Diamonds in India’s stepwells

The Samāvé collection and its ‘Zoya baoli’  

Climb down winding steps made of diamonds into a well of Indian craftsmanship — on your fingers! Who knew that our earthy stepwells could inspire a new twist in the world of diamond jewellery? Zoya, the diamond boutique from the House of Tata, has come up with a setting inspired by these architectural wonders found in the arid western states of India, which, they claim, is the first of its kind worldwide. The intricate and challenging ‘Zoya Baoli Setting’ is patent pending.

The Samāvé collection (created with the new setting) is underscored by its clean lines. “The visual vocabulary interprets the architectural elements of ancient stepwells [think Rani Ki Vav in Gujarat, and the Chand Baori in Rajasthan] into a unique design language, to deliver a versatile selection of rings and earrings, neck pieces and bracelets,” says Revathi Kant, Chief Design Officer at Titan. The signature setting is a demonstration of technical mastery, she adds. “The stones are cut with precision by Zoya’s master craftsmen to tease out their lustre. They are then placed at an unusual incline to match the geometry of the outer square, while balancing the inequities of natural stones. The angle and placement of the baguettes in an unending loop gives rise to a continuous stream of light, structurally designed to create a play of light and shadows.”

The Samāvé collection

The Samāvé collection  

Stony depths

In the unexpected ‘reverse’ architecture of the setting, a round, brilliant-cut diamond is placed in the centre, representing the aquatic heart of the stepwell. “The inaccessibility of areas inside this setting presents a challenge for precision in shaping, making traditional prongs impossible to use,” says Kant. “Samāvé’s setting is achieved through precise casting of diamonds directly into the gold. Diamonds are chosen based on their ability to survive the intense heat of the casting process, which takes place in a furnace.”

The collection uses a lot of white, evocative of the purity of water, and rose gold, to reflect the earthy colour of the steps. The stackable rings are crafted with interlinked baguettes in a linear structure, while the minimalistic hinged cuff features a patented collet and a shimmering centre.

Kant shares that the design inspiration came from their desire to “design a collection that narrated the story of a woman”. Historically, stepwells were important spaces for women; many were commissioned by queens, and they were gathering spots for chores, recreation, and to worship. “Stepwells became venues that served as catalysts for female bonding. With Samāvé, we wanted to create something memorable that reflected the continuing value of this sentiment,” she concludes.

The collection is priced ₹1 lakh upwards, on

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Printable version | Sep 23, 2021 10:21:41 AM |

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