Gardin jewellery's unique craftmanship © Gardin

Gardin jewellery's unique craftmanship

Jewellery, a centuries-old craft is matched with contemporary art by Gardin's master craftsmen

by

Writer

17 November 2014

Necklaces designed with swaying emeralds that appear to flow down the nape of the neck; a Burma ruby that lights up the face complete with graceful earrings; emeralds and sapphires featuring on sumptuous bracelets. Stones of various cuts come together in brilliant harmony. These coveted gems, which are now becoming increasingly rare, are brought to life in a master craftsman's hands. Each one has a unique story and spirit.

Each piece begins its journey in the imagination of the jewellery designer. Among the many sketches he draws, the best are chosen and painted in gouache. Then comes the world-wide search for potential gemstones that will be used to bring the sketches to life. Diamonds, emeralds, sapphires and rubies are examined for the selected and approved designs, and shown to elite lapidaries, who, like gemstones, are becoming fewer and fewer as the years pass. The lapidary plans exactly how the piece of jewellery will be made, deciding on the techniques and the design. Unique pieces, namely those prestigious pieces that will be one-of-a-kind, are created completely by hand. The metal fastenings and beds are created exclusively for each stone, and after being coated, the stones are fixed into their metal prongs by hand. They are polished, inspected and branded with a laser. Finally the piece is ready for the jewellery enthusiast to see.

On this intricate but enchanting journey, every piece of jewellery tells its own tale, brought to life through the sensitivity to line, colour and design that represents the hallmark of a dwindling number of artisans. Each gem becomes a unique work of art, wholly comparable to a masterpiece created by an outstanding painter.