The beauty of Botswana—more specifically, the lush, wildlife-rich Okavango Delta (a popular safari destination)—is the inspiration behind De Beers’ Okavango Grace medallion, part of Reflections of Nature, a 39-piece, five-set high jewelry collection that pays homage to De Beers’ diamond-producing countries. “A maze of waterways, flood plains, and islands, set among verdant vegetation, the Okavango Delta is an oasis,” says Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers. “We wanted the design of Okavango Grace to echo the tall, slender reeds that stud the water and sway in the breeze.” A carefully chosen blend of rough and polished diamonds turned the vision into a reality: “a contemporary piece with the aura of an ancient amulet.”
Every stone in the piece is bezel-set in 18k white gold. “We like the way the bezel setting forms a metallic frame around the rough, highlighting its raw and organic beauty,” says Assimon. Each bezel setting, she adds, “can take anywhere up to six hours for a single rough.”
In addition to 66 white and 28 pink round brilliants, the medallion mixes in eight pink rough and 16 fancy yellow, brown, and green rough diamonds—plus a 1.19 ct. fancy yellow rough center. “The magnificent selection of rough diamonds…reflects the untamed character of the Okavango,” explains Assimon, “contrasting with graduating round brilliant white diamonds, suggestive of water.”
Not pictured is a detachable diamond line necklace composed of 144 diamonds (mostly white round brilliants). The piece recently sold, but can be re-created. “The beauty of this medallion is that it can be worn in multiple ways,” says Assimon. Even as a brooch!