Best of the Best 2013: Jewelry: Use of Metal: Lugano Diamonds

  • Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
  • Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
    Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
  • Lugano Diamonds Black Diamond Ring features a 20.07 carat pear-shaped black diamond and 1.39 carats of round brilliant VS diamonds, set in black gold.
  • This stunning 10 carat Padparadscha Sapphire can be worn as a ring, or the setting can be removed and worn as a pendant. Lugano Diamonds cushion cut sapphire is complemented by a brilliant halo of white and fancy pink diamonds totaling 1.98 carats, placed in a platinum setting.
  • Surrounded with 3.13 carats of rose cut VS diamonds and .56 carats of round brilliant VS diamonds, these Lugano Diamonds Paraiba Earrings feature 27.95 carats of stunning Paraiba, set in white gold.
  • Featuring 56 carats of yellow diamonds, Lugano Diamonds Riviera necklace surrounds each center stone with fancy yellow round diamonds totaling 20 carats, set in 18k yellow gold.
  • Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
  • Photo by Lisa Charles Watson; Styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
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The shock effect of setting precious stones in industrial materials, such as titanium and copper, has long been a thing of the past. But in 2012, Lugano Diamonds achieved a similar element of surprise by making creative use of a metal unknown heretofore in fine jewelry: zirconium. The jeweler, based in Newport Beach, Calif., fashioned an alloy produced with zircon into a series of striking pieces set with diamonds, including this orchid ring and these butterfly earrings. “They’re conversation pieces,” says Moti Ferder, the president and design director of Lugano; and indeed, the collection caused a stir throughout the industry when it was unveiled. The dark sheen of the metal highlights the stones, and the metal’s lightness and durability allow for voluminous, sculptural shapes that, we suspect, represent only the beginning of Lugano’s experimentation. (949.720.1258, www.luganodiamonds.com)