The Design and Craftsmanship of Sotheby’s Diamonds

By Sotheby's

August 15, 2017

The creative process at Sotheby’s Diamonds begins with a hand-drawn sketch, an idea and a vision which is then refined, honed and immaculately hand-painted as a detailed gouache in the time-honoured tradition of classical High Jewellery.

The finished gouache, with its three-dimensional lyricism, and intricate shading and drops of liquid light, marks an intimate moment of clarity and fulfilment for the designer.

ORIGINAL DRAWING FOR PRINCIPESSA EARRINGS

 

This work demands dedication and patience as the finest of brush strokes render the intense saturated colours, scintillating brilliance and refracted light of gems and metals, capturing the richness of the jeweller’s palette.

It is through the gouache that the designer fully engages with the concept, taking the time to perfect proportions, volumes and details to present the jewel and the design in its purest form.

PRINCIPESSA EARRINGS FEATURING ROUND BRILLIANT-CUT DIAMOND DIAMONDS, TOTALLING 2.74 CARATS WITH PAVÉ-SET SPINEL AND PINK DIAMOND DETAIL

 

The gouache is the vital link between art and craft, often highlighting technical challenges, and conveying the idea that has taken shape in the imagination to the master craftsmen who will be responsible for translating the concept into three-dimensional form, bringing the vision to life.

Sotheby’s Diamonds’ jewels are hand-made by highly skilled experts, dedicated to achieving unrivaled finesse and refinement of exquisite details, including meticulous pavé setting, reverse setting and immaculately calibrated stones.

ORIGINAL DRAWING FOR MERCURY BROOCH

 

The exceptional lightness of settings and slender silhouettes, often in unexpected materials like steel, are made possible by the latest technological innovations, combining high-tech processes with age-old artisanal crafts skills. The relationship between designer and artisan is crucial to the success of the jewel and plays the essential, pivotal role in the world of High Jewellery.

MERCURY BROOCH FEATURING 5 PEAR SHAPED DIAMONDS, TOTALLING 5.29 CARATS WITH PAVÉ-SET DIAMOND DETAIL

 

At Sotheby’s Diamonds, the diamond itself is the muse, theme and inspiration. Each jewel starts with the stone, each concept and design revolves around a particular diamond, which becomes its central theme, its hero and shining light. They are prized as artworks in their own right.

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