Jewels good enough to eat

Overindulged this Christmas? Then you're in for a treat. These designers are having fun with foodie jewellery that looks delicious but is 100% guilt free.

Bao Bao Wan Ice Cream pearl charm

Pasta jewellery might drum up nostalgic visions of rainy childhood days, but would you actually want to wear solid gold pasta bows? These, like ice cream cone charms and gemstone-encrusted fruits, do exist and cleverly designed foodie jewellery is offering a tasty twist for collectors with a playful side.

Gold pasta earrings
Openjart has created an innovate collection of gold jewellery designed to look like pasta (£1,640).

The man behind pasta jewellery for grown-ups is Russian artist Stas Zhitsky, whose quirky fine jewellery brand Openjart has caught the attentions of stars like Alexa Chung and Tina Fey. Openjart’s pasta earrings have been carefully constructed to look as real as possible and offer his clients the chance to invest in luxury jewels that don’t, as he describes it, “scream bourgeoisie”.

Another jeweller having fun with foodie jewellery is Tessa Packard, whose Fat Free collection is a tuck box of gummy bears, pretzels, penny sweets, waffles and a pair of earrings that have become her most iconic design to date – gold, diamond and rock crystal jelly fried eggs with yellow agate yolks.

Fried Egg topaz and agate earrings in white gold
This pair of sizzling fried egg earrings, in gold, diamond and rock crystal with yellow agate yolks, are one of Tessa Packard's most iconic designs (£15,000).

Her motivation was fuelled by a desire to follow in the footsteps of pop artists like Andy Warhol by transforming everyday objects – in this case, sweet treats – into fine jewellery. But it was also a chance to whip up some delicious nostalgia that transported her back to sacred Saturday mornings in the sweet shop as a child and allowed her to relive the magic “as each jar in turn was brought down off the shelf to reveal an object of beauty inside”.

“Sweet treats have immense sentimental and nostalgic value,” says Packard. “The Fat Free theme has been one of success largely because it is a subject that has resonated with teenagers and octogenarians alike. Retro penny sweets still hold strong memories for many older generations, whilst the subject of dieting and healthy eating is permanently – excuse the pun – on everyone’s lips.”

Vintage ice cream brooch
Vintage Bulgari ice cream cone brooch circa 1986 in gold with turquoise and lapis lazuli (£23,200, available from 1stdibs.com).

Fat Free, and other sugar-fuelled foodie jewellery collections, like Les BonBons by Bao Bao Wan, which presents bejewelled ice cream cone charms and cupcake necklaces, allow those lasciviously liking #InstaFood snaps of Freak Shakes to indulge without the calories. Or go back to the 80s with Bulgari's vintage ice cream brooch, a delicious insight into the Italian jeweller's fun side.

Sometimes though, we just need the real thing. For jewellery lovers with a sweet tooth, jeweller Doris Hangartner has developed a range of chocolates, handmade in Zurich, that are inspired by gemstones like Paraiba tourmalines, peridot and rubies. And if the whole box disappears before you get the chance to share, Tessa Packard’s silver, gold and diamond Diet Pill necklace should get you back on track, mentally at least. 

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