London — both the start and the end of Anthony Wainwright’s trip around the world in 16 days.
Tower Bridge is one of its most famous landmarks. Its structure, designed by Sir Horace Jones, has inspired this elegant ring. Bright strands of diamonds swoop beside dark blue enamel, guiding you to a glorious, asscher cut diamond.
And that diamond — at just over two carats — comes from The Cullinan Mine. A mine of magnificent treasures including two polished stones from the most remarkable diamond ever found and reunited in the British Crown Jewels, just a few yards away at the Tower of London.
Ring: A London inspired ring featuring an asscher cut diamond of over two carats, set in platinum, £60,000
Paris was warm and bright the spring day the Louvre pyramid opened. In 1989, its design was controversial. Looking back, how better to capture this city’s spirit of royal history and bold revolution?
Described as “shining in jewel-like glory,” it’s fitting this pyramid should now inspire a light-giving ring. The lozenge shape diamond at its heart is close to six carats. It’s surrounded by carré cut diamonds — reflecting the 793 panes of glass crafted especially from the pure sands of a Fontainebleau quarry.
As these facets are cut to spread light, so too for the building itself. “The pyramid is not a gadget,” said the Louvre’s then Director. “The reason is to bring light inside.” To visit is to walk within a diamond.
Ring: A Paris inspired ring featuring a lozenge shaped diamond of over five carats, set in platinum, POA
A truly intense yellow diamond rests, like a crown, atop Sintra — our ring inspired by this beautiful town to the north-west of Lisbon.
Its picturesque Pena Palace comes from the pages of Cinderella. Wonderfully eclectic; extravagantly ornate; and for centuries, home to real-life princesses.
But La Grande Dame is truly a queen. This intense yellow diamond, nearing 17 carats, sits proud on a yellow gold throne. Three pear-shaped diamonds attend at each shoulder; yellow diamonds guide the way to the band. Handmaidens all, to the sovereign.
Delicate openwork echoes Relógio de Sol, the palace’s ‘Queen’s Terrace’ with its intricate arches. Pretty loops of white diamonds create quatrefoil petals, picking up on the high open walkways. The sights from this height are amazing, yielding views of the old Moorish castle.
Ring: A Sintra inspired ring featuring a radiant shaped intense yellow diamond of over 16 carats and pear-shaped white diamonds, POA
Skill, concentration and not the slightest lapse in judgment are prerequisites for anyone cutting diamonds.
The same can be said for those nerves-of-steel drivers who dare to tackle the Grand Prix at Monaco. Racing through Monte Carlo’s boulevards is thrilling. Just make sure you reach the chequered flag.
This city’s spiralling, daredevil swoop has inspired three heart-stopping rings. Swirls of diamonds capture the rush of the Nouvelle Chicane, a tight left-right-left where you’ve got to brake hard. Pinks and whites shimmer round hairpins, sparkling as they jostle for pole. It’s reckless to attempt to pick a favourite. There’ll be plenty of fizz on the podium.
Rings: Monaco inspired rings featuring swirls of pink and white diamonds. From left to right, £70,000, POA, POA
Lemon groves and flower-filled gardens line Capri’s limestone hillsides — but it’s the tiny coves and beaches we treasure. The Roman Emperor, Tiberius, chose to retire here; such is Capri’s beauty, it’s not hard to see why.
Capri sun somehow seems so much brighter. We had its brilliance in mind when we chose this three carat vivid yellow diamond, zinging with citrussy zest. Looking at it, you can imagine yourself relaxing in a blue-and-white deckchair, warm beneath a parasol’s shade.
Capri’s secretive, tucked-away nature suggests there’s rich scope for surprise here. Sideways on, shimmering enamel set against bands of diamonds echoes a parasol’s shape. These stones, set upon a parabola, take us to a place of unmistakable Italian sunshine.
Ring: A Capri inspired ring featuring a vivid yellow diamond of over three carats, set in yellow gold, POA
In Ancient Greece, bay laurel would be fashioned into wreaths, given as prizes to honour Apollo.
Here, laurels surround a stunning cabochon emerald, paired with diamonds set in platinum and yellow gold. At almost 12 carats, it’s a stone the ancients would be proud of – symbolising love, loyalty and wisdom.
“The most physically beautiful of all the cities of the world,” according to writer Jan Morris. We won’t argue. A first sight of Venice brings blissful tears to some visitors. You can see the Doge’s Palace arches from all angles of this ring.
To gaze at this breathtaking octagonal-shaped ruby is to sail on a vaporetto at dusk. Glimpse up from the canals through those not-yet-closed shutters: you’ll see remarkable, Venetian rich reds.