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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Royal Asscher Walks on the Wild Side with its ‘Shining Stars’ Collection

18k rose gold ring with plating on sterling silver, floating-diamonds and black enamel. $1,950.  Photo credit: Royal Asscher

Toronto-based jewelry designer Reena Ahluwalia has been keeping busy updating the designs of Royal Asscher’s “Stars of Africa” jewelry collection. This new, affordable line, called “Shining Stars,” is made with new materials and designed to be a touch “wilder,” than the original collection, while still maintaining the iconic free-floating diamonds centerpiece. In addition, proceeds from sale will continue to support African charities.

Ahluwalia says the new line is inspired by the day and night of the African savannah and its animal magnetism.

Pendant in rhodium-plated sterling silver, floating-diamonds and black enamel. $2,950. Photo credit: Royal Asscher

“African savannah, abstract leopard and cheetah prints became my inspiration source for “Shining Stars” collection,” Ahluwalia says. “We are seeing this exotic trend hugely influencing runways and street fashion. The new collection is versatile because patterns are so compatible and classic.”
(More photographs after jump)

The collection of rings and pendants is comprised of two new materials: Rhodium-plated sterling silver combined with 18k rose, yellow gold; and white and black ceramic with 18k rose, yellow and white gold.

Ceramic and 18k rose gold with floating-diamonds. $ 2,490.  Photo credit: Royal Asscher
The styles continue to feature the free-floating diamonds encased in fluid-filled sapphire domes—in the same manner that paper confetti floats inside a snow globe, giving the diamonds the effect of shimmering stars. The new materials allow the retail prices to start at $1,950. The collection will make its debut during the first week of June at the Luxury at JCK and JCK Las Vegas jewelry tradeshows.

Sales from the new line, as with all Stars of Africa jewelry, will benefit Africa-focused fundraising initiatives through the Diamond Empowerment Fund (D.E.F.), the non-profit organization founded by entrepreneur Russell Simmons to raise money to support disadvantaged people in African nations where diamonds are a natural resource. Lita Asscher, president of Royal Asscher of America, is a D.E.F. advisory board member.

Ceramic and 18k yellow gold with floating-diamonds. $2,490.  Photo credit: Royal Asscher

“The Shining Stars designs stand as a symbol of vibrant beauty of the African continent and its people. Pieces are bold, playful, and whimsical,” Asscher said. “I think we were able to achieve a modern, minimal and clean look with our new floating-diamonds collection.”

18k rose gold plating on sterling silver pendant, floating-diamonds and black enamel. $2,950. Photo Credit: Royal Asscher