Designers / Industry / Pearls

Cast Seeks To Defy Gravity With the Daring Pirouette Ring and Fundraiser


Among the industries hardest hit by the pandemic, arts and cultural organizations have faced exceptional challenges in terms of performance, fundraising, and connecting with audiences. Fine jewelry collective Cast wanted to help solve some of those hardships through a unique collaboration with the San Francisco Ballet.

The result is a limited-release piece and Cast’s latest jewelry innovation: the Daring Pirouette ring. Cast is donating 10% of the proceeds (up to $25,000) from every purchase to the San Francisco Ballet as a tribute to the hard work and dedication that these artists show.

This piece also highlights how Cast seeks to blend art and artistry with its designers, says Rachel Skelly, the San Francisco–based chief creative officer and cofounder of Cast, a female-focused collaborative of jewelry designers.

Cast ballet ring
The Daring Pirouette ring features a golden South Sea pearl alongside a freshwater pearl, creating a kind of twirling representation of a ballerina in motion, $1,200.

Designer Stacy Nolan created the Daring Pirouette ring, which honors the athleticism and “fearless defiance of gravity” that ballet and ballet dancers display, Skelly says. The ring features a freshwater white pearl and a golden South Sea pearl that are suspended in space, like they are hovering above the wearer’s hand. The ring is set in 14k recycled gold.

The two-toned pearl ring shows just how meticulous Cast and its designers are about jewelry, Skelly says. For example, the way the two tones complement each another is purposeful with the golden pearl’s rich champagne color alongside the freshwater pearl’s bright, white luster.

“We’re so obsessive about every single detail,” Skelly says. “We knew that we wanted pearls as a part of the story in a fresh and modern way.… The pearls are hand matched for color and size so they balance one another. It’s a perfect pair.”

The ring also is a part of Cast’s larger collection called Brazen Beauty, which speaks to the wearer’s strength as well as femininity, Skelly says. The name reflects that juxtaposition, something that Cast does with many of its collections, she notes.

Cast ring ballerina
Cast is donating 10% of the funds raised through the purchase of the Daring Pirouette ring to the San Francisco Ballet.

“All of our collections have that edge. It feels a little raw. It’s artful yet risqué,” Skelly says.

Skelly said Cast approached the San Francisco Ballet for the fundraising effort, part of its longtime efforts to support the arts in and around the city. It was another interest that drew Skelly and Cast’s founding investor Eric Ryan together in this business to start with, she says.

“Part of Cast and our ethos is the celebration of art and design. Both Eric and I love art, and it’s a part of my background,” Skelly says. “We see jewelry as pieces of art. There’s art in the storytelling. There’s art in the packaging. We think of every part of the experience that way.

Cast also worked with San Francisco Ballet principal dancer Nikisha Fogo to model the ring for a series of photographs that show her artistry alongside the ring’s beauty. The way the pearls seem to hang in space, much like a ballerina in a pirouette, makes the ring feel like it is twirling along with her.

“The San Francisco Ballet was a perfect fit for us,” Skelly says. “So much of the arts is about a shared experience. We’ve all spent the last two years in complete isolation. We need to support and celebrate these arts, and that needs to happen in person again soon. We’ll have performances again, and we’ll all get back out there. The arts have to prevail.”

Top: Cast sought a partnership with the San Francisco Ballet for the latest piece in its Brazen Beauty collection, the Daring Pirouette ring (all photos courtesy of Cast). 

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Karen Dybis

By: Karen Dybis

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