When Nadja Swarovski introduced Stephen Webster and the new Double Diamond collection featuring Swarovski Created Diamonds, Webster was quick to point out that he still “uses real diamonds.” It may seem like a counter-intuitive comment at a lunch to celebrate the ‘consciously-minded’ collection, but the London jeweller is spot on; natural diamonds aren’t about to disappear or cease to be mined.
The Double Diamond collection features both: 14ct recycled gold and Swarovski created diamonds, which are genetically identical to natural stones (it takes specialist equipment in a laboratory to detect the difference between them).
14ct recycled gold and Swarovski Created Diamonds Double Diamond bracelet, £7,490, Stephen Webster for Atelier Swarovski
The collection also utilises polished orbs of soft pink rose quartz, tiny candy-floss coloured marbles suspended within a gold octahedron frame, which is the shape of a diamond crystal in rough form.
The new collection for Atelier Swarovski isn’t short of Webster’s trademark, high octane glamour. There are earrings like ferris wheels, with one of the six diamond-shaped frames that make up each earring housing a sphere of rose quartz and dotted with brilliant-cut created diamonds.
14ct recycled gold and Swarovski Created Diamonds Double Diamond drop earrings, £2,590, Stephen Webster for Atelier Swarovski
Elsewhere, a knuckle-duster ring stretches across all four fingers, its top dusted with pave-set stones; while minimalist stud earrings sport two baguette-cut diamonds in a clean, two-dimensional diamond frame.
There are pendant necklaces made up of four of the cage-like motifs suspended from long chains to wear lariat-like around the neck, and chunky cocktail rings which seem to hold the rose quartz spheres in their own tiny atmospheres.
The collection is undoubtedly Stephen Webster’s, but the designer isn’t just paying lip service to some fleeting sustainability trend. Webster has been to traditional gold mines and has seen the conditions people work and live in, their lack of choice about the matter bringing him to genuine tears.
14ct recycled gold and Swarovski Created Diamonds Double Diamond knuckle-duster ring, £3,690, Stephen Webster for Atelier Swarovski
This is a designer who is truly concerned with and for every facet of his industry, from the ethics of goldmining to the exciting new wave of technology sweeping it. “When tech is involved,” he quipped during the collection’s launch, “things move at lightning speed.”
Webster is spot on. It just so happens that the technology behind lab-grown diamonds has a major role to play in the future of sustainable jewellery.
14ct recycled gold and Swarovski Created Diamonds Double Diamond drop pendant, £1,590, Stephen Webster for Atelier Swarovski
Whether that is an alternative (not a replacement) to natural diamonds, cleaner goldmining, or more recycling of materials, it doesn’t matter; as long as jewellers like Stephen Webster embrace positive change, and companies like Swarovski continue to put their might behind it, it’s good for all of us.
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