The Story Behind the Matturi Diamonds Viola Davis Wore to “The First Lady” Premiere

The earrings feature natural diamonds from Botswana as part of RAD x De Beers Group’s #BlackIsBrilliant campaign.

By |
viola davis matturi de beers first lady
Viola Davis wears Matturi diamond earrings for the premiere of "The First Lady" anthology series. Photo Credit: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Viola Davis is a powerhouse both on the screen and on the red carpet, and for the premiere of her highly anticipated role as Michelle Obama in Showtime’s anthology series The First Lady, the Oscar-winning actress debuted diamond earrings perfectly suited for her star status.

The Kwe earrings by Matturi Fine Jewellery.

Created by West African and British designer Satta Matturi of London-based Matturi Fine Jewellery, the earrings worn by Viola—dubbed The Kwe—have an inspiring origin story. 

Read More: First Look: Matturi Fine Jewellery’s Whispers of Meroë Collection

The Kwe earrings feature 40 natural diamonds from Botswana that were cut and polished by artisans in Gaborone. The diamonds were then set in unpolished 18 karat gold to achieve a raw, natural look that honors the people they are named after while reflecting Matturi’s African heritage.

“The Kwe earrings are a tribute to a people who continue to live selflessly with nature,” said Matturi, who named the earrings after a diverse group of people who are believed to be the oldest inhabitants of southern Africa. “The design in particular picks on the beautiful landscapes of Botswana, a country that is blessed not just with diamonds but with the natural beauty of the delta, rivers and an abundance of wildlife,” she added.

Satta Matturi of Matturi Fine Jewellery.
Natural diamonds being set in the Kwe earrings.

“Satta’s design is so extraordinarily beautiful and organic,” said Viola’s longtime stylist Elizabeth Stewart, who has collaborated with the star on memorable looks like the ensemble Viola wore to accept her 2017 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in Fences. “It’s almost as if Satta grew them in her garden,” she added.

The earrings Viola Davis wore were created by Matturi as part of #BlackIsBrilliant, a joint initiative between the De Beers Group and Red Carpet Advocacy (RAD) to provide a platform for Black designers to craft one-of-a-kind pieces using ethically sourced natural diamonds from Botswana. Learn more about #BlackisBrilliant here.