century, extensive grossularite deposits were discovered in Mali. These Mali garnets captivate us with their great brilliance.
Probably the best-known green garnet is the tsavorite or tsavolite, which also belongs to the grossularite group. Tiffany’s in New York gave this name to the previous emerald-green stone which was discovered in 1967 by a British geologist, Campbell R. Bridges, in the north-east of Tanzania – after the place where the discovery was made, near the Tsavo National Park. The green of the tsavorite runs from vivid and light to deep and velvety and, like all garnets, it has particularly good brilliance
The star of green garnets is the rare demantoid. Its brilliance is positively tremendous, even greater than that of the diamond. Russia’s star jeweller Carl Fabergé loved the brilliant green garnet from the Urals more than anything else, and used it in his creations. Meanwhile, the demantoid is no longer quite as scarcedue to some new finds in Namibia. Demantoids from Namibia are of good colour and brilliance, but they lack one tiny feature: the so-called ‘horse-tail inclusions’. These fine, bushy inclusions are the unmistakable, typical feature by which a Russian demantoid is recognised.
One of the relatively ‘young’ gemstones,kunzite, with its delicate pink hues, has only been formally identified for a little more than a hundred years. It was not until 1902 that the New York jeweller and gemstone specialist George Frederick Kunz (1856 – 1932) became the first person to give a comprehensive description of this stone, which had just been discovered in California. As a variety of spodumen, kunzite belongs to the class of the chain silicates. It has minute traces of manganese that are the catalyst for its fine lilac colour. However, the colour can fade if over-exposed to direct sunlight.
Above all, the appeal of this gemstone lies in its clarity and its fine delicate pink nuances that often display a hint of violet. In order to make sure that the fine colour is shown to its full advantage, the cutter must align the raw crystal very precisely during his work. The reason is that depending on the angle from which a kunzite is viewed, it can appear violet, pink or even colourless. Indeed some kunzites from finds in Afghanistan display a rich, strong violet, a light violet and a light green depending on the angle of observation. In gemology, this phenomenon is known as pleochroism, the meaning of which equates to ‘multi-colouredness’.
In a well-cut stone, the most beautiful colour nuance will always be visible from above, experienced cutters working the raw crystal in perfect accord with its material properties. Most kunzites, however, have a fairly light colour. Strongly coloured kunzite is rare and thus is correspondingly more valuable.
Today, the prism-shaped crystals with their typical vertical striations are mainly found in Afghanistan, Madagascar, Brazil and the USA.Its hardness is fairly good, between 6.5 and 7 on the Mohs scale. However, this gem has perfect cleavage and is thus extremely difficult to cut. It is also very difficult to re-cut. Cut kunzite surprises even experts again and again with its brilliance. The silvery gloss on its facets forms a beautiful contrast to the fine violet-pink of the gemstone.
This stone is available in many beautiful cuts. It is one of the gems that are available in relatively large sizes at affordable prices. At Damian By Mischelle we tend to use larger sizes (in excess of 30ct) to set in extravagant rings that best compliment the delicate hues of the kunzite.
Kyanite – Fabulous hues of blue
Many clients are drawn to Kyanite by the sapphire-like blue that the stone can exhibit, as well as the large sizes available of clean stones. At Damian By Mischelle we regularly source high quality faceted pieces in excess of 20cts for subsequent setting in rings and necklaces.
Derived from the Greek name “kyanos” which means blue, Kyanite is unique amongst gemstones in that is has a wide variation of hardness in hardness within the same crystal – namely 7 across the width and 4.5 along the length. This means that our cutters have to be especially careful when cutting rough or re-faceting stones that we have sourced.
The major sources of high quality stones include Brazil, India, Nepal, Russia and Mozambique.
With a refractive index of 1.71-1.73 the stone responds well to cuts such as steps and baguettes, with the most valuable being transparent and a deep cornflower blue or bluish-green in colour.
The current collection from Damian By Mischelle includes kyanite set in earrings, rings, necklaces and on galuchat bangles.
Pearls have a timeless quality that transcends both seasons and changes in fashion. Over the past three thousand years pearls were important financial assets, comparable in price to real estate and far more precious than any diamond, as thousands of oysters had to be searched for just one pearl.
Today pearls are more commonly cultured by Man. Shell beads are placed inside an oyster and the oyster is returned to the water. When the pearls are later harvested, the oyster has covered the bead with layers of nacre. Most cultured pearls are produced in Japan. In the warmer waters of the South Pacific, larger oysters produce South Sea cultured pearls and Tahitian black cultured pearls, which are larger in size. Freshwater pearls are cultured in mussels, mostly in China.
The quality of pearls is judged by the orient, which is the soft iridescence caused by the refraction of light by the layers of nacre, and lustre, the reflectivity and shine of the surface. Fine pearls do not have any flaws or spots in the nacre: it has an even, smooth texture. Other factors that affect value are the regularity of the shape, size, and colour: rose tints are the most favoured.
