Fabergé has been creating timelessly beautiful pieces since its founding in St Petersburg in 1842. Best known for its iconic jewelled eggs – a symbol of rebirth – the luxury jeweller has also recently turned its attentions to the cause of sustainability. It seemed a natural partnership when Fabergé became a member of the Gemfields Group, leaders in responsible sourcing. Liisa Tallgren joined Fabergé as their designer in 2013. The role is varied and she is involved from initial concepts, through to technical drawings. Liisa also creates beautiful paintings of bespoke creations which are gifted to clients.
Gemfields’ finest Zambian emeralds feature heavily in the Heritage 18k Rose Gold & Emerald Transformable Necklace with Elephant Surprise Locket, a one-of-a-kind piece Fabergé created exclusively for Walk for Giants; this features an egg-shaped pendant, hand-painted in deep green guilloché enamel, which opens to reveal a miniature elephant cast in 18k yellow gold with two diamonds for eyes. The locket hangs from a rose gold chain comprised of 206 emerald beads, interspersed with round and princess-cut diamonds.
Fabergé has also created a collection of five limited-edition pendants for the collaboration. A beautiful 18k rose gold egg pendant has been hand-lacquered in a vibrant green to represent the African landscape that the elephants call home. In keeping with Fabergé’s penchant for surprise, the egg opens at the touch of a button, which has been set with a Gemfields Zambian emerald, revealing a miniature white gold elephant hidden inside.
If you could put any surprise in a Fabergé egg, what would it be?
We are known for our famous Imperial Eggs, and I am constantly inspired by these magical art pieces. Taking inspiration from our Winter Egg of 1903, I would create an egg locket crafted from sections of carved rock crystal to allow the light in, and inside I would place a little cactus carved out of emerald with golden spikes and diamond and ruby flowers, to remind us of the importance of nature and how we are part of it. I love the symbolism of it: cactus plants survive under harsh conditions and protect themselves with spikes, but every now and then, they burst into colourful blooms.
What do you feel hopeful about after collaborating on a conservation project?
I’m so pleased that we can use our platform and position to help raise awareness of such an important global issue. As part of the Gemfields Group, Fabergé is committed to creating a positive impact, and this partnership for Walk for Giants means that when a client purchases a piece in the collection, they are contributing to a better tomorrow. I am hopeful that by lending Fabergé’s voice to this campaign we will be spreading a message to a global audience, enabling individuals to learn how they can make change for the greater good.
What is your favourite coloured gemstone and why?
It’s hard to choose, as Fabergé is known for using a rainbow of coloured gemstones in creations, which means I am constantly surrounded by some of the most beautiful gemstones you will ever see! But if I had to pick one, I would say an emerald. They feel mysterious, and the green hues you discover in these gems are out of this world. I love using Gemfields’ Zambian emeralds in my designs, as they not only look spectacular, they are also responsibly sourced, so they carry so much more meaning and charm.
One fact you’ve learned about Space For Giants in doing this project?
I wasn’t aware of the terrible dangers that elephants face. The elephant is such a special animal, and it would be heart breaking if one day it was extinct. It’s astonishing to think that one in four elephants alive in 2007 has since been killed, and that 11,000 African elephants have been killed by poachers in the last ten years.
If you could wear one of the pieces from the collaboration, not from your own collection, which would it be?
I would wear the elephant ring from VAK Jewels. I like to explore unusual gemstone cuts, as they add a new dimension to designs, and I love how VAK Jewels has done that with this design featuring stunning Gemfields Mozambican rubies.