Rapaport Magazine
Style & Design

Turning to tech

From patented coatings and 3D-printed elements to algorithm-generated designs, jewelers are embracing the cutting edge.

By Rachel Taylor

Image (background): Shutterstock.

What if I told you that jewelry could be designed by an algorithm? In fact, it’s already been done, and the results are beautiful. The jeweler in question is Volund, a brand blurring the lines between tech and craft by relying on years of research into artificial intelligence. You would never know at first glance, but many of its creations are the imaginings of a computer program.

Another company relinquishing design control to the machines is The Rayy. Its gold jewels feature patented mirror panels that look plain at first glance, but project pictures or customizable messages onto a nearby surface when light hits them. For its Facets collection, the brand developed a camera filter that scans your face to create a stylized portrait for the jewelry to reflect.

Technology is infiltrating jewelry design in smaller ways, too. Heritage brands are investing in new techniques and materials, such as Chopard’s Magical Setting, which funnels light through diamonds and makes them appear to float. Boucheron collaborated with French materials producer Saint-Gobain to create an innovative iridescent coating that it has applied to rock crystal and white ceramic in its Holographique collection.

Other advancements have made new colors and shapes possible. Heating titanium produces a rainbow of hues. Nano-ceramic or rhodium plating in any shade can coat gold, and jewelers can 3D-print and dye nylon. Indeed, the advent of 3D printing now allows creators to print directly in solid gold.

Perhaps the most influential development is the evolution of laboratory diamonds. Though the tech is not new, it is rapidly scaling up. For proof, look to the new Solitaire Cross necklace by Vrai. The 4.7-carat cross was cut from a single lab-grown diamond crystal produced by Diamond Foundry.

Chopard Magical Setting ring in 18-karat gold and diamonds.


Volund Earrings in 18-karat gold with diamonds and Tahitian pearls, designed using an algorithm.


Lynne MacLachlan Quiver necklace in 3D-printed nylon with gold-plated brass clasp.


Katherine Jetter Diamond mini hoop in 18-karat gold with a shade of rhodium plating that took 18 months to develop.


Boucheron Prisme cuff in 18-karat gold, diamonds, and rock crystal with an iridescent coating.


Sarah Ho Emerald and diamond ring in 18-karat gold, made using a titanium-aluminium alloy.


Drutis Dreams Kaleidoscope pendant in 18-karat white gold with diamonds and gems. The piece is a fully functional kaleidoscope.


Juefang Yang Bracelet with hand-carved jade links and 3D-printed 18-karat gold links.


Article from the Rapaport Magazine - February 2022. To subscribe click here.

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