De Beers and diamonds are inseparable; everyone knows that. But what is perhaps less well known is the willingness of De Beers to push diamonds into new design territories. The Talisman collection shows the house’s creativity with diamond designs that will appeal to both first-time buyers as well as those looking to make a different style of diamond statement.
Unlike traditional diamond jewellery, the Talisman collection, now in its 10th year, combines both rough and polished diamonds to create the strong look that marks this collection. The delicate, soft-hued beauty of rough diamonds mingles with the radiance of perfectly cut and polished diamonds. The wonder of these eternal stones, in their many guises, is enhanced in jewels that take us back to ancient times when diamonds were worn as talismans - protective forces to guide and light the way. The looks of the jewels, with their hallmark-style De Beers diamond setting and hand-hammered finish, adds to the alluring mystery of the Talisman collection.
Capturing the enigmatic power of diamonds for a new generation, the collection brings a delicate touch to the range with slender bangles, unisex signet rings, stacking rings and drop earrings, and the few I have chosen make for the best Christmas presents because of both their price and the fact that many of them can be stacked or mixed and matched with other jewels. Hollie Bonneville Barden, head designer at De Beers, told me at the launch of the collection in Paris: “I wanted to create a Talisman jewel that is easier to wear than the original medallions, for a younger clientele with a fashion element to it.”
New to the Talisman collection are the signet rings that, as Ms Bonneville Barden explains, echoes the shape of the rough diamond: “I really wanted to celebrate the shape of the octahedron, which is the shape of the rough diamond.” Likewise, the graceful diamond bracelets offer a new way to wear these stones in an informal and youthful way, as do the two-stone rings that wind up the finger. The lightness of these diamond designs means that the stones appear to hover over the skin, providing a new intimacy and a much more personal feel.
Each Talisman jewel is unique as no two rough diamonds are alike, and neither is any combination in a Talisman design. The designers at De Beers first lay out the pre-selected rough and polished diamonds, and then play with them until a perfect combination is found. Ms Bonneville Barden explains: “When I am pulling together the colour palette of each Talisman jewel, because they are not led by one single stone, I look for a combination of colours and a harmony. Each is a mini-world in itself. I look for hues that match or complement one another, from orangey browns to greyish blues, and I quite literally work with what nature has given us.”
It is this mingling of the rough and smooth, ancient and new, which makes for such a unique look.