Jewellery design can fall into a trap of geometry and precision that would make a mathematician proud. But what happens when designers and high-end jewellers let loose with their use of stones and metals? A scintillating array of jewels where randomness becomes the very selling point. 

Sometimes the quest for perfection can take jewellery designers on a path to somewhere else: the realisation that simply letting the making process flow actually brings more personality to a piece than if it were truly precise.

Never has this been truer than in the current collections from a wealth of fine jewellery designers, from independent talents such as Fernando Jorge [earrings, pictured] and Mabel Hasell, through to luxury jewellers Fabergé and De Beers, who are toying with randomness by sprinkling diamonds and gems across their collections as if crazy paving has been applied to precious metals.


This contained chaos style of jewellery hints at a more natural and fluid approach to design. Indeed, designer Polly Wales [pictured top] describes how the precision and cleanness of some fine jewellery design can emit a sense of ‘coldness’. Speaking of the inherently random style of her work, Wales explains: “This has always been my style because I’ve never personally felt much of a connection to highly polished, pristine and uniform jewellery. The random aesthetic of my work is very much dictated by the lost-wax process I use to make it, which I discovered during a research project at the RCA. I loved the unpredictable nature of these processes and have worked to develop them ever since.”

The unpredictability of design can be exciting and intriguing, but creating such randomness can be tough, especially when the pieces themselves require exacting processes, lending a rather ironic twist to designs that appear as if they have merely fallen into place – albeit beautifully – when in fact their making can be painstaking…