Not Ordinary Jewels

More and more designers and brands are creating pieces with precious stones paired with unusual materials like butterfly wings, wood or ower petals. All used to create exceptional works of art

We are used to judging the value of jewelry based on gems and precious met- als. However, jewelry is also a form of autonomous art which combines sculpture, painting and even architecture and its seductive aesthetics can overshadow the commercial value even by the craziest of figures. But we know, in art you pay for the original idea. We provide some examples on these pages with jewelry that could be classified as “new luxury”. Alternative items created for those who can afford to own something surprising and unique.


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French designer Sylvie Corbelin found her very own way to “make use of ” butterflies for their beauty as well as a main element in her pieces. She has created a series of extraordinary brooches using butterfly wings covered in resin. «A few years ago, I purchased a collection of wings from an entomologist, and I was dazzled by their beauty, which is so spontaneous and natural. In order to show how unique they are, I merely created brooches shaped like a wing, with a stone in the center. As simple as that,» says the designer.


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Hemmerle is a company that often challenges traditional jewelry design. The creative team of this German company, now in its fourth generation, loves to experiment with different woven elements, obtaining a perfect balance between the colors and materials used. Iron, copper and aluminum are often utilized instead of gold and platinum, along with elements like antique coins, Egyptian faïence, antique inlay or micromosaics, which become the focal points of the design. 


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Nature has become an endless source of inspiration for Brazilian designer Silvia Furmanovich. She creates earrings, bracelets and even clutches using wooden inlay. Unlike Piaget, the most important decorative element in her pieces is the use of wood on wood, combining different essences. The result is most definitely artistic, especially when combined with precious gems.


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The desire to go beyond the confines of design and imagination isn’t unique to independent jewelers and designers. Some of the most famous brands share this desire as well. For example, since 2015, Piaget has collaborated with Nelly Saunier, a true master in creating marquetry designs using bird feathers. Today, they can be found adorning Piaget’s high jewelry cuffs.


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