Suite of Black and Near-Colorless Diamond Jewelry by Michelle Ong for Carnet, Hong Kong, 2000
A graduating, semi-rigid band of interlacing, pavé-set, near-colorless diamond C-scrolls accented with rose-cut black diamonds; with an extender; ear clips and ring en suite; mounted in platinum silver
• Five thousand forty-four diamonds, total weighing 71.70 carats
• Length: 131⁄2 inches
• Six black diamonds, total weighing 6.36 carats
• Four hundred fourteen near- colorless diamonds, total weighing 3.17 carats
• One black diamond, weighing 16.88 carats
• Two black diamonds, total weighing 1.33 carats
• One hundred sixteen near-colorless diamonds, total weighing 5.08 carats
The Nature of Diamonds, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, October 25, 2008–March 22, 2009; Houston Museum of Natural Science, Houston, May 9–September 7, 2009; The Field Museum, Chicago, October 17, 2009–March 28, 2010.
Exquisite Jewels: The Art of Carnet by Michelle Ong, The Burrell Collection, Pollock Country Park, Glasgow, Scotland, October 27– December 10, 2006, nos. 59, 60, 61.
of fine diamonds under the name of Dorera, but the firm soon developed a reputation for custom designed jewelry. In 1999, when they changed the name to Carnet, a unique style emerged. Ong’s unusual designs fuse traditional Eastern and Western motifs in an innovative, artistic, and exacting way. Carnet maintains a salon in Hong Kong.
While the black and white jewels of the Art Deco featured square corners and linear symmetry, Ong’s jeweled suite contrasts this paradigm with a tangled, undulating, asymetrical design of diamonds. The light curves of this necklace recall the floating clouds often depicted on ancient Chinese screens. The fluid lines soften the stark color contrast and make the necklace feminine and highly wearable. Ong follows in the footsteps of Suzanne Belperron, Jeanne Boivin, and Jeanne Touissant, other great female designers whose femininity informed and strengthened their designs.
Ong is particular about her jewelry, making sure that everything is perfect before she declares a piece is done. An article in the March 2001 issue of Palm Beach Illustrated quoted her philosophy, “I won’t put it down until I am happy with it. My name is on it. It has to be the way I want it to be.” If she is unhappy about the finished product, she will not sell it. This work ethic is rare and
her unstinting desire to make every piece perfect is the reason her jewelry is sought after. This superbly constructed suite is both highly wearable and of stunning design.