By Sarah Smith
- August 19, 2013
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Burgeoning San Francisco-based jeweler Coléoptère is living that mantra. PaperCity has word from the firm’s co-founders that its initial line, due to launch this fall, will occupy that utterly elusive space between the opulent and the obscene. With a name that means “beetle” in French and stated values like “scarcity, intellect, and restraint” we couldn’t help but be intrigued.
The inaugural line will include extremely limited-run and impeccably hand-crafted works in solid 18-carat gold, subtly encrusted with radiant melee diamonds, and accented in platinum. The design aesthetic, we’re told, is Phoebe Philo meets Verdura. Très intéressant! Spoiler alert: not every objet d’art in the Coléoptère line is jewelry – at least not in the traditional sense – so keep an eye out for the firm’s October debut.
Coléoptère’s fabrication methods are equally titillating. Not only is production extremely low-volume (think five to ten pieces per design), but the actual manufacturing takes place in tiny goldsmith shops around the San Francisco Bay. Every piece is produced and stamped by artist hand. Coléoptère also sources Canadian diamonds, circumventing the notorious African diamond trade. Coléoptère’s exceedingly high development standards certainly set it apart. In fact, owing to these methods, the co-founders refer to their jewelry category as “superfine” rather than merely fine.
The company is the artistic brainchild of Vanessa Corrêa, a veritable force among Pinterest connoisseurs, and her luxury-MBA-trained business partner, Lisa Baird. They consider themselves anthropologists of women, particularly the kind they refer to as pièce de résistance women – those who defy or “resist” common convention. They aim to make clean, captivating pieces that do the same thing. They believe every piece should look equally right against damask or denim. To wit, the Coléoptère tagline says it all: “There is only one occasion: Life.”