Cultured and natural pearls can be distinguished from imitation ones by a very simple test. Take the pearl and gently rub it against the edge of a tooth. Cultured and natural pearls will feel slightly rough, like fine sandpaper, because of the texture of natural nacre. Imitations will feel as smooth as glass because the surface is moulded or painted on a smooth bead.
Equally stunning set as a ring or in a complex sautoir, Damian By Mischelle offers some fabulous examples of pearls collected from the South Pacific and Japan.
The peridot is one of the few gemstones that come in only one colour. The rich, green colour with the slight tinge of gold is caused by very fine traces of iron. From a chemical point of view, peridot is an iron magnesium silicate. The intensity of the colour depends on the amount of iron actually present. The colour itself can vary over all shades of yellowish green and olive, and even to a brownish green. Peridot is not particularly hard – only 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale – but it is easy to look after and fairly robust. Peridot cat’s eyes and star peridot are particularly rare and precious.
This gemstone has a long history, having been mined from the Red Sea for over 3,500 years and can often be found in Egyptian jewelry from the early 2nd millennium B.C. The ancient Romans too were fond of this gemstone, calling it the ‘emerald of the evening’. However, after the Middle Ages it fell from favour until the mid 1990s, when a particularly rich deposit was found in Pakistan, in an inhospitable pass at 4,000 meters. In tough climatic conditions that permitted the gemstones to be mined only during the summer months, the unusually large, high quality crystals were extremely fine. And the deposits were so rich that demand rose to meet this unexpected supply.
In order to emphasize the special quality of the peridots from Pakistan, these stones are offered as ‘Kashmir peridots’, following the famous Kashmir sapphires. Creative gemstone cutters have succeeded in cutting some fascinatingly beautiful one-off stones of more than 100 carats from some of the large, fine, clear crystals with their magnificent rich green.
The most beautiful stones come from the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan. However, the peridot can also be found in gemstone quality in Myanmar, China, the USA, Africa and Australia. Stones from the eastern part of Myanmar have a vivid light green and fine inclusions with a silky shine to them. Peridot from Arizona often has somewhat yellowish or gold-brown nuances.
The peridot is cut in accordance with its crystal shape, mostly faceted or in classical table cuts, or round, antique, as an octahedron or oval. Smaller crystals are cut into standardized series stones, larger ones into imaginative one-offs. Cabochons are made if the material contains more inclusions, for the domed-cut brings out the fine silky shine of the inclusions to their best.
The raw crystals can be very challenging to work with and may crack easily. There is often a good deal of tension on the inside of the crystal. But once the cutter has succeeded in removing the coarser inclusions, the peridot is a precious stone with good wearing qualities that does not call for any special care.
Rubelite – Between a ruby and a tourmaline
Rubellite is actually an elbaite tourmaline but due to its coloration it is sometimes mistaken for high grade ruby with colour hues range form shocking pink to ruby red. The most valuable form of rubellite are those that offer the most saturated red colour, free from any of the brown modifers that tinge many of the stones, and the most rare of these will be those that are free from inclusions.
Typically there is some mild confusion between what constitutes a pink tourmaline versus a rubellite and frankly this is the kind of debate that only interests bored gemologists. It is easier, from our perspective at least, to classify any pink tourmaline as a rubellite. What is more important for our clients is that the pink variety is commonly available above 20 carats whilst the red variety is very rare above 20 carats.
Brazil is now the largest source of rubellite although there are decent supplies from Madagascar, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Kunar, East Africa, the U.S. and Russia.
Measuring 7-7.5 on the moh’s scale this is a relatively hard gemstone that is well suited to both necklaces and rings. Amongst the Damian By Mischelle collection we tend to have several high quality examples of the red variety at any time, typically ranging between 5ct to 10ct. In the lighter pinks we will occasionally have cushion and emerald cuts that exceed 49 carats.
Fine ruby is undoubtedly one of the most valuable gemstones. Many times rarer than colourless diamonds fine rubies have it all – extraordinary colour, outstanding brilliance and a hardness that is second only to diamond. And so rare is this combination that in recent months we have seen very high examples from Africa on offer for USD50,000 per carat.
Ruby is the red variety of the mineral corundum, one of the hardest minerals on Earth, of which the sapphire is also a variety. Pure corundum is colourless and it is the slight traces of elements such as chrome, iron, titanium or vanadium that are responsible for the colour. Only red corundum is entitled to be called ruby with all other colours being classified as sapphires. The close relationship between the ruby and the sapphire has only been known since the beginning of the 19th century – until then red garnets or spinels were also thought to be rubies. That is why the “Black ruby” and the ‘Timur ruby”, two of the British Crown Jewels, were so named, when they are not actually rubies at all, but spinels
For a long time India was regarded as the ruby’s classical country of origin. In the major works of India literature, a rich store of knowledge about gemstones has been handed down over a period of more than two thousand years. The term “corundum”, which we use today is derived from the Sanskrit word “Kuruvinda”. The Sanskrit word for ruby is “ratnaraj”, which loosely translates as “king of gemstones”. Today, rubies still decorate the insignia of many royal households, but they may not all genuine rubies due to confusion with other stones, in particular spinel.
