Singapore Tatler Magazine

Aug 2018

Stroke of Brilliance

At Caratell, multi-hued stones are carefully selected by trained gemmologists to paint bejewelled masterpieces

A union of East-meets-West pervades the designs at Caratell. Here, oriental motifs and Asian sensibilities jostle with western inspirations, and the craftsmanship is on par with the quality vaunted by international jewellers. Each jewel at Caratell is proudly handcrafted in its own atelier in Singapore, and founders Michael Koh (above) and Achillea Teng are stringent on finishing and quality.

The designs are meant to evoke emotions with their colours, aesthetics and influences. Each jewel tells an original tale of an artistic inspiration, of a scene in nature or a legend of yore. The latest collection is conceptualised in the manner of impressionist paintings, echoing the stylistic mores of artists such as Van Gogh and Monet. The small, visible brushstrokes inherent to the Impressionist genre are reflected in the refinement of the metal that has been meticulously crafted to delineate the lines of the subject matter. Precious, coloured stones are carefully selected to reflect the effects of light.

The Lily pendants, inspired by Monet’s water lily artworks, are almost ethereal in their craftsmanship, the coloured sapphires and diamonds playing with the reflection of light. A highlight of this Impressionist collection is the Van Gogh Iris necklace, which features a 13.73-carat, Gübelin certified Afghan emerald—a stroke of mastery for the great master himself. Afghan emeralds are known for their rich, intense colours, and are exceedingly rare, due to the restrictions imposed in the war-torn country. In fact, a 10.11-carat Afghan emerald went under the hammer last year at Christie’s, selling for a record-breaking US$2.3m.

The fact that Caratell has managed to acquire such a stone is an accolade to the jeweller’s influence in the industry: the founders travel extensively to gem-bearing mines to cull and curate marvellous, high quality stones. They have an eye for colour, and find exclusive, rare and beautiful stones that are fused together to create a coherent masterpiece. Their training in lapidary allows them to explore innovative cuts and shapes. In light of its creativity and gem-setting skills, the brand was also recently awarded the Golden Crown Winner for Luxury Jewellery Brand of Singapore by Luxury Lifestyle Awards.

For now, however, we have an exciting few months to look forward to as the 12-year-old company is working on its latest projects: a line of timepieces out next year, and a collaboration with an international brand—details to be released shortly.

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