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Posts Tagged Betteridge Designs

Better by Design: The New Betteridge Collection

by on September 7th, 2010

Better by design is as much a process as it is an attitude. Every aspect of the design process, from overall concept to the smallest detail, contributes to the unified expression of the whole.

Widely regarded as one of the pioneering masters of modern design, German/American architect Ludwig Mies Van der Rhohe established the foundation for a design vocabulary based on his famous dictum, “less is more.” Every aspect of his design process was focused on achieving this philosophical goal.

It is with much the same deliberation and attention to design perfection that we have approached the development and creation of our new Betteridge Collection products. Every aspect of the product development process results from the desire to achieve design perfection while staying true to our core values.

The goal is to provide an easy, natural and emotional connection between the wearer and the product. Only then is a finished piece worthy of the Betteridge Collection hallmark.

Hand-Carved Aquamarine Pendant by Betteridge

by on September 7th, 2010

Betteridge Carved Aquamarine

Inspired by Egyptian and Sumerian rolling seals, this 100ct hand carved aquamarine pendant was turned from a 200ct plus piece of rough, reported to have been mined in Kenya at the end of the 19th century. Kenyan Aquamarine is extremely rare and is characterized by its sea foam color. Examples in this size are extremely rare.

Hand-carved in Germany by masters of the miniature, this crystal features two owl’s perched within gothic arches and inscribed in Latin with the words “aude sapirre” (‘dare to be wise’) and “amabit sapiens” (‘wise men love’).

Suspended between platinum caps with leaf motif top and bottom and set with 38 2.00mm diamonds weighing approximately 1.00ct, it will be finished with a tassel of graduated sapphire beads weighing approximately 6cts, and worn on a lovely silk cord.

This is truly a unique piece designed to inspire its wearer to be ever conscious of wisdom and love.

Platinum, Diamond and Onyx Bracelet by Betteridge

by on September 7th, 2010

Diamond & Onyx Link Bracelet

Diamond & Onyx Link Bracelet, $29,500

Inspired by the iconic sporting bracelets of the deco era, this Betteridge Collection design is composed of seven mathematically derived tonneau shaped links, curving elegantly along their length and connected by six hand carved onyx links closing to form a perfect circle around the wrist.

Hand set with 5.62 carats of brilliant cut diamonds and supported by an armature of hand thrummed platinum plates and bridges, the easy, natural interactions between each element provide the basis for a timeless design of lasting value.

Every detail in this classic piece has a purpose and a function.

18k Gold Three-Link Tube Bracelet by Betteridge

by on September 7th, 2010

18k Gold Three-Link Tube Bangle

18k Gold Three-Link Tube Bangle, $8,000

If “less is more,” it is also fair to say that less is often more difficult to produce. Such was our experience in designing, engineering and producing our new Betteridge Collection three link tube bracelets.

It turns out that bending three identical 5.00 mm tubular sections of 18K gold, without seams and without crimping, is far more difficult to execute than it was to design.

The end product is nothing less than a testament to the confluence between design and the industrial process, and to the hurdles that we strive to leap in the development of new Betteridge Collection designs.

Cushion-Cut Diamonds: Romancing the Stone

by on July 2nd, 2010

3.01 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS2 Clarity, $59,500

Having been involved with diamonds for all of my life (no kidding as a child of a jeweler it starts early)… I have become decidedly opinionated.

Of late, there has been an explosion of interest in cushion-cut diamonds. As we are specialists in estate and period jewelry, we see many cushions.

Stones cut in the style of the original cushion shape are beautiful creations that have characteristics that produce a unique blend of scintillation and fire. Just recall grandmother’s diamond ring at a candlelit dinner table! (If you would like to know the technical reason why this happens… ask me some time).

What is marketed today as a cushion-cut is really a radiant with rounded corners – a modern attempt that just falls short. If you want the best, take the time to appreciate the beauty and romance of a ‘true’ cushion.

Fleur-de-Lis Gold Bangles: A New Classic from Betteridge

by on May 1st, 2010

Fleur-de-Lis Bangles, from $3,000

As spring reaches its zenith heralding in both Mother’s Day and Graduation Season, it is with great excitement that we present the first in a series of new Betteridge Collection designs.

Of all the floral devices used in Heraldry, perhaps the most famous is the fleur-de-lis. A symbol often used as a representation of faith, wisdom and chivalry. In a tradition started by the fourteenth century Neapolitan mariner Flavio Gioja, the symbol is often used on the compass rose to mark the north direction.

In this season when we celebrate one’s direction in life, we invite you to find your own true north.

It’s All Music

by on September 1st, 2009

Betteridge 3.01 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, $59,500

A gifted Jesuit once told me that in order to understand the Bible, I should realize that it’s all music and no noise.

