As jewellers in Singapore, The Jewel Box are known for their authentic handmade jewellery. Their creations incorporate a range of gemstones and rare exotic stones from tourmalines and tagua nut, to alexandrites, kunzites and many others. The Jewel Box founder Vinod More talks about his private atelier brand and how they can help you create something no one else will have!
You’ve been in the jewellery business for more than 30 years; tell us about yourself and how you became jewellers in Singapore.
Born in Hong Kong, I graduated from Wharton and studied at the Gemmological Institute of America to formally qualify as a gemmologist. With a family legacy in the jewellery and precious stones trade in Hong Kong, I’ve also spent time in the capital cities of this industry: Antwerp, Bangkok, Mumbai and New York.
I realised there was a need to offer customers a more personal curated experience so my wife Sangeeta and I founded The Jewel Box. We have been jewellers in Singapore for over 25 years now. The focus was then, and is still, to be a private atelier that offers a unique and personalised experience. We want to help people create the perfect piece of jewellery for the special occasions in their lives.
As TJB’S creative director and designer, what are you trying to do differently?
For us, it’s not just about selling the product. We act as consultants to our clients, sharing knowledge and providing exquisite solutions with an aesthetic design sensibility. We pay extra attention to detail and three-dimensional profiling. The entire excitement lies in the thrill of creating and executing designs that are special for our clients in different ways.
Our handmade jewellery is designed with integrity, quality and craftsmanship. With this approach, we cater to all kinds of price points without compromising on a piece. We try hard to provide versatility, to give people exactly what they want. Having said that, much of the process of creating bespoke jewellery is not simply learning what the client wants, but also educating them about what’s possible.
Give us an insight into your products and the design process; we’d love to know something about The Jewel Box masterpieces.
Despite having a lot of new technology and mechanisation in place, we still believe in authentic handmade jewellery. While designing a new piece of jewellery, we go through many, many renditions of drawings and prototyping. We refine the design over and over again till the final result is achieved. Consistent focus on innovation and attention to detail are two foundations at TJB.
All our jewellery is designed in-house by international designers, with the support of our experienced merchandisers who source the precious stones that our clients are looking for. And each piece of jewellery is created by hand under the direction of our Master Craftsman, Ah Wah, in Hong Kong and China. He’s had a distinguished career in creating fine jewellery and is respected industry-wide for his exceptional technical skills.
One masterpiece of note is the Theodora Diamond and Rubellite Necklace with Pendant; it’s delicate yet bold, evoking the geometric complexity and order of Byzantine architecture.
You travel the world (when you can!) for raw materials to create your unique designs; tell us about this.
Oh, yes, I love to travel! Every place inspires me with its own culture, architecture, nature and so on. For example, if you see our Mandala collection, inspired by Tibetan mandalas, the design element form is intricately handcrafted to represent wholeness. It can be seen as a cosmic diagram of life itself. Our Shanghai cufflinks, meanwhile, are inspired by elegant traditional Chinese patterns and window lattices.
Among my favourites, the “Chikka” and “Morphosis” collections are inspired and meticulously crafted from the humble tagua nut from South America. This sustainable material has a fantastic texture, and can be cut in every possible form and shape. It’s an exceptional background for making vivid gemstones stand out.
Our handmade jewellery collections stem from many different sources, from travels and from conversations – about which design elements to use, about how to set the stones, and about which precious materials to choose, from onyx or lapis lazuli, to malachite or mother-of-pearl.
Who would you like to see wearing your jewellery?
We are just proud that we have such an extensive and varied client base! Our jewellery is elegant – even the everyday wear that we create is “couture”; but at the same time it’s very trendy and obviously quite versatile. It’s designed for the fashion-forward modern woman; basically, anyone who would enjoy wearing jewellery with pride. As we say: “Only if you want something no one else has!”
Tell us about the gemstones and exotic stones you use; which are your favourites?
With my long background in the trade, I’ve developed very close relationships with numerous suppliers of gemstones and rare stones globally. The growing fascination with coloured exotic stones reflects a growing demand for other precious minerals. Unlike a colourless diamond, which often still takes centrestage, glorious gemstones immediately uplift the splendour of a jewellery piece by adding vibrancy into the mix.
Our jewellery designs include almost all kinds of gemstones; tourmalines, sapphires, tanzanites, kunzite, baroque pearls, rubies, emeralds. We’ve also designed some collections using exotic stones like alexandrites, colour-change sapphires, Paraiba tourmalines and many more.
As jewellers in Singapore, what can you give clients that you feel other designers don’t?
We intentionally don’t have a set design style; instead, we contribute to everyone’s own jewel box. We listen to our clients’ design sensibilities and manifest their unique pieces according to their desires. At times, we really wear the hat of a creative director rather than a designer.
Now you’ve got your jewellery sorted, do you need a new hairstyle?