By Maria Doulton in London
De Beers has always been about the diamond, but the Aria collection puts a whole new spin on the idea. Because with the new Aria range, De Beers encircles the central diamond with a series of swirling, spiraling gold ribbons. These alternating arcs are either mirror-polished or diamond-set to create a dance of light; a mirage of energy radiating around the all-important diamond.
Hollie Bonneville-Barden, in charge of design at the London-based jeweller, explains that Aria is the first big collection the house has launched since Imaginary Nature back in 2012. "We were looking for a gesture that would have an impact across the full price-range of jewels we intend to offer," says Bonneville-Barden. At its launch in London earlier this month, De Beers presented an array of Aria designs, from delicate ear studs right through to red-carpet worthy necklaces, shimmering with the fire of high-value diamonds.
"Diamonds are full of light and life, so expressing their lively nature was my aim," adds Bonneville-Barden. "I was inspired by the idea that we are known as the 'jeweller of light'. While the Aria is still very much focussed on the central diamond, we are approaching it in a more creative way. Aria has a spontaneous feel, a more contemporary message. It is embracing creativity and freedom."
For the first time, De Beers is showing more precious metal in its designs than usual. The openwork swirls are arranged in asymmetrical patterns around the central stone, and the negative spaces create a sense of lightness and airiness.
The De Beers Aria is here to stay, and the possibilities for interpretation are already evident. Available in a wide range of price points, the collection ranges from signature pieces with smaller diamonds of 0.15 carats right up to high jewellery De Beers diamond necklaces featuring an impressive 10 carats of diamonds. "This is a story we can keep playing with and an emblem that can speak for the brand for years to come," explains Bonneville-Barden.
Expect to see more in the Aria diamond jewellery range coming soon on The Jewellery Editor, including a selection of pretty De Beers women's watches and eight high jewellery pieces, which will be shown in Paris this summer during Couture Week.
De Beers Aria ring in white gold decorated with pavé diamonds.
De Beers Aria earrings in white gold set with pavé diamonds surrounding a central brilliant-cut diamond.
De Beers Aria diamond bracelet, with a series of swirling white gold ribbons set with pavé diamonds surrounding a central brilliant-cut diamond.
De Beers Aria high jewellery bracelet set with brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds surrounding a central brilliant-cut diamond.
De Beers Aria high jewellery necklace in white gold featuring a swirling pendant set with brilliant and baguette-cut diamonds surrounding a brilliant-cut diamond.
De Beers Aria diamond necklace in white gold embellished with pavé diamonds surrounding a central brilliant-cut diamond.
The initial sketches of De Beers' new Aria diamond jewellery collection take shape.