Diamonds & Gemstones

Gemstones are pieces of mineral crystals formed by natural geological processes and have a well-defined crystallographic structure. Gemstones have no universally accepted grading system. Historically, they were graded using the naked eye, by the color, clarity and rarity being the primary determinant qualities. The traditional classification in the West begins with a distinction between precious and semi-precious gemstones, however, it does not necessarily reflect present values. For example, some rare or unusual gemstones, which occur so infrequently that they are scarcely known, can be far more valuable than mid-quality precious gems and even diamonds.


The gemstone hunt is the most enchanting part of my creative process. Every year, utilising the gemologist expertise gained from the years studying and working in jewellery sphere, I spends days selecting specific colours, shapes and sizes of a variety of minerals and the World’s biggest gemstone fairs. Each solitary stone becomes an abstract idea charged with historical and symbolic meaning. Apart from diamonds, all of the gemstones I use in my jewellery are in their rough, uncut, crystal form, which has to be very spicific to fit the anticipated design. Since working with rough gemstones is such an intricate art, if there is even one mistake, the material will not work properly throughout the following steps. I suppose the simple silhouettes with emphasis on colours and textures would blur the boundaries between man-made and natural.




Besides metals and other gemstones, ASR Jewels is fully committed to supporting the sustainable development of the diamond sector from mine to the market as well. We work in close relationship with one of the oldest remaining Belgian diamond manufacturing families, a history that started in the early 1900’. We only use diamonds purchased through Diamond Producers Association (DPA) members of which provide safe, high quality jobs to members of their communities and locally source goods and services needed for their operations. DPA members partner with local communities and governments to minimise environmental impact and work will all sectors in the value chain to expand responsible practices to the whole diamond ecosystem.


Every year, modern diamond mining contributes over $292 million in benefits related to social programs worldwide. These local partnerships help fund social programs ranging from education and healthcare to training and skills development. Diamond mining companies pay on average 66% more than national average salary in countries where they operate, to a workforce of primarily local and indigenous community members. Modern diamond miners are reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions whenever possible and increasing their reliance on renewable energy. Natural diamonds produce 69% less carbon emission per carat than laboratory-created diamonds which require very large quantities of energy and in reality rely almost exclusively on fossil fuels for their production.


Every diamond has certain characteristics that define its quality. They are known as 4Cs: colour, clarity, cut and carat weight.



A letter grade from D (colourless) to Z (light yellow) is assigned to each diamond to evaluate its natural tint. With an exception of colourful diamonds (pink, blue, fancy yellow, etc.), the closer to being colourless the diamond is, the rarer it is. ASR JWLS utilises only the finest F+ colour diamonds, since the colour directly affects the stone’s appearance.



The clarity of the diamond is defined by internal flaws visible under 10x power magnification. Inclusions hinder the refraction and return of light, which means that the lower the grade, the cloudier the diamond is.


All of the diamonds sold by ASR JWLS are graded VS or higher on the scale, as we do not approve of diamonds with noticeable imperfections to the unaided eye. Exceptions are only made to rough or rare Fancy Coloured diamonds.




Cut is perhaps the most important characteristic of the stone, which refers to the interaction of the diamond’s facets with light. The most important factors that determine the quality is proportion, symmetry and polish. A too deep or too shallow cut may allow the light to escape through sides or the bottom of the diamond, reducing its’ sparkle significantly. The movement of light may also be affected by misaligned facets and the outside finish of the diamond. ASR JWLS uses exceptionally excellently cut diamonds with a preference to “Heart and Arrow” cut at any possible occasion.




Carat defines the weight of a diamond and equals 0.20 grams. Carat weight is definitely the least important criterion to determine the beauty of a stone, however, it directly refers to its size. Diamonds of different shapes have a different carat weight. Some diamonds may have a higher weight regardless of their size. For instance, two stones of the same carat weight can vary widely in price depending on their clarity, colour and cut.

With my work, I want to talk about the language of materials and contribute to the understanding that each material has its own unseen potential. My metal patinatination process is the fruit of perpetual research, and the result of a slow and meticulous artisanal method, striving to achieve something that is both a wearable object and an artwork. Experimentation is one of the most challenging parts, for it can lead to something great, or nowhere. My work highlights the poetic force of the accident in which the creative process is irregular and unpredictable. This is how all of my designs were invented, born out of error, now inscribed in my identity.


With the aim to preserve the technological secrets, I keep the prosessing of the materials undisclosed.


Refractory metals are a class of metals that are extraordinarily resistant to heat and wear. Tantalum, niobium and hafnium all belong to this group. They all share some properties, including an extraordinary melting point above 2200 °C, high hardness and  a relatively high density. They are chemically inert, like precious metals such as platinum and gold, which means they are perfectly compatable with human body and does not cause staining, like silver or brass. Because of their high melting point, refractory metal components are never fabricated by casting.




Niobium is light grey, lustrous, paramagnetic metal. Its’ melting point is 2468 °C. In nature, niobium occurs in combination with other elements in minerals. The largest deposits of niobium mineral concentrates were found in 1950s in Brazil and Canada. Niobium has a hardness similar to that of pure titanium and it has similar ductility to iron. It oxidises in the earths atmosphere very slowly, hence its application in jewellery as a hypoallergenic alternative.


Niobium is considered a technology-critical element. It is used in various superconducting materials, nuclear industries, electronics and optics. It becomes a superconductor at cryogenic temperatures and has the highest critical temperature of the elemental superconductors at atmospheric pressure. Niobium has the greatest magnetic penetration depth of any element. In addition, it is one of the three elemental Type II superconductors. Niobium is an effective micro-alloying element for steel to increase the toughness, strength, formability, and weldability. Niobium is added to glass to obtain a higher refractive index, making possible thinner and lighter corrective glasses.




