I travelled to Geneva to find out more about Avakian, a jewellery house that is all about colour, movement and clever little twists. Despite their precious status, Avakian jewels are very playful, with a contemporary look that brings a relaxed glamour and laidback luxury both to red carpet and everyday jewels. Here are my top five Avakian jewels.
Edmond Avakian, who founded the house in 1969, studied to be an engineer but later decided that his true passion lay in jewellery. Bringing his engineering mindset to the design of jewels, the first word that came to him was "movement". Today, spinning, twirling and swinging are trademark features of Avakian jewels and nowhere is this better demonstrated with such panache than this one-off necklace set with a 78 carat Colombian emerald and 53 carats of diamonds. Despite the value of the stones, Edmond Avakian added a very playful twist: the central flower motif spins with the ease of a rotor and keeps whirring long after it has been nudged. No proof needed that fine jewels and mechanics make for novel designs.
Tsavorite and onyx Joker ring
I remember very clearly the first time I saw this Joker ring at the Avakian boutique in London. I was struck by the contrast of the rich amethyst with the deep green of the tsavorite, but the best was yet to come. I twisted the centre of the ring and the entire colourful montage rotated with such ease that the onyx drops spun around as if on a carousel. This ring is ideal for women who like to fidget while wearing attention-grabbing jewels. Are you one of these women? If so, you are not alone as this ring is one of Avakian’s most popular designs and comes in a variety of colour combinations, including a handsome pairing of onyx and moonstone.
Emerald, sapphire and diamond set
In this show-stopping set, Avakian combines high-quality stones with unusual cuts and a striking design. Entirely pavéd in diamonds, a choker drapes around the neck, wrapping around itself with the ease of a tendril before tapering to delicate points from which are suspended two pear-shape emeralds. Either side of the choker is decorated with a mesh of leaf shapes set with diamonds, tipped with either sapphires or emeralds. The matching ring has the same sensuous curves from which fan out more diamond, sapphire and emerald-set leaves.
Blue topaz Galaxy ring
The first thing that struck me about Avakian’s jewels is that they are so bright and colourful. Haig, whose father Edmond Avakian founded the brand almost 50 years ago, tells us why colour is such a strong feature: “Our Mediterranean upbringing and exposure to colourful settings has had a strong impact on the use of colour in our jewellery.” The 20-carat blue topaz cabochon in this one-of-a-kind Galaxy ring is enhanced by the sparkle of over 2 carats of diamonds, with a further 6 carats of tsavorites set into the shank. Gaze into the deep pool of blue and you will see flashes of light from the diamonds set all around the stone.
Diamond and tsavorite Victory bracelet
Great design and carefully executed craftsmanship mean that Avakian jewels are super flexible, making them comfortable and easy to wear. The Victory bracelet is one of Avakian’s best-known designs that, thanks to the mechanics hidden below the surface, stretches with the ease of a coil to slip onto the wrist. This version is pavéd with over 15 carats of diamonds and 9 carats of tsavorites. Made to be worn day or night, the Victory bracelets can be stacked and mixed or matched to create your very own Avakian stack.