SOMETHING OLD, SOMETHING NEW
Singapore jeweller Carat 55’s fresh take on a time-honoured bridal tradition
THE FAMED MYSTICAL ROSE AT THE HEART OF THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST FAIRY TALE appears to have bloomed intricately and beautifully into a series of contemporary, handcrafted jewellery created by Singapore-based bridal jeweller Carat 55.
Necklaces, earrings, ring, and bracelet from the Enchanted Rose collection
Carat 55 offers contemporary dowry pieces that brides can enjoy wearing even on a daily basis long after the ‘Big Day’
The Enchanted Rose pieces are part of the brand’s dowry collection designed by the studio’s founder, Zoie Teo. Through the collection, Teo aims to bring narrative and easy-to-wear aspects to her jewellery, particularly pieces created for dowry sets. Since launching the studio in July last year, Teo has set out to change the ethos of the dowry set, an important part of bridal jewellery in Singapore and Asia in general.
“Known as Si Dian Jin, the gifting of a dowry set is a tradition symbolising love, unity, and longevity — both a blessing and a welcome gift to the bride by the groom’s family,” Teo explains. However, for various reasons, either the jewellery’s designs are too old fashioned for the brides’ taste, or the pieces are too valuable to wear every day, these sets tend to end up in the safe or a bank vault. Teo’s solution was to create contemporary dowry pieces that brides can enjoy wearing even on a daily basis long after the ‘Big Day’.
Couples take comfort in the fact that Carat 55 offers competitive pricing and design options for their wedding jewellery
As the studio gets ready to celebrate its first anniversary, Teo is thrilled to share that her dowry sets have become hugely popular amongst the brides in Singapore and abroad. “We have brought an old tradition back into trend. Brides-to-be get very excited when they see our contemporary dowry offerings, and quickly set about taking pictures of the jewellery to send to their future mothers in law,” shares Teo. Each set comprises a necklace, a bracelet, a pair of earrings, and a ring. Clients are encouraged to mix and match the pieces from an array of designs on offer to create a set that is personal to them and suitable for everyday wear.
Bride wearing Carat 55’s engagement ring, wedding band, and diamond bracelets
Teo herself designs most of the collections, but she often collaborates with other designers for bespoke and custom collections. “I usually have a mental image of the design I want to create before I set out to source diamonds and gemstones for the pieces,” says Teo. “However, for proposal rings, the design process is different. I work with the diamond selected by the client and create a design to enhance their diamond choice.”
Although she mostly designs contemporary and practical styles that appeal to the modern, fashion-forward woman, Teo likes to explore different designs to be able to cater to the different tastes of all her customers.
Halo Diamond Collection
A current best seller is the Halo Diamond collection, a set of dainty pieces suited for everyday wear. “All pieces in the collection are in trendy rose gold, a popular choice amongst our customers,” Teo shares. Most in demand choices for diamonds range from round brilliants to heart shapes, ovals and pears, which are all certified by GIA. The final pieces are created by artisans from Italy, Switzerland, Germany, and Hong Kong.
While bridal jewellery account for about 70 per cent of the studio’s collections, Teo is focused on creating new collections in celebration of life’s milestones. “We believe that every occasion is worth celebrating, and it is important to make it memorable. Hence, we created the Bliss collection composed of miniature figures of boys or girls as gifting items to mark the milestones in the lives of our clients’ children or any significant children in their lives.” Similarly, a popular gift for newborns is an 18K gold safety pin complete with charms that could be personalised and custom-made for the arrival of each bundle of joy.
The pieces from the Bliss collection are perfect gifts for your little ones
Teo believes in marking a significant moment with a token of jewellery — be it an engagement or a wedding, graduation, birthdays, or motherhood, which are all milestones and momentous occasions worthy of celebrations. The brand’s competitive pricing makes a huge difference in making these precious celebrations much more achievable to her customers. To make her pieces even more accessible, Teo and her team are now working on launching an online presence.
Carat 55 offers a range of wedding jewellery, from proposal rings and wedding bands to contemporary bridal sets
“My goal is for Carat 55 to continue to deliver timeless, elegant, yet affordable pieces for our customers, to mark every joyous moment in their lives and celebrate each beautiful love story,” Teo concludes.