Tantalum is mined from various regions around the world, with most tantalum coming from South America or Australia. In its natural state, tantalum is dark grey with a bluish tint and a very high melting point at 3017 °C. As natural sources of tantalum are quickly depleting, experts believe that only about half a century worth of tantalum resources remain. Tantalum is an inert metal, which means that it does not react to most chemicals and does not dissolve in acid. Tantalum is shatterproof and extremely malleable which sets it apart from other contemporary metals. Because of its’ hardness, tantalum jewellery does not scratch or loose shape over time.


Being one of the most durable and rare metals known to man it is used in nuclear reactors, jet engines, rocket nozzles, surgical implants and production of refractive glass. Due to its biocompatibility, it is hypoallergenic like platinum and does not cause allergic reactions or exacerbate skin conditions. Also, it does not conduct heat and is comfortable and safe to wear.




Only known since 1923, hafnium is the last stable element to be discovered on the Earth. Hafnium is a shiny, silvery, ductile metal that is corrosion-resistant and chemically similar to zirconium. Its’ melting point is 2233 °C. A major source of this metal located particularly in Brazil and Malawi. It does not exist as a free element on Earth, but is found combined in solid solution with zirconium. Hafnium reserves have been infamously estimated to last under 10 years by one source if the world population increases and demand grows.


Hafnium is mostly used in control rods for nuclear reactors, also, electrodes and filaments. Hafnium is used in alloys with iron, titanium, niobium, tantalum, and other metals, which, for example could be used in alloys for liquid rocket thruster nozzles. It improves thereby the corrosion resistance especially under cyclic temperature conditions.




Gold is a soft, dense, yellow metal and it belongs to the precious metal group. It is very ductile and has a high lustre. The most gold is mined in South African gold mines. Often, gold is found as a native metal. This means it is not part of an ore, and does not need smelting. It may be in large, pure nuggets but more often must be separated from other minerals and soil. Most of the gold on Earth is deep inside the Earth’s core because it is dense. Nearly all discovered gold was deposited on the surface by meteorites.


When used in jewellery, gold is most of the time alloyed. The alloy determines it’s colour, density, value and physical properties such as hardness, ductility, etc.




Platinum is a dense, malleable, ductile, highly unreactive, precious metal. Platinum is one of the least reactive metals and has remarkable resistance to corrosion. It is one of the rarer elements in Earth’s crust. It occurs in some nickel and copper ores along with some native deposits, mostly in South Africa. Because of its scarcity and given its important uses, it is highly valuable. It occurs naturally in the alluvial sands of various rivers and was first used by pre-Columbian South American natives to produce artifacts.


With conventionally unwearable materials, uniquely textured designs and refined details, I wish to evoke a subtle sense of luxury, a fresh perspective on jewellery design. Minimalist yet sculptural and contemporary, I cultivate aesthetic with little adornment or embellishment, which parts ways with any typical visual motifs associated with jewellery. Still, with a deliberately simplistic design statement, I remain embedded in unique jewellery making techniques, epitomising material restraint and craftsmanship. Created with Earth’s rarest materials and a burning passion for quality, my handmade jewels reflect my pursuit of raw, spontaneous beauty as well as commitment to sustainability.


Born in Lithuania, educated in five different countries, and having crafted jewellery for more than ten years now, my life journey is anything but conventional. From studying at Hiko Mizuno College of jewellery in Tokyo and Munich Academy of Arts to my venture working at an artisanal goldsmithing workshop in Florence, I have transformed herself into a versatility in the jewellery sphere. My extensive travels and experiences have grown into a distinctive nature for seeing things with perky eyes, as I presume to touch upon multiple contexts and references at the same time. I hope to celebrate artistry as a medium to transcend societal, cultural, and geographical boundaries, using design to bridge Japanese and European discourses and influences within the creative sphere.


I explored a variety of jewellery making techniques, searching for existing boundaries in order to exceed them. I feel moved by that sense of discovery. When experimenting with new materials I usually have a vague idea of the result and a defined understanding of my route and orientation, but the outcome is always unexpected. My unique craft centres on a reverence of unconventional materials, including metals such as hafnium, niobium, tantalum, pure gold and platinum as well as precious rough “Muzo” emeralds, colourful diamonds, tanzanites and other collectible gemstones. Because refractory metals are very specific materials, I had to understand the technical constraints of working with them, especially when also using precious, often brittle minerals. I consider the technical factor an important element in my compositions, which originated directly out of the issue of handcrafting these incredibly tough metals. On the one hand, this was initially my main limitation, but, on the other hand, it met exactly the aesthetic I strived for in my artwork. My aim is to approach various technical challenges in an empiricist way, linking them to my own perception and from a neutral view. I embrace the fascinating journey of creativity under constraints. Eventually, I discovered an innovative way of processing the rare refractory metals and created my signature design language.


I started ASR Jewels in 2012, while still as a student at Vilnius Academy of Arts. I named my studio simply by my initials [A. S. R.], which I pictorially defined in a peculiar symbol. I wish my sophisticated and minimalist pieces would toe the line between design and art. I developed my singularity in quite a bold, yet harmonious style with fluid connection between tribal and modern jewellery as well as ancient Japanese aesthetic principles. I managed to achieve earthy tones and surfaces that feel exquisite to both the touch and eye, reflecting my appreciation of patina and unbounded tactility of nature. This mood could also be said to emerge from the familiarity of the natural wilderness of my homeland, to where after my extensive travels I decided to return and where now my design sensibility thrives.


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