At the heart of Messika’s new “Beyond the Light” collection is the “Akh-Ba-Ka” necklace. It features a suite of impressive diamonds—including a 33-carat cushion-cut stone—all cleaved from the same 110-carat rough.
Paris—Messika’s new high jewelry collection would be fit for Cleopatra.
Presented in Paris earlier this month, “Beyond the Light” takes its inspiration from ancient Egypt.
The choker-filled collection boasts none as impressive as the one found in the “Akh-Ba-Ka” set, which features 15 diamonds cut from the same 110-carat rough recovered from Botswana’s Lucara mine.
“I wanted a strong diamond as an inheritance for the house,” said designer Valérie Messika, whose renowned diamond dealer father André Messika and brother Ilan acquired the stone at the beginning of 2020.
Once the rough stone was cut into its 15 polished shapes, Valérie decided to acquire all of them, and even use them in the same set.
“This is a real jewelry challenge,” she explained. “Not all the stones had the same cut; some were very original with surprising, more intricate shapes. But sometimes the most beautiful creations are born from the unexpected.”
In ancient Egypt, “Akh-Ba-Ka” meant the union of vital energy and transformation in a person’s flight to the afterlife.
For the Messika workshop, incorporating so many important diamonds into one collar was a transformation of its own.
Workshop Manager Nicolas Lodolo said the biggest challenge, “was to associate all the different pieces of the 110-carat rough diamond together by enhancing their shine without distorting them.”
While undeniably substantial, the necklace also needed to have a sense of lightness and movement. “The idea was to make the piece almost alive,” Lodolo said.
The largest diamond from the 110-carat rough, a 33-carat, D-color, flawless polished stone that Lodolo calls a “once-in-a-lifetime diamond,” required particular consideration. Ultimately, the brand chose to create a snug diamond pave setting mirroring its cushion shape, which can also be removed to transform into a brooch.
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In total, a team of four to five jewelers spent more than 1,000 hours on the Akh-Ba-Ka set over a period spanning six months, executing Valérie’s vision of a diamond scarab, the symbol representative of transformation in ancient Egypt.
The collar boasts 2,550 diamonds totaling 71.49 carats set in faceted single mine origin white gold.
The Beyond the Light high jewelry collection features four other sets.
The “Golden Shield” comprises a choker molded by hand from a solid gold plate, geometric earrings, and even lip jewelry that reminds one that Valérie Messika is the coolest girl on Place Vendôme.
The collar’s mirrored finish is a perfect backdrop for the collar’s dangling pear-shaped diamond.
There are two versions of the “Divine Enigma” set, one rendered in yellow gold, and one in white for a monochromatic look with rows of diamond pavé and two emerald-cut diamonds as the collar’s focal point.
The emerald-cut diamonds are transformable, also functioning as a double-finger ring. Hoop earrings and rings round out the graphic set.
Injecting a sense of cool and fashion into her familial diamond pedigree, designer Valerié Messika launched her company in 2005. She debuted the brand’s best-selling collection, “Move,” featuring three sliding diamonds, shortly after.
Move gets the high jewelry treatment in the “Move Iconica” set. The signature motif is transformed into necklaces, earrings, and an arm bracelet.
“Oudjat” is Messika’s take on the “Udjat,” or the eye of Horus symbol synonymous with ancient Egypt.
The set’s long necklace features a 7-carat marquise-shaped diamond contrasted with black ceramic reminiscent of eyeliner.
Crafted in rose gold, the protective symbol is also seen in the set’s ring and bracelet.