Posted on April 18, 2012
One wouldn’t expect tile grout and diamonds to have much in common, but as unlikely as it may seem, a new diamond jewelry line from Pluczenik reveals a surprising link. In the Plevé Collection by Ron Rizzo for Pluczenik, diamond mosaic jewelry is made in silver and 18k gold by enlisting artists—not jewelers—to hand set tiny diamonds into light-cured dental ceramic (much like grouting and tiling a shower).
The line debuted to buyers for the first time in Baselworld (though a handful of selections were at JCK Las Vegas 2011), and about five American retailers bought selections, as well as about 15 others worldwide, including the Middle East. Says Scott Saunders, vice president of sales for the Pluczenik Group: “Ron Rizzo, an East Hills, N.Y.–based designer conceived this—an artistic approach to setting diamonds.”
Rizzo, a longtime jeweler, approached Pluczenik with the idea of creating mosaic jewelry “inspired by the way diamonds organically fit when mixed sizes, shapes, and colors are sculpted with an artist hand,” he writes on his website.
“Plevé allows us to spotlight the beauty of diamonds in all shapes, sizes and colors,” it continues. “Diamonds are placed into mosaic patterns without the use of traditional metal setting. They are held securely in place with a new, patented technology that utilizes cured ceramic.”
An instructional video is also visible on Rizzo’s website to explain the process.
About 80 SKUs are currently available, and color palettes vary from greys to browns and more. “Ten are available,” says Saunders. Plus, the ceramic can be colored (like stained glass) for further effect, including for use in silver and black borders surrounding stone displays. The stones used to create the mosaics range from .005 ct. t.w. to 0.25 ct. t.w.; some bigger pieces have 0.50 ct. t.w.–0.70 ct. t.w. stones. In silver, suggested retail prices start at $1,000, and in 18k gold, prices start at $3,000. Pieces are made in New York City.
A testament to the early interest among consumers: sales in the Midwest, where trendy or overtly uncommon pieces sometimes aren’t embraced until the left and right coasts have done so. In the past few weeks, a jeweler in Indiana sold two pieces—including a brand-new look with tsavorite and sapphires—with 18 cts. t.w. of stones for retail prices of $3,000–$5,000. “The other had grey tones of diamonds,” says Saunders.
Sterling ring with 4.25 cts. t.w. diamonds; $4,250
Earrings in 18k yellow gold with 7.5 cts. t.w. diamonds; $12,000
Pendant in 18k yellow gold with 8.8 cts. t.w. diamonds; $18,000