As a jeweller, Robert Ambord has been appraising and researching gemstones for a long time. That journey has culminated in his present role as artistic director and managing director of Gubelin Ateliers. For someone whose passion in gemstones knows no bounds, Ambord’s current office is the ideal environment to thrive, given that Gubelin is the world’s foremost appraiser of coloured gemstones.
With roots dating back to 1854, this Swiss jewellery atelier experienced its inflection point in 1923 when Dr Eduard Gubelin published what he called ‘photoatlases’ of gemstones; tens of thousands of gemstone images taken at high magnification. This tome helped the gemmological world realise that each gemstone could be discerned in the tiny little inclusions found within, a fingerprint pointing to their geographical origin. All of a sudden, the desirable Burmese rubies, Kashmir sapphires and Colombian emeralds could easily be set apart from other pretenders to the throne.
In the same way, giant auction houses and international jewellery houses now lean on Gubelin’s gem lab to provide an assessment and certification on coloured stones, the same way the GIA does for diamonds. The difference, however, is that diamonds are usually graded to loupe magnification – approximately 10 times in magnification – whereas Gubelin’s method of observation takes them deeper, to a magnification level of 100 times.
From this vast repository of gemstone images by Dr Eduard, it was easy to find what Ambord calls ‘deep inspiration’ necessary to create a meaningful jewellery collection. This year’s Glowing Jellyfish range is precisely that – based off the inclusions residing within a precious sapphire that appeared in Dr Eduard’s seminal ‘Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones’.
Led by the sapphire’s blue hues and of the jellyfish-like inclusion, Gubelin explores undersea themes using their best collection of stones. “Even with our extensive and long-standing connections with stone dealers, it may take up to six months for us to source for the right stone," Ambord states of this year’s collection process, adding, “this is why we are never mass, and that’s what makes us unique."
Headlining this exclusive Glowing Jellyfish collection is the Glowing Jellyfish Pioneer line, where an untreated oval Kashmir sapphire of 3.78 carats becomes the highlight. The platinum ring is embellished by a quartet of pear-shaped sapphires totalling 0.3 carats, as well as eight pear-shaped diamonds totalling 3.81 carats and further augmented by 82 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 0.51 carats,
“In designing this, it was important for our in-house craftsmen to bridge our original inspiration with the ring." For Ambord, that representation is the solitary grandeur of a lone jellyfish on high seas, which exists as an inclusion within the light-coloured Kashmir sapphire. “The creativity which we find in such beauty allows us to delve into a new and fantastic world, and to invite our clients to do the same."