The Mosaic Earrings are one of Ronald Abram’s most distinctive and celebrated designs, an intricate and asymmetrical pattern of yellow and white diamonds to form a stunning pair of drop earrings. We talk to JJ Abram about how these magnificent earrings came to life.
Let’s start with your design ethos. When you’re creating new pieces, where do you begin?
There are two ways to make jewellery, you either start by collecting the stones or you begin with the design. We’re collectors so for us, it’s always about the stones. It took us two years to collect the diamonds for this particular piece. For a lot of jewellers, that’s a long time but as collectors we’re happy to wait until we have the perfect set of stones to work with.
The original drawing
When we hear the word mosaic, we conjure up images of small pieces of material, often tiles, stone or glass artfully arranged until they form a distinct and creative whole. How did you come up with the name for this piece?
I remember the afternoon, we’d just acquired a new yellow diamond and the shape and colour was magnificent, that pure lemon yellow that has become a signature of our brand. It was a perfect match for another yellow diamond in our collection and the first thing I thought was how beautifully they’d work together. I was arranging these stones and others we had in front of me and the mosaic pattern suddenly emerged. The yellow diamonds appeared like they were floating. The pattern itself was irregular but somehow linked, like all the stones belonged together and that’s how the design idea was born.
Were they always going to be earrings or did you consider other designs?
We looked at the stones, a stunning selection of yellow and white diamonds and considered whether to design earrings or a bracelet. To be honest, this particular selection would have worked equally well in both but the floating pattern I first had in my mind meant I wanted to create a pair of earrings.
How do you go about designing them?
Once we’d collected the stones and decided on creating a pair of earrings, we then began working with our design team in Paris. We knew the yellow diamonds had to take centre stage, but we also wanted to use white diamonds to reflect the typical mosaic pattern of interwoven shapes and colours. In fact, the white diamonds were cut specifically for these earrings. The result is a stunning combination of diamonds that appear to float.
How long did it take to create them?
It was a long process. Two years to collect the stones and then a further four months to design and create the piece in our Hong Kong workshop. For us, the creative process is as much about utility as it is about beauty and this is a perfect example. We could have used platinum to create the branches in between the stones but that would have made them slightly heavier and therefore less comfortable. That’s why we used yellow and white gold instead and the result is as impressive visually as it is functionally.
What considerations did you give to selecting the yellow diamonds in the piece?
We have exacting standards for selecting all diamonds and gemstones but particularly yellow. We’re looking for vibrancy and that pure lemon yellow saturation of colour but when we’re combining yellow diamonds in a piece, they also have to have the same tone. That’s what we have in the Mosaic Earrings.
How would you describe the finished piece?
It’s not always the case that a finished piece outshines the original design concept but that’s what happened here. The Mosaic Earrings are not only stunningly designed but the stones are a perfect match in terms of colour and saturation. Visually, they almost create this optical illusion where the stones appear to float in front of you. They have this ethereal quality and they’ve become one of our favourite Ronald Abram designs.