Artemis Rings may be a new entrant in Singapore’s bespoke jewellery space, but founder Sandra Chew brings with her over 20 years of experience as a jeweller—and it shows. Tatler Singapore and Artemis Rings jointly present this exclusive look into her journey so far, and her new creations: the Regalia High Jewellery Collection
What does it take to walk away from a thriving business, in order to start another one from scratch all over again? Sandra Chew found herself answering this question four years ago when she stood at the crossroads with her then-business partner. The two had enjoyed a successful 16-year run as co-founders of local jeweller Fairy’s Inc, after all, and business would have continued had they chosen the status quo.
“As you know, priorities in life start to change as we grow older, and [my business partner and I] gradually began to have different views as to what we wanted to do in the future,” Chew shares. “We thought it was best to finally part ways and embark on our own individual journeys and adventures.
Clearly, it took more than just courage. Chew’s conviction and belief in her vision were, arguably, the more important reasons behind her decision. “Fairy's Inc had a concept rooted in the wedding industry. I wanted to venture further, and not just internationally, but beyond bridal jewellery into areas such as investment-grade gems,” says Chew. “Starting afresh with Artemis Rings let me position the brand in a way that opened up opportunities to venture into these categories. As I come from a family of jewellers, pushing the boundaries with Artemis Rings is also a way for me to honour the legacy that's been passed down to me.”
Given Chew’s expertise in this industry, Artemis Rings has unsurprisingly grown from strength to strength in the four-odd years since its founding. From the get-go, the brand quickly established itself as a trusted expert in the custom jewellery segment. Along the way, an international clientele also developed thanks to word-of-mouth recommendations and social media.
It’s no mean feat to put Singaporean designs on the world map, and Chew notes that her work with overseas clients has been made possible thanks to modern digital communication methods such as video conferencing, which has made it much easier to communicate and meet up with clients based overseas. “Overseas clients aren’t able to view the pieces in person, so I need to develop an even stronger relationship with them in order to earn their trust to procure the right diamonds for them, while also designing and crafting pieces that, hopefully, surpass their expectations when they finally view the works in person.” Judging by the glowing reviews from its overseas clients—which are steadily growing in number—distance has not been a barrier at all for Artemis Rings’ business.
The latest chapter in Artemis Rings’ story is centred on high jewellery—featuring some of the world’s most precious diamonds, no less. The brand has just unveiled the Regalia High Jewellery Collection together with HSL Property Investments, an Australia-based company that’s perhaps better known for its activities in the premium commercial property space.
HSL Property Investments actually has a separate arm focusing on investing in rare coloured diamonds. One of its recent activities involved acquiring a set of three diamonds from Australia’s now-defunct Argyle mine that was, until its closure in 2020, the world’s only significant source of pink and red diamonds. Following this, the company embarked on a global search for a suitable jeweller to work with these three diamonds. Artemis Rings was shortlisted and eventually chosen as HSL Property Investments’ partner, thanks to factors including its reputation, expertise as well as Chew’s design vision and aesthetic. The rest, as they say, is history, but what's important to note was the extent of Artemis Rings' input here—apart from conceptualising, designing and crafting these pieces, Chew's work also extended to designing the cut of the three diamonds, which demands an even more rarefied level of know-how in this field.
The Regalia High Jewellery Collection comprises just three pieces, with each featuring one of the show-stopping diamonds acquired by HSL Property Investments.
The highlight among the three is the transformable Argyle Alora, which can be worn either as a necklace, or detached and worn as a ring. The centrepiece in this creation uses kite-shape fancy cut diamonds to frame a 1.03-carat GIA Fancy Vivid Pink diamond with a princess cut. The necklace that the Argyle Alora can be worn on, on the other hand, is created using white diamonds of the highest quality, each in a perfectly executed brilliant-cut that exhibits the coveted hearts and arrows pattern. The sale of this high jewellery piece is expected to fetch several million dollars.
