Recognized as the world’s leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones, Gemfields has largely operated behind the scenes of the retail side of the business. That is until recently. Over the last few years, the mining powerhouse has partnered with high end jewelry brands like Marina B, Fabergé (which Gemfields acquired in 2013) and Georg Jensen – as well as A-list celebrities like Mila Kunis – to promote its mine-to-market strategy using the traceable emeralds and rubies it mines in Zambia and Mozambique, respectively.
Last December, Gemfields teamed with Bergdorf Goodman and its jewelry brands and designers, such as Verdura, David Webb and Pomellato, to celebrate the unveiling of the New York luxury department store’s new jewelry salon with exclusive one-of-a-kind pieces.
The company’s most recent collaboration debuted at the Couture jewelry show last week. In the latest campaign, Gemfields tapped the pool of talented designers of Muse Showroom, a New York-based agency that provides its designers with the support necessary to survive and, ultimately, thrive in the designer jewelry business. Ten emerging jewelry designers participated: Carolina Bucci, Dezso by Sara Beltrán, Elena Votsi, Holly Dyment, Michelle Fantaci, Nikos Koulis, Savannah Stranger, Silvia Furmanovich, Yossi Harari and AYA by Chelsy Davy (as in the former squeeze of Prince Harry whose jewelry is making its first showing on this side of the Atlantic).
On the last day of Couture, I was honored to play with the fruits of this partnership myself with a takeover of Gemfields Instagram account. Seeing and trying on the pieces first hand made this collaboration clearly different from previous ones, this time aiming to target a younger, new [Millennial] audience.
Like previous collaborations, the designs uniquely showcase Gemfields-source emerald and rubies, however the Gemfields x MUSE partnership created a collection of fashion-forward jewelry with a focus on accessibility. The limited-edition pieces, whose prices range from $1,000 to $10,000 retail, highlight the versatility of the two precious gems, showing that valued colored stones like emeralds and rubies can be “everyday” and not solely reserved for formal wear. Gemfields considers the jewels as a “see-now-buy-now” collection, since it was launched at market and simultaneously on e-commerce websites Twist and Moda Operandi.
Each designer incorporated Gemfields stones, whether it be emeralds or rubies or both, in his or her own unique aesthetic, often utilizing the gems as colorful accents to the overall designs. Silvia Furmanovich introduced a series of pieces at Couture that masterfully employed wood marquetry to resemble the cut faceting of gemstones. For one of these designs, a pair of earrings, the designer accented the perimeters with Gemfields Zambian emeralds.
Los Angeles-based pearl specialist Savannah Stranger juxtaposed a pair of luminescent baroque Tahitian pearl drops with the fiery intensity of Gemfields Mozambique rubies set as tops.
Greek tour-de-force Elena Votsi cheerfully paired bright turquoise with verdant emerald in a couple of fabulous yellow gold band rings.
Whether taking center stage as the starring gem or simply playing a small supporting role as a pavé accent, the Gemfields emeralds and rubies strike a colorful chord in the various designs put forth by MUSE’s designers. The Gemfields x MUSE collaboration successfully shows that these two historically treasured precious gems play nicely, and even casually, with more humble materials in the world of fashion-forward fine jewelry.