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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Spectacular Green Tourmaline Jewelry Set

Necklace in 18ct yellow gold, set with marquise-cut green tourmalines (113.00 cts.) and diamonds, hand engraved enamel.

The word “spectacular” is something I hope to never use again in a headline. But sometimes the use of the word is justified. Under the big tent of the recently concluded Gem & Jewelry Exchange show in Tucson, I walked past this sparkling green stunner. I first thought the necklace, earrings and ring were made of emeralds. But I was wrong. This was green tourmaline cut with exacting precision and an artist’s eye enhanced by 18k gold, tiny round diamonds and intricately carved enamel. 


The necklace is flanked by marquis-cut green tourmaline ear clips (31.90 cts.) and ring (17.14 cts.) embellished with the same 18k gold and engraved enamel, completing the set.

The jewelry is the work of two brothers of two separate companies in two cities under the same family name: Henn. The marquise-shaped gems were cut and crafted by Henn GmbH of Idar-Oberstein, Germany—arguably the world’s greatest gem-cutting center; and the jewelry was created by Henn of London, in the city’s famed Hatton Garden jewelry district. 

The brothers, Axel and Ingo co-own the two companies but they operate as separate units. Axel, the master gem carver who was manning the booth at the GJX show, explained that about 90 percent of their business involves acquiring and cutting loose gemstones (Henn GmbH). The German business also is involved elaborate gem carvings and jewelry, such as the aquamarine owl below. The other 10 percent is the one-of-kind pieces created by Henn of London, where Ingo, the Master Goldsmith, does his work.

Aquamarine owl with gold bill and claws

It’s a family business and a collaboration that combines two distinct talents that produce pieces that are, for lack of a better word, spectacular.

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