Ricardo Basta: Jewelry Designer, Architect/Engineer, Artist and MORE! Road to the Red Carpet Fashiontribes LA STORY Blog and Podcast
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If you have been aware of the entertainment world, you know that this is Emmy week and that LA seems to be the "center of the universe" for all things television and film. If you didn’t know about the Emmys, what rock have you been hiding under? (just kidding!)
As you roam through LA, there is more traffic than usual as stylists, assistants and celebs hit beauty treatments as well as ateliers, suites, PR firms and stores to check out the latest dresses, shoes, bags, and what swag is being given away at the different events. One category that isn’t quite hit so hard is jewelry– and one would think it would be. The reason is simple. For the most part there are a few suites that cater to the high end jewelry market. If you are really in the know, you will have staked out a spot in Beverly Hills and seen all the black sunglass-clad celebs quietly entering a low-key store that is modest from the outside but oh-so-lush, once inside.
Ricardo Basta is a name you will have heard in previous award suites podcasts. He is one of the premier jewelry designers in the US. He’s so much more than a simple jewelry designer. While others are content to be "designer" and have celeb clientele, Basta is quite different. This low-key, unassuming gentleman is more artist, architect and engineer than jewelry designer. What Da Vinci was to art and science, Chanel was to fashion, Ricardo Basta is to jewelry– a master, a definitive creator of something beyond extraordinary. Incredibly patient, Ricardo handsets every gem. He thinks about the mechanics of the pieces and how he wants things to work– as in having earrings spinning and pieces that move or lay flat easily. His attention to detail makes the back of a piece almost as gorgeous as the front.
Basta thinks of his jewelry store more like a museum than a store. He would prefer people to see his work as "ART" rather than just jewelry. The art world agrees with him because he has won many awards for his creations and one of his pieces is on display in a museum as you read this.
The piece is the Fire Breathing Dragon Brooch. Basta had various versions of this brooch so that he could balance angle, proportions and balance. This pieces features both Mexican Fire Opals and Green Sapphires that were hand cut.
The cuts were so tiny as to make them virtually invisible to create the "scaly" texure. Ivory teeth and tusk, elephant chin whiskers and chin hair along with a Dermantoid Garnet eye. The mane is embellished with 584 round brillant cut diamonds. The back of the brooch is finished with an azure design that encompasses the dragon theme and hand engraved.
CURRENTLY ON DISPLAY AT GIA MUSEUM (Carlsbad, CA) through October1
This phenomenal ring is handcrafted with 306 tiny French-cut pave diamonds set into platinum wires to create delicate strands of diamonds to form a multi-band effect surrounding a 2.06 ct dark orange/brown marquise diamond set into the center of these woven bands of diamonds.
Black and white Swirl Diamond earrings with drops and these really do swirl around as you move. Spinning diamonds earrings set with 562 round brilliant cut white diamonds. Accented with two black diamonds at the top, and spiraling down at the bottom are two black diamond briolettes weighing 7.27 cts. They are exceptionally gorgeous.
Jade suite consisting of a diamond and platinum necklace with hand engraving and a matching jabot, a piece that has been forgotten in typical modern jewelry.
The jade is hand carved with animals and flowers and other themes of nature.
The pieces involve many old world techniques of jewelry fabrication including hand-pierced platinum backings for all the jade pieces. This piece is a labor of love with over one thousand individual diamonds set around the jades. The beauty of the jade is brought about with the contrasting color of the rubies.
14 Jadeite at 88.77 carats. 15 Rubies at 1.62 carats. 1054 White Diamonds at 1.43 carats and platinum.
This is a close-up of the main-piece. You can see the tiny colored stones and the intricate carving of the jade.
Multi-colored Diamond Swivel Earrings that really do rotate. Basta configured the design so that the drops would swivel as a woman walked and the gems would flash. The earrings are made of 18 k yellow gold sapphires, tanzanites, Tsavorite garnets, rubies diamonds and custom cut beryl. They feature several setting styles including burnish, pave, French cut, and bezel cut. The main feature is the free swinging and twirling nature of the earrings as they move. Amazing!
This is a side view of a pave diamond embellished Spessartite Garnet gemstone ring. It’s encrusted with 418 tiny brillant cut diamonds set in platinum. It’s a stunner. 2004 Spectrum Award Winner- First place-Bridal Wear
When I first saw this piece, it was unfinished at the time. This is sooooooo adorable and so complex in its precision and detail that the photo does not do it justice. Those are black and white diamonds. Pieces of bamboo leaves are stuck to the branch and it’s a tiny piece but it’s gorgeous up close. 828 diamonds-white at 6.10 cts. 1057 diamonds-black at 10.04 cts. 18K yellow and white gold.
This is the peacock ring– inspired by and designed to replicate the fan of the peacock feathers. Platinum and 18K ring set with a cabochon cut 15.61 ct Columbian Emerald, natural yellow and white diamonds, rubies and Ceylon blue sapphires.
Seahorse brooch with coral stem. It’s amazing in its intricacy and detail.191 round brilliant cut white diamonds set in a bed of coral with 2 black diamonds for eyes.
Pearl “collar”, 158 round brilliant cut Spessartite Garnets (9.52 cts.). Wings are hand carved crystal. Coral Seahorse lifts out of thte coral and can be worn as a pendant when placed on a chain but it’s primarily a standalone brooch
A collection of various modern design necklaces featuring a Basta sense of style. He’s not afraid to use dramatic color to emphasize what he wants– or shapes either! Necklaces and bracelet are 18K set with Chrome Diopside,, Rhodolite Garnet, Amethyst, Iolite, Aquamarine, Citrine , green and pink tourmaline,
Here’s a single "celebrity shot" for you. Janice Dickenson is wearing this gorgeous necklace from Ricardo Basta.
Want to see some of the most amazing works of jewelry art? Ricardo Basta does have a website but it’s woefully slim on images– not nearly enough to satisfy the jewelry junkie. Check it out at http://www.ricardobasta.com
If you are in LA or can visit, here’s a place to visit that is NOT in the guidebooks. If you have a chance, definitely make your way to this store. You won’t be sorry you visited. You will be sorry you can’t afford what Basta creates but it’s like a museum. Ricardo Basta is a master — a creator of a visual art that is worn and kept and protected and appreciated.
Ricardo Basta Jewels by Bernier Salon
203 South Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, Ca 90212
Now this is fabulous jewelry. While you might not get to wear it, you will have seen some items that typically only the extremely wealthy buy and that celebrities borrow and give back!
LA Story .