The most beautiful ruby-red refers to the “Burmese ruby” – the highest quality of all. Stones from the famous deposits in Myanmar are a rich, full red with a slight hue. The colour of a Burmese ruby is regarded as exceptionally vivid, it is said to display its unique brilliance in any light, be it natural or artificial. Sri Lankan rubies, which have now become very rare, are mainly light red, like ripe raspberries. Colour is a ruby’s most important feature, its transparency is only of secondary importance. Inclusions do not impair the quality of a ruby unless they decrease the transparency of the stone or are located right in the middle of its table. On contrary, inclusions within a ruby could said to be its “fingerprint”, a statement of its individuality and, at the same time, proof of its genuineness and natural origin. The cut is, however, essential and rubies of more than 3 carats in size, and quality, are very rare.
Some rubies display a wonderful silky shine, the so-called “silk” of the ruby. This phenomenon is caused by very fine needles of rutile. And now and then one of the rare star rubies is found. Here too, the mineral rutile is involved: having formed a star-shaped deposit within the ruby, it causes a captivating light effect known by experts as asterism. If rubies of this kind are cut as half-dome shaped cabochons, the result is a six-spoked star that seems to glide magically across the surface of the stone when the latter is moved. Star rubies are precious rarities. Their value depends on the beauty and attractiveness of the colour and though only to a lesser extent, on their transparency. Fine star rubies, however, should always display rays that are fully formed all the way to the imaginary horizontal line that runs through the middle of the stone, and the star itself should be situated right in the centre.
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The sapphires belong the corundum group (which includes rubies) and which is characterised by their excellent hardness, whilst the high refractive index of 1.76 guarantees spectacular fire in well-cut, high quality examples. Mined for the past 3,500 years in Myanmar they have a long history, rising to prominence during the Roman Empire.
The gemstones in the corundum group consist of pure aluminium oxide that crystallized into gemstones as a result of pressure and heat at great depth. The presence of small amounts of other elements, especially iron and chrome, are responsible for the colouring, turning a crystal that was basically white into a blue, red, yellow, pink or greenish sapphire.
Most blue sapphires show inclusions or uneven colour distribution. Like rubies, high quality sapphires show fine, hair-like inclusions of rutile, called silk, that do not interfere with the transparency of faceted gems. The finest sapphires, though not as valuable as comparable rubies, are still extremely valuable in sizes of over 10 carats. Of all the colours, the top-grade blue sapphires are the most valuable, followed closely by the orange-pink padparadscha. Connoisseurs regard the Kashmir colour with its velvety shine as the most beautiful, and most valuable, blue. Due to traces of iron and titanium this is typically a pure, intense blue with a very subtle violet undertone, intensified with a fine, silky shine. Prices for Kashmir blues, in sizes over 20 carats, have exceeded USD130,000 per carat.
However, the Burmese colour is also regarded as particularly valuable. It ranges from a rich, full royal blue to a deep cornflower blue. The oldest sapphire finds are in Sri Lanka and it remains an important source of supply, together with Cambodia, Madagascar, Tajikistan and Thailand.
Cutting sapphires is especially challenging. Not only is the stone extremely hard but, depending on the viewing angle, they also have different colour and intensities. The cutting process has to orientate the raw crystals in such a way that the colour is brought out to its best advantage. The bright light of day makes most sapphires shine more vividly than the more subdued artificial light of evening. So in fact it is not, as is often claimed, the darkest tone that is the most coveted colour of the blue sapphire, but an intense, rich, full blue that still looks blue in a poor artificial light.
Heat treatment of blue sapphires is now a widespread practice that renders untreated sapphires all the more valuable. The blue colour can be enhanced with properly applied heat that rearranges the atoms of the gemstones. Very dark blue colour can be lightened at 1,200 degrees C for a few minutes whilst more opaque or unevenly coloured sapphire can also be improved.
The star sapphires are another rarity, half-dome-cut sapphires with a star-like light effect that seems to glide across the surface of the stone when it is moved. Star rubies and sapphires show a bright six-legged star in the dome of their cabochon. The stars, like the eye of cat’s-eye, are formed by light reflecting off tiny inclusions in the stone.
According to market research, blue is the favorite colour of some fifty per cent of both men and women. No doubt this underpins both the demand for high quality sapphires and the prices that are now being reached for fine, untreated examples. At Damian By Mischelle we confess to having a particular weakness for this stunning stone, both in our private collection as well as in the pieces on offer to our clients. We have a number of rings and necklaces set with 10 carat to 30 carat blue sapphires. Our supply network also brings us some particularly fine examples that include white, green, yellow and occasionally pink.
Best known in its red form, Spinel also occurs in a variety of other colours, although less frequently in gem quality, and in its rarest form will be colourless. The name partly derives from the Latin spina, meaning little thorn, due to the sharply pointed crystals that that sometimes occur, and that tend to form on metamorphosed impure limestones. And for Damian By Mischelle, this is one of our favourite gem stones.
