Like most of jeweler John Hardy’s work, his Cinta collection was inspired by love. Cinta, which means “love” on the island of Bali, where Hardy and his wife Cynthia have made their home, was launched in fall 2002. Because no two gems are the same size, shape and color, no two pieces are alike. In fact, the pieces are so individual that each one is named and numbered.
“My wife and I have been collecting loose gemstones for many years, mostly for our pleasure,” said Hardy. “On Valentine’s Day 2000, I gave her a ring with an exceptionally rare trillion-cut Spessartite set in 18 karat gold with cognac and champagne diamond pave. We loved the ring so much that we decided to create ‘homes’ for the rest of our stones.”
The Cinta collection is distinguished by its use of unusual gemstones, its lavish pave settings, and its exuberant use of color. The metalwork is entirely in 18 or 22 karat gold, and may be yellow, white, pink or even green. Sometimes the gold is treated with rare elements of the platinum family — black Ruthenium or white Rhodium — to tune the emotional color toward dark or bright.
Cinta is also remarkable for its juxtaposition of gemstones and organic materials from the seas of Southeast Asia, such as coral, shell and conch. Sea blaze, for example, is a bangle made from an antique conch with a river of circular-cut orange sapphires and brilliant-cut cognac diamonds pave-set in 18 karat yellow gold that follows the natural architecture of the shell. The Mermaid’s Mantle is a scarf-like necklace of coral beads with tassel-heads of tourmalinated quartz globes pierced with a shaft of jewel-encrusted gold, with ornamental details in 18 karat yellow gold pave set with spinels and diamonds.
Cinta is an ever-evolving collection, which Hardy designs together with his lead designer, Guy Bedarida, the former head designer at Van Cleef & Arpels.
“The Cinta collection has been one of the most fascinating challenges of my career,” said Bedarida. “Every setting must ‘respect’ its stone, yet maintain the signature John Hardy design aesthetic. John wanted each piece to feel organic, as if the stone had been born in the setting.”
A new silhouette has emerged lately in the starburst pieces, as pendants, pins, bracelets and earrings. A pendent called Majesty’s Mirror has an oval blue sapphire center stone of 6.94 carats in bezel that is pave set with white brilliant-cut diamonds, surrounded by white rose-cut diamonds and blue spinels. Intriguingly, the starburst pieces are articulated to allow a subtle bit of movement.