There are very few jewellers out there in the world who patiently scout gemstones for years to complete one particular design and Mumbai based Bina Goenka is just one of them. Her passion for jewellery makes her travel the world and hunt for specific gemstones for her designs. Her collection of pink conch pearls is one such treasure that I have explored in my latest story for VO+ magazine‘s September 2017 issue. Enjoy!
PASSION FOR PINK
Bina Goenka’s porcelain luster is a tribute to conch pearls
FLAIR TOWARDS DESIGN, unique style statement and a charming personality together summarizes this ace jewelry designer from India, Bina Goenka. Her world of jewelry is brightly colourful and multi-structural like her thought process. Being very particular about the sourcing of her gemstones, Bina comes across many rare gemstones and a few land in her list of favorite gemstones. One such fine beauty that she loves to design with are conch pearls. Amongst the wide array of colours, shades and shapes that pearls are available in, there sits this exceptional and most coveted pale pink wonder of nature. The amalgamation of an eye-catching colour, a scarce natural origin and a still unsolved mystery about its flame structure, makes this elusive pearl truly fascinating.
“My love for conch pearls began with the primary aspect of its sheer beauty and its raw untouched appeal is what singularly drew me to it. When I started scouring through parcels of conch to identify suites to create jewel pieces, I was intrigued by the multiplicity and the complexity of the diverse colours, shades within a colour, form, fire and all the facets of the characters of the conch. In my own tryst to delve deeper into this material, I was overwhelmed and simply amazed by the aura and mysticism of this beyond precious medium”, adds Goenka.
Bina has been using these porcelain-like beauties for almost 4-5 years now and she tells us how she loves to pair them with white gold amongst all other shades, “The conch works beautifully with white gold, there is a very elegant and delicate balance that I find in the pinks of the conch and white gold. However, I have enjoyed using conch with coloured gemstones as well.” But as Bina’s work is limitless in creativity, she finds the versatility of the conch very appealing for application in her work.
Her latest work using conch pearls is a suite of three pieces-necklace, earrings and a ring. The suite uses a total of 27 pieces of conch pearl encircled with dainty diamonds in tapered baguettes, marquises and circles. No two pearls are same and they widely range in shapes and shades of pink from peachy orange to powder pink with fiery structures and the selection process surely needed her to be very involved. Goenka explains, “I have spent over two and a half years collecting the pearls piece by piece to finally have a stash that contributed to this jewel set. When I look at a conch pearl, I truly believe that they speak a language of their own. In an endless glaze you will be struck by the sheer evenness of colour in one, whereas you will be completely taken in by the fire of the other, the circular orb of part opacity, part translucency and part transparency that can mesmerise you, along with the multiple forms of ovular shapes. So there is no single attribute that can dictate my pick of a pearl, but I can look at it and I will know my focal decision based on a holistic appeal.”
The rare appearances of a conch pearl and to top it finding one with a unique flame structure strains the pricing quite a lot. Bina Goenka’s client is a discerning and a very niche audience and she truly believes in educating them about the materials that are used in their pieces. “I have shared detailed information of the arduous process scaling years of searching and panning that finally allows this suite that is set in the jewelry. For me, the extent to which I was awestruck on discovering the myriad facts on this precious produce, is the level of interest and excitement I need to be able to invoke in the end user. To ensure that I allow my patron to partake in the entire experience of the wonderful journey of this conch pearl. This empowers them to gauge and assess the value in its tangible and abstract intangible sense”, adds Bina.
With no two pearls alike in nature, these conch pearls fit Bina’s jewelry portfolio very well and she is just as excited about them as we are. It is her being very particular and stringent about all her gemstone resources that leads her not to compromise on the authenticity of the conch. She sources straight from the vendor that deal with fishermen who harvest this produce, assuring her of its origin and quality.