The island of Singapore celebrates an especially big anniversary this year – and putting a dazzling spin on its golden jubilee is Singapore JewelFest. From Friday October 9, the 10-day exhibition will feature magnificent and rare gems, as well as exclusive collaborations with the city state’s most talented designers, housed in a custom-built pavilion at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza on buzzy Orchard Road.
Design – and natural history – buffs should make a beeline for SG50 Dazzling Reminiscence, a collaboration between the National Museum of Singapore and six local design stars. Taking their cue from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings,a set of 477 watercolours of the region’s flora and fauna, the designers have created a showcase of one-of-a-kind pieces (from S$5,000, about £2,300), and a portion of sale proceeds will go to the museum. Simone Ng’s black-capped kingfisher double ring centres around a 17.5ct peridot, while a chic diamond earring, pendant and ring suite by retailer Lee Hwa Jewellery pays homage to the protected mangrove fan palm.The rhinoceros hornbillwas the starting point for Kavant & Sharart – the husband and wife team making waves on the international jewellery scene – who have produced an abstract collection bursting with orange sapphire pendants and sapphire and diamond earrings, bothhallmarks of their cool, edgy vibe.
Marking this year’s jubilee is a selection of gems in crimson and white – Singapore’s national colours. There are plenty of ruby and diamond designs such as Rota e Rota’s showstopping cocktail ring (price on request, first picture), but rings with unusual red rocks are also worth seeking out: Baerjewels’ eye-popping 10.72ct Mexican fire opal creation (about £9,200) with black diamonds, or a rare oxblood coral cabochon number(about £19,000) by Kawamura. Remarkable golden pieces in tribute to the golden jubilee range from Yael Sonia’s sleek bracelet with blue topaz and diamonds (about £23,500, fourth picture) to the raw beauty of Ame Gallery’s gold ring (about £1,400, second picture) with blackened silver and diamonds.
But don’t expect only Asian names, as the festival has often highlighted European designers in its 13-year history. Alongside Italy’s aforementioned Rota e Rota, Germany’s Esvara Viva will be exhibiting a pair of geometric tanzanite, diamond, purple sapphire and African chalcedony 18ct white gold earrings (about £8,200), and hailing from the UK for the first time is Hirsh London, whose stunning 20.54ct opal necklace (price on request) features a striking paraíba tourmaline.
Several other jewellers are making their debuts with a splash. Hong Kong jadeite experts Edward Chiu and Dawn Jewellery are offering, respectively, a white-gold brooch exploding with green and white jadeite and diamonds (about £98,700, third picture) and an elegant icy jadeite, Tahitian pearl, diamond and emerald necklace (about £155,900). Japanese pearl specialist Casmine, which counts the Japanese royal family among its followers, will present an exquisite yellow South Sea akoya and freshwater pearl necklace (price on request). More traditional designs can be found at Entice, such as a white-gold necklace with more than 25ct of diamonds and nearly 75ct of sapphires (about £60,500), or a high-octane, über-glam 80.54ct diamond necklace (about £80,000) at Didi’s Jewellery from Hong Kong.
A bedazzling birthday bash to remember.