Jewellery making and artistry in precious metals is woven through history. There have been shells and clay beads wrapped around necks and ankles and precious gemstones carefully carried across seas from far-flung locations. No matter the design, each piece of jewellery embodies the care and time taken to produce something beautiful — an adornment to admire, wear, and treasure.
Today, AENEA Jewellery exists to celebrate this same care and attention, highlighting quality through its daring fine jewellery. A closer look at each piece of AENEA jewellery reveals where intricate goldsmithing techniques and time-honoured traditions meet modern, offbeat design. And the creation of our latest masterpiece, the Conch Pearl Lilly Brooch, is testament to the quality we work hard to achieve.
Set with white, yellow and grey diamonds, vibrant emeralds and a rare pink conch pearl, the Lilly brooch is a daring design that has taken almost eight months to complete.
“Originally, this piece was a classic brooch but we wanted to transform it into something truly unique,” says AENEA creative director Costan Eghiazarian. “Now, it’s a shoulder brooch that will trace the elegance of a woman’s collarbone, with an intricate mechanism that allows the conch pearl to ‘bloom’ from its centre.”
The piece was created in several stages, each exemplifying AENEA’s approach to quality and dedication to craftsmanship and design. Firstly, there was the sourcing of the rare conch pearl — which, as its name suggests, is found in large, pink conch shells — and of course the surrounding, glittering diamonds.
“We work only with legitimate gemstone suppliers who we trust, to ensure there is no exploitation of workers — this is very important to me,” Costan explains. “I only source gemstones from companies I know. In fact, many of the gemstones we source come from the same families that my father, himself a jeweller, worked with during his career. Sometimes, we even visit gemstone mines to source directly. For us, working with other family businesses upholds traditions we are proud of and is another sign of quality and our dedication to fine jewellery.”
For the next stage, precious silver versions of the Lilly brooch were made, each tried and tested to ensure the final 18ct gold and palladium piece would be perfect. By making models in silver, Costan and the goldsmiths were able to understand the dimensions and shape of the brooch, and test its central, blooming mechanism. “Once we had pavé-set the final 18ct gold and palladium version of the brooch with the gemstones, it was such a daring piece that we decided to transform it into a shoulder brooch - a piece for a red carpet or very special occasion,” Costan says. “In total, I believe over 1,000 hand-picked diamonds and emeralds are set into the piece — each set under a microscope to ensure the settings are absolutely perfect.”
For AENEA, the human touch is as much a signifier of quality as the precious metals, gemstones and design that makes a piece. “It took at least one-and-a-half months to source all of the diamonds to ensure they matched, while the workmanship itself is some of the best we have ever had — making the Conch Pearl Lilly Brooch one of our most considered yet exciting pieces ever made.”
When it comes to demonstrating and upholding quality in jewellery design, AENEA Jewellery is proud to unite its Austrian goldsmithing heritage with modern design and its playful, creative aesthetic. “For me, it is about transforming fine jewellery to be wearable no matter the occasion,” Costan says. “I want people to be able to wear their AENEA ring, brooch or pendant with their jeans and white T-shirt, not just when they go out. It’s time to make fine jewellery wearable again.”
Read more: Pearls - 10 Facts everyone should know