Light years ahead: Hemmerle jewellery

Hemmerle pushes the boundaries with aluminium jewellery, making this metal precious once again.

Hemmerle sapphire aluminium flower brooch

A Hemmerle creation is always an experiment in luxury, and the Munich jewellery brand is set to push the boundaries of what we consider precious once again with its new aluminium jewellery collection, launched at this year's TEFAF fine art fair.

Aluminium and pink diamond earrings
One of the warmest hues is red, as in these Hemmerle earrings with anodised aluminium and pink diamonds (POA).

These brightly hued, one-of-a-kind jewels have been created under the banner The [AL] Project, which is a nod to aluminium’s acronym on the Periodic Table. There are 15 pairs of Hemmerle earrings and a single brooch in the collection, each crafted from aluminium and gold or copper, and set with coloured gemstones including diamonds, sapphires, aquamarines and garnets.

The form of these creations, which like all Hemmerle jewellery can involve hundreds of hours of painstaking work, take their inspiration from an eclectic collection of sources including nature, minimalism and geometry. Colour plays a vital role in The [AL] Project, and the craftspeople at Hemmerle have taken advantage of the properties of aluminium by using a technique called anodising - applying high levels of heat to change the colour of the metal.

Aluminium earrings with demantoid garnets
Hemmerle has used demantoid garnets, aluminium and white gold to create these nature-inspired earrings (POA).

The colours achieved, which range from cool blues and purples to bright reds and acidic greens, perfectly complement the colours of the gemstones used in each design. The clematis flower brooch, for example, has purple petals to match its lilac sapphire centre, while heavy blue-black aluminium frames brightly contrasting aquamarines in a pair of earrings, with pink diamonds nestling among another pair of rosy floral earrings.

Unusual material choices have been the calling card of Hemmerle ever since Stefan Hemmerle set a diamond into iron in 1995. Wood, copper and even a pair of 18th century dolls’ house plates have followed. For Stefan’s son Christian Hemmerle, who currently heads up the fourth-generation business, aluminium doesn’t feel like a risky choice of metal for such an exclusive range of fine jewellery. After all, he says, it was once the most valuable and sought-after metal in the world.

Aluminium flower petal earrings with demantoid garnets
Demantoid garnets blend with green and purple aluminium, gold and bronze to create these earrings from Hemmerle (POA).

“Aluminium’s natural strength and lightness in weight provided the perfect opportunity for us to experiment further with the metal and celebrate its past splendour,” he continues. “Its malleability enabled us to focus on innovation and create intricate works that are delicate in design yet highly durable, while remaining true to our dedication to craftsmanship. Informed by the aesthetic we have defined over several decades, the resulting creations are distinctly Hemmerle, but imbued with an element of surprise.”

The [AL] Project will make its debut at the German art fair TEFAF Maastricht, which will run from 11-20 March. And those unable to make the trip can look forward to the release of a special book dedicated to this pioneering collection.   

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