When jewelry designer Tammy Kohl attended the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show last year, she made sure to visit German stonecutter Bernd Munsteiner. Kohl, owner of Taköhl Design in Chicago, had met Munsteiner and his son Tom the previous November in Chicago, and she sought them out again to revisit an idea the three had discussed: Munsteiner-cut stones set into Kohl-designed rings.
Kohl and the Munsteiners collaborated on two different ring styles, both with aquamarine center stones: the Imperial, which features a rectangular gem, and the Grace, with a free-form gem. Carat weights range from 3.20 to 3.50. Prices for rings start at $2,800 in 14k gold and $3,100 in 18k gold.
Kohl is well known for her Treasure Rings, which feature unique split-shank and hinged designs that conceal secret messages. Kohl’s Munsteiner pieces have a more sophisticated look— “fashion forward and avant-garde,” she says. The semimounts for the Imperial and Grace cuts are “a lot more squared off, wider, and sculptural,” says Kohl. “We changed the styling of our rings to go with his stones.”
The new jewelry makes Munsteiner-cut stones more widely available to collectors because of the modest sizes and prices, “and takes my business to another level,” Kohl adds.
For the Munsteiners, the partnership is an opportunity to create more nontraditional stone cuts, such as those with negative facets. “The Americans are more open to new designs in stones,” explains Tom Munsteiner.
It’s a rare opportunity for Kohl, too: “When we sell gems, rarely do we say that this is a cut by this designer.”