b'THE STATE OF RETAIL COLOREDDIAMONDSJEWELRY STONES DESIGNsearching Greco-Roman coins that form the basis of her one-of-a-kind pieces. Fascinated with history and archeology, Ruggiero says each piece of jewelry starts with the story of the coin, be it Marc Antony and Cleopatra from 32 B.C. or the Emperor Caracalla bronze coin from A.D. 212-217, which depicts the emperors bust on one side and the she-wolf with suckling twins Romulus and Remus, the Francesca Villa used lenticular imagesmythical founders of Rome, on the reverse. of pop culture icons, like Popeye andRuggieros clients choose pieces based on the SweePea, in her new Abracadabra collection, Luxe. coins theme and meaning.Based in Valenza, Italy, designer Francesca Villa is a passionate collector of antique and vintage finds, ranging from the whimsical to the precious, that are the starting point for her jewels. A recent series, called Abracadabra Luxe, combined rare VariVue lenticu-lar images of superheroes and pop cul-ture icons like Popeye with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. (Lenticular images give the illusion of depth or appear to move/change depending on the angle from which they are viewed. Children of the 70s and 80s likely encountered lenticular art in the form of trading cards.) Already collectors items, Villa elevated the VariVue lenticulars by setting them in gold, making them even more desirable for those Material experimentation extends beyond metals and gemstones.who want to cherish their youth. Pebbles have been featured prominently in high jewelry and areLets also not overlook the fact that, typically, working with found also highly personal.objects means that no two pieces are alike. For his most recent collection, Fluid, Brazilian designer Fer- Sometimes, the stories designers choose to tell are their own. nando Jorge debuted pieces that featured colored diamonds andAs a teenager, Northern California jeweler Kelsey Simmen was precious stones paired with unexpected, humble materials such as Brazilian river pebbles, marble, and fossilized amber.Fernando Jorges new Jorges organically shaped earrings, bracelets, andHigh Fluid bracelet is made with marbles rings are sensual and striking due to this unusualand diamonds.combination of materials. De Givenchy also used pebbles in his high jewelry more than a decade ago, which is why many are con-vinced that the use of nontraditional materials will continue to shape designno pun intend-edfor the next five years, and beyond. In fact, using found objects, or objet trouvs, in jewelry dates to the post-World War II era.caption tkAnd its not that, as the adage goes, one mans trash is another mans treasure; these relics are a vital part of the story designers want to tell through their jewelry. In some cases, these objects are the protag-onist. Francesca Ruggiero, the Italian visionary behind the London-based label Kiaia, spends hours re-74 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2024'