Shine on you diamond

Shine on you diamond
As a young boy, Nirav Modi was constantly exposed to all things diamond. He comes from a family that trades in rough diamonds, and so dinner conversations mostly revolved around rare and exceptional diamonds. Which is why Nirav can’t remember the exact moment his interest in these precious stones was piqued and the fascination with the finest jewels began. “I was mesmerised by the idea of collectors who would look only for the most exquisite and rarest stones. By the time I was ready to start working, most diamond terminology came as second nature to me. I never specifically planned to be in the diamond business. It was just a natural progression,” Nirav says.

But the impetus to get into the glittering world of designing diamonds came when a friend asked Nirav to design a pair of earrings for her. A perfectionist that he is, Nirav started to source diamonds for the designs he made, and finally found them in Russia. The pair of earrings delighted his friend so much that he decided to take designing diamond jewellery full-time.

Today, his brand ‘NIRAV MODI’ is globally popular for bringing together unique designs and rare gemstones. In fact, the brand is known to be the only Indian jeweller to have as many as four globally patented diamond cuts to its credit.

Talking about the USP of the brand, Nirav says, “The USP of every NIRAV MODI creation, be it a five lakh or a 25 lakh jewel, has always been excellence in every aspect. From the concept to designing the actual piece, from choosing the best gemstones and finally crafting the jewel, care is taken to ensure that we give our clients the very best. The rarity of the gemstones used in our jewels and the innovation that goes into making them timeless are also an important part of who we are.”

Nirav’s scintillating diamonds have been worn by Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet and other celebrities.


Here are a few excerpts from a conversation with the master designer:

Who or what inspires your creations?
Inspiration comes from many sources – nature, art, poetry, architecture – and is sometimes found in the most unexpected places. For me, beauty does not reside in any one place, object or person. While growing up, I was fortunate to have been exposed to the finer things in life, like art and architecture – from 16th century paintings by Rubens to modern-day fashion designers such as the Antwerp Six to the most distinctive structure of Mughal architecture.

These influences serve as inspiration for my designs as do extensive travels around the world. For example, the design for the ‘Embrace Bangles’ was inspired by my daughter’s elastic bangles, and the idea behind their conception was to make a fun jewel that also embodies a deeper emotional connect for the wearer. It connects to a playful side ­— the little girl that is within every woman — while at the same time being an engineering marvel.

To ensure a superb fit, the NIRAV MODI Embrace Bangles are expertly crafted using more than 90 moving parts and thousands of diamonds to create wondrous patterns (in the leopard and zebra print versions) and brilliant plays of light.

How is the jewellery industry in India faring today?
The Indian market for jewellery is a dynamic one, placed right at the cusp of traditional and contemporary worlds. This spells immense opportunity and the entry of international brands confirms the vast potential that exists within the country. The market was a lot more focused on gold earlier. Clients are now very educated about diamonds when it comes to quality, and they have started looking at diamonds as a great investment to wear every day, and also pass on to their future generations. The trend of solitaire and engagement rings has arrived in India, thus making diamonds a very important aspect of celebrations.

What will trend in the coming months in the world of diamond jewellery?
The way India is buying its jewellery is changing. For example, the engagement ring is becoming a part of a bride’s first ever trousseau jewel. NIRAV MODI signatures, such as the minimal metal styles, which ensure the full potential of diamonds to shine through, the fluidity in pieces, which means the jewels move with your movements, the design inspirations from nature, to impressionist art or art deco motifs, and the innovations are well-appreciated by customers.

The education process is on-going. For instance, familiarising the consumer with the fact that the value of diamond jewellery depends on the shine, clarity of stones and detailing, and not only on how large the diamond is, and stressing on the importance of valid certification.

What are the things a bride needs to keep in mind before buying any piece of diamond jewellery?
Focus on quality, and always buy certified diamonds. Buy jewels which can be worn, enjoyed and celebrated every day — not something you put away in a safe. Now, brides have a very different mindset while buying jewellery than they did a decade ago. They want something that is contemporary, works with varied looks, and easy to travel with.

Any jewel selected by the brides-to-be should be unique and a true reflection of their personality. At the same time, I feel that it is important that the jewels are lightweight and extremely comfortable to wear so that they do not cause any discomfort during the extended amount of time the brides would be wearing them.

How do you deal with the tough competition from international brands like Tiffany?
NIRAV MODI, as a brand, intends to set its own goals and standards. Our focus is always on ‘exceptional’. Our in-house research and development is always working on creating something innovative and different. We are a global diamond jewellery brand that endeavours to establish a worldwide footprint, and be known for uncompromising quality and innovation. We will continue our research and create beautiful jewels with minimum metal to ensure maximum sparkle; this includes creating new diamond cuts, which will change the way the world perceives design and craftsmanship when it comes to diamond jewellery.

Do you believe Indian jewellery is finally getting its due on the global stage?
Indian jewellery on the global stage is not a new phenomenon. It has enjoyed its rightful place on the international stage for many, many years now. For example, the Koh-i-Noor diamond arrived in Europe around 300 years ago during the Mughal era — a time when India was at the centre of international gem trade.

Until the early 1900s, when gemstones were found in other parts of the world, India was the only source of diamonds in the world and many of the country’s seaports became bustling hubs for emeralds, rubies and sapphires. All of the above led European jewellers to become heavily influenced by the rich colours, textures and silhouettes of Indian jewellery, a trend which has continued ever since.

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