When De Beers Group invited ten of the most distinctive designers working today to reimagine the engagement ring, you can imagine how excited we were to see the results and to share this limited-edition capsule collection with our customers.
Since the project was first announced, it’s been hard to wait for the launch of the rings—but they are finally here! We’re thrilled to not only unveil the ten designs, but to also share a glimpse at the inspiration behind them. Each designer's journey is as remarkable as their signature style and approach to creating a truly modern symbol of love.
It would be easy to mistake designer Catherine Sarr for an anthropologist when she describes her curvilinear rings and cuffs—she’s fascinated by the cultural aspect of jewellery and uses it as the basis of her collection of painstakingly engineered pieces with deceptively simple lines. That effortless Parisian style is embodied in the Paris-born designer’s ring for Ten/Ten.
Inspiration for Sarr’s ‘Serene’ ring comes from nature, including the beauty of water flowing and enveloping a river rock, like the streams of gold surrounding the ring’s beautiful diamond with its infinite energy.
AURORA LOPEZ MEJIA
Beloved for her hand-engraved talismans with hand-inscribed words, Aurora Lopez Mejia was originally trained as a sculptor. She chalks her jewellery-making up to a happy accident, with roots back to the earthy, message-carrying bands she created for herself back in the ‘80s. Writings are now the foundation of her body-conscious jewellery collection.
When tapped to re-envision the engagement ring for Ten/Ten, Mejia sought inspiration from her popular bezel-set style that riffs on an African tribal ring. The shank is inscribed with her most powerful word to date: LOVE.
Milanese jeweller Bea Bongiasca launched her own line soon after graduating from college, in 2013. The early success of her colourful, “happy vibes” jewellery taught her a valuable lesson—you can be creative and commercial! Her ring design for this project draws on the anatomy of a plant and extends concepts first presented in her collection The Secret Language of Flowers.
When considering a new approach to engagement ring design as a symbol of love, Bongiasca connected the idea of intertwined vines to two people about to get hitched. Her ‘You’re So Mine’ set conveys the concept with a ring pair embellished with her signature enamel squiggle.
Lauren Harwell Godfrey’s love affair with jewellery goes back to her grandmother, whose cocktail rings fascinated her as a child. Today, her design style is known for its strong geometry and intricate enamel and lapidary work. She sees the symbolism of an engagement ring reflected in its circular nature, representing wholeness and a continuum, just like love.
So when it came to inspiration for Ten/Ten, it was only natural to use a variation on her own engagement ring as the jumping off point for her design. Many of her clients have admired her ring with its hexagonal setting and asked her to reproduce it. Godfrey saw the Ten/Ten project as a chance to make something in a similar vein at an amazing price point.
Designer Lola Oladunjoye found jewellery design after 18 years practicing intellectual property law in Silicon Valley. Deciding it was time to let her creative side flourish she took night classes and discovered her love of metalworking and the joy of making pieces by hand. Her artisanal, small-batch fine jewellery company founded in 2015 is known for a pared-down elegant aesthetic.
This quiet-yet-luxurious design style comes through in her ring for Ten/Ten. Inspired by the beauty of repetition, it’s crafted with graduated ascending beads. They’re a good metaphor for a union and create a setting perfectly crafted to celebrate the beauty of a Botswana diamond.
Aaron is an NYC-based designer whose love of industrial elements is reflected throughout her collection. Her wares are beloved by a diverse crowd spanning from teens to grandmas and tattooed punks to debutantes. While she normally uses gems as an embellishment, her ring design for the Ten/Ten project is centered on a natural diamond, and aligns perfectly with her concept: transforming her DiMe ring into an engagement ring.
The design challenge was how to incorporate a diamond into a ring that opens to reveal two halves. Her inspiration? The decorative clasp of an evening bag. She realized she could use that same functionality and turn the clasp into a setting for a stunning stone.
Michelle Fantaci not only has an eye for jewellery, but a knack for styling it, too. Founded in 2007, her brand’s designs convey a sense of warmth with a passion for ensembles and re-imagining. While she finds inspiration in the ancient and symbolic nature of engagement rings, Fantaci was excited to have the latitude to create a piece that looks nothing like a traditional offering.
Fantaci’s ‘Naledi’ ring reimagines tradition with some of her favourite motifs: an iconic star with a brilliant diamond at the centre, flanked by two Art Deco-inspired fans. The result, handcrafted in 18k gold, is a rich and warm design that continues a custom while turning it on its head.
Love was drawn to the world of jewellery from a young age and her design ethos reflects the value of being different. Fans of her infinitely mixable pieces are passionately devoted to her offbeat, eclectic approach. The Ten/Ten project challenged her to revisit the idea of commitment and the celebration of romance since the beginning of humanity.
Inspired to reference things that are ancient, her braided ‘Treccia’ ring recalls various periods, from 18th-century mourning jewellery to Etruscan motifs. The form itself symbolizes the interweaving of lives and the coming together of souls.
PLATT BOUTIQUE JEWELLERY
Platt Boutique Jewellery was established in 2005, when the trend towards antique and vintage jewellery was accelerating. Along with her brother Larry, Natasha Tsimmerman assembled a collection with particular emphasis on Art Deco, Edwardian and Victorian eras. The company’s recent launch of ‘Bespoke by Platt’ features modern designs inspired by antique craftsmanship.
A simple solitaire was the starting point for the Ten/Ten project, crafted with a low profile and a beautiful 12-claw setting to look like a Victorian crown from the 19th century. The result is modern with vintage charm and rich symbolism.
As a student at Rhode Island School of Design, designer Wing Yau realized that jewellery was the perfect vessel for expressing her love of sculpture and textiles—and her focus on proportion and scale, which is the guiding principle for WWAKE, founded in 2013. Her signature design style includes elements that appear to float or imply movement.
Inspired by the evolution of gender roles and the meaning of true partnership, ‘The Duo Ring’ set can be endlessly reinvented—worn alone, together, or with other pieces with meaning. It’s delicate and ethereal paired with solid and grounded, the way love should make you feel.