By Åse Anderson
These pixelated jewels may remind those of us with Minecraft-obsessed kids of the cult video game’s retro-inspired graphics, but they are definitely not just for gaming geeks.
The pixilation, or 8-bit imagery, used in old-school video and arcade games has inspired designers to create textured fine jewellery that combine retro chic with thoroughly modern luxury.
In the Pixel Heart collection, Francesca Grima has taken the angular pixels and moulded them into the most romantic symbol of all. Featuring princess-cut gemstones and tiny gold squares, these versatile necklaces come with a gold chain that can be adjusted to three different lengths.
The London-based jeweller says: “When I designed Pixel Hearts, I wanted to take an object that is usually perceived as smooth, feminine and romantic and give it some posture. The result is a shape that retains its symbolism but has a degree of attitude.” Referencing 1970s video arcade games, her Pixel collection also includes stackable rings in white gold, blackened gold and diamonds.
Known for his post-Modernist design style, Parisian jeweller Baptiste Monvoisin draws and mounts each piece of fine jewellery by hand using a combination of old and new techniques. His Pixel earrings in sandblasted white gold, set with princess-cut diamonds, have a delicate edginess about them, while the Pixel ring is a cool alternative to a more traditional cocktail ring.
Jo Hayes Ward’s pixelated gold rings, with or without diamonds, are also the perfect statement pieces to add a glamorous touch to any outfit. I like the idea of contrasting these sturdy jewels with a delicate slip of a dress or wearing them to dress up a more casual outfit.
The hoop earrings from Paolo Costagli’s Brillante collection have a more ethereal feel, with a geometric pattern inspired by the tiling on the Doge’s Palace in Venice. The Italian jewellery designer, who is now based in New York, has also created these bold Brillante earrings in rose gold, which were worn by Jennifer Lopez in a feature for InStyle magazine.
You don’t need to be a gaming enthusiast to appreciate the beauty and eye-pleasing symmetry of these pixelated jewels. Personally, I’m just thinking of how impressed my children would be to see their mum rocking some Minecraft-inspired jewellery.
Baptiste Monvoisin Pixel earrings with princess-cut diamonds in sandblasted white gold.
Baptiste Monvoisin Pixel ring in sandblasted white gold.
Jo Hayes Ward Flat Oval Hex Ring in yellow gold.
Jo Hayes Ward Diamond Cushion ring in yellow gold with 15 brilliant-cut diamonds.
Paolo Costagli rose gold earrings from the Brillante collection.
Paolo Costagli hoop earrings in yellow gold from the Brillante collection.
Francesca Grima Pixel Heart ruby necklace in yellow gold on a yellow gold chain.
Francesca Grima stackable rings in white gold with diamonds and blackened gold, from the Pixel collection.
Francesca Grima gold necklaces from the Pixel Hearts collection.