In celebration of Masters of Design, an exhibition that pays homage to the art of jewellery design, Sotheby’s Diamonds takes a moment to consider the importance of the creation of the jewel, which begins with the drawing; the very foundation of design.

While jewellery design has evolved over centuries, the paint-up has remained the quiet master of the jewel. It is the pivotal bond that ensures the designer’s aspiration is conveyed to the masterful hands of the craftsman, a partnership that has been long standing in the creation of fine jewels. Much thought goes into the development of the design, but it is only through the process of painting up that the concept and spirit of the piece are honed, and the technical realities of the jewel are realised. It is no surprise that the paintings are often considered artworks in themselves, as designers work with medieval miniaturists to render in exacting brush strokes the saturated spectrum of colour and geometry of refracted light and metal that are the jeweller’s palette.

It is with this same patience that Sotheby’s Diamonds approaches jewellery design. Each diamond brings an exclusive design requirement to Sotheby’s Diamonds where Design Director, Behroz Mewawalla, hand renders a unique design to perfectly frame the diamond. For many jewellers today, technology has meant that the paint-up has morphed from brush stroke to vector. Unsurprisingly, however, this in turn has served to heighten the appreciation for traditional hand rendered jewellery paint-ups and the skills they demonstrate. Sotheby’s Diamonds is one of the few remaining jewellers today that hand render unique designs to perfectly frame important diamonds. It is with this understanding that Sotheby’s Diamonds pays tribute to the drawings of the Masters of Design, as Sotheby’s is giving us a moment to consider these drawings in their own right for the first time. View the slideshow below to see some of Sotheby’s Diamonds jewels go from drawing to finished product.


To learn more about Sotheby’s Diamonds please visit