Of summer’s many pastimes, the plethora of rich, ripe fruits is synonymous with the relaxed mood of warm weather. Unsurprisingly, this natural treat also inspires jewelry designers’ creations, especially ones that find inventive ways to illustrate sweet produce using natural diamonds. Only Natural Diamonds went in search of the freshest crop of jewels inspired by fruit.
Brent Neale loves to dabble in charming realism in her namesake collection which she launched in 2017. One of her brand’s first collections, “Down the Rabbit Hole,” was inspired by her childhood affection for “Alice in Wonderland.” The collection bore a mushroom necklace that has become a brand signature. Neale longed to explore the topic further.
“What happens when Alice is all grown up? We created a narrative for grown-up Alice. The first collection had olives for her martinis, carrots, radishes, daffodils from her garden, and so forth,” Neale said in her Manhattan showroom.
The recently released part two of the collection featured a watermelon slice so realistic you could almost taste it. Its seeds are made from pear-shaped black diamonds. “I rarely work with the color black, but I wanted to use black diamonds here. I had not sourced them before, so I called our main diamond dealer and asked if he could find us some large ones consistently. He nailed it for us,” she explained of the lifelike detail.
Choosing the fruits at Alice’s picnic also had meaning. “The watermelon was chosen because it is so giving. Open one up, and you have dessert for 24; everyone loves it, children and adults alike,” she continued.
Neale leaves nature’s candy to bauble inspiration rather than culinary pursuits. “Well, let’s say the kitchen isn’t ever where you would find me, but I suppose that’s the great thing about fruit, isn’t it? I love frozen grapes; they are delicious and refreshing,” she proffered.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their brand Sorellina, sisters Kim and Nicole Carosella launched the Dieci collection that celebrates the Italian heritage that gave them summers spent on the Amalfi Coast.
Determined to use Italy as the inspiration for the seminal collection, the siblings cemented the idea when scouring the Arizona gem show. “It really took shape when we saw this parcel of Sleeping Beauty turquoise in Tucson last year. The collection draws from childhood imagery and memories of the Amalfi coast. Love, family, and the things that are truly important to us,” said Nicole over email.
“We have so many fond memories of boating, swimming in the Mediterranean, wandering through the cobblestone streets, and eating gelato among the lemon trees in our relatives’ garden,” Kim said over email. Their cheerful Limoncello earrings combine 18k gold, diamonds, malachite, and yellow opal, encapsulating the popular fruit found in Capri.
While lemons may be popular in the area, the sisters claim a stone fruit as their go-to in June, July, and August. “Our favorite summertime treat is a peach-cream pie that’s made with fresh peaches and whipped cream. It’s truly delightful. A close second would be a watermelon margarita,” Kim added.
Beth Hutchens of Foundrae features a pear pendant in her permanent collection. Sweet pome fruit’s name takes on a double-entendre for the jeweler who says the pear medallion represents forever and always a pair to the brand.
“Each pair comes at a time in our lives when something just feels right. These pairs of pears, we absorb them, fuse them into our own hearts, and it grows as a result. We choose to keep those pairs: friends, lovers, family, chosen family, a part of our hearts forever. Forever and always, perpetually, and unceasingly bound,” Hutchens explained over email. The pendant’s gold pear sits next to a group of pavè diamonds in a gold pear-shaped casing.
The pear might be a fall fruit, but Hutchens loves a summertime fruit dessert that impresses yet is relatively easy to make. “I love making Pavlova. It’s egg white meringue topped with fresh whipped cream and fruit. The recipe I used this weekend is from Martha Stewart but without the oranges. I typically use a mix of blueberries and raspberries,” she said.
Tiffany & Co.’s Schlumberger Two Fruit Brooch lets the imagination run wild using natural diamonds to accentuate the unnamed and presumably exotic fruits.
Storrow’s necklace reads like a Lifesaver’s fruit flavor multipack with gemstones comprising green leaves on the stems, diamonds adding accents to the cherry, and creating the grapes in a healthy purple bunch. Storrow designer Jennifer Koche prefers the real deal in summer. “I look forward to cherries and peaches coming out every summer. The sweeter the fruit, the better! she said.
Gucci recently unveiled its new High Jewelry Collection Allegoria, which pays homage to nature’s transformation through the four seasons. While its inspiration isn’t necessarily fruity, Only Natural Diamonds couldn’t help but find the pistons on this lively pair of lion’s head earrings reminiscent of berry fruits with diamond flourishes resembling their leaves.
If you prefer to wear your fruit rather than eat it, this summer bounty of sparkly diamond and gem-filled jewelry is ready for the picking.