Lydia Courteille Unveils Sahara

Over a decade ago, Lydia Courteille visited the UNESCO world heritage site of Tassili N’Ajjer in the Sahara and experienced the golden and blue hues famous to the region. From this journey came a new collection that I had the pleasure of viewing at Baselworld.

Australian opals that stop you in your tracks are the foundation of the collection. Indeed this was the case for designer Courtielle, as she spotted them at the Tucson gem show, then came across the reddish-brown hues of topazolites and thought of that trip to Algeria. Wind-swept sand dunes are recreated in yellow gold and studded with yellow sapphires, brown diamonds, and hessonites. Auspicious scarabs scurry across jewels, their distinct blue hues coming from electric haüynites, while a dung beetle rolls a ball of azurite. Cave paintings dating back 10,000 years, blue-clothed Touareg nomads and other small creatures that dwell in this arid place find their way into this collection that invites you to share the wonder of such a unique place.

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