Like its sister, the Argyle Bellatrix is also transformable between a ring and a necklace. In this piece, details only reveal themselves upon closer examination. Note, for instance, how a layer of rose-cut diamonds have been set underneath the upper tier of pear-cut diamonds in the pendant/ring. By "stacking" the diamonds in such a way, Chew could create a voluminous three-dimensional sculpture that wouldn’t otherwise be achieved using traditional designs. This could only be possible by using diamonds of the highest clarity to not compromise on light transmission, of course, and is the first of its kind in terms of such a design.
In much the same way, the pear-cut diamonds forming the necklace are sized differently—and precisely—in order to create a tessellation that follows the curvature of the neckline. Size and position aside, the diamonds used must also meet the same exacting standards for colour and clarity to achieve a seamless whole. This demanding process is also seen in the Argyle Alora, and speaks to the expertise that only an experienced jeweller with a practiced eye has. The results speak for themselves here, and perfectly frame the Argyle Bellatrix’s eponymous 0.95-carat GIA Fancy Vivid Purplish Pink diamond. The Argyle Bellatrix's estimated price is also well in the seven-figure range.
Rounding out the trio is the Blue Astral Ring. Rendered in platinum and set with top quality colourless diamonds, the ring offers a white canvas upon which the Blue Astral diamond is set. And what a contrast it is, given how this 0.39-carat GIA diamond is Fancy Vivid Blue, which only 1 per cent of all blue diamonds—already a rarity among diamonds—are graded. Despite its relatively diminutive size, the Blue Astral diamond’s colour more than explains its value; the Blue Astral Ring is estimated to be priced in the six-figure range.
Artemis Rings has launched the Regalia High Jewellery Collection with Tatler through a unique digital experience that can be accessed here. Visitors can look forward to a closer look at these beautiful high jewellery pieces, and learning more about their origins through a virtual tour of the Argyle mine's history, as well as a 3D look at the diamond roughs themselves.
With her first high jewellery collection completed at Artemis Rings, there’s much to look forward to from Chew in the months ahead. She shares her insights into the brand and its activities in this exclusive interview.
Looking back now, what do you think were some of the most important lessons you learned from Fairy’s Inc that helped to make Artemis Rings a success?
Sandra Chew (SC): There was no playbook or reference for us on how such a business was supposed to be run, because we were among the pioneers in the segment of customised jewellery. We had to learn many things ourselves along the way, like how we could—and should—maintain our creative vision as designers even as we embraced our clients' ideas and desires. The takeaway here was that the process should really be collaborative, and that we should boldly propose ideas that we think can suit a client's concept, in order to make the final creation as beautiful as it can be. This was one main lesson that I took away, and it has helped to ensure Artemis Rings’ success.
What were your priorities when developing the Regalia High Jewellery Collection?
SC: My main priority was to create one-off designs for these ultra-rare diamonds that aren’t just wearable now, but also worthy of being feature pieces for investments in the years to come.
What were the inspirations behind the Regalia High Jewellery Collection’s designs?
SC: The three high jewellery pieces were created based on their respective shapes. For the Alora Argyle pink diamond, for example, the design just appeared to me naturally as a “starlight” tessellation.
Have you previously worked with diamonds from the Argyle mine before?
SC: No, this is the first time Artemis Rings is working with diamonds from the Argyle mine. Due to the rarity of the Argyle pink diamonds as a whole, it is impossible to procure them without the collaboration of HSL Property Investments.
Do you see the potential for further collaborations with HSL Property Investments, or to create other high jewellery collections by yourself?
SC: Yes, future collaborations are definitely possible. It all depends on the opportunity to procure these ultra-rare diamonds.
Would you advise a couple to use investment-grade diamonds in their bespoke engagement ring and/or wedding jewellery?
SC: Not at all, because investment-grade diamonds are traded solely based on their monetary value, while an engagement ring should focus instead on the sentimental value it represents for the couple involved.