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13th annual Singapore Jewelfest (Oct 9-18) brings on the bling

To celebrate SG50, six jewellers create collections, inspired by historical paintings, for Singapore Jewelfest

The 13th annual Singapore Jewelfest, which begins today at Ngee Ann City, will be the biggest edition of the festival yet and will feature 75 jewellers from around the world.

Prices start from $1,000 to $5,000 in the lower range and rise to $500,000. One of the most expensive collections, Euphloria, is a $5-million Colombian emerald and diamond suite.

In a collaboration with the National Museum of Singapore to celebrate Singapore's Golden Jubilee, the Jewelfest and six jewellers have created unique collections in homage to Singapore's heritage.

Caratell, Jaipore by Ritu Aurora, Kavant & Sharart, Simone Jewels, Vihari and Lee Hwa Jewellery were each inspired by a different painting from the William Farquhar Collection of Natural History Drawings to create their SG50 collections.

The watercolour paintings, a record of Singapore's rich biodiversity dating back to 1819, depict plants and animals that can be found in Malacca and Singapore.

  • VIEW IT / SINGAPORE JEWEL FEST 2015

  • WHERE: Jewel Pavilion, Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza

    WHEN: Today to Oct 18, noon to 8pm

    ADMISSION: Free

    INFO: www.singaporejewelfest.com

Singapore brand Jaipore by Ritu Aurora was inspired by a painting of the Oleander flower to create a collection of floral pieces which reflect the delicate yet timeless beauty of the blossom. Its collection, which includes an 18K gem- encrusted brooch, features diamonds, yellow diamonds and pink sapphires.

Thai label Kavant & Sharart took inspiration from a painting of the Rhinoceros Hornbill. Singaporean designer Shar-Linn Liew, who co-owns the label with her husband, Mr Nuttapon Yongkiettakul, says: "The collection is based on the facial features of the hornbill and the tropical vibes of the painting."

She adds they chose a more abstract approach to their collection, hoping that the three-dimensional form would stir the imagination and breathe life into the pieces. Gems such as coral, orange and blue sapphires and diamonds were incorporated into the designs.

The festival will also be holding two special SG50 showcases featuring pieces curated to two different themes. The Golden Jubilee showcase will feature precious metal and gems in different shades of gold, while a Crimson And White showcase will feature a selection which will include oxblood coral, rubies, spinals and Mexican fire opals.

Of the 75 brands taking part in the festival, more than half are from the region. There are more Asian brands taking part this year - 44 compared to 39 last year.

"We are proud of the achievements of designers from Asia," said festival director Angela Loh. "As festival organisers, we are excited that we have played a supporting role in ensuring that our Asian designers' masterpieces are showcased."

Many are up-and-coming Asian labels, such as Thailand's Sirus Tanya and Dawn Jewellery from Hong Kong. Previous Asian designers who took part when they were starting out include Dickson Yewn (2005-2006) and Kavant & Sharart (a participant since 2013). Both have gone on to garner regional and international recognition.

For the first time, the festival will be bringing in respected gemological academy Gubelin.

The Swiss experts will be offering on-site consultations for a preliminary opinion of gemstones. These limited sessions will take about half an hour each and will be conducted between Tuesday and Oct 17, from 12.30 to 6pm.

Visitors who want a consultation should e-mail register@singapore jewelfest.com with their full name, contact number and the type of gem they want assessed. Due to limited time, only the first 50 members of the public will be contacted by Monday to confirm their appointments.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 09, 2015, with the headline 'Jewels from nature'. Print Edition | Subscribe