When I stumbled on this random Instagram video, that was it. I was smitten. I’d of course seen designer Rachel Quinn’s “handiwork” before, but I knew this particular charm had to be a special edition because of its gemstones. And what a Valentine’s Day gift it would make (and it’s just under $4,000).
I have since learned that the object of my affection is an updated, extra special version of the Los Angeles–based designer’s My Love series, which centers on delicate, elegantly sculpted hands holding hearts.
The plain Janes, below.
“I’m beginning to incorporate more gemstones, especially colored gemstones, into my work so am seeing new potential in a few of my favorite existing designs,” says Quinn.
To create the Fancy My Love charm, she sourced the gems from a dealer in L.A.’s jewelry district. “It actually took me a couple of days to source the stones as I had a difficult time finding a dealer with 0.7 mm rubies—all but one dealer only offered 1 mm as the smallest. I wanted all 0.7 mm stones to be in proportion with the small heart in the palm of the hand.”
The entire series is based on an interpretation of an Oscar Hammerstein quote: “The love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ’til you give it away.” According to Quinn, in 1959, the famed lyricist was on his way to the hospital for surgery, having been diagnosed with stomach cancer, when he stopped by Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, where Mary Martin was starring as Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music. There, he passed her a note that read: “A bell is not a bell till you ring it. A song is not a song till you sing it. Love in your heart isn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love till you give it away.”
Inspired by this story, Quinn wanted to create a motif that signified both the act of giving and receiving love. So please don’t see shades of the classic Figa charm in her My Love pieces, or any that incorporate the hand motif. “I wouldn’t say the Figa has significance in the design—[my pieces] are not talismans against the evil eye but rather a simple representation of love.”
Fair enough. There’s certainly symbolism (and sparkle!) to spare in this lovely piece—for Valentine’s Day and every day.
Top: Fancy My Love charm in 14k gold with 0.41 ct. t.w. sapphires, 0.10 ct. t.w. rubies, and 0.22 ct. t.w. black diamonds, $3,920; Rachel Quinn
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