Famous for some of the most spectacular examples of mistaken identity, spinel is arguably the great impostor of gemstone history. Colour was the prime determinant of stone identification until the 20th century and so many fine red spinels were actually mistaken for rubies in crown jewels around the world. Since medieval times spinel was known as the “balas ruby” after the region in northeast Afghanistan that was the source of fine specimens. The most famous is the Black Prince’s ruby, a magnificent 170-carat red spinel that now adorns the Imperial State Crown of England in the British Crown Jewels. Indeed, the Timur ruby, a 361-carat red spinel currently also owned by Queen Elizabeth II, has the names of some of the Mughal emperors who previously owned it engraved on its face – a practice that was common through to the rule of Shah Jehan in the 18th century.
Today, major grade-quality spinel is found mainly within countries that are otherwise gem-rich, such Myanmar, Tajikistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Nigeria and Brazil.
Why are we so passionate about spinel ? It is the combination of brilliance (refractive index of 1.715), hardness (moh’s hardness of 8), the fabulous hues that it occurs in and the fact that it is actually very under-appreciated relative to all of the above. In addition to beautiful rich reds, spinel can be found in a range of gorgeous pastel shades of pink and purple. Of particular interest is a vivid hot pink with a tinge of orange mined in Myanmar – a country where spinel was recognized as a separate gem species as early as 1587. Spinel also comes in beautiful blue tones called cobalt spinel, but these are very, very rare.
From our perspective, the main factor preventing the spinel from achieving greater recognition is its rarity. Fine spinels are now rarer than the rubies they used to imitate. For now, they are also more affordable but we have seen a dramatic rise in pricing over the past decade, even with new supplies from Africa. Today the highest quality spinel that we source is the deep red variety direct from Mogok (Myanmar) and the spectacular pink from Tajikistan. The latter is particularly interesting because the mines in the Pamir mountains were closed for a long time but are now producing very intense pinks that when cut expertly have a fire and dramatic impact that is only rivaled by diamonds.
Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone – having only been discovered in 1967 in Tanzania – and only occurs in this one place, in the Merelani Hills near Arusha, in the north of the country. But the attraction of Tanzanite is all in the colour. Its blue, surrounded by a fine hint of purple, is a truly wonderful colour and for some the Tanzanite shows a type of blue that sapphires can only wish for. At Damian By Mischelle the availability of a wide mix of cuts in excess of 10 carats enables us to feature tanzanite in a variety of different designs for our clients, set as rings, necklaces and earrings.
Tanzanite is actually blue variety of the gemstone zoisite. It consists of calcium aluminium silicate and is not particularly hard, having a value of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. For that reason it should always be worn carefully and never placed in an ultrasonic bath for cleaning or brought into contact with acids.
The deep blue of the tanzanite is fantastic, and runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue. The most coveted colour is a blue surrounded by a delicate hint of purple, which has a particularly wonderful effect in sizes of over 10 carats. The well developed polychromaticity of the tanzanite is typical: depending on the angle from which you look at it, the stone may appear blue, purple or brownish-yellow. Having said that, most raw crystals are somewhat spoiled by a brownish-yellow component, though it can be made to disappear by the cutter if he heats the stone carefully in an oven to approximately 500°C. This burning is a method of treatment that is regarded as customary in the trade, but the raw stones must be as free of inclusions as possible, since otherwise fissures may occur. In fact working with tanzanite can sometimes be very challenging, the cleavage of this gemstone being very pronounced in one direction. This exclusive gemstone is cut in every imaginable shape from the classical round shape to a number of imaginative designer cuts.
Mining today is undoubtedly becoming more difficult and the supply of good-quality stones is dwindling quite rapidly. This is being reflected in a market price that has been steadily rising in recent years. Exceptional examples are, therefore, guaranteed a place in the Damian By Mischelle private collection. If you would like to do the same then contact us here to initiate a specific gem search and we can find the tanzanite of your dreams.
The topaz has been known for at least 2,000 years and is one of the gemstones that form the foundations of the twelve gates to the Holy City of the New Jerusalem. A fluorine aluminium silicate in chemical terms, the topaz is considerably harder and heavier than quartz, it has a higher refractive index, which endows it with more fire when the colour is good, and the hardness of Mohs 8 makes it very versatile for setting. The fact that it is often found with few or no inclusions
Topaz produces some of the largest crystals in the gem stone world, weighing up to 300 kilograms in some cases. The largest cut topaz, the pale blue “Brazilian Princess” weighs a mighty 21,237 carats and was fashioned as a square cut. Even better known is the “Braganza” from Minas Gerais, Brazil, which was mistaken for a diamond when it was discovered in 1740 and subsequently cut to 1,680 carats and incorporated into the Portuguese royal crown where it still resides.
The crystals occur in a variety of colours, according to the amount of metallic trace elements present when formed, such as iron and chromium. It can be found in all the colours of the rainbow but the colour in which the topaz is most commonly found is yellow. Blue topaz is also one of the more common varieties, primarily because white topaz can be turned blue by heat treatment and irradiation and light blue can be enhanced to a deeper blue by the same methods.
