If diamonds are girl's best friend then emeralds are an elephant's, thanks to the collaboration of The World Land Trust, the ethical emerald mining company Gemfields, and eight world-class jewelry designers who have created an exclusive ‘pop up’ collection of emerald jewelry. The joint venture's purpose is to build awareness around the protection of the World Land Trust’s ‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project and to raise money.
The Indo-Burma region is considered a biological “hotspot, with many endangered species that can be found there. However, the Indian elephant, with only 591 individuals recorded in the area, is the species under most threat. Habitat fragmentation and encroachment from settlements, mining and dams is causing the numbers of Indian elephants to fall. The World Land Trust has identified its vital corridors as a fast-action, bid to protect the elephants that are left, and it is now working hard to safeguard traditional migratory routes for elephants so that they can move safely between National Parks and other protected areas.
As part of the effort between The World Land Trust and Gemfields to generate awareness about the Indian pachyderm's plight, eight leading international designers were carefully selected to create unique jeweled objects, incorporating a Gemfields’ Zambian emerald as the centerpiece.
Each designer has created jeweled pieces inspired by the elephants, as well as the flora and fauna found in the elephant's diverse habitat. The selected jewelers are just as varied in their style and designs. Representing the United Kingdom, the designers include:
• Shaun Leane, recognized for pushing the boundaries of jewelry design.
• Theo Fennell known for its sleek and modern designs with a hint of classical tradition
• Dominic Jones, who has received critical acclaim for his beautifully crafted nature inspired pieces.
Other renowned names joining the British team include Sevan Bicakci from Turkey; Autore by Alessio Boschi, the innovative south sea pearl company from Australia; the renowned court jewelers to the Moghul emperors, Gem Palace from India; high-end titanium expert, Francis Mertens for IDH Titanium from Belgium; and J.W. Currens who has an award winning workshop in the US.
In addition to the other bejeweled creations, bespoke jeweler Sabine Roemer has designed a beautiful life-sized Emerald Elephant which is set to be the most valuable design in this summer’s highly anticipated Elephant Parade. Named 'Emerald Queen', Roemer designed and decorated the fibreglass elephant with emerald dust, and a 678 carat oval emerald is the outstanding centerpiece of the elephant's jeweled headpiece.
Emerald Queen is part of the elephant family's Elephant Parade, where 260 elephants will take to the streets of London from May to July 2010. Billed as the capital's largest public art exhibition, the Elephant Parade embraces the best about London. Sotheby's will auction each of the elephants to raise crucial funds for the endangered Asian elephant. Proceeds raised by the Emerald Queen will go to the elephant family and World Land Trust.
The collection and the Emerald Queen are currently showcased in London in Selfridge’s Wonder Room for the months of May and June. On June 22nd, Sotheby’s will auction the collection at an exclusive event held at Selfridges, with a percentage of profits from each jewel going towards the World Land Trust’s, ‘Indian Elephant Corridor’ project.
Emeralds for Elephants
Preserving Habitats and Saving Populations