This expression has always resonated with me, because growing up at Betteridge, I found music in my father’s devotion to craft- to try in every stone set, each blow of the hammer and stroke of the file to do better than before.

Any poorly shaped prong or stray file mark left on a ring shank becomes noise: a grating sound drowning out the melody. When all the elements fit just right, seamlessly joining part to part, I find a beautiful harmony.

I try to instill this same devotion to craft that I grew up with in my workshops. It’s quite a challenge, but just trying hard makes the shop hum…

Rubies and Sapphires: Fireworks for any Occasion

by on July 1st, 2009

Ruby & Diamond Cluster Earrings and Sapphire & Diamond Cluster Earrings, from $5,000.

Corundum. Although it sounds like an obtuse problem, corundum is actually the mineral that composes some of the most sought after gemstones in the world.

Most people know corundum as a ruby if it is red and a sapphire if it is blue. Depending on where it is found, the mineral tends to take on a particular hue, which is why the fabulous “pigeon’s blood rubies” are often from Burma and the more tame, somewhat purplish “reds” are usually from Thailand. Famously, the most beautiful blue sapphires are from mines in Kashmir, but stunning, somewhat differently textured blue sapphires are well known in Burma as well and still other paler, but still brilliant, “blues” are found in Ceylon.

Although rubies and sapphires found in a particular place tend to look the same, there will always be black sheep in any family, and Burmese rubies are occasionally awful, even though all of the most expensive rubies in the world are from Burma.

Rarely, pinkish orange stones are discovered, and are known in the trade by the name “padperadscha” to evoke the color of an exotic jungle flower. In addition, many blackish green sapphires come from Australia.

Generally, true pink sapphires suffer from both a relative lack of interest and fairly large supply, while most green sapphires that Betteridge has taken in, I have given to children to keep and play with, as they generally have little to no value.

As a rule, the prettier the stone is, be it pink or red, yellow or blue, the more expensive, relative to the desirability of its general color it will be. For instance, the finest Burmese ruby might be $250,000 per carat, but a gem-quality, pink stone more like $20,000 per carat. Similarly, a “knock you down pretty” Kashmir sapphire might be $70,000 per carat, while the finest yellow sapphire ever found might only be $1,000 per carat.

At the end of the day, it comes down to basic economics: the extreme scarcity of fine, large “reds” and “blues” makes these forms of the fabulously colorful corundum particularly valuable.

Engagement Ring Trends – It’s Still All about the Stone

by on June 1st, 2009

Harry Winston 5.24 Carat Asscher-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS1-Clarity, $275,000

There has been a shift recently to the selection of ‘new’ diamond cuts. However, you may be surprised to know that the most popular cuts are nothing new! Although roughly 90% of the diamonds sold are round brilliant cuts, we have seen a surge in two alternatives.

One is the Asscher cut, which was developed by the Asscher cutting works in Antwerp during the 1940’s. I like to describe it as an emerald cut with character. It is deeper than a traditional emerald cut, so the extra brilliance comes at a price. Don’t confuse a true Asscher with a ‘radiant’ cut, developed in Israel in the 1970’s. This is in essence, an emerald-cut outline with the bottom faceted more like a round brilliant cut stone.

The second, and perhaps more popular ‘new’ cut, is a cushion. This is an even older development in cutting as it closely resembles an ‘old mine’ cut diamond in many ways. Think of a cushion as the shape of a pillow. It is a personal favorite of mine as the softness of the lines is feminine, and has the flavor of being quite old. I truly dislike the ‘new’ cushion cut, which is a radiant remade to a slightly rounded outline. You can try to disguise a radiant, but it lacks veracity.

Betteridge 3.01 Carat Cushion-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring, D-Color & VS2-Clarity, $59,500

Despite these trends, choosing a diamond is all about personal preference – what matters is what (and whom) you love!

Stunning and Surprising Pearls

by on May 1st, 2009

South Sea Tahitian Pearl & Pavé Diamond Ball Necklace, $90,000

Pearls are not just for your mother anymore. Up and coming artists are combining pearls with exotic materials including tropical woods, semi-precious stones, and fine gemstones.

On the left, you can see a fine example of the latter: a diamond pavé ball and grey Tahitian pearl necklace, designed by Betteridge and built in Greenwich.

Updated pearl combinations can fit your style and complement your complexion in exciting new ways. Great ropes of chunky South Sea pearls in a variety of colors can add vibrancy and vitality to your gait. Rose-hued, creamy white pearls add a dewy, romantic glow to your skin. Finally, when you mix your original pearls with less expensive Chinese fresh water pearls, you refresh your look and your attitude.

No jewel is more feminine or mysterious than the pearl. Treasured in the collections of the Medici’s, Romanov’s and Gould’s, the pearl adds a timeless sense of style. It carries the legacy of the special relationship between women and pearls throughout the centuries.