The South African landscape—complete with desert, mountain, and ocean views—inspires many a tourist. But one local blossom in particular—the King Protea, the national flower of the country—roused such affection in Montreal-based jewelry designer Claudio Pino of Pino Fine Art Jewellery that he had to capture it in a special piece. Enter the Protea’s Moonlight ring, an oxidized silver and 14k yellow gold-accented mounting housing a nearly 4 ct. black onyx stone and 0.08 ct. t.w. yellow diamonds. Save for the perky yellow melee and metal, the piece is dark as night—purposely, because “in the night, the King Protea glows like a full moon,” says Pino, who spotted the flower on a recent trip. “They are just glorious!”
This style will be limited in production, and to date, the only other—with yellow sapphires instead of diamonds—exists on display in the Zilberschmuck Gallery in Toronto. This particular diamond-accented number is fresh from the studio as of the last week. Protea’s Moonlight is part of the designer’s 2012 Black Velvet collection and is handmade with stones cut to fit the style.
Ultimately, pieces “must feel extremely natural to the wearer yet always different to the eyes of the observer,” says Pino. “For this ring, I was extremely inspired and this design came to me in a few days only.”
Protea’s Moonlight ring in oxidized sterling silver and 14k gold with an approximately 4 ct. black onyx and 0.08 ct. t.w. yellow diamonds; $1,570; Claudio Pino of Pino Fine Art Jewellery