On a visit to Chapada Diamantina National Park in Brazil a year ago, Fernando Jorge explored a few dried riverbeds where diamonds had been discovered during the 18th and 19th centuries. Anything sparkly was removed a long time ago, but the designer saw natural beauty in some ordinary brown pebbles — and was inspired to create his new 16-piece High series, an exploration of materials, textures and movement.
For a bold cuff and some rings and earrings, he mixed thumb-size brown pebbles from Brazilian riverbeds with brown diamonds. (Mr. Jorge couldn’t take rocks from Chapada Diamantina because it is a protected park.) And for a counterpoint set, he carved pieces of marble into similar shapes, then set them with white diamonds.
The jewelry was unveiled at Mr. Jorge’s solo exhibition in November, his first held at Sotheby’s in New York.
“Fernando’s high jewelry speaks to the contemporary art crowd, who see it as serious art,” said Frank Everett, Sotheby’s vice chairman of jewelry who organized the show. “This collection is a fascinating study in contrast, color and form.”
Mr. Jorge is a Brazilian who began his career working for jewelry designers in his home country before moving to London, where he earned a degree in jewelry design at Central St. Martins. He has sourced stones and produced most of his jewelry in São Paulo since he established his business in 2010.
For this series, the designer said he looked deeper into the concept of what beauty is. “Showing the pebbles with diamonds, it brought out what’s beautiful about the pebble: the texture, color and softness,” he said during an interview at the Sotheby’s exhibition.
The collection’s highlight is a 10-carat emerald discovered in Brazil’s Minas Gerais, a state northwest of Rio de Janeiro known for its colored gemstones.