In line with World Ocean Day (Tuesday 8 June), Āzlee has launched a collection of jewellery featuring diamonds responsibly sourced from the ocean
‘Ocean diamonds have the most romantic origins,’ Baylee Zwart, founder and designer of Āzlee, tells us. ‘They are formed by the earth, beginning their journey billions of years ago where they flowed naturally from the mountains through rivers, eventually settling on the seabed.’ The strongest ocean diamonds which have survived the journey are then discovered by local diamond divers, who find them in caverns and buried in the sea bed off the coasts of Namibia and South Africa. Cut locally to ensure they don’t mix with mined diamonds, the supply chain is both short and transparent.
Los Angeles-based jewellery designer Zwart is enamored with the results, making them the focus of her new five piece collection which includes hoop earrings, a coin charm necklace and three rings. With a background working in the non-profit world, sustainability is as key to her as design. ‘It was refreshing for me to hear about a diamond source that is so traceable, direct and transparent - each diamond comes with a certificate of origin. These diamonds also don’t require any mining, which is astounding as mining can be so detrimental to the environment. The way they are cultivated is so low impact. Not to mention that the diamonds are absolutely stunning and are top grades in colour and clarity.’
In the jewellery, the diamonds ride the crest of a recycled gold wave, poised in the middle of curving swells which loop around fingers and earlobes. The fluidity of the designs captures the movement of the ocean, the brushed satin finish reflecting its textured spray. ‘I wanted the diamonds to be submerged into the pieces, encapsulated by the waves,’ Zwart adds.
The capsule collection has launched exclusively at Matches Fashion. ‘Baylee has a real eye for creating modern heirlooms which are understated yet interesting in design,’ says buyer Tanika Wisdom. ‘Our customer is interested in the artistry and craftmanship that goes into creating the pieces they are investing in and also loves the journey of discovery so I think they will really enjoy learning and understanding the fascinating story behind the Ocean Diamonds collection.’ §