You can count on me to find the best statement pieces of wearable jewellery from around the world and this cute diamond monkey necklace is just such a creation. When I first laid eyes on this necklace, it was during my early days as a jewellery blogger in 2009 when I would attend private events and take photographs. Surprise, surprise! I love taking photographs and being an art director. It’s been a lifelong passion for me ever since my father gave me my first professional camera when I was just a girl.
Showcasing jewellery from private events from around the world was a breakthrough in the jewellery world, as most designers are reluctant to display their creations on the Internet. You can catch up on all my street style photo shoots in my upcoming book, so stay tuned!
Years later while in Bergdorf Goodman in NYC, I happened upon the marvellous, mystery monkey necklace again and the exceptional jewels of Lorraine Schwartz. So I was delighted when I met up with Lorraine recently for a tete-a-tete in Harrods at her new concession to learn more about this whimsical, gold and diamond necklace representing those three wise monkeys – Mizaru, Kikazaru, and Iwazaru – or “speak no evil, hear no evil, & see no evil.”
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Lorraine shared with me the story behind the design. It all started in 2006 during a visit to her jade cutter in Hong Kong, when she noticed three monkeys carved out of lavender jade. Not knowing the true story behind the three wise monkeys, she got them anyway and touched them every day for their healing powers. The lavender jade monkeys encouraged her to think positively and be more aware. For five months, she absorbed the healing powers of the three monkeys and was inspired to create this charming and meaningful monkey necklace out of yellow diamonds and gold. After all, jewellery is all about empowering us women!
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A lot of thought went into this statement necklace, right down to the signature chain. I love it when there’s special detail in the chain. It brings the whole piece together and proves the chain is not just a functional element of jewellery after all. Notice how the design continues throughout the chain with the added Chinese symbol for good luck. Such a design looks beautiful to the onlooker and is empowering to the wearer.
This depiction of Speak no evil, hear no evil, & see no evil monkeys by Lorraine Schwartz makes me smile and adds a humorous element to fine jewellery. Created in blackened yellow gold and yellow diamonds, I wear them like a mini sculpture and conversation opener.
There’s a long tradition behind the three wise monkeys and one of the first depictions is in the Toshogu Shrine in Tokyo. I am looking forward to seeing them for myself and share with you my jewellery discoveries from my upcoming trip to Japan.
Lorraine Schwartz launched the Diamond Monkey Collection at the Monkey Bar in the Hotel Elysee in New York with celebrities like Heidi Klum, Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell Williams, and more. No wonder, she’s called the jeweller to the stars!
Lorraine Schwartz speak no evil, hear no evil, & see no evil monkeys necklace in yellow diamonds in blackened yellow gold is available at Harrods Fine Jewellery Room in London and Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.