Daria de Koning
I’m a little old-school in that I don’t see myself as a ‘brand’ – a phraseology which feels very third-person in a world-conqueror kind of way. I’m an artist and a designer whose work is wearable which is very personal, very one-on-one.
Daria de Koning is the singular force behind her line of handcrafted fine jewelry based in the creative enclave of Silver Lake, California. The daughter of an artistic Dutch immigrant and a fifth-generation American, Daria spent her childhood summers traveling from her family home in New York City to the Netherlands, the center of modern design.
By the age of eleven, Daria already had a crystal and rock specimen collection to rival any natural history museum and the seeds of jewelry design were ready to bloom. Formal training as an artist and graphic designer refined her eye, apprenticing with a master metalsmith honed her technical skills and a Graduate Gemologist degree from the G.I.A. ensured her gemological credentials.
I love to use faceted gems as a highlight to the smooth contours and hues of the cabochon, rather than as the focus of a piece.
But it was her custom engagement rings that launched a devoted following with clients and fashion magazines alike. Each individual stone’s tactile and visual spirit conjures a vision of how it will play as a final jewel in Daria’s process. While many visual artists sketch, Daria prefers working the piece with her hands, building a maquette to then be executed in collaboration with master metalsmiths.
Her process and vision though, follow a profoundly personal trajectory. Deeply influenced by heritage and family history, the women in her family were dazzling by both day and night. From an era and mileu where one did not leave the house without earrings and lipstick, Daria’s elegant mother and grandmother set the tone for the Daria de Koning look - Feminine, Confident, Polished, Genuine and Spirited.
I really want to craft a piece of jewelry that works on multiple levels – the way it feels, the way the colors come together and the way shapes interact.
However, it’s a very special shape that sets Daria’s work apart - the cabochon. Inspired by her love of painting and impressionism, Daria saw in cabochon-cut stones a pure color source unaltered by the sparkle of faceted cuts that would allow her to “paint with gems.” Designing with precious stones like emeralds and sapphires for their intensely saturated hues, but also the highly iridescent ones like opals and moonstones or the intricate patterns of malachite and agate brings Daria’s work to life.