Days after returning to New York City from JCK Las Vegas, I finally got to meet Deirdre Featherstone, the great mind behind Featherstone Fine Jewelry, at a trunk show at Bergdorf Goodman. There, wearing eyeglasses the color of a Paraiba tourmaline and custom-embellished with opals and diamonds, she unveiled select pieces from her latest collection: an exotic carousel of earrings and necklaces featuring intricately carved gemstones sourced from all over the world.
Earrings with 22.2 cts. t.w. candala chrysoprase, 37.55 cts. t.w. carved chrysoprase, 0.91 ct. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $30,000
A good number of the stones, which mainly hail from Germany, India, and China, were acquired at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. “It’s an excellent arena to see work from all over the world, to meet many of the people who have done the work. And it never hurts to get out of New York in the winter!” says Featherstone.
The designer has been collecting exceptional carved gems for a while, but after taking an engraving class last spring, she felt an even deeper appreciation for the level of skill, and the hand, involved.
Earrings with carved angel skin coral rosettes, 33.42 cts. t.w. neon quartz lantern drops, and 0.33 ct. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $11,100
Inspired by the diversity of carved patterns and textures, as well as the milky, silky colors of the gems, Featherstone’s collection reveals floral motifs forged in precious angel skin coral, ruby, and tanzanite, and sculptural examples of fluted turquoise and lantern-shape quartz.
Earrings with pearls, 49.32 cts. t.w. carved turquoise, and 0.32 ct. t.w diamonds in 18k yellow gold and platinum, $20,400
“Culturally, carving is taught over generations, and you can see the hand and sense the culture through the work and the stones,” says Featherstone. “I was drawn to their harmonious colors, yet change of texture.”
Offset by faceted sapphires, spinels, luminous pearls, and diamond “footlights” as Featherstone describes them, the one-of-a-kind jewels offer a unique blend of carving traditions, tonal color palettes and the kind of gravitas one expects from a high jewelry collection. But there’s always a certain joie de vivre on display, something that’s essential to Featherstone’s personality.
Earrings with 62.3 cts. t.w. carved lavender jade, 5.14 cts. t.w. lavender spinel, and 2.1 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $62,000
“We had the privilege of combining all theses beautiful colors, cultures, and traditions from all over the world and expressing them in an American heritage way,” says Featherstone. “Many of our clients have been collecting our jewelry for years, and it’s respectful to honor what they’ve collected and to offer new pieces that inspire and evolve their current collections.”
As for the Bergdorf’s debut, Featherstone reports a great level of interest. The customer feedback indicates that the collection feels different yet relatable. “It’s fun, soft, easy to wear, and easy to combine with the existing collection,” says Featherstone. “Clients are always surprised by the convertibility of the collection and delighted by the constant evolution of our designs.”
See more pieces from the collection, below.
Necklace with 26.6 ct. carved emerald and pearls and diamonds in platinum, $65,100
Carved floral earrings with 89.2 cts. t.w. angel skin coral and 4.38 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $54,300
Earrings with 56.15 cts. t.w. carved tanzanite, 10.31 cts. t.w. aquamarine, and 2.89 cts. t.w diamonds in platinum, $58,100
Lotus earrings with 38.78 cts. t.w. carved rubies, 3.45 cts. t.w. grape garnet, and diamonds in 18k yellow gold, $22,400
Platinum necklace with 24.43 cts. t.w. carved turquoise and 2.21 cts. t.w. diamonds, $23,300
Earrings with 34.27 cts. t.w. carved turquoise, 0.3 ct. t.w. yellow diamonds, 0.21 ct. t.w. orange garnets, and 0.12 ct. t.w. diamonds in 18k rose and yellow gold and platinum, $18,500
Earrings with pearls, 64.27 cts. t.w. coral, and 1.37 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $27,500
Top: Earrings with 87.35 cts. t.w. carved rough ruby, 6.4 cts. t.w. purple spinel, 6.15 cts. t.w. rhodolite garnet, 2.41 cts. t.w pink sapphire, 0.64 ct. t.w. faceted rubies, 0.94 ct. t.w. purple sapphire, and 1.12 cts. t.w. diamonds in platinum, $60,000
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