Stones within stones: setting gems into other gems

The trend for setting stones within stones to create daring combinations of gems adds volume, colour and exotic allure to fine jewellery for 2014.

The deep brownish greenish yellow diamond in Tiffany & Co.'s ring, from the 2014 Masterpiece collection, is inlaid into an opal encircled by a swath of coloured diamonds.

By Ase Anderson in London

Call us greedy if you must, but when it comes to the world's most exquisite gemstones, why settle for one when you can have two?

Embedding one precious gemstone into another is a popular trend right now that adds both lustre and a sense of volume to jewels.

Swiss jeweller Bogh-Art has perfected the inlay technique over many years, and its stunning pieces epitomise the "stone within stone" trend. Originating in ancient Egypt, the "art of inlay" requires exceptional skill and precision as each stone is meticulously carved and shaped before being set directly into another. One piece can take over a year to make, but the end result is well worth the wait, with the absence of metal lending the stones a weightless quality.   

While each Bogh-Art jewel is a masterpiece in itself, the Inlaid diamond and Paraiba tourmaline ring is a firm favourite at The Jewellery Editor. In white gold, it features a 3 carat pear-shaped diamond, its shape beautifully emphasised against the luminous green tourmaline. Equally impressive are the delicate drop earrings with two oval diamonds inlaid into turquoise. Or how about another pair of earrings where pear-shaped tanzanites take centre stage, their rich colour contrasting with white mother-of-pearl?

Other jewellers have also embraced the trend for setting one stone within another. Kara Ross' dramatic Cava cuff features a rock crystal inset that appears to float on top of a black onyx base, held in place by four ribbons of sparkling diamonds. In a ring from the same collection, a luminous green chrysoprase nestles majestically within a square-shaped rock crystal surrounded by a halo of diamonds. 

Boucheron's Trésor de Perse high jewellery collection promises to be one of the highlights of this month's Biennale des Antiquaries. Inspired by the jeweller's connection to the Imperial family of Iran, the sapphires represent the blue tiles of the Isfahan Mosque in Persia. The Trésor de Perse Boucheron ring features a historic 16 carat cabochon sapphire set on glistening carved rock crystal with chalcedonies and diamonds.

A diamond with a complex colour you can't quite put your finger on sits in the centre of a mesmerising Tiffany & Co. ring. Described by the jeweller as "deep brownish greenish yellow", this rare diamond has been set into a beautiful opal, which is encircled by a shower of multi-coloured diamonds. However, there is no mistaking the vivid lilac of the amethyst drops suspended from the Jean Schlumberger necklace, dotted with inlaid diamonds.

And finally, Paris-based jewellery designer Lorenz Baumer, who is renowned for his bold cocktail rings that always boast the most beautiful and unusual stones, has created a futuristic masterpiece for 2014. The unique Trevi ring, with a 7.54 carat sapphire set into rock crystal, is one of the boldest stone-within-stone statements of the year.

Read about the stone within stone trend making it onto our list of best diamond jewellery


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