Best in Show: JANY Spring 2017 Edition

ARKjems’ moonstones and mystical motifs were a standout

For those of us who made it to the JA New York Spring 2017 showahead of its early closure due to the nor’easter (thanks, March!), one thing was clear: This season’s New Designer Gallery was a little treasure chest filled to the brim with emerging talent.

While fresh perspectives and compelling inspirations were plentiful in this little nook of the show’s home, the Javits Convention Center, I was particularly drawn in by what I saw from designer Ann Korman. The JANY show marked the official debut of ARKjems, the line of fine jewelry she’s been quietly perfecting in her downtown Los Angeles studio.

Five years ago, while studying yoga and meditation in Rishikesh, India (where the Beatles, you might recall, famously attended a Transcendental Meditation training session in the ’60s), Korman met a guru who invited her to collaborate with him on a line of jewelry. As such, you’ll find that Eastern philosophy, alchemy, and spiritual symbols serve as her collection’s leitmotiv. “I was traveling back and forth to India all the time and was able to learn about the role that jewels and gems play in the rituals and symbolism of Indian culture,” says Korman.

Since then, Korman has been designing jewelry for private label clients, but ARKjems is driven entirely by her unique, deeply personal aesthetic. Defined by sculptural 18k goldwork, antique-cut diamonds, and other handpicked gems cut to her specifications, the line is led by pieces made with the most luminous moonstones, some with a magical blue tint Korman finds particularly inspiring. “Blue light is visible from different angles because of the way our moonstones are cut,” she says. “The light glows from within and changes depending on the time of the day.”

Many of the designs are etched with hidden symbols and mantras like the below ring and bracelet, which incorporate the Sri Yantra, an ancient tantric symbol used for meditation, concentration, and realizing your desires. Meanwhile, the moonstone elements serve as a mandala—literally, a circle; staring at it is said to encourage a state of mental clarity and enlightenment.

Manifestation ring in 18k yellow gold with 4.74 ct. African blue moonstone cabochon surrounded by baguette diamonds, $8,596

Gateways bracelet in 18k yellow gold with 37.04 cts. t.w. rose-cut Indian blue moonstones, $20,480

With St. Patrick’s Day coming up, I love the ring below, which pairs Sri Yantra engraving (see: realizing your desires) with a diamond “halo,” as an alternative to the usual clover and horseshoe good luck charms.

Halo ring in 18k yellow gold with 0.80 cts. t.w. diamonds, $7,136

These earrings were inspired by a quote from the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi: “Remember, the entrance door to the sanctuary is inside you.” “I love the way the misty light seems to roll across the gems’ surface, and that moonstones are connected to the energy of the moon,” says Korman.

Sanctuary earrings in 18k yellow gold with 2.40 cts. t.w. rose-cut rainbow moonstones and 0.4 ct. t.w. pave diamonds, $3,900

According to Vedic astrology, the planets in our solar system are each connected to a specific gemstone. Korman informed me of this fun fact while discussing the ring below. (Saturn’s gemstone is blue sapphire.)

Blue Saturn ring in 18k yellow gold with a trail of 6.80 cts. t.w. custom-faceted Ceylon blue sapphires, $13,156

(Photo at top of Blue Nectar and Moon Nectar rings in 18k yellow gold with moonstones and diamonds )

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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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