Aside from Ms. Aaron, the jewelry designers involved in the Ten/Ten Project –all of who just happen to be women –are Chicago-based ALMASIKA; New York designer Aurora Lopez Mejia; Italy-based Bea Bongiasca; Harwell Godfrey of San Francisco; New York native Michelle Fantaci; Platt Boutique; Brooklyn, NY-based Pamela Love; WWAKE; and West African-born Lola Fenhirst
When asked what it meant to be part of a project which included diamonds mined in her native continent, Ms. Fenhirst said, “I am of Nigerian descent, and I am passionate about the continent. The connection with Botswana means everything to me! It’s the reason I embraced this project so eagerly.
“I am inspired by the economic empowerment and self-determination that Botswana has benefited from as a result of its 50 years of partnership with De Beers,” she said.
“I also see the Ten/Ten Project as an opportunity to showcase what Africa brings to the table in terms of luxury and design.
“When one thinks of diamonds and fine jewelry, one’s mind goes to imperial Russia, Italy or Place Vendôme in the heart of Paris, rather than Africa. I’d like to play asmall part in changing that perception, by shining a light on the beauty of Africa’s resources, from its diamonds and abundant raw materials to its design talent and human capital.
”ASIDE FROM KNOWING that the diamonds in their Ten/Ten ring were mined responsibly, which in and of itself will likely give the consumer a warm and fuzzy feeling, there is also the knowledge that their purchase helped a smaller, independent jewelry designer stay afloat in the age of COVID-19.
In return, each designer involved inthis project gets to give a piece of themselves to those wearing the rings in the hope that their creativity sparks a unique emotion.
“The emotion I hope to evoke in those who both purchase and receive one of these rings is a sense of surprise,” Ms. Aaronsaid. “But a good surprise. One by which they feel connected to one another in a different way.
”Ms. Fenhirst’s answer was simple yet fitting, when asked if, in one word, she could describe the feeling she would most like to evoke in those who see her Ten/Ten designs, particularly in a world that has witnessed so much pain and division this year.
“Unity,” she said.
This partner article was produced in cooperation with the De Beers Group.