|An unfurling fern frond of the native New Zealand silver fern was the inspiration behind the Patai ring. Photo credit: Shutterstock|
By Chris Benham, co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd.
A few years ago we were at a jewelry show where we showcased a collection called Gold Kina. It is a quintessentially New Zealand inspired collection that was deliberately created to be extreme, to provoke and challenge. At that show we met a lady who was absolutely taken with a design in the Gold Kina Collection called Patai. However, she wanted it as an engagement ring not an occasional dress ring, which is what it was designed to be.
|The Original Patai design: Sculptured platinum with the hard edged koru form that sweeps and suspends a 1.036-carat pear shaped diamond.|
The name Patai is a Maori word translated to mean “to ask, question, enquire, cross-examine, provoke and challenge.” She had laid down a challenge for us. We needed to evolve this design into an everyday wearable diamond engagement ring without losing the essence of the original version.
|The design of the Patai engagement and right hand rings evolved into a more delicate curve. In this case, the ring supports a 1-carat pear-shaped diamond|
It is amazing how designs can evolve over time and often through customer feedback. Jewelers are fortunate in that we can rapidly adapt designs based on those ideas and feedback. Unlike say car manufacturers where, according to most sources, creating a new model is a billion-dollar-plus exercise and it’s only practical to take on that feedback and implement it every three years.
|The Patai ring with a 1.58-carat natural pink sapphire highlighted with 25 round brilliant diamonds along the band|
From that first request we evolved the Patai design and it has turned into a best seller. The ring Patai is inspired by the Koru—itself symbolic of new life and new beginnings. A beautiful inspiration when people are getting engaged and starting a new life together. Sculpted from platinum, Patai clasps a pear shaped diamond so gently in the unfurled frond of the koru that the diamond appears as if it is floating.
Since then the design has evolved a number of times to include sapphires, more diamonds and even a round brilliant diamond. Here is a video showing the making of the ring:
Jewelry News Network guest columnist, Chris Benham, is co-founder and director of Inspired Jewellery Ltd., Wellington, New Zealand, a global creative studio for specialist jewelry design.
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