9c yellow gold; watermelon Spinel, round cut, 0.20 carat
Shortly after I received the brief for the exhibition, I was travelling in the USA visiting national parks and museums. I was intrigued by the similarities between leaves and butterfly wings. Both are delicate where the veins/cells are complex but seem to be systematically created in a natural way. I drew my inspirations from that to design a piece by combining both objects’ shapes, patterns and delicacy. This piece emphasizes on the details of the patterns and invites the viewer to look closer into its world. The ocellus (butterfly eyespot) at the centre of the design is watermelon pink spinel, custom cut by Victorian gemcutter Paul Fenselau. The colour of this spinel is gentle yet mesmerizingly attractive. In ancient times, spinel was known as Balas rubies and were treasured by kings and royalties. It is often confused with ruby and sapphire and can be said as one of the most underappreciated gemstones. It is singly refractive and often very transparent, making red spinel a good rival to ruby. The distinguishing of spinel from ruby also marked the birth to the science of gemmology.