Designer Spotlight

Alexandra Mor: Heirlooms in the Making

Alexandra Mor Cover

Last week, I ventured into the city’s hallowed jewelry grounds, New York’s Diamond District, the strip of West 47th Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues, a laborious labyrinth of diamond dealers, workshops and jewelry arcades. Luckily, my point in crossing into this raw mini-mecca of jewelry was not to aimlessly wonder from one storefront to the next but to meet with up-and-coming couture jewelry designer Alexandra Mor.

Alexandra-Mor-Jade-Belt-Buckle-7

Photography – Thaddeus Harden

In her office hovering over the hustle and bustle and wheeling and dealing of 47th Street below, Mor shared with me her story and her passion for jewelry. As she began, I felt a kindred connection, for Mor’s foray into jewelry was quite similar to mine:  she wasn’t born into a family of jewelers nor did she dream of working in the jewelry industry the moment she first saw a glittering diamond. Alexandra’s calling came much later in life, after a successful career in the film industry.

Alexandra Mor Emerald-Cut Rich Purple Amethyst & Diamond Ring

Alexandra Mor Emerald-Cut Rich Purple Amethyst & Diamond Ring
A 67.81 carat Emerald-cut Amethyst ring set with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of 1mm knife-edged wire and 1.40 carats of 1mm ‘floating’ Diamond melee. Platinum set on a 1mm 18-karat yellow gold band with AM logo gallery. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. One-of-a-kind
Photography – Russell Starr

Her husband’s family has long been in the jewelry industry, much like my loved one’s, and he was born into a family of diamond cutters. It was through him that fate struck for Mor. After accompanying her husband Alon on a buying trip, the allure of the gems fascinated her. Then, one day soon after, Alon suggested that she join him to an introductory class of jewelry making, and from the moment she sat on the bench she was hooked.

Alexandra Mor designing in her studio

Alexandra Mor designing in her studio
Photography – Thaddeus Harden

Design, after all, is in Mor’s blood, her French mother was a talented couturier and ran an atelier in Israel, where Mor would spend her afternoons after school helping her mother cut threads, fetch fabrics and finalize designs. This early exposure to fashion design resurfaced as an inspiration for her jewelry today. Along with fashion and fabrics, other design influences such as architecture, fashion history and, of course, vintage jewelry techniques inspire Mor’s jewelry.

Alexandra Mor Cushion-Cut Tanzanite & Diamond Earrings

Alexandra Mor Cushion-Cut Tanzanite & Diamond Earrings
A pair of cushion-cut tanzanite earrings weighing 6.25 carats, suspended by a pair of round diamonds totaling 0.71 carats with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of ‘floating’ diamond melee and knife-edged wire set around 18-karat yellow gold Alexandra Mor logo gallery. 1.20 carats total diamond weight. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/10
Photography – Russell Starr

“My aesthetic revolves around simplicity, symmetry and relationship between the stone, the personality of the client, and my intuition — this will eventually lead to the design and help bring out the true nature of an object,” she explains. “When I design, my mind is like a three-dimensional stage; I play with the stones, like soft fabric—the final piece is clear in my mind’s eye, and I am then ready to go to the drawing board.”

Alexandra Mor Contemporary Diamond Bow & Pearl Ring

Alexandra Mor Contemporary Diamond Bow & Pearl Ring
A contemporary diamond bow and pearl ring set with Alexandra Mor signature details of 1mm knife-edged wire and 1mm ‘floating’ diamond melee weighing a total of 1.13 carats. Platinum set around inner bands of 18k yellow gold. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/15
Photography – Russell Starr

In the beginning, before letting her ideas run wild with sketches, the elegantly poised Mor immersed herself in study, taking a number of jewelry classes to understand the aspects of jewelry design from the inside out. After years of developing her Signature collection, Mor introduced the first pieces of her collection to the public at New York auction house Phillips de Pury in 2010.

Alexandra Mor Dangling Snowflake Diamond Earrings

Alexandra Mor Dangling Snowflake Diamond Earrings
The Dangling Snowflake Diamond Earrings suspended by a pair of round diamonds; featuring Alexandra Mor’s signature details of ‘floating’ diamond melee and knife-edged wire. Platinum set around 18k yellow gold AM logo gallery. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/50
Photography – Russell Starr

Four years later, Mor has accomplished a lot in such a short period of time. Currently, she is busy finalizing the design of her salon at Dorfman’s in Boston, a prestigious jeweler on the famous Newbury Street luxury strip. On top of building onto her Signature collection, Mor has expanded her made-to-order business and focuses on creating more one-of-a-kind haute couture jewels.

Alexandra Mor Sugarloaf-Cabochon Emerald & Diamond Ring

Alexandra Mor Sugarloaf-Cabochon Emerald & Diamond Ring
A 26.16 carat Sugarloaf-cabochon Emerald ring set with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of double bands of 1mm knife-edged wire and 0.84 carats of 1mm ‘floating’ Diamond melee. 18-karat white gold set on a 1mm 18-karat yellow gold band with AM logo gallery. Created with a Gemfields gem, where all Emeralds are ethically sourced from mine to market. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA.
Photography – Russell Starr

Recently, Gemfields tapped Mor to collaborate on making one-of-a-kind pieces featuring exquisite stones ethically sourced by Gemfields. Their partnership included an international advertising campaign, starring actress Mila Kunis wearing a stunning 26.16 carat sugarloaf cabochon emerald set in a sleek, contemporary ring by Mor. The ring, unfortunate only for me, had just been sold at the time of our meeting.

