I’m so excited to personally write about a design by the wildly imaginative Daniela Villegas for the first time, because I’ve admired—nay, been obsessed with—her creations for what feels like forever. My wonderful colleague Emili Vesilind did a Q&A with the Mexican-born designer last year (you can read it here), as Villegas was celebrating her 10th anniversary.
Well, it just keeps getting better. Exhibit A: La Grandiosa, a malachite beetle pendant that simply takes your breath away.
Beetles are a common theme in Villegas’ work (along with a host of other animals that Emili covered in this article), a sacred symbol of the ancient Egyptians and, as perfectly demonstrated, an ideal companion to many a gemstone.
This one, in its mesmerizing shade of green, is really special. Its malachite body hypnotizes you into a state of absolute calm, with its pattern of blooming ripples and mini explosions contained within the stone. Ever so exquisite, the lady beetle (or sir beetle!) wears a pavé collar with a center emerald most divine.
Its soothing effects are no accident. In a post on the designer’s Instagram, the piece, snuggled against a deep-hued floral background, is captioned with details of the heart chakra, describing green as calming, stress-relieving, and invigorating. It is aesthetically beautiful, that can’t be argued, but this piece has been created thoughtfully, too.
Leaving no detail untouched, the pendant’s flip side (above) features a beetle outline that serves as a layer over the malachite, with the word happiness written across the collar—appropriate, since that’s how you feel when you’re looking at this charming creature. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, like most of Villegas’ designs, so most of us will have to settle for admiring it from afar. But it’s pretty cool just to know of its existence, because it’s an ideal example of what the designer does so well. Even from the screen of this computer (or phone or tablet), you can’t deny those good, good vibes.
Top and above: La Grandiosa one-of-a-kind pendant in 18k yellow gold with malachite and emeralds, price on request