How did you decide to become a gemologist?
Before becoming a gemologist, I worked as an international lawyer for an American multinational in Geneva and in my native Holland. And while I loved my job, I missed being creative. One night, while taking out a pair of gemstone earrings I happened to be wearing and admiring the stones, I suddenly remembered how I gave a presentation as a child in primary school on minerals and how fascinated I was by that topic! Colour and coloured gemstones have always fascinated me. My love for colour stems from my love for Dutch flowers that always could be found in our home, the 17th century masters spotted during our many museum visits (in particular the Vermeer colours jumped out for me, his blues and yellows are simply out of this world) and the soft pastel colours of the Mediterranean, my second home. After some online research, I found that some of the best gemology schools specialised in coloured gemstones are in Bangkok, Thailand, the global trade hub for coloured gems. And so, I booked a flight, packed my things and left for the Orient to dive into the world of coloured gemstones.
How would you describe what you do as a gemologist? What is your mission?
The fact that I studied gemology – and was trained to use several tools and methods in order to judge gemstones appropriately – allows me to avoid a lot of the pitfalls that you might otherwise fall into: the world of coloured gemstones and diamonds is a very sparkly and attractive one but quite an opaque one to enter… Coloured gems even more so that diamonds. And without being armed with sufficient knowledge or having trained your eye in assessing gems, it’s very easy to fall for the very first stone you come across (and pay too much or end up with a synthetic one)!
As gemologist, you know which questions to ask a gem dealer, what’s normal in gemstone treatments and what is not (or when you need to go to someone even more specialised in a certain stone), how to judge colour, how to judge beauty and quality of a stone (and recommend the best stone for a certain person’s lifestyle), how to consider rarity and have an idea of value (though we are not appraisers; that’s another study yet again) and how it works with lab certificates. In short, we can take away a lot of the insecurity and headaches you might encounter! Especially when you realise that about 95% of all jewellery designers and gem dealers are in fact not gemologists… When it comes to higher priced items, it really pays off to get a gemologist involved.
My mission is to breathe life back into jewellery and style by hunting unique gems around the world and providing a new adventure to help people discover the coloured stone that celebrates their essence.
How do you go about sourcing your gemstones?
I personally source and hand-pick each of the stones in my collection from a trusted network of high-quality dealers that took me years to build. I source stones in the gem trading hubs of Bangkok and a tiny town called Idar-Oberstein in Germany: a centery-old gem-cutting town that is renowned all around the gem-dealer world for having produced (cut) some of the most beautiful coloured gems in history. Then I also have some direct contacts in mining areas, such as Sri Lanka, where I source some stones. All this concerns the high-end stones in my collection. Recently, I have also started to work with a lovely workshop in Jaipur, India in order to create some more affordable (and fun!) pieces and they source the stones themselves – always with a final quality check by me.
When I source stones, I look for (1) beautiful or unusual colours – may that be vibrant or pastel, depending on my customers’ wishes and contemporary fashion styles, thereby always trying to offer something new and different from the stones and colours most people are used to here in the West; (2) great cut – this is quite special and hard to get for coloured gemstones. Contrary to diamonds where it’s quite easy to find stones with a great cut, for coloured stones this is less easy. (3) natural, high-quality stones with the fewest treatments possible. (4) great brilliance and as clear as possible inside the stone – also not very easy as most coloured gemstones tend to come with inclusions and at times, (5) for something fun or original!
What are some of your most iconic pieces?
Our Ice Princess-ring featuring a lovely glamorous grey spinel with a set of rare, marquise-shaped ice blue spinels and small diamonds twisted around, is quite special! And our Kir Royal-ring containing a lilac spinel with hand-cut bubblegum pink spinels crisscrossing around the centre stone also seems more candy than a precious item. Then we also created a custom blue sapphire cocktail ring for a client with a stunning 5 carat+, untreated blue sapphire from Sri Lanka that took us more than 6 months to source… we added some small diamonds around it and created an organic, design with rounded curves that was lovely.
How do you want women to feel when they wear your pieces?
To feel like the French call, a joie-de-vivre and zest for life, or to help them reignite that feeling whenever they look at their colourful piece! To feel like measuring your days in happy moments, as that’s what it’s all about. So also no need to put your pieces in a safe or to keep them for special moments only: it is for optimistic, passionate and adventurous women who value freedom, boldness and individuality and who love to experience more daily fun and happiness.
How do you approach adding colour and texture to your creations?
We are all about an ode to the stone. The coloured gemstone. In all its hues, tones and nuances. And so we start with and mainly focus on the stone. That’s because gems dare to make a statement. They dare to show your true self. Much more than diamonds ever can in my opinion ;). Besides that, I feel most of these gorgeous stones don’t need that much distraction by complicated designs. To already discover and be able to wear a rare coloured gemstone that took a long journey to get to you – and knowing that you’re one of the few who actually wears one… – is an amazing idea. Recently though, I have been playing with some more playful ideas for another line I’m working on. Simply because I couldn’t find myself funky, contemporary pieces at a slightly lower price point but with natural stones in cool colours. And so there, I am experimenting and maybe adding more different textures and design elements than I would in the higher-end pieces. Will keep you posted!
What are your ambitions for Eva Gems & Jewels?
To be able to create a world where coloured gems and jewels become the new standard of ultimate luxury, unleashing the thrills of adventure and discovery AND thereby unleashing (and reversing!) generations of blind conviction in diamonds… In other words, to open up people’s colour palette and make an impact with coloured gems and jewels so they feel more alive, happy and free in their daily life!
Now, you have just been announced as one of the sponsors for the prestigious 8th annual National Film Awards UK. This is an amazing achievement for your company. How excited are you to partner with the National Film Awards UK?
Incredibly excited as I have always been addicted to films since I can remember. And to now be able to participate as sponsor to help get even more wonderful stories out into this world – something I believe we all crave and need – is a wonderful dream come true!
Where can readers reach you in case they want to purchase your Jewels?