Like the fancifully feathered bird that inspired it, this gemmy peacock necklace by designer Alessio Boschi for AB Jewels is full of surprises. On the back of every individual feather is a minuscule one-of-a-kind peacock wrought in various gemstones, each with tiny black diamonds for eyes. Boschi says the lifelike design was inspired by “the moment I saw this amazing set of 26 black opals”—15 of which made it into the final design. “I believe stones have power, and I believe this power somehow touches my imagination,” he says, adding with a laugh, “I’m Italian, so don’t expect rationality.”
The meticulously formed white and pink gold feathers feature 93.14 cts. t.w. black Australian opals, 4.19 cts. t.w. white diamonds, 9.4 cts. t.w. blue sapphires, 11.6 cts. t.w. orange sapphires, 4.52 cts. t.w. yellow sapphires, 24.82 cts. t.w. tsavorites, 0.11 ct. t.w. black diamonds (on the back of the opals), and 0.11 ct. t.w. purple sapphires (also on the back). The chain is composed of 15 Tahitian pearls classified as “peacock” in color, which denotes an iridescent aubergine cast.
The necklace, part of a larger collection of opal-centered peacock pieces, sold to a client for $900,000 before it was even completed. More than 20 craftspeople brought the design to life, including several stone setters, who spent nearly two months setting the piece’s panoply of gemstones.
A Change of Art
This multihued beauty is a true transformer: The three longest feathers detach and can serve as a single large brooch or pendant or as two small brooches or pendants, and the remaining feathers can be worn as a bejeweled bracelet.