This pendant and earring set incorporates pieces of natural volcanic lava and is one of our most unusual and challenging commissions to date. The bespoke pendant is made from 18 carat yellow and white gold, set with lava and a large vivid orange fancy-cut citrine. The matching stud earrings are 18 carat white gold and lava.
Our client commissioned the bespoke lava earrings and pendant as a gift for his wife following a holiday together in Vanuatu. He had kept a small rock of lava from the holiday and asked us to design a pair of earrings and pendant set with pieces of the lava.
This particular lava is very soft and porous compared to the gemstones we typically set, this presented some design challenges. Our first step was to break the lava rock up into small pieces suitable for setting. To add strength the lava pieces were then embedded in resin. Even so the lava would easily crumble if placed under any pressure so it was necessary to design settings which would protect it. Our solution was to create wide cup-like settings from 18 carat white gold. The settings provide a solid protective wall around the stone.
Our client selected a deep orange citrine from our stone collection to pair with the lava. The citrine is a remarkable fancy-cut stone with concave cuts to the reverse, which cause light to refract and flicker deep inside. The flame-like citrine provides the perfect contrast to the rough organic lava.
Working with lava is a first for us and despite the difficulty of working with such a soft stone we were quite taken with the effect. Seen close up the surface of lava looks like an ancient landscape and it’s raw, gritty texture contrasts wonderfully with polished precious metal.
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