By Brecken Branstrator
Pomellato decided to use hardstones in its newest collection to celebrate its anniversary, such as the zoisite pictured in this ring, and to feature them front and center.
Pomellato is celebrating the big 5-0 this year, and in honor of its golden anniversary has launched the Ritratto collection.

The brand has been known for its use of “unconventional” gemstones in their jewelry--a term they use and one that I like much better than “semi-precious,” which sometimes gets thrown around.

But to celebrate its 50th, Pomellato decided to take on a new challenge: designing with what it has called the “hardstones,” or those unconventional stones that are opaque. (The Adventurine has a wonderful story that delves into the process of creating the collection.)

It selected such material as lapis, chalcedony, chrysocolla and many more, and used its “ritratto” (Italian for “portrait”) cut, which features a large center stone selected for their intensity and intricacy like an actual portrait, at center.

The cut of each has been carefully positioned to enhance the part where color density, veins and semi-transparency can best be displayed. They have then been set in a sleek gold finish and accented with faceted colored stones.

Ritratto features 50 one-of-a-kind pieces, comprised mostly of rings but also including some necklaces.

I love the stones they chose to use in Ritratto and how obviously they are telling the story of the earth from which they were pulled. They’re beautiful, interesting and create such an amazing look when set into such a refined piece.

Here are some of my favorites.

1 20171005 Agate
Every agate always has its own story, and I love the way each stone is so unique and varies by color. Pictured here is the “Cheek to Cheek” ring in 18-karat rose gold featuring agate with black eyes accented with hauynes ($11,500).

2 20171005 Ametheyst
The amethyst in this “Persian Mystery” ring looks like a galaxy that you could just stare at forever. The ring also features red spinel accents and is set in 18-karat rose gold ($11,500).

3 20171005 Chrysocolla
The post-vacation blues are always tough, and my recent trip to the Caribbean is clearly still on my mind because this stone reminds me exactly of the different shades of the crystal clear waters at the beach (sigh). The “Le Grand Bleu” ring features chrysocolla and sapphires set in 18-karat rose gold ($11,500).

4 20171005 Malachite
Malachite will always be a favorite of mine; its green shades are so calming while also kind of invigorating. The malachite in this 18-karat rose gold “Deep Forest” ring  is accented with black diamonds ($11,500).

5 20171005 Rhodochrosite
I love the bubble-gum pink hues of this rhodochrosite and the white striations the stone has to add some interest to it. The Ritratto “Pink Hawaiian Peony” ring is set with emeralds in 18-karat rose gold ($11,500).

6 20171005 Lapis
I love lapis, but I especially love it when it has the gold-colored pyrite flecks in it. Isn’t there something so celestial about it? The “Notte Afgana” ring in 18-karat rose gold is set with a large lapis lazuli and brown diamonds ($11,500).

7 20171005 Zoisite
I’m not sure if everyone sees ruby-zoisite like this as beautiful, but this is another stone that reminds me of a trip--while in Tanzania in January 2016, our group of gem industry people visited a Masaai children’s school out in the Longido area, and there was plenty of this stuff embedded in the ground out there. I love it for its ability to remind me of such an amazing place. Pomellato’s “Secret Garden” ring accents the ruby-zoisite with ruby pave and 18-karat rose gold ($11,500).

8 20171005 Rhodonite
Rhodonite’s color is striking on its own, but using a specimen that also has the black patches of manganese oxide gives it a slight edge that I love. This is the “Japanese Sunset” ring from the Ritratto collection boasting rhodonite and pink sapphire accents set in 18-karat rose gold ($11,500).

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