Meanwhile, the rarest and most expensive is called “imperial topaz” which occurs in orange, pink or most rarely, red. The name is thought to have originated in 19th century Russia after it was first discovered in the Ural mountains and the red and pink stones were reserved exclusively for the family of the czar. As of today the major source of supply for this variety is Minas Gerais in Brazil and the red variety remains extremely rare.
A distinctive feature of topaz is its perfect, easy cleavage, this requires careful handling when stones are cut and polished in the Damian By Mischelle atelier, as specimens may split or develop internal cracks. Colourless topaz is often cut as round or oval brilliants whilst coloured topaz is frequently cut as trap or table cuts with the stones taking a very smooth polish. Amongst the hues available, the most valuable tend to be the clear, pink, blue and honey-coloured varieties.
On a lighter-hearted note, there have been many strange claims about topaz over the years. The Greeks believed that it made the wearer invisible whilst another bizarre claim is that a hand can be immersed in boiling water after a topaz had been thrown into it and the hand will be unharmed! This is not something that we have tested at Damian By Mischelle nor do we recommend this to our clients.
Wild claims aside, at Damian By Mischelle we do see some very interesting topaz, particularly from our Brazilian suppliers, and the larger sizes can make for some spectacular settings. For example, if an imperial topaz is something that intrigues you then initiate a discussion about how we can source the one of your dreams by clicking on this link.
The name tourmaline comes from the Singhalese words ‘tura mali’ or stone with mixed colours. Indeed, the colour spectrum of this gemstone exceeds that of all other precious stones. There are tourmalines from red to green and from blue to yellow. They often have two or more colours. There are tourmalines that change their colour when the light changes from daylight to artificial light, and some show the light effect of a cat’s eye. No. According to an old Egyptian legend, the reason is that the tourmaline passed over a rainbow on its long journey up from the centre of the Earth. Be that as it may, no two tourmalines are exactly alike and for this reason the tourmaline offers a unique gemstone choice.
Tourmalines are mixed crystals of aluminium boron silicate with a complex and changing composition. The mineral group is a fairly complex one. Even slight changes in the composition cause completely different colours. Crystals of only a single colour are fairly rare; indeed the same crystal will often display various colours and various nuances of those colours. And the trademark of this gemstone is not only its great wealth of colour, but also its marked dichroism. Depending on the angle from which you look at it, the colour may be different or more or less intense. It is always at its most intense when viewed looking toward the main axis, a fact to which the cutter must pay great attention when lining up the cut. This gemstone has excellent wearing qualities and is easy to look after, for all tourmalines have a good hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale.
The individual colour variants have their own names. For example, a tourmaline of an intense red is known as a ‘rubellite’, but only if it continues to display the same fine ruby red in artificial light as it did in daylight. If the colour changes when the light source does, the stone is called a pink or shocking pink tourmaline. Blue tourmalines are known as ‘indigolites’, yellowish-brown to dark brown ones as ‘dravites’ and black ones as ‘schorl’.
One particularly popular variety is the green Tourmaline, known as a ‘verdelite’ in the trade. However, if its fine emerald-like green is caused by tiny traces of chrome, it is referred to as a ‘chrome tourmaline’. The absolute highlight among the tourmalines is the ‘Paraiba tourmaline’, a gemstone of an intense blue to blue-green that was not discovered until 1987 in a mine in the Brazilian state of Paraiba. In good qualities, these gemstones are much sought-after today. Since tourmalines from Malawi with a vivid yellow colour, known as ‘canary tourmalines’, came into the trade, the colour yellow, which was previously very scarce indeed, has been very well represented in the spectrum of colours offered by this truly rainbow-like gemstone.
Yet the tourmaline has even more names: stones with two colours are known as bi-coloured tourmalines, and those with more than two as multi-coloured tourmalines. Slices showing a cross-section of the tourmaline crystal are also very popular because they display, in a very small area, the whole of the incomparable colour variety of this gemstone. If the centre of the slice is red and the area around it green, the stone is given the nickname ‘water melon’. On the other hand, if the crystal is almost colourless and black at the ends only, it is called a ‘Mohrenkopf’, (resembling a certain kind of cake popular in Germany).
At Damian By Mischelle we use the availability of larger, loupe clean stones to add a more flamboyant dimension to some of our setting. We have incorporated up to 80 carat pieces as rings, to spectacular effect, as well as wrapping the rare bi-coloured tourmalines into other elaborate designs.
Tourmalines are found almost all over the world. There are major deposits in Brazil, Sri Lanka and South and south-west Africa. Other finds have been made in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, Madagascar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Tourmalines are also found in the USA, mainly in California and Maine.
