Mark Nuell is a lapidary and goldsmithing artist who works from his studio in the heart of Central London. The art of lapidary – or shaping and polishing gemstones – is a dying craft. Mark took the opportunity to master the technique during the pandemic and made it his own.
The Aquamarine Shard necklace originated from Nuell’s passion with exploring the faceting of his own freeform style of stonecutting; not using regular shapes and techniques found in traditional cut stones.
While working on the freeform faceting of raw aquamarine crystals, Mark dreamt of making a spectacular one-off piece for the upcoming Goldsmiths’ Fair and already envisioning the piece being cherished and worn.
The overall vision for the piece was to make a necklace of four and five sided shapes that would rest well on the body. The freeform shapes reflect the forms of the crystals in their natural, raw form and are cut with a flattened back to enable the neckpiece to sit comfortably.
To create this piece, Mark spent three months faceting a parcel of uncut aquamarines, sourced from an artisan miner. This resulted in 24 beautiful sparkling gemstones totalling 85 carats. All the settings and components were handmade using 18ct and 22ct gold.
The design for the piece evolved organically as the stones in their settings and the gold elements were composed together one by one.
Watch the video below to find out more.