Two of jewellery’s most respected authorities have come together to launch a new way of shopping for vintage and antique jewels online, and now Joanna Hardy and Vivienne Becker’s Omnēque store will also deal in loose gemstones.
Titled The Stone Vault, this new offering from Omnēque is a collection of 50 loose gems, including morganite, agate, watermelon tourmaline and star sapphires. Each of the gems, which range in price from £500 to £90,000, has been personally sourced and verified by gemmologist Joanna, who is a jewellery author, expert on BBC Antiques Roadshow and a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain.
“It’s my personal mission to surprise, inform and educate people about the abundant world of coloured stones and offer access to unique pieces that many people will never have heard of and yet some are rarer than rubies, emeralds and sapphires,” says Joanna, who was on the judging panel for the 2021 bursary for The Jewellery Cut Live in association with Fuli Gemstones. “The Stone Vault is a wonderful platform for me to share my passion for gemstones with the public. I am very excited about taking people on a journey of discovery. It is hard to beat a beautiful coloured gemstone. Each stone is unique, for no two-coloured gemstones are ever identical. Nature never makes copies.”
A selection of loose gemstones available in The Stone Vault, prices vary, shop at Omnēque
Though Joanna has hand selected every gemstone in Omnēque’s The Stone Vault, there is one gem in the hoard that she finds particularly bewitching – a 31ct step-cut aquamarine with a price tag of £37,250. “It speaks to me on a very personal level and makes me think of sunshine and swimming pools,” she says.
Clients can buy these loose gems, which are sold with a personal and technical report compiled by Joanna, with a view to holding them for investment purposes or to setting the stones into a piece of jewellery. Should the latter option be of interest, Omnēque offers a bespoke design service that will connect shoppers with one of the contemporary designers it favours, which include Emefa Cole, Yen Duong, Julia Lloyd George, Mark Nuell, Jacqueline Cullen and Jo Hayes Ward.
Outside of loose gems, Omnēque offers a selection of authenticated antique, vintage and pre-owned jewellery, as well as new contemporary jewels from designer-makers. The platform has a particular penchant for hard-to-find signed jewels likely to excite collectors. It also offers jewellery concierge services that include personal shopping and rare jewel sourcing, remodelling and bespoke commissions, and assistance with bidding on jewels at auction.
Jewellery and gem expert Joanna Hardy