It is not only designers who love the tourmaline on account of its inspiring variety of colour. Scientists too are interested in it because of its astonishing physical qualities, for tourmalines can become electrically charged when they are heated and then allowed to cool. Then, they have a positive charge at one end and a negative one at the other. This is known as ‘pyro-electricity’, derived from the Greek word ‘pyr’, meaning fire. The gemstone also becomes charged under pressure, the polarity subsequently changing when the pressure is taken off. When the charge changes the tourmaline begins to oscillate, similar to a rock crystal but much more pronouncedly. The Dutch, who were the first to bring the tourmaline to Europe, were familiar with this effect a long time before it was able to be provided with a scientific explanation. They used a heated tourmaline to draw up the ash from their meerschaum pipes, and called the gemstone with the amazing powers an ‘aschentrekker’.
In the fascinating world of gemstones, the tourmaline is very special. Its high availability and its glorious, incomparable colour spectrum make it one of the most popular gemstones – and apart from that, almost every tourmaline is unique. This gemstone has an endless number of faces, and for that reason it suits all moods. Indeed, magical powers have been attributed to it since ancient times, in particular it is the gemstone of love and of friendship.
For Damian By Mischelle, Zircon is one of the most interesting, and compelling, of the fine gemstones. Found in the same deposits as sapphires and rubies, this fabulous stone has great hardness (7.5 on the Mohs scale) and exhibits an exceptional amount of fire under both natural and incandescent light due its refractive index of 1.93-1.98 which is substantially higher than that of corundum.
And yet there is a relatively low level of awareness about this stone. Much of this is probably due to the fact that its name is very similar to cubic zirconia, the laboratory-grown diamond imitation. This confusion at least partly explains why such an exceptional stone is unfairly overlooked, for the stone has both heritage and fine qualities in abundance.
Hindu poets tell of the Kalpa Tree, the ultimate gift to the gods, a glowing tree covered in gemstone fruit with leaves of zircon. The name probably comes from the Persian word ‘zargun’, which means ‘gold-coloured’, although Zircon comes in a wide range of different colours. Sri Lanka has produced gem quality zircon for 2,000 years but the gemstone did not reach a wider audience in the west until the 1920’s.
Despite this spectrum of colours, for many years the most popular was the colourless variety, which looks more like diamond than any other natural stone because of its brilliance and dispersion. Today the most popular colour is blue zircon, which is considered an alternative birthstone for December, although it can be reheated in oxygen to produce a golden yellow colour. Most blue zircon is of a pastel blue, but some exceptional gems have a bright blue colour. Zircon is also found in green, dark red, yellow, brown, and orange.
Zircon is one of the most dense gemstones, which means that it will look smaller than other varieties of the same weight but has a translucence and luminescence that rivals high quality sapphires and diamonds. Damain By Mischelle tends to source Zircon that has been mined in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Myanmar. However it is also found in Australia and Vietnam, for example.
The Sapphire Rain Ring
High quality, untreated, blue sapphires are becoming extremely difficult to find in larger sizes. Originally sourced from Mynamar we were immediately attracted to this gorgeous, 10ct specimen because it has all of the qualities that make sapphires so desirable. The hue is a deep, velvet blue, vivid enough to allow the fire to come through but not so dark that the light is smothered. The pear-shape is a very modern cut and offered many interesting options to our design team.
Whilst the concept for the ring was conceived relatively quickly, the technical challenges were quite considerable. Our designers wanted the ring to look like rain drops falling down the finger and this required a very fine setting for both the white 18k gold and the diamonds.
The creation process did not allow for a conventional mold to be made. Instead our atelier craftsman had to painstakingly build each strand of the ring with molten gold. The entire process took almost three months, including setting the 4.89 carats of pear-shaped and round white diamonds.
Designs that convey power, strength and confidence are an integral part of our DNA. This panther design is the first of a series of pieces that we are issuing aimed at both men and women. The neck and shoulders of the panther rise out of the hand of the wearer creating a sense of dynamism around the fingers that is absent from more traditional designs.
Combining pink gold with the black diamonds provides an interesting contrast within the setting, whilst also making the piece very versatile. It is easily matched to a wide variety of other jewelry as well as watches. As with the rest of the series, this ring comes with something of a caveat – it receives a great deal of attention. Those desiring more discrete forms adornment, that do not become the centre of conversation, should consider other design options.
SET WITH 18K GOLD, FEATURING BAGUETTE DIAMONDS MOUNTED UPON A QUAD BAND OF WHITE, PRINCESS-CUT DIAMONDS
BROACH SET IN YELLOW 18K GOLD FEATURING ROUND WHITE DIAMONDS, YELLOW SAPPHIRES AND RUBIES, MOUNTED ON A GALUCHAT BANGLE
Exceptional quality rubies are very unusual in size. We present you with an untreated 15-carat example from Mozambique that had few equals in the market today.
Our range of pieces using exotic skins encompasses bangles, rings and necklaces because our designers love the versatility of combining the likes of crocodile, ostrich or python with elements of fine jewelry. This particular design uses a black galuchat bangle that we then set with hand-carved, white and yellow 18k gold clasp that features white diamonds and rubies.
The overall effect is stunning and can just as easily be worn casually during the day or dressed up for something after dark.