Mila Kunis wearing Alexandra Mor's emerald ring sourced by Gemfields

Mila Kunis wearing Alexandra Mor’s one-of-a-kind 26.16-carat sugarloaf emerald ring sourced by Gemfields

 

Not one to leave me hanging, she showed me an equally exquisite amethyst version of similar design, the amethyst weighing a whopping 67.81 carats.

Alexandra Mor Emerald-Cut Rich Purple Amethyst & Diamond Ring

The Alexandra Mor Emerald-Cut Rich Purple Amethyst & Diamond Ring featuring a 67.81 amethyst sourced by Gemfields that I had the privilege to see in person during our meeting. The rich hues of the amethyst really come alive in person!

With her one-of-a-kind, made-to-order endeavors, Mor involves her clients every step of the way because she believes that jewelry is incredibly personal and factors in their personalities into the overall design. After the initial consultation, the client can expect to receive a series of frame-worthy sketches depicting variations of what will eventually become the final design. Throughout the creation process, from first sketches to finished product, photos and detailed updates on the piece’s progress tell a story, the journey of a jewel, which Mor elegantly captures in an accompanying book after the client finally receives the finished jewel.

Alexandra Mor Diamonds & Precious Stones Sautoir Necklace with Snowflake Charms

Alexandra Mor Diamonds & Precious Stones Sautoir Necklace with Snowflake Charms
18-karat yellow gold bezel-set Diamond sautoir chain comprised of a collection of 53 fancy shape Tourmalines, Citrines, Aquamarines, Amethyst, Peridots and 12 round Diamonds. Complemented by eight Alexandra Mor signature 18-karat yellow gold Diamond snowflake charms. 2.12 carats total Diamond weight. Encircle around neck or wrist several times. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA.
Limited-Edition 1/50
Photography – Russell Starr

Mor, a mother of three, travels back and forth between New York and Boston weekly, and I was touched that she was able to pencil me into her incredibly hectic schedule to share her story. At the moment, she’s taking things one step at a time, working on evolving her brand into one that is more focused on a limited-edition and one-of-a-kind concept. Mass produced jewels are not a part of her design philosophy. Instead, Mor continues to concentrate on creating collectible jewels, or “heirlooms in the making,” as she fondly ascribes to her works of jeweled art. In my opinion, she’s well on her way.

Alexandra Mor_Portrait_Working In Her Studio_B&W_Hi_Res_1 copy

Alexandra Mor working in her studio
Photography – Thaddeus Harden

 

A few more favorites by Alexandra Mor:

Alexandra Mor Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring

Alexandra Mor Blue Sapphire & Diamond Ring
A 19.30 carat double-cabochon sapphire ring set in platinum. Accented by a pair of 1.79 carat trapezoid and a double band of 1mm ‘floating’ diamond melee. Platinum set around a band of 1mm 18k yellow gold. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/10
Photography – Russell Starr

Alexandra Mor's sketches of the opal earrings in the making

Alexandra Mor’s sketches of the opal earrings in the making
Image courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Alexandra Mor Pear-shape Opal & Diamond Earrings

Alexandra Mor Pear-shape Opal & Diamond Earrings
A pair of pear-shape Opals weighing 4.17 carats, each suspended from a 0.11 carat Brilliant-cut Diamond with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of 0.75 carat ‘floating’ Diamond melee and knife-edged wire. Set with 18-karat white gold and an 18-karat yellow gold AM logo with Diamond melee gallery. 0.97 carats total Diamond weight. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA. Limited-Edition 1/5
Photography – Russell Starr

Alexandra Mor Pearl-Mesh Diamond Cuff Bracelets

Alexandra Mor Pearl-Mesh Diamond Cuff Bracelets
A pair of Diamonds & pearl-mesh Cuff cuff bracelets with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of knife-edged wire and ‘floating’ Diamond melee. Limited-Edition 1/15
Photography – Russell Starr

Alexandra Mor sketches the dimensions and design of the following aquamarine ring

Alexandra Mor sketches the dimensions and design of the following aquamarine ring
Image courtesy of Alexandra Mor

Alexandra Mor Asscher-Cut Intense Aquamarine & Diamond Ring

Alexandra Mor Asscher-Cut Intense Aquamarine & Diamond Ring
A very fine 27.24 carat Asscher-cut Intense bright blue-green Aquamarine ring set with Alexandra Mor’s signature details of double bands of 1mm knife- edged wire and 1.05 carats of 1mm ‘floating’ Diamond melee. Platinum set on a 1mm 18-karat yellow gold band with AM logo gallery. Signed by artist. Crafted in the USA.
One-of-a-Kind
Photography – Russell Starr

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Erin
    March 8, 2014 at 11:21 pm

    Thank you for the introduction Jewels Du Jour, I am enchanted!

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