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Not too long ago, the stories behind many of the world’s finest gems were sad ones. Often traded for arms, rubies have propped up corrupt dictatorships in Burma; diamonds fuelled wars fought by children in Angola, and emeralds funded paramilitary groups in Colombia.
Aware of these tragedies, iconic jeweller Faberge has since paired with ethical gem miner, Gemfields, to source all their coloured gems. They also ensure all their diamonds are ethically sourced, and Faberge’s centuries-old cutting and setting talents are now applied only to what can now be called ‘eco’ jewels.
The result is a variety of differently inspired collections, all with standout pieces: delicate egg-shaped pendants hanging from fluttery, frosty diamond bows; detailed earrings with shapes reminiscent of the onion domes of Russian churches; and rings the size of candies, and just as sweet.
While the first two images on this page are from the Les Danses Fantasques collection, inspired by the grace of the Russian ballet, there is an intriguing story behind the latest line of ethically sourced Faberge rings.
Part of the Viera Collection, they were inspired by the discovery of a collection of fine rings in gold and platinum, diamonds and emeralds, that were discovered during the demolition of a house in Russia. Wrapped in pre-revolutionary posters, they were cached away in two candy tins under a window sill. They turned out to be original Faberge treasures, hidden by one Viera Kharitonenko, the window of a wealthy client known as ‘the Sugar King’, in the hopes the rings would survive the Bolshevik revolution. Happily, they did, and their designs live on today in Faberge’s latest collection.
Gemfields Chief Executive Officer, Ian Harebottle, adores that story, but is sure there are more intriguing tales behind the house, as Faberge is “a brand with exceptional heritage … having been the brand that has provided jewelery to kings and queens, princes, tsars and leaders of the world over many many years.”
It’s clear that Faberge loves history, and a good story as well. With Gemfields now on their side, every Faberge story is sure to have a happy ending.