This collection of jewels I have created for myself. I wanted to have for almost every dress and every colour in my wardrobe a matching set of jewels. Not only has this being great fun, it has been an education. I was particularly inspired by the Sothebys' Understanding Jewellery Course, which covered the history and styles of jewels.
Last year I took my jewellery hobby even more seriously and I studied gemmology of diamonds and became a Fellow of the Gemmological Association. Now I enjoy creating more and more jewels not only for myself, but also for my friends.
I like coloured stones in combination with diamonds, of course. My stones must be of perfect quality and their settings must be impeccable. This is what makes my soul happy. Only then are jewels a real luxury.
Sasha Ratiu DGA
A few years ago Sasha was one of my students of history of jewellery design. When I first saw her in the classroom I was struck by her model-like physique and beautiful face. Very rapidly, I also realised that Sasha had a serious passion for fine jewellery and was deeply committed to furthering her knowledge in the field. With time she revealed more of herself.I discovered Sasha was born on the beautiful and culturally rich shores of the Black Sea. All her childhood Sasha was surrounded by exquisite pieces of art, music and fine jewellery.
Her entire being was saturated with the profound and elegant heritage of her family. Very early in her youth she tried her inspiration in creating jewellery. The results were stunning.
The minute Sasha's friends saw her creations - they bought them and wanted more. But the dream of being a jewellery designer did not yet come true.
Sasha went on to complete her rigorous studies at the Moscow State University, graduating with honours as a journalist and later gaining a doctorate degree in linguistics. However, Sasha never forgot her dream. Now, based in London, with a loving husband and son she has finally decided to pursue her true passion.
The results are elegant, feminine modern jewels, often characterised by naturalistic designs such as dragonflies, stars and hearts rendered with a range of delicate colours. They are joyful and warm, undoubtedly reminiscent of the sun and luscious nature that typified her childhood.
But Sasha is very conscious of that fact that a beautiful design is not enough to make a great jewel. She devotes painstaking attention to her selection of diamonds and coloured gems and follows very closely all aspects of the manufacturing process.
It is not surprising that Sasha Ratiu has chosen for her registered mark at the Goldsmith's Hall in London her initials inside a heart - a visible symbol of her love for jewelled objects.
Amanda Triossi, MA FGA