This month we chat with our member based in the historic Queen Victoria Building in Sydney about inspiration, his passion for diamonds and why he chooses to specialise in Australian fancy coloured diamonds – meet Michael Neuman of Mondial Pink Diamond Atelier…
What is it about diamonds that inspires you?
Michael: “Growing up in a jewellery family, diamonds and gemstones were always kind of familiar but it was only after finishing high school, when I went to study gemmology at the GIA in Santa Monica, that I really became interested in diamonds. The more you learn and the more experience you have with them, the more you appreciate how truly remarkable and special diamonds are.
I’m inspired by the fact that diamonds are probably the oldest thing you will physically have contact with. They can be between 1.5 – 3 billion years old! Something that’s spent that length of time in the world being created by the forces of nature, certainly has something unique and deeply interesting going on.
Specialising in coloured diamonds, I’m also constantly mesmerised by the range and variation in the naturally occurring hues. These wonderful and utterly unique gemstones provide the opportunity to create such diverse jewellery pieces that inspire both creativity in us and joy and pride in our clients.”
What is the most memorable piece of diamond jewellery you have ever created and why?
Michael: “This is a really tough question because there have been many memorable ones although two standout pieces, that represent completely different ends of the spectrum,come to mind.
The first one would be the full circle, vivid yellow diamond band which I gave to my wife as an engagement ring. This may seem a simple task but try finding 18-20 matching, natural vivid yellow brilliant cut diamonds, matchingin size! It took about 6 months – and that was well before lockdown, when I had the whole world available!”
The second was created for Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee, a piece we called ‘The Diamond Jubilee Blossom Brooch’. This platinum brooch was designed as a gum blossom and featured a truly amazing pink Argyle Tender stone, 0.89ct 1PP radiant cutdiamond we called “Charisse”as the main blossom, more than 80small pinks bezel set in the stamens, and blue diamonds set in tiny little ants in the reverse.”
“Both pieces amazing and memorable but in totally different ways. “
What is it about your diamond jewellery that makes it unique?
Michael: “Each piece we make at Mondial is created individually but more importantly, our focus is firmly on the client and what they want. This is partly what makes us different. We don’t have a house or brand style.
We believe that our job is to work with our client to create something which is a real reflection of their personal taste and preferences and consequently tells their story. Because we involve them in the creative processeach piece is unique, even if the design is a variation of something we’ve done before, it has the owners indelible stamp on it. “
What are the current trends you are seeing in diamond set jewellery?
Michael: “We have seen an ongoing trend away from square princess cuts and towards the more individual shapes, especially oval and, to a lesser degree, pear shape. Clients are definitely increasingly interested in the provenance of their diamonds.We are also seeing a greater desire foryellow and rose gold as opposed to the complete dominance of white metals over the past 15 years. Halo style settings and three stone rings are also enjoying ongoing popularity.”
What is you top tip for a diamond purchaser when they start their search for a diamond?
Michael: “The one tip I would give is to find a jeweller you feel has plenty of experience, is genuine and that you feel confident in. If you do that, all else will follow. “