Whether traditionally minded or avant garde, these jewelers from the Kingdom have your stone styles covered.
Black matte onyx and sparkling white diamonds are the signature look for Al Khobar-based AJ Jewelry. The fine jewelry house was founded in 2015 by Saudi sisters Alanoud and Aljazi Althunayan. Alanoud serves as managing director and is a GIA alumni with a bachelor degree in nance from Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University. Responsible for daily operations, she works closely with Aljazi, who has the same bachelor’s qualification and GIA certification but serves as creative director, having specialized in interior design.
Born to artistically enlightened parents, the sisters were raised with the values of art and culture, often visiting galleries and
museums around the world. The Saudi traditions of offering and receiving precious items as symbols of love and support inspired them to update their local fine jewelry market with pieces stylistically relevant to their generation. Art deco and avant grade pieces dip and dive across golden waves and geometric shapes stack horizontally creating strong bangles. An onyx pendant hangs from a necklace like a key to a mysterious soirée.
For a flash of color, geometrically cut malachite links to rows of set diamonds creating showstopping chokers. This manner of linking is referred to as a lock. “A lock becomes jewelry,” state its founders, who encourage their clients to mix, match, and collect their pieces, which are all made in-house.
The path to becoming a jewelry designer is one o en fueled by a curiosity stemming and nurtured from childhood. For 33-year-old Nadine Attar of Jeddah, it was her exposure to jewelry and watches as a child through her family’s business that furthered her interest in gems. After a stint at buying, she began designing and ultimately launching her namesake brand following becoming a certified gemologist, diamond graduate, gemstone grader, and accredited jewelry professional.
Her fine and high jewelry are handcrafted in Italy, for the artisans’ ability to produce pieces that are “luxurious with high quality,” states Attar. Her jewelry – seen on her muse, Egyptian actor Amina Khalil, and on American reality TV star Kristin Cavallari on the Oscars 2020 red carpet – is often inspired by nature and carries the Saudi signature of proposing unique customized pieces. Women with artful eyes will be drawn to her hummingbird high jewelry piece; an exceptional statement inspired by the structure and color of a bird’s feathers. Made to move when held, the piece is “soft, real, and three-dimensional,” she shares. “My aim with high jewelry is to allow a woman to wear a piece of art around her neck, making her stand out. It’s not about the quantity of jewels.”
Nadine Jewellery pieces are customizable, be it through engraving, gemstone color, or piece functionality. Her Rouh collection speaks to spirituality and the power of wearing etched words that hold meaning for its wearer. The limited-edition features delicate symbols with the mother pendant showcasing the lily emblem – also the brand’s – which nods to a mother’s devotion along with the mother-of-pearl on the chain symbolizing purity. For the upcoming marriage collection, expect “classic pieces with a twist,” with an emphasis on stones.
Originally published in the June 2021 issue of Vogue Arabia