It seems only appropriate that this deeply dramatic ring was inspired by the Teatro alla Scala, the iconic Milanese opera house famous for its grand architecture and even grander theatrics. Jewelry designer Ann Lin visited the theater often while studying design at Milan’s Instituto di Moda Burgo. “It’s really the opera house of the world, and lots of legends started there—including my favorite, Madame Butterfly,” says the designer, whose boutique jewelry firm, Ann Lin Haute Joaillerie, is based in Taipei, Taiwan. Dubbed Les Baroque Padparadscha for its stunning padparadscha sapphire center stone, the statement piece reflects La Scala’s baroque details and U-shape roof. But that’s not all. “When you hold the ring at a special angle, you might see a dancer lifting up her skirt,” adds Lin. A built-in curtsy, perhaps? Bravissima!
The one-of-a-kind ring features an 18k white gold setting, 340 diamonds (2.95 cts. t.w.), two pink diamonds (0.22 ct. t.w.), and a rosy-hued 2.77 ct. natural padparadscha sapphire from Madagascar that “drove and inspired the design,” says Lin. The ring retails for $80,000 in the maison’s Taipei showroom.
Composing a beauty of this caliber takes time. It took Lin three months to complete the design and another two months to fabricate the piece. The designer sketched and wax-cast the piece, corralling a metalworker and a stone-setter to complete the jewel. “The ring is very typical of my abstract style,” says Lin, as it “emphasizes surface and texture.”
Padparadscha sapphires are said to mimic the shades of a lotus flower. The gem is typically light-to-medium pink, mixed with varying degrees of orange. The sunset-hued stones are rare in every incarnation, but natural varieties—such as the one anchoring Lin’s ring—are extremely uncommon.