From Mine to Store: Indian Designer Bina Goenka’s 18k Gold Minaudière

When conceptualizing this minaudière, Indian designer Bina Goenka took on the entire galaxy. The piece is meant to represent the universe, with gems “conceived within the Earth’s crust” playing the roles of planets, stars, and sun. Zambian emeralds, Mozambican rubies, African amethysts, and white and yellow diamonds make up the montage of galactic elements. Goenka—who calls the audacious design “a crazy fantasy”—admits it was “a challenge to fit nine planets and sun in that space, with forms and color flowing…to make it a whole universe.” At 10½ inches tall, the bejeweled bag isn’t meant to carry a woman’s world. More like a MasterCard and a lipstick.

Carry On

The petite pouch, designed to be toted by a few fingertips, boasts a sterling silver base plate and a handmade 18k gold mesh that acts as a lattice for the gemstones. The interior is covered in black velvet to “give it a finish and to facilitate cleaning,” says Goenka.

Gem Packed

Valued at $3 million, the minaudière features 74.9 cts. t.w. diamonds, including white diamonds, natural fancy yellow diamonds, and natural fancy color diamonds; 111.28 cts. t.w. Zambian emeralds; 57.67 cts. Mozambican rubies; 143 cts. t.w. African amethysts; 177.76 cts. t.w. pearls (freshwater and mabé varieties); and 44.89 cts. t.w. pink tourmalines.

Bag Lady

Named Theia, which means “divine” and “goddess” in Greek mythology, the mosaic-like minaudière is one of a kind, made for ethical gemstone producer Gemfields. Goenka plans to produce four similar bespoke bags valued at $2 million each. Says Goenka, who does only one-off designs: “If there’s nothing challenging in the piece, it doesn’t excite me.”

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