Los Angeles jewelry designer Victor Velyan has collaborated with 1-year-old mining company Greenland Ruby for a small collection of stunning gold and ruby pieces worthy of our undivided attention, both for their beauty and rarity. These stones, which have been formed under the ice in Greenland, are thought to be nearly 3 billion years old. That thought alone is hard to fathom. The result is a stone that Velyan describes as having rich, deep colors that almost glow—a hue he compares to a fine bottle of wine.
“I have a deep appreciation for anything rare,” Velyan tells me. “But it comes with a certain amount of heartache when you sell it. If it chips, you have to replace it.” Velyan also explains that Greenland Ruby harvests the stones while complying with environmental laws and paying its workers fair wages—both big selling points. And, although he didn’t get into specifics, the prices of the stones are extremely fair for what they are and will probably rise over time.
For its part, Greenland Ruby officially opened its mining operation in May 2017 and is currently collaborating with an exclusive list of jewelry designers and retailers, including Copenhagen, Denmark–based Hartmann’s, the first retailer to carry the stones. “When we first began discussing our strategy for bringing these incredible gems to market, we were immediately intrigued by the possibility of working with some hand-selected designers who we were confident could do the stones justice,” Hayley Henning, vice president of sales and marketing for Greenland Ruby, said in a statement. “With Victor’s bold and edgy designs, coupled with his proprietary metallurgical techniques, we knew he’d come up with designs that really highlight the unique beauty specific to the Greenlandic rubies; the designs he’s created with our gems have exceeded our expectations, and we’re excited to see what else is on the horizon!”
So far, Velyan has created an earring, ring, and cuff with Greenland rubies, all cabochon cut and set in 18k and 24k gold with white diamonds. He envisions a collection of about 10–12 pieces in total, probably not much more. “The stones are available in limited quantities, and I don’t want to flood the market,” Velyan explains. And, for his part, there’s no rush. “I really have to live with stones for a while and let them tell me what they want to become. Finding inspiration within these particular stones is not difficult, however, every time I touch them, my mind immediately travels to the utter beauty of extreme arctic conditions, and my creativity just flows!”
Victor Velyan x Greenland Ruby will be sold through Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman. You can also view the pieces on the designer’s website.
Top: Victor Velyan earrings with Greenland rubies and diamonds in 18k gold, price on request
Note: Kristin Young is writing the Off the Chain blog while Victoria Gomelsky is on maternity leave.