With the Duchess of Cambridge among her top clients, jewellery designer-to-the-stars Monica Vinader reveals her favourite gemstones and shares her fondest jewellery memories...
Which stones do you enjoy working with most?
This year we’ve used emerald, sapphire and ruby for the first time, and, having previously designed with diamonds, it’s incredibly exciting to work with all four precious stones in a collection. We’ve innovated with the cuts, and the stones look amazing. There’s one particular design – the Baja Precious Emerald Cocktail Ring – which we made exclusively for Harrods (available in store only. It’s a real standout piece and something I’m incredibly proud of.
"Gemstones have this natural beauty that’s mesmerising, and I’ve always been drawn to them..."
Why do you feel gemstones and crystals hold a certain spirituality to them?
Gemstones have this natural beauty that’s mesmerising, and I’ve always been drawn to them. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been collecting minerals and stones. For me, gemstone jewellery has a real talismanic quality to it, and I just love it.
Is there one stone that resonates most with you?
Aquamarine is a stone I’d always wanted to work with, and this year we launched our first collection using aquamarine – named after the Italian island, Capri. It reminds me of the ocean and summer, and has a cloudiness that makes every piece different. You can’t help but fall in love with this gemstone.
What's your favourite jewellery memory?
My mum is definitely the strongest influence behind my obsession with jewellery. She used to keep hers in a chest on her dressing table, and would always hang her necklaces up on the wall. Mum had a huge collection of precious pieces but wasn’t at all precious about them herself – she would let us play dress-up all the time. I think this is where my mantra of accessibility comes from – jewellery should be seen, worn and enjoyed, not kept locked away!
What's the one piece of jewellery you couldn't be without?
I’d feel a little lost without my Baja bracelets – I layer them up and wear them every day, and I love wearing a mix of diamond and gemstone pieces.
Your designs are a big hit with the A-list - who would you love to see in your jewellery?
It’s always an honour to see high profile people like The Duchess of Cambridge wearing our designs. I don’t ever design with a specific person in mind, I just create jewellery that I would want to wear myself, and it’s amazing to see how different people style it in their own way.
The Meanings Behind The Stones...
Moonstone: A shimmering white stone, reflects the end of one cycle and the start of a new in a quick changeover. They also represent fertility and motherhood.
Labradorite: A greyish stone, claimed to have fallen from the frozen fires of the Aurora Borealis, ordinary in some lights, yet shimmering and mystical in others. The most powerful protector, guarding against negativity, misfortunes and awakening inner spirit.
Rose Quartz: A pink quartz crystal, is all about love, reassurance and healing. Keep one near the heart to soothe and bring love.
Turquoise: A bright blue stone, is a stone of protection, which represents friendship and travelling and spiritual bonding.
Onyx: A black stone which balances and grounds thoughts and emotions. It is a stone of protection, guarding the wearer.
Amethyst: A purple crystal which is the protection stone of transformation, spirituality and mind quietening. Promotes inner peace. A master healing stone.
Aquamarine: A vivid blue stone which contains the soothing, calming energy of the sea. A stone of courage, it promotes confidence and creativity.
Citrine: A yellow coloured crystal, used for mental and emotional clarity, problem solving, optimism and confidence. It is a crystal which never needs to be cleansed of negative energy.
Emerald: A green stone which is a symbol of love and good fortune. Used for peace, harmony, patience, love and honesty.
Ruby: The red crystal which symbolises wealth, joy, love, energy and power. Warms and energises.
Diamond: A clear crystal, symbolising love, excellence and purity. Due to its hardness it also represents power, strength and brilliance. Romans believed they were the splinters of fallen stars.
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