“Behind The Gems” is a long-running monthly series that takes you on an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our signature collections.
In this edition, we’re focusing on two of our latest pieces, the Fleur des Lys Earrings. You may have already noticed we have a large and a mini version, but did you know they were initially meant to be something else?
Catch a glimpse of our creative process below.
Origin and Inspiration
The Fleur des Lys earrings are made from carved, frosted quartz. Quartz is composed of oxygen and silicon atoms arranged in a six-sided pyramid structure – SiO2. Learn more about it and all the different types in our “Behind the Gems: Quartz” story.
We discovered the stones for what were soon to become our Fleur des Lys earrings on one of our annual shopping trips to Baselworld. Needless to say, we completely fell in love with them and we kicked off the creative process right there and then. Initially, we were thinking about turning them into a his and hers set of matching earrings and cufflinks. But once back in the workshop, we had a change of heart and decided on making a large and a small set of earrings instead.
The Creative Process
We first started working with the larger Fleur des Lys stones and, right from the get-go, we knew that having a minimalist setting would highlight the translucent stones beautifully. All we needed to decide was whether to use 18ct white gold or 18ct yellow gold.
In the end, we realised that the white gold would make the final piece too “cold” and opted for the warmth of the yellow gold instead.
Esther came up with the idea of creating a gold border and fine claw setting to secure the stones. This choice allows the light to flow through the design, while also making the earrings as beautiful from the back as they are from the front.
How They’re Made
First, the gold is melted and rolled into a flat plate. Next, the outline of the stone is traced and then carefully cut out using a hand saw. Part of the gold is pulled into a wire to create the loop and claws that hold the carved quartz in place. The outlined plate, earring loop and claws are then soldered together and polished. Finally, the stone is set and inspected before the process is repeated for the matching earring.
The total process for the large Fleur des Lys takes approximately 9 hours. For the Mini Fleur des Lys the total time hovers around the 7,5 hour mark. Esther usually makes earrings like these over a few days, as you have to be focused to make the earrings match. Even the smallest error in cutting the initial plate would mean you'd have to start the process again or else they’d never match.
It’s all worth it in the end though. Holding the finished earrings in your hand and putting them up to the light is immensely satisfying. Needless to say, we can’t wait to see them worn by someone who loves them as much as we do - they’re the perfect pieces to complete an effortlessly chic look:
PS: We have one more pair of mini carved frosted Fleur des Lys stones - should we make them into cufflinks or another pair of mini earrings? Vote on our Instagram Story.