A conversation with Beth Hutchens, the jewelry designer behind FoundRae, always turns to love. After all, love is at the core of her cult-favorite jewelry brand. Love is why celebrities like Ben Affleck come to Hutchens for advice on what romantic jewels to buy for his wife Jennifer Lopez on her birthday. And Gwyneth Paltrow shows self-love with FoundRae’s gold heart medallion.
Hutchens has discovered another love. That is natural diamonds. For the first time the brand’s creative director is featuring larger diamonds as a focus in her new Pair of Pears collection.
And why not? Diamonds are the most recognized jewel as a representation of love.
The Pair of Pears collection is a metaphor for pairs of people. Not just couples, but love in friendship, mothers and daughters, sisters, sons and fathers, and any meaningful relationship – including self-love. It features one-of-a-kind pear-shaped diamonds pendants and rings that you can buy in matching pairs or alone.
It’s already Hutchens’ power piece: She wears a 3-carat pear-shaped diamond pendant necklace, a jewel that she’s never without. And she gave her best friend two pear-shaped diamond pendants, each engraved on the gold bezel setting with their initials, hanging from the same handmade chain – side-by-side.
Sitting in FoundRae’s downtown New York studio, Hutchens talks enthusiastically about her new expression of love and first foray into jewelry with large diamonds.
“I was thinking about love and the idea that we essentially give pieces of our heart to people, and they give pieces of their heart back to us, and that’s why we have whole hearts,” says Hutchens.
It’s her continual exploration of love and self-discovery that drives all her designs, including this latest concept: “We have many pairs – or people – who give us the seven types of love from Greek mythology (Eros, Philia, Storage, Agape, Ludus, Pragma and Philautia). You can’t get all seven types from a single person. That would be a one-dimensional life.”
Still, Hutchens reminds me that the jewelry doesn’t help you find completeness or love, but it’s meant to be a reminder (and sparkling one) to stay connected to those you love and stay on your path to self-discovery and self-awareness.
It’s a lot of thought and symbolism wrapped up in gold and diamonds, but it’s feel-good jewelry. And it’s working. FoundRae’s fans are growing. Hutchens started the New York-based brand seven years ago with gold pendants engraved with symbols of love, astrology, good luck, personalized initials, empowering words, and more. They fast became the status talisman among the celebrity set and beyond.
“The diamond is pure, the way it’s formed under pressure deep within the earth. I think it has a spirit.”Beth Hutchens
As in everything Hutchens creates for FoundRae jewelry, the diamond delivers good karma. “The origin of the diamond’s name is the Greek word adamas, which means unconquerable,” she explains. “The diamond is pure, the way it’s formed under pressure deep within the earth. I think it has a spirit.”
More than symbolism, the new pieces are a sophisticated and chic take on simple diamond designs. The pear-shaped stones (it’s her favorite shape) are set in chunky gold bezels which she says makes them appear “effortless and less precious.” Diamond rings are sold with pairs of stones which come from 0.75 carats to 4 carats in size. Pendants can be purchased as singles or pairs ranging in size from 0.35 carats to 2 carats.
She’s also pairing the white diamonds with rich-colored rubies, emeralds and sapphires side-by-side in rings and separately as pendants. She likes the ways the colored gems underscore the purity of the white diamonds. But how you style your pears – or share your pairs – is personal.
“I hope these symbols will help people consider more deeply how important the pairs (or people) are in their lives, and they will want to give them a significant piece to represent that.” It all comes down to love and diamonds, and everyone can agree they go well together.