Inspired by the rich history of the Russian jewellery and artefacts that will be under the spotlight in the upcoming Hermitage Amsterdam exhibition “Jewels! The Glitter of the Russian Court,” Bibi van der Velden unveils a beautiful, one-off piece.

The Memento Mori ring is symbolic of the perpetual cycle of life and death, with Bibi infusing this piece with the regal flamboyance that characterised the Russian court and its jewels. The ring is designed as a parrot tulip in 18k yellow gold and sterling silver, whose petals glisten with Gemfields’ responsibly sourced Mozambican rubies and Zambian emeralds, alongside pavé tsavorites, dark pink sapphires, and white diamonds. The ring is fashioned with oxidised sterling silver leaves that bloom across the hand, accented with 18k yellow gold, while its shank is crafted as a tulip stem in 18k yellow gold, which winds around two fingers. At the “cut” end of the stem is a moonstone, to resemble a dew drop. The leaves are set with all manner of insects – a rock crystal maggot, a gold spider, gold ants, seed pearl eggs, and a gold slug and caterpillar, the latter both embellished with gemstones. And also alluding to the cycle of life is an 18k gold human figure that emerges from an embellished mammoth tusk egg at the centre of the flower. This 60,000-year-old mammoth tusk is found under Russia’s Siberian permafrost, another connection to the country.

About The Author