Ah, the diamond ring; that eternal symbol of love and promise; that unmistakable marker of a momentous occasion. But what happens as love grows? As it transforms and rejuvenates? Enter jeweller Jessica McCormack and her shape-shifting Diamond Party Jackets that encase an existing ring with a stunning frame or halo of diamonds, instantly transforming one’s beloved solitaire, engagement or heirloom piece.
McCormack began making these ring jackets on a bespoke basis as an increasing number of clients requested that she jazz up their existing rings. The process begins with a visit to her Mayfair studio, where the celebrated designer personally notes down the story behind the existing ring – and the clients themselves – before translating this information into drawings. An in-house diamond expert is also on hand to help select stones. All the designs are then crafted in the Mayfair atelier, often using antique techniques such as McCormack's signature cut-down style, where round brilliant-cut diamonds are set with no edge so the shape of the stone can be seen from the side.
McCormack is tight-lipped about her bespoke clients, but a spokesperson told me that most of them are fine-jewellery collectors who see McCormack as a modern family jeweller who is “bringing back romance" in her designs. This is certainly the case with an emerald party jacket she recently created (first and second pictures), which encircles a classic oval diamond in a stunning modern asymmetric cluster, combining 18ct white and 18ct rose gold.
The success of these bespoke pieces has prompted McCormack to create a new collection of eight jacket sets (from £10,000 each) that can also be custom-fitted to a much-adored ring. The Graduated Double Band, for example, classically envelops a ring with Georgian cut-down-style diamonds on either side, mounted in a choice of 18ct white, yellow or rose gold. The bedazzling New York (third and fourth pictures), set with over 2.2ct of baguette-cut diamonds, transforms the original ring into a daring and geometric art-deco number, while the Pink and White Diamond jacket (fifth and sixth pictures) hugs an underlying blush-pink stone with a glittering white-gold bombé-style, pavé-set embellishment of over 200 multisized diamonds.
“This collection is about having fun, being creative and playful with forgotten jewels,” says McCormack, who precisely fits and handcrafts the jackets. Delivery time is from four to 20 weeks, depending on the design.