What’s Old is New
Coveted Rubies in a New Light!
As the song says, What Goes Around Comes Around and not just Karma but especially fashion and jewelry trends!
Looking ahead to 2022, the creatives in the jewelry industry are moving away from the big and sparkly combinations from the 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, and creating sleek modern jewelry that showcases colored gemstones in a new light. Vibrantly colored gems are back in focus and have been constantly growing in popularity over the past few years.
People have revered colored gemstones since antiquity, especially the red varieties, treasured for their believed talismanic properties, healing abilities and divine power. Though the rubies and pink sapphires from Greenland are a recent discovery, officially registered in the 1960s, our rubies sit on the shoulders of an extensive and entrancing history that ties us to the past and future.
It’s inspiring to see gems with tradition and history, like rubies, being reimagined through a modern lens by amazingly talented contemporary jewelry designers.
Spearheaded by many factors and style trends in the past years, the popularity of colored gems, especially in bridal jewelry can be credited to recent royals who’ve chosen colored stones over diamonds for their engagement rings. Look at Kate Middleton’s blue sapphire, Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece’s cabochon sapphire, and Princess Eugenie’s a padparadscha sapphire ring.
With a new generation of buyers (particularly millennials) looking to break the norms and rebel against the styles and fashions they grew up with, the demand for color has increased. With more thought put into expressing their unique relationships or lifestyle through jewelry pieces, colored gemstones are the perfect choice to encompass complex and intimate feelings.
As industry style-maven Katerina Perez mentioned at the beginning of this year: “The use of colored gemstones in jewelry is a notable trend that has been at the peak of popularity for several years now and there is no sign that it will subside any time soon.”
Traditional Shapes – New Designs
From the original use of cabochon gemstones in jewelry, it took time to create geometrically intricate designs and develop the specific and meticulous skill of faceting. Since then, faceted gems have been desired for their mesmerizing way of reflecting light.
However, full bodied cabochons have a longer tradition in jewelry making and have found their way into antique jewelry as well as crown jewels throughout history. From the enormous red spinel in The Imperial State Crown, (believed at first to be a ruby), to the Imperial Crown of the Holy Roman Empire and Papal Tiaras, these gems have been appreciated not only for their singularity but also their organic look and powerful meaning.
The recent rise of popularity in colored gems didn’t stop at faceted stones – it has extended into a demand for cabochons as well. Juicy cabs have been featured in innovative jewelry designs, reviving this traditional cut, and offering consumers high-end gemstone jewelry for every occasion. Carefully rounded, these cabs have an organic look, that reminds us of the original crystal formation and mother earth’s work to bring these beauties to life. The trend also highlights the overwhelming desire by the younger generation to be associated with the organic!
Due to the nature of the hard-rock deposit at our Aappaluttoq mine in Greenland, the crystal formation of our gems lends itself perfectly to full-bodied, beautifully rounded cabochons. Cut and polished by expert lapidaries based on each individual crystal, the unique inclusions seen in the gems are witnesses to their journey through time and temperature. There’s an entire world hidden in each cabochon!
A Jewel Fit for a Queen
Cabochons are the star in royal jewels today as well! To celebrate Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark’s 80th birthday, the government of Greenland, Naalakkersuisut, on behalf of the Greenlandic people, gifted Her Majesty a beautiful jewelry suite with Greenlandic rubies.
Designed by world-renowned Danish jewelry house, Hartmann’s and in collaboration with Queen Margrethe, the exquisite set was made to order, and includes a brooch and matching earrings. As an ode to the unusual source of these rubies, the design was inspired by the embroidery found on the Greenlandic national costume, embodied by 32 cabochon rubies; and the pristine, icy landscape of the island, through rose-cut and round diamonds that flank the gems.
Since receiving the gift, Her Majesty has been seen wearing her new jewels on multiple official occasions including her recent visit to Germany, her tour to Greenland in the Fall, as well as during New Year’s celebrations in Denmark.
This Friday, January 14th, the Kingdom of Denmark celebrates the Golden Jubilee of Queen Margrethe II, ringing in her extraordinary 50-year reign. On this occasion Her Majesty will appropriately open a special exhibition at the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen called “A Queen’s Jewel Case”, and we can’t help but wonder if she’ll be wearing our gems?