Nadia Neuman is an Australian, award winning jewellery designer and her collection Mondial by Nadia Neuman is part of a successful family business. We spoke to her to find out more:
What made you decide to become a jeweller?
From a very young age I’ve had a great appreciation for fine jewellery. My family has always been in the jewellery industry and therefore I grew up being surrounded by beautiful jewels. My parents travelled all over the world selecting beautiful stones.
My mother would design bold, unusual and magnificent pieces which I always admired so it was like a natural progression for me to follow in their footsteps. I just couldn’t resist working with rare and exotic gems, designing, creating and doing the things I loved.
You work with a range of coloured gems, what makes these so special?
I work with natural coloured diamonds, from pink, blue, green, red, champagne, cognac, yellow and everything in between. Aside from some of these being the rarest and most sought after gemstones in the world, each stone is unique.
I believe jewellery should be a reflection of your personality, that it should tell a story about the wearer. A colour is something which is really personal and you can fall in love with a coloured stone. They have the beautiful scintillation of white diamonds with a character and warmth to them that colourless stones lack.
How does your collection differ from the rest of Mondial Neuman?
In the Strand we have quite a different clientele to our QVB store. I would say the main difference is that our business in the QVB specialises in Argyle pink diamonds. Our QVB store actually has the largest selection of pink diamonds in the country. They are experts in diamonds of all colours but the largest part of the business is definitely pink diamonds.
In our Strand Arcade store we have a more design-based collection. We have what I would consider to be more contemporary and unusual jewellery designs. My customers come to our shop in The Strand because they want to sit with the designer and create a piece just for them.
What is it like working so closely with your family?
I love it! I feel very grateful to be able to work with my family. The best part about it is that we all excel in different aspects of the business and contribute to it equally. Between us we have all areas covered and we’re able to draw on each other’s strengths and in the end, the client benefits the most.
That being said, after being in the shop with them for nearly a decade it’s very nice to have my own space with the freedom to create as I wish.
Tell us a little bit about pink diamonds?
Pink diamonds are the rarest, most valuable diamonds in the world. Unlike other coloured diamonds, it’s not perfectly understood how pink diamonds are formed. It’s referred to as ‘plastic deformation of the lattice structure’. They are a freak of nature and that’s part of why they are so rare. You can get white diamonds from any mine all over the world, but the pinks come from only one mine in the world and that’s the Argyle Diamond Mine in WA (Australia).
They’re actually mining them out of the earth and it’s estimated that the Argyle mine will close in 2018, making them even more rare and special. They are considered to be ‘the most concentrated form of wealth in the world’ – as Argyle say “beyond rare”.
How do your designs reflect your personal style?
Personally, I like things that are quite unusual and sculptural. I like designing bold pieces that are not necessarily showy. Everything I design reflects my personal style in a certain way, however it’s restrained and channelled to reflect each clients story. I think the reason my business is successful is because I listen to what my customer wants – even if they’re not entirely sure, I’m pretty good at interpreting what they’re thinking. I then use this to influence my own creative forces.
As a whole, I like to think I reflect the high quality and finish of the pieces in the store, and the refinement of design. My personal style is reflected by the abundance of contemporary designs in the shop, however I also know that a lot of my customers love antique and vintage aesthetic so I’m mindful of this when designing as well.
What is your number one tip for men looking to buy something special for their lady?
If he wants to buy something special to surprise her, get an idea of shapes and colours she likes. You can tell a lot about a woman’s style and taste by knowing what her favourite car is, her style of dress, shoes etc…
If he finds out whether she likes contemporary or more vintage design that will tell me a lot. Her stature, colouring and a bit about her character will also be able to tell me what suits her. If he knows some of these things I can work out the rest. Promise!
Do you wear much jewellery?
I don’t actually wear a lot of jewellery. I have a couple of very special pieces that I wear all the time. It would be like choosing between your children.
How long does it take for you to come up with a piece?
My head is always filled with new designs. Quite often it’s a matter of finding the right stone or having a customer who wants something special and uniquely made for them. After that, everything falls into place surprisingly easily. When designing for a client, the process can take up to 3 visits, depending on the brief. I usually have 2 meetings with the client before the design is finalised.
What do you love most about your job?
There are so many things I love about my job. I feel very grateful to be doing work that I’m truly passionate about. I would say what I love the most would be when customers walk into the shop wanting unique pieces, choosing magnificent stones and trusting that I’m going to design a perfect piece of jewellery for them – that’s what I call jewelature!
It’s my favourite thing. People who have an appreciation of special, unique pieces who are prepared to take that first step to create something that’s all about them, which they’ll cherish forever.
What’s next for Nadia Neuman?
Next? No planning allowed! I consider myself very lucky to have a job I am passionate about and a beautiful shop I enjoy coming into every day, constantly meeting new people who are at a joyful time in their lives.
I’ve learnt that if I live in the moment, have good intentions, remain authentic and true to myself, and do things honestly and with consideration, if every now and then I can do something that takes me out of my comfort zone and I will be exactly where I’m supposed to be. No plans should get me to ‘whats next’.
What does being a woman mean to you?
Can’t imagine being anything else. I love being a woman.
Mondial by Nadia Neuman is located at Shop 15, The Strand Arcade, 412–414 George St Sydney 2000.