A pair of platinum diamond and purple amethyst ear drops.
Text and Photo © JE Nilsson and CM Cordeiro 2012

Jewellery has always had special significance in meaning as gifts in the Asian and Southeast-Asian cultures. From the early 1900s leading up to the First World War and subsequently the Depression years and then the period after the Second World War were difficult times in which food was strictly rationed and for those who could afford, jewellery was used to trade for other basic necessities. Even after the 1960s, the average family even in Singapore, where you could consider one of the more affluent countries in Southeast-Asia post World War II was certainly not cash rich. And it is during these years that I’ve heard the most number of family told stories of how gold jewellery and precious jade were pawned to keep food on the table for the family.


A pair of diamond and topaz ear pendants. The pendant bottom of this pair of earrings is removable, rendering instead a simple pair of diamond ear studs in the form of a marquise diamond cluster. The topaz were set with two brilliant cut diamonds each.

Given the context of economy of the region and its history, I grew up with the point of view that any form of jewellery, no matter its weight or size, was precious when received as a gift. When growing up, I considered myself fortunate than most other little girls that my parents often gave me jewellery in the form of simple gold ear studs, a faceted gold ring that glittered and danced when I moved my finger against the light and teddy bear pendants to keep me company at school when my parents were at work. I remember receiving as gifts too, handworked silver bracelets and necklaces from my father, who brought them home whilst travelling to Thailand. Hooped earrings, cast gold bracelets and rings of various designs in yellow gold were given to me by my mother, both as adornment for festive seasons and as safekeep for the future. Amongst these numerous gifts was a channel set princess cut diamond in white gold eternity ring for my 21st birthday. Till this day, I am touched not by the gift per se, but by the sacrifices they made along the way to let me keep this ring on my finger today.

It was through these thoughtful gestures from my parents through the years that a love affair was thus born between me and jewellery.

The economic situation in Asia and Southeast-Asia in general has improved in the past decades since the early 1970s and today, a woman can express herself as much with jewellery as with the clothes, shoes and bags that she carries, language excluded.

In the line of jewellery as creative self-expression, I have in the past decade had the privilege of working on several jewellery design projects from Concept to Product. I have had some very enjoyable times in the design processes of these jewellery pieces where my favourite was to focus on setting large colourful jewels into white, yellow or rose gold.

Seeing that it is the weekend to an upcoming St. Valentine’s Day that is 14 February this Tuesday, here are some eye candy pieces to share with you in this post that brightens your weekend.


A pair of amethyst and diamond ear pendants

Jewellery design as with clothes, are made to reflect the Seasons of the Year.

The Nordic daylight is notably different from season to season. During the longer, brighter days of summer, the azures and the tints of gold in the daylight brings on the preference for lighter coloured stones that reflect even the general mood of the Season – light, breezy, of sailing yachts and summer breezes.

This pair of deep purple amethyst ear drops set with ca. 1.2 cts brilliant cut diamonds and pearls reflects the darker tones of winter nights. Its warmer tones complements perfectly, more festive events such as dining at the traditional Swedish Julbord or as a complementary accompaniment to party over New Year’s.

A citrine and diamond ring


A checkerboard cut golden citrine that weighed ca. 12 ct set with ca. 1 ct of surrounding brilliant cut diamonds in white gold.

A diamond and ametrine ring

A 44.5 cts Ametrine stone with hues of deep honey yellow and purple, set into a white gold ring with diamonds.

A white gold and diamond amethyst ring

A white gold ring with ca. 1.15 cts brilliant cut diamonds down either side of its shank, featuring a checkerboard cut amethyst weighing ca. 10.80 ct.Checkerboard cuts are beautiful in the way they catch the light in coloured stones even in dimly lit rooms.

A white gold, citrine and diamond ring

A white gold ring with ca. 0.50 ct brilliant cut diamonds surrounding a ca. 8 ct smokey topaz.

A pair of diamond and amethyst ear pendants set in white gold

White gold with two larger pear shaped amethysts weighing ca. 12.65 ct in total and two smaller pear shaped amethysts at the top weighing ca. 4.37 ct in total. These were surrounded by brilliant cut diamonds weighing ca. 1.10 ct in total. Length is 4 cm and its weight was about 14.7 g

A pair of diamond and blue topaz ear studs in white gold


A pair of diamond ear studs with a pair of saturated blue topaz ca. 9.40 ct. These were surrounded by 40 pieces of brilliant cut diamonds in claw setting.

A pair of diamond and amethyst ear pendants


A pair of tear shaped red-purple amethyst stones, suspended in a tear shaped ring of claw set brilliant cut diamonds.

A diamond and amethyst ring


A white gold ring featuring a checkerboard cut amethyst that weighed ca. 3.60 ct, surrounded by channel set brilliant cut diamonds that weighed ca. 1 ct in total.