With her new Full Circle collection, London-based jewelry designer Sarah Ho sources exceptional gems from around the world, creates exclusive jewelry designs highlighting those stones, then gives back to the local communities of origin. It’s a circular journey, literally from the ground up.
Gemstones have always formed the centerpiece of Ho’s designs, and the Full Circle project helps protect the regions where they are sourced as well as the communities involved.
“I’ve had the idea for Full Circle in my mind for a while now,” Ho says. “I wanted to find a cause that I can fully support and has a lasting legacy. As a jewelry designer, I am surrounded by gemstones, and it seemed right that the origin of the stone should benefit from the final jewelry piece.”
Finding appropriate suppliers to partner up with was key to the project. “I began looking into the supply process for stones—where they come from and how they arrive to us—and found my partners, Hong Kong–based Gem Forest and Dubai-based Suwaidi Pearls,” Ho says. “They are both so passionate about their gems.” These companies “know where their jewels come from and everyone involved in the supply chain. It’s been wonderful to work with them and share our knowledge.”
Ho personally selects each one-of-a-kind stone, then designs the jewelry to specifically highlight each stone. “The story of this collection is the story of the stone—from the ground to the beautiful polished final piece,” she says. “The first eight pieces of the collection have incredibly rare central stones of almost perfect quality, and I pushed my designs to enhance and focus the attention on these.”
Stones in the initial collection include a 7.45 ct. sapphire from Madagascar, an 8.41 ct. spinel from Vietnam, and a 10.09 ct. tsavorite from Tanzania. Details like diamond bead dangles on a spinel ring or red and orange imperial topaz set inversely on a pair of earrings highlight Ho’s design skills. And more Full Circle pieces and collections are in the works.
While many philanthropic jewelry programs give back directly to those in the industry, Full Circle expands that radius. Take the pearls used in Ho’s Full Circle collection, which are farmed at the Al Rams lagoon in the Persian Gulf. “Suwaidi Pearls are helping clean the waters and educate people about pollution in the waters. Other projects are helping plant trees,” Ho says. “We want local communities and the environment to benefit from these donations.”
To ensure that those who purchase a Full Circle piece understand the good it is doing, Ho meets each client personally to discuss the project, offering information about the stone and gifting her original design painting. “Everyone we have spoken to has been so enthusiastic and loves the idea that the piece they have has contributed to helping us improve our planet.”