A Visit to Jessica McCormack Diamonds
With the backdrop of a sunny day in London, I paid a lovely first visit to the Mayfair townhouse of jewelry designer Jessica McCormack in April.
Thinking of contemporary women like herself, McCormack creates pieces with both antique and modern influences that make serious jewelry very wearable.
Born in New Zealand to an antiques dealer father, McCormack came to London in 2005 for an internship in Sotheby's jewelry department. With exposure to some of the world's greatest jewelry, she developed a love for the industry and met her first business partner, diamond dealer Michael Rosenfeld. At his suggestion, she began adding diamonds to pieces she was already creating that incorporated antiques, and in 2008 her first full collection was created.
A custom 'Wings' piece made for Rachel Slack of the Oppenheimer family, former De Beers owners, pleased Slack so much that it led to the addition of her as a second partner. Soon after, in 2012, the Mayfair space opened for business.
Located at 7 Carlos Place on a gorgeous block, the maison has become a central part of the brand. Housing the design studio, workshop, and a series of different rooms for clients to explore and create jewels - everything from conception to realization of the final piece is done on-site. Around each corner one finds new delights as it is filled with a rotating selection of contemporary art from Rosenfeld's personal collection, along with a pleasing mix of antiques, books and family photographs - the seamless blend of old and new that is so wonderfully distilled into jewel form.
While McCormack offers a full bespoke service, where clients are encouraged to bring in their current jewels for a possible remodel or can start from scratch on a new dream piece, there are also cases of lovely creations ready to take home. From antique-influenced elements such as Georgian settings to designs incorporating the sleek geometry of the New York skyline, there are unique pieces to suit a range of tastes.
McCormack has become known for her 'party jackets', which dress up a client's solitaire - from a simple single row to far more dramatic pieces such as the diamond cape pictured below. A bridal collection was launched last year that evokes romantic fantasies with natural elements and also futuristic thoughts, such as with the Space Odyssey ring, also pictured below.
Today, you can only purchase pieces directly from the company. If you find yourself in London, a visit to the shop is well worth it for a different kind of jewelry buying experience - and for the chance to get a piece that can't be found anywhere else in the world.