Resplendent in Rhodochrosite
The latest collection from French designer, Lydia Courteille, features rhodochrosite, a beautiful pink stone, whose name is derived from the Greek words rhodon, meaning "pink" and chros that signifies color.
During a recent trip to Argentina, Lydia re-discovered rhodochrosite. This beautiful stone is found everywhere in the country, both as an ornamental stone and as a faceted or polished gem. “The sunrise over the glaciers of Patagonia evoke the amazing pink-orange of rhodochrosite,” muses the designer.
Lydia's new Rosa del Inca collection features rhodochrosite in 22 designs inspired by the indigenous people of Argentina, including the rich culture, rites and traditions of the Mapuche civilization, along with Inca and Spanish influences, as well as the diversified wildlife of this South American nation.
Mapuche means “land people” in mapudungun. Before the Spanish arrival in Argentina, these indigenous people occupied a large territory all along the Andes Mountains. After the conquest by the Spanish, "the Mapuche were forced to work in silver companies, where they perfected silver working and created unique masterpieces," Lydia explains.
Drawing on some of the Mapuche creations and the influences surrounding them, Lydia re-creates these works of art in beautiful pieces featuring rhodochrosite, morganite, orange-pink sapphire, spinel and diamonds set in 18K pink gold.
A few of the pieces are shown here. For more of Lydia's remarkable jewelry, visit: www.lydiacourteille.com