Jewelry & Watches

Victoria Reynolds Talks About Tiffany & Co.’s Bird on a Pearl Capsule

In Dubai, Tiffany & Co. unveiled a charming reinterpretation of the bird that has become an icon in its world through a capsule collection of high jewelry creations entitled “Bird on a Pearl”.

In Dubai, Tiffany & Co. unveiled a charming reinterpretation of the bird that has become an icon in its world through a capsule collection of high jewelry creations entitled “Bird on a Pearl”. An exhibition took place, as guests were given a deep insight into the choice of gems through the expertise of Victoria Reynolds, chief gemologist and vice president of global merchandising for high jewelry at Tiffany & Co.

Azyaamode got the opportunity to run a conversation with Ms. Reynolds, through whom we got to discover this stunning high jewelry capsule from a different perspective. Join us below and find out what she had to say.       

What inspired you to choose pearls for this reinterpretation of Jean Schlumberger’s iconic bird?

Through this new reinterpretation of the Tiffany icon, there is alchemy between the bird and the pearls, which gives new meaning to the indelible Bird on a Rock. The new capsule collection offers an array of unique silhouettes and styles, from earrings, rings and brooches to necklaces and pendants. Due to the richness of their tones, the pearls of this majestic capsule collection were selected to evoke the four seasons through their colorful and luminescent palette. There are warm browns, cool pinks, golden yellows and polychromatic whites. Moreover, the designs re-envision iconic Jean Schlumberger naturalistic motifs: the ivy, the acorn, the wings and the oak leaf.  

For this collection, the House’s journey with Mr. Hussein Al Fardan continues for the second year. What brought Mr. Al Fardan together with Tiffany & Co. in terms of gem curation? And how do you usually source your pearls?

The Mr. Hussein Al Fardan family is recognized around the world as one of the largest and most important collectors of natural pearls – natural pearls composed of a nuanced and subtle color palette and unique in the abstraction of their features. Many jewelers and high jewelry houses have attempted to acquire Mr. Hussein Al Fardan’s exquisite natural pearls, but he has always declined. Yet, Mr. Hussein Al Fardan opened the doors of his private collection to Tiffany & Co. and allowed us to select each pearl for this capsule collection. Crafting an entire collection with natural saltwater pearls is rarely achieved, and working side by side with Mr. Hussein Al Fardan to select each pearl was one of the greatest honors and highlights of my career. It is an extraordinary opportunity for our clients to have access to such a prestigious collection of natural saltwater pearls, and for these pearls to be set in designs that pay homage to one of Tiffany’s most iconic creations.

When it comes to choosing gems, does the design of the piece usually inspire the choice of gemstones or vice versa?

It really depends, and for this collection, the pearls absolutely came first and inspired the designs we set them in. It is always a very close collaboration with our designers and artisans to determine how we are going to tell the narrative through the designs. We consider how the colored gemstones and diamonds will work with precious metals and materials. The most important—and most challenging—criteria is finding a gemstone that is truly exemplary, something that takes your breath away.

As a Chief Gemologist at Tiffany & Co., you must have worked on so many gems. What was the one that truly stole your heart?

The gemstone that is closest to my heart—our “true north” at Tiffany & Co.—is, of course, the illustrious Tiffany Diamond. It has guided every step of my 35-year career with Tiffany & Co., and it continues to inspire me every day.

During your journey at Tiffany & Co. that started in 1987, how did High Jewelry evolve and how do the new techniques serve you?

Technology has played an important role over the past years in allowing us to use CAD to build models of the jewelry we are creating in wax first, which permits great exploration of the volume and functionality of perfecting our designs.

Which is your favorite piece of the new Bird on a Pearl capsule collection?

One of the themes within the collection, Oak Leaf, takes inspiration from Schlumberger’s oak leaf designs, featuring naturalistic leaf details, and exceptional pearls, accented by white, cognac and pink diamonds. Within Oak Leaf are asymmetrical earrings, that suspend from the ear like a vine of oak and feature remarkable gray and white pearls. These earrings capture the notion that, like in nature, nothing is quite the same as the other.

Last but not least, what are your views on lab-grown diamonds compared to natural ones?

Natural diamonds form over the span of millions, even billions, of years, making them true wonders of nature. Tiffany diamonds are always natural, untreated and sustainably sourced, and we proudly accept only 0.04% of the world’s gem-grade diamonds. Diamond alternatives, such as lab-grown diamonds, cannot compete with the rarity of a natural diamond, especially one handcrafted by a Tiffany & Co. artisan.

Article Written by Mirella Haddad