Katerina Perez’ Treasure Chest

Luxury jewellery writer and key opinion leader, Katerina Perez, shares four significant and sentimental pieces from her personal jewellery collection and the stories behind them.

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On my travels, the people I meet often allude to the enormous collection of fine jewellery treasures that must be in my personal possession. I spend so much time surrounded by beautiful art jewels, how could I not covet them? 

In fact, my jewellery collection is relatively modest and understated. Every piece has a story that is personal to me and, often, reminiscent of a special moment in time or milestone. Some have been gifted by wonderful and kind-hearted friends, many of which are jewellers, whereas others I have commissioned to my exact specifications. 

To me, these pieces hold much more heart than status or value. When I choose something to wear from my collection, I want those jewels to not just adorn me but to remind me of the wonderful events and people in my life. The jewels I share in this article bring a smile on my face not because they are pretty but they are meaningful.

Natural diamonds are ‘a girl’s best friend’ and I have a few pieces with this kind of sparkle that serve as talismans in my life. The four pieces mentioned here anchor me to moments in time and, despite their simplicity in some cases, they are my most treasured possessions.

The Meant-to-be bracelet
Long ago, my husband and I were visiting New York, and I spotted this supple white gold diamond tennis bracelet in the city’s iconic Diamond District. I was smitten by its flexibility and delicacy, but at the time, it was a significant purchase for us.

We only went back two days later to buy it, but discovered the store was closed (at that time, I wasn’t aware of 57th St’s opening hours). Our flight was due to take off the next day, and I had to leave New York without the bracelet!

Six months later, my husband had to travel to New York for work, and I sent him on a mission to find the bracelet that got away from me.. As luck would have it, he was able to successfully complete that. Ever since then, I’ve been wearing the bracelet non-stop.I personally think that every woman should have a diamond tennis bracelet in her collection for everyday wear. It’s just that type of jewellery which is so elegant and wearable.They make natural diamonds accessible for jeans and t-shirt days. And evening events, don’t they?

The Ring that said yes!
Like so many other women around the world, my first experience with diamond jewellery was my Tiffany & Co. engagement ring. I showed my husband the brand’s advertisement with five rings, and told him that one of these is my favourite, but he had to discover which one, on his own! In a perfect twist of fate, he chose the right engagement ring, which is the one I wear today – a classic round brilliant-cut solitaire in a traditional Tiffany setting.

Some years later, I upgraded the ring with a rose gold ring jacket by the Lebanese jeweller –  AW Mouzannar, who was the first to introduce ring jackets to the jewellery wardrobe. This addition allows me to wear the ring at different occasions and adds a sense of drama to the piece. 

A ring, shaped from the heart
The traditional gift for a 10th wedding anniversary is a diamond. Obviously, it was an opportunity I wasn’t going to miss! 

I immediately knew that I wanted my collection to have a fancy coloured natural diamond. Rather than getting lost in grading reports and certificates, I decided to choose a stone purely on instinct and passion. So, when I saw that brownish-pink diamond with unique peachy undertones, I knew it was the one.  It really spoke to me, and I began to see a bespoke ring forming around it, in my mind’s eye. 

Next, I turned to the French jeweller Amélie Viaene, to bring a unique ring to life.

I intuitively knew that this diamond needed to be partnered with deep blue gems, and couldn’t get lapis lazuli off my mind.I also knew that the ring had to be crafted in rose gold, which was the best match for my skin tone. Amélie Viaene’s jewels are wearable sculptures, and I wanted one of her architectural creations.I asked her to produce a ring in her signature aesthetic but with certain additions, like lapis lazuli cabochons and a smattering of colourless diamonds. 

And I love the result! It’s a piece that is truly special to me and one that I wear to inspire confidence and creativity.

The first of many to come
When I was approaching my 30th birthday, I wanted to own my first important jewel in the form of a natural diamond solitaire pendant. Don’t ask me why, but I always gravitate towards pear-shaped stones.

When choosing gems, I first pick the stone that speaks to me and only then will I look at the certificate. The same process occurred when I selected the beautiful natural diamond that would become mine: I chose it because I liked its shape and colourlessness (Despite being SI Clarity, I knew it was perfect for me). 

Later, I worked with a London-based jeweller to create a versatile piece. Complete with a detachable platinum charm, and a small halo of diamonds underlining the centre stone, this pendant can be worn on a necklace or a bracelet. 

Now, I consider it not just a birthday gift but a talisman that brings me good luck in my work as a key opinion leader in the jewellery industry, which started when I turned 30 years old.

For the better part of my career, I have heard stories behind jewellery pieces from jewellers, clients, maisons and emerging designers. It’s a refreshing change of pace to be able to dive into my own life and share some stories that are close to my heart. I hope from my tales you can see how diamond jewellery has evolved from just an accessory in my life, to being a special talisman of happiness.