When diamonds meet art
Exclusive jewellery designs based on works of art. A unique collaboration...
Gassan Diamonds is a world-renowned family-run diamond and jewellery company which was founded in Amsterdam in 1945. Their head office is located in the city centre, where diamonds are still being cut (they have their own signature cut, the Gassan 121, a diamond with 121 instead of the traditional 57 facets), but they also have a boutique in the Museum Quarter (P.C Hooftstraat 84). Recently Gassan has collaborated with both the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum to create exclusive jewellery designs based on the works of art in the museums. Debora Leeser, Chief Creative Officer at Gassan and great-granddaughter of the founder of Gassan, tells us more about this unique collaboration.
How did the collaborations with the museums come about?
‘A few years ago, we were approached by the Van Gogh Museum to develop a special collection for their new gift shop. As a starting point for the designs we used three flowers Vincent van Gogh famously used in his works; the sunflower, the iris and the almond blossom. We developed a number of fine jewellery options, like necklaces, rings and bracelets which feature these flower motives. Since then, the collection has been a huge success.’
What are the bestsellers?
‘Bracelets and necklaces with the sunflower, for example the one with a smoky quartz stone in the centre surrounded by diamonds. Rings are also popular but with rings there is always the problem of size, because most of the customers are tourists who don’t have the time to have it adjusted.’
And now Gassan has also designed a collection for the Rijksmuseum
‘They saw what we had achieved at the Van Gogh Museum and also wanted to add some high-end products to their gift shop. It was a little bit more complicated to come up with a design specifically for them because the most famous work in the Rijksmuseum is, of course, The Nightwatch, and it’s difficult to design jewellery inspired by that painting! In the end we decided on the tulip, the typically Dutch flower, which features on a lot of still-life paintings from the 17th Century, like the one by Jacob Marrel. The tulip was a luxury product in 17th century Holland and we wanted to translate that feeling of luxury to the items of jewellery. We have used diamonds in combination with blue and pink sapphires and other coloured stones like quartz, to create a beautiful collection also featuring other elements from nature that we see in still-life paintings, like the snail shell, butterflies and dragonflies.’
What’s next for the collections?
‘First of all, at the Van Gogh Museum we are expanding the fine jewellery collection. And I also have my own collection at Gassan, Choices by DL, a fun and accessible collection of jewellery in which you can mix and match the stones. We have developed a Choices by DL collection especially for the Van Gogh Museum based around the sunflower, the iris and the almond blossom, but this time with the possibility to customize it to your own taste and adjust it to what you are wearing or the event you are going to.’
And what are the plans for the Rijksmuseum?
‘We are looking to develop a more commercial version of the tulip design and make it a little more accessible price-wise. And we are fine-tuning the way the pieces are presented in the gift shop. We want to create a truly high-end environment for customers to fully appreciate their beauty.’
Finally, what are the trends in diamonds and jewellery for the new year?
‘In jewellery we see a big trend for coloured stones, including coloured diamonds. And rose gold and yellow gold are very popular at the moment. Another trend we are noticing specifically in the diamond market is that people are really starting to appreciate the importance of high quality of both colour and clarity of their diamonds, rather than just the size. A diamond is for life, so quality is of utmost importance
To find out more about Gassan Diamonds please visit www.gassan.com