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December Birthstones: Their History and Meaning

How We Designed Our Amazon Rainforest Diamond Pendant

 

This year, Brilliant Earth’s Product Development Team had a goal to create an original piece of jewelry to support and raise awareness for an important cause while also making the world a bit more beautiful.

We began with the broad theme of climate change and, in our initial brainstorms, discussed environmental issues, deforestation, and extinction of species. Early jewelry design ideas involved bumblebees, polar bears, coral reefs, ice caps, the rainforest, and oceans. Out of this workshopping process, the idea for the Amazon Rainforest Diamond Pendant was born.

 

The Product Development team, gaining rainforest inspiration from the California Academy of Sciences.

 

This year’s devastating Amazon Rainforest fires made the idea even more timely. While slash-and-burn fires generally occur in the Amazon Rainforest during the dry seasons, the fires that occurred in late summer 2019 raged far more intensely than those seen before. These fires produced massive excesses of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide threatening the global climate. The fires imperiled biodiversity in the Amazon and affected indigenous tribes. These recent events made this project feel even more relevant and necessary.

For this project, Brilliant Earth partnered with the Rainforest Alliance, a non-profit organization that works with communities, companies and governments to address environmental issues. They use various strategies to aid in the conservation of forests and to halt the process of tropical deforestation, making them an ideal association to partner with. In fact, 10% of the Amazon Rainforest Diamond Pendant sales are donated directly to the Rainforest Alliance to help them preserve the rainforest.

Omar Portigliatti, our lead designer at Brilliant Earth, was inspired by the winding and wild shape of the Amazon river as well as its lush and bountiful rainforest.

The initial design depicted a forest on one side of the pendant and a barren, desert-like landscape on the other.

 

As the concept evolved, metal was removed from one half of the pendant, a simultaneously symbolic and aesthetic choice.

The empty space is more abstract and lends an eye-catching asymmetry to the pendant’s design. Our CAD Designers experimented with making the “forest” texture look realistic and organic. We 3D-printed several models and iterated until we found the perfect final design to best represent our concept while remaining delicate and beautiful.

In its final form, the river is represented by a sparkling curving row of diamonds.

One half of the pendant shows a textured aerial view of the Amazon rainforest. This represents any forest or green space that is under threat due to climate change. The negative space on the opposite side of the pendant is symbolic of the undetermined future. It’s up to us to change the narrative and respond to climate change. The round shape of the pendant symbolizes our planet and the unity required to make an impact. And as a final touch, the word “Change” is written on the reverse of the pendant to convey our mission in creating this piece and to instill hope for a brighter future.

Final Thoughts

We always strive to create beautiful, sustainable pieces that make a difference, and this pendant is one small step toward inspiring action! You can support the Rainforest Alliance by purchasing the Amazon Rainforest Diamond Pendant from our website, and sharing this cause with your friends and family.

Comments

Eleanor Celentani Says:
December 4th, 2019 at 3:02 am

I like your description of the symbolism of the pendant, especially the meaning of the circle. Thank you for sharing the story of how the idea evolved. It was interesting.

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