Last Friday when I ventured into Royal India USA’s conference room in Manhattan, I was sure I had buzzed into the wrong office: A presentation of dainty diamond jewels was on display instead of the company’s typical oversize colored stone styles. Jacquie Earle and Royal India USA CEO Vishal Kotahwala assured me I was in the right place.
Aero Diamonds features pierced diamonds in fancy shapes—pear, marquise, and princess—as well as rounds that are G–H color and S1 clarity that are laser-drilled in India. The finished jewelry is made in the U.S. so Earle can oversee quality control and quickly carry out custom requests. Three-point stones are the smallest size utilized.
“Inspiration came from working with customers’ assorted loose diamonds and wondering why we always seem to rhapsodize over only big flawless diamonds,” says Earle. “Like children, each diamond is special and has its own unique characteristics. I experimented working up designs to minimize the metal that tends to occlude the light and fire of the diamond. On a lark, I took very thin wire and picked up a 10-pointer princess cut and watched how it seemed to be suspended in air rocking back and forth catching the light. The look is very flirty yet simple and now the diamond is free and moves in ways that better suits today’s modern lifestyle.”
The collection is unique because the diamonds look much larger than their carat weights suggest and because pierced diamonds are typically seen only in briolettes, where weight—not brilliance—is the priority. Earle and Kotahwala started toying with this concept after JCK Las Vegas 2014, testing the idea in a few markets. The results were positive, and significant not only for the product itself but for RIU, since it has has never before attempted a branded concept.
“We decided to take regular diamonds and drill them,” says Kotahwala. “People understand this minimalist look. There is very little metal in these styles, save a little 18k gold and platinum wire holding the diamonds. Aero takes a lot of prep work, but buyers want something unique.”
Also important to know: Buyers can add a diamond just like Add-a-Pearl, which is especially easy to do since the finished pieces are made in the U.S.
The collection debuted at JCK LUXURY this year, where a whopping 70 stores placed orders. Pieces start shipping at the end of July. Retail prices start at $1,000.
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