Equally suited or day or night, these symmetrical, finely set earrings just float from the ears. Of course, many large earrings look fantastic but can be tiresome to wear when they are too heavy. The design team at DbM circumvent this traditional problem by utilizing the micro-setting skills of the atelier. These 18k white gold and rhodium earrings are feather-light, weighing less than 10 grams each, and feature both black and white micro-set diamonds that that require almost a week to complete under the micro-scope.
What do you get when you combine a 30 carat blue sapphire with more than 15 carats of baguette and round diamonds ? The ‘Maharaja’ from Damian By Mischelle.
From our men’s collection this setting perfectly suits the larger stones that are intrinsically harder to set and all too often gather dust in the safe. The cut of the sapphire is particularly interesting. The additional facets in the modified emerald cut throws out a lot of blue fire that combines perfectly with the invisible set, E VVS1 baguettes.
So, gentlemen, if making a statement is your thing, step this way. If you have a large stone that is unset and needs some design magic, we can make that happen. And in the meantime look out for the Maharaja at some of our upcoming events –it is fairly easy to spot, even across a crowded room.
Discovering particularly fine or rare gemstones is one of the most exciting parts of this business. And this piece definitely meets both of those criteria. Mounted against a very intricate diamond backdrop is a 25 carat chrysoberyl from the famous Mogok mines in Mynmar.
These mines are renowned for the rubies and sapphires that are now all too rare, as well as the spinel that we are now sourcing for other designs. The chrysoberyl, is, however, an extremely rare gem stone. So rare in fact that the laboratory that tested and ideintifed this one had not had another under the microscope in the past two decades.
Closely related to the colour-change gemstone Alexandrite the chrysoberyl has two defining properties – its hardness and the amount of fire that it produces. Only diamonds and the corundum group are harder and the high refractive index of 1.75 also places it in the same category as sapphires and rubies.
This is a very special piece for true connoisseurs and collectors of gemstones.
The beauty, and the challenge, of baguette cut diamonds is to combine high quality stones with both the right cutting and optimum setting style. At Damian By Mischelle we have devoted a considerable amount of our passion and energy to maximizing all three components for our clients.
This bangle is one of designs from the new baguette series. Set in white 18k gold it incorporates 15.38 carats of invisible set baguette and round white diamonds. The complex number of surfaces in the design lends brilliance and fire to this piece in a way that is all too rare to find when using baguette diamonds.
Easily paired with the range of ultra-light baguette earrings and studs in the collection, or with one of the coloured gemstone rings set on baguette bands, this bangle can be worn casually or accessorized for a red carpet event.
Sapphires have been greatly prized as a gemstone since around 800 BC. And although most popularly associated with the blue variety, sapphires occupy the full rainbow of colours – with the exception of red. Today we want to share two recent sets of acquisitions from our buying team.
The first is this magnificent set that comprises 120 fancy-coloured, loupe-clean, sapphires for a total weight of 75 carats. Sourced from a family business that is fanatical about using only the highest quality stones, this team has cut each of the stones in a brilliant-style cut. The result is a near-rainbow collection of pastel sapphires with the fire of diamonds, each one stunning on its own.
We have also been busy in Mogok, home to some of the most famous gemstone mines in the world. Again, from one our family partnerships, we have sourced a number of magnificent sapphires, ranging in tone from light grey to completely colourless, with sizes that range up to twenty carats. The cuts vary between octagonal (one of our personal favourites), round and modified cushion and these are proving to be extremely striking when they are paired with our exotic designs in exotic leather.
The annual dilemma is what to buy the woman of your dreams. The answer is deceptively simple – a pair of Damian By Mischelle earrings. Think about it - earrings make absolutely perfect presents. No sizing is required. It say’s that you care.
Earrings are creatures of many habits. They can be lavish or sweet, every day or red carpet event, avant-garde or just outright chic. And rather like handbags and shoes, a woman can never have enough of them.
Whatever kind of statement you want to make, earrings effortlessly translate your words into gold and precious stones. Perfectly.
Every girl loves to sparkle and gems are our passion. From around the world we gather glorious blue sapphires, fuschia spinel, yellow zircon and the most vibrant green emerald available anywhere. There are no limits to what we can produce out of our ateliers here in Asia.
For die-hard romantics this blend of baguette and round diamonds incorporated into a flower design ring is impossible to resist – especially as it also converts to be a broach when the hands are just not enough !
The design works equally well in white, pink or yellow gold – depending on the centrepiece that is incorporated into it. For illustration, we have used a gorgeous 18mm golden South Sea pearl which produces a warm but very eye-catching effect against the backdrop of 6.3ct of baguette and round white diamonds.
However, the versatility of this opulent flower design enables it to work so well with a variety of different textures and tones. For instance, the yellow gold will also look sensational if you would prefer us to set it with a vivid yellow diamond, a dynamic yellow sapphire or perhaps a zircon from the Mogok mines in Mynamar.
Set in the grounds of our showroom in HCMC, this theatrical production was the launch of our latest movie, Heist. Featuring Minh Tu as our new face for 2012, we also presented a new line of baguette diamond jewelry to the delight of our guests.
