When many people start dreaming about work, they consider it a sign to take a break, but Yehouda Saketkhou takes the dream back to work and turns it into a reality. That’s where the idea for his Sentience bangle came—in a dream—and it seemed like a viable enough one for the owner of Yael Designs to bring to life.
About a year and a half ago, Saketkhou dreamt of marrying two stones without glue or a metal bezel. He didn’t have the technique worked out to make the look, but he did know who to contact to get the job done: Glenn Lehrer of Lehrer Designs.
Saketkhou admired Lehrer’s Torus cut—his signature invented in 1998 that has a utility patent—and felt a connection to him because of Yael’s Fairy Tale collection, which shared a similar concave silhouette but with movement. Lehrer’s Torus cut represents a natural shape (a circle within a circle) and has a hole drilled through it in which Lehrer places bezel-set gems. “I applied the knowledge of refraction to the carving skills I learned in Idar-Oberstein to create a whole different pattern of light,” says Lehrer of his creation. Knowing Lehrer had the savvy to challenge traditional methods, Saketkhou tasked the master cutter to set another gem inside of one of his Torus cuts without metal or glue. “I kind of felt like he could be the one person who really fits into the puzzle,” recollects Saketkhou on his decision to enlist Lehrer’s help.
One of Lehrer’s Torus cuts
After seven months of work, the pair made the dream a reality. Lehrer recut a 30 ct. shallow emerald-cut aquamarine—“without much life to it,” says Saketkhou—into a Torus. Lehrer also reworked a tanzanite to fit snuggly inside of the aqua.
The original stones before they were recut by Lehrer
“He had to recut the tanzanite a bit on the pavilion side—he cut it to measure from table to pavilion—and did a slight groove around the pavilion of it,” notes Saketkhou. With the groove, they snaked a half-millimeter platinum wire around the tanzanite three times and then laser-soldered it to a platinum fork in the back of the piece.
The project “stretched me to find a brand new way to do the mechanics,” says Lehrer of his wire-around-the-girdle solution that culminates on the backside of the piece. “When you look at the top, you can’t see any metal.” Goal accomplished.
A platinum fork is laser-soldered to thin platinum wire around the tanzanite so the stones appear to be seamlessly set
Front side of the stones when set
The tanzanite snuggled right into place like a puzzle piece, with no glue or metal bezel, yet remaining completely secure and serving as a “high-tech setting process that makes the lines between two stones appear entirely seamless,” says Saketkhou. A brilliant collaboration of vision and expertise made the focal point of what is now set into a wide bangle with moonstones and diamonds.
Now one stone complements the other, like a personal fireworks display on the arm that doubles as a piece of art. “The heart creates a vision and the mind puts it in perspective,” says Saketkhou.
The pair plans to push forward with an expanded production collection of styles that retailers can see at JCK LUXURY 2016. Lehrer will teach his factory cutters in Jaipur how to create similar cuts in stones such as morganite and madeira citrine for an 18k line likely starting at retail prices between $15,000 and $20,000.
For the Sentience bangle, of course, Lehrer did all the work in his own stateside studio. The one-of-a-kind piece has a price tag of $119,000, but is already sold. “There’s a market for special pieces like this,” says Saketkhou.
Sentience bangle in 18k two-tone gold with a 6.95 ct. tanzanite set into a 26.44 ct. aquamarine with 6.19 cts. t.w. moonstones and 6.95 cts. t.w. diamonds, $119,000
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