Our annual party for our partners and key suppliers. Celebrity chef canapés by Bobby Chinn, champagne by Moet Hennessy and fine jewelry by Damian By Mischelle made for a winning combination.
An army of impossibly tall models, a legion of stylists and make-up artists, clothing by Gabriel Couture and complete chaos until the curtain was ready to go up on our Paris show.
Renowned art photographer Olaf Mueller stages his first exhibition outside of Hong Kong at the Damian By Mischelle showroom in Saigon. “Venturing Into The Divine” consisted of fifteen pieces of his work from the past two years, including a number that had never been previously exhibited, and was enthusiastically received by art collectors and jewelry lovers alike. The next project that we will do with Olaf will be even more sensational in scale.
Re-configuring the Damian By Mischelle showroom into a fine art event gallery proved to be far more complicated than we had envisaged. However, with lighting racks and hanging rails from Japan, a large contractor team and many days of patience the conversion was completed just in time for the opening party with artist Olaf Mueller.
Six months of planning and one of our most complicated sets to date. This event brought some of our favourite parts of Paris, our cultural home, into downtown Saigon and wrapped it in sea of fabulous bling and exotically clad models for Paris By Day
Into the second half of the Paris show and we shift to Paris By Night. We swap outfits and tones but keep the jewelry the same to highlight the versatility of each of the sets. Once the lights eventually went down, the after party headed off into the early hours of the morning.
The national launch of Moet Hennessy’s premium Paradis Cognac was the excuse for us to break open the party frocks, bring along some of our models and sprinkle some sparkly glamour on the whole affair.
This project began with a very specific request. Our client had dreamed of a vibrant, clean, natural emerald – and it had to be pear-shaped. It took us six months of searching amongst our specialist Columbian contacts to find the ultimate example – a 6.55ct emerald that is completely untreated, not even oiled, and as translucent as the emerald sea.
From here our design teamed worked with the client on a number of design options. The emerald itself is so special that the challenge was to present it in a setting that really made the gemstone ‘pop’. Baguette diamonds were agreed upon as the ultimate backdrop and after many re-drafts and meetings with the client we had our design.
The organic lines of the pendant create a symbiotic frame for the lines of the emerald. At the same time the glittering infill from the E VVS1 baguette diamonds serves to enhance the green fire from the centre of the pendant.
A statement piece, most certainly. An heirloom for the future? Most definitely. And for now it is simply a sensational emerald piece that has very few equals.
Men tend to be very demanding clients. They (generally) wear less jewelry than the fairer sex and can be very particular about how the limited real estate space on their hands will be occupied
The client specification for this project was typically vague. The client did not want a sparkly stone but he wanted something that would demand attention when it was on his hand. He preferred animals to abstract shapes but felt that the big cat route was too well trodden.
Our designers toyed with some more masculine ideas involving serpents, crocodiles and other obvious hunters but ultimately they wanted this piece to lift above the ordinary. We decided to go literal with this idea and the client agreed that a bird of prey would fit the bill, as it were.
After some painstaking research, a lot of National Geographic videos and a lot of sketches the eagle ring began to take shape. The wax mold was critical to get the right proportions to the client’s hand and our modellers worked to lower the centre of gravity of the ring so that it would balance properly. The design theme also demanded a very 3D effect so feathers were critical along the back of the head.
Combining black and white diamonds for the feathers provided the contrast that was needed, yellow sapphires accentuated the beak and the cabochon rubies were custom cut for the eyes.
The Eagle Ring is an attention-grabbing piece in any situation. As playful as it is dominant, the detailing is as fastidious as any piece that Madame may choose for the evening.
By now it will come as no surprise to our clients that we are obsessed about a lot of things. And right at the top of this long list is attention to the detail in our designs and the quality of our gemstones.
This neatly brings us to the latest design for one of the most demanding segments in the fine jewelry universe – men. This piece represents the most exclusive element of our Octagon Collection and is intended to generate debate and awe in equal quantities.
The debate will centre around this is really a Mogok spinel or whether it is, in fact, a Mogok ruby. To settle the argument, it is a completely natural Mogok spinel with no treatment of any kind. We source these directly from the family with the mining concession and the quality of these particular spinels is, in our experience, unparalleled.
The awe will be derived from the fact that this 5ct spinel has such an even saturation of this vibrant red. In fact, the startling brilliance of this Mogok spinel is only matched by the 7ct of princess cut white diamonds that we have used to overlay the octagon band.
Don’t follow the trend, gentlemen. Be it.
For thousands of years the snake has represented love, passion and desire. From Cleopatra to Queen Victoria, women have sought to possess spectacular serpent-inspired pieces.
In keeping with such a splendid tradition Damian By Mischelle is celebrating the Year of the Snake with a range of opulent and fun pieces. These span pendants and charm bracelets for newborns right up to more complex creations like this exotic snake bangle. Set in 18k yellow gold it features more than 19ct of yellow and blue sapphires. The same design is offered with a variety of other settings, including a full white diamond piece.
For the Cleopatra in your life, or the princess in your arms, we have the piece that will melt her heart.