Friday, June 20, 2008


While this blog serves its purpose quite well, I'm now ready to move everything to my official web page at:

Its just been quite difficult managing two different addresses at the same time. BUT...not to worry, all archives have been moved to the main site and I have maintained the blog feature so I can still keep all of you updated as always.

It's still a work in progress but at least you'll get to see new things every time you drop by for a visit.

Bookmark me please!!!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Rose cut diamonds

...or "diamante" in the vernacular has been making a comeback of sorts lately. Along with the renewed interest in Victorian/Edwardian style jewelry. It's popularity actually never waned for businessmen and entrepreneurs as it is said to bring in luck. This stems from diamond's characteristic of being the hardest substance on the Moh's scale; all other gems scratched and shattered beside it. Ergo the thinking that this certain imperviousness, or "luck", would also be attained by the wearer. Rose cuts were actually one of the earliest types of "cutting" done on a diamond. They did not have the technology to saw through diamonds then so they just crudely grinded the tops off diamond roughs and noticed the patterns looked like rose buds from the top hence the name. I personally like how subdued it is compared to a full cut diamond. It sort of glows from the inside as opposed to the sharp sparkle a full cut presents. Which is not actually any better...just different.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Nobody else's

Aum Jewels not only offers one-off pieces but also bespoke services. If you can't find what you want anywhere then I can personally sit down and work with you to create a piece.

We can source unusual stones, rework gems from heirloom pieces or mix old and new. Absolutely no limits to the possibilities.

In the end, arguably no brand can ever match the look and feel of something that was specifically created for a wearer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Jade, Old Jade

I'm pretty sure many are familiar with jade. The gem of choice by Asians for luck. Carve even more auspicious characters and figures on them and it becomes even more fortuitous to possess. It is generally said to protect the wearer from harm.

Here are some things you probably know (or don't, but still interested to find out) about jade. There are two types of stones we call jade; Nephrite and Jadeite. Most common in the market are Nephrite. At best translucent in thinner pieces but mostly opaque. Jadeite, on the other hand, is much more rare. It can be cut into cabochons or beads and even whole carvings and still remain translucent. Most prized samples with color of a vivid apple to emerald green are called "Imperial Jade" and are priceless. A whole strand of evenly matched beads are even more so. It's also interesting to note that jadeite comes in several other fabulous colors (namely lavender, black, white & yellow) besides green.

However, the problem with jade is that it is too much associated with antiquity. But here are attempts at giving it a bit of an updated twist.

L-R: Bi-color jadeite ring in hammered yellow gold. Black jadeite ring in yellow gold with diamond eternity micro-pave. Green jadeite ring in yellow gold with diamond eternity micro-pave.

Pendant of antique nephrite jade dragon carving with multi-colored sapphires and seed pearl in yellow gold. Strung on black coral beads. I got this carving from an old man while walking along some alleys in Hong Kong. The carving was just too interesting to let go.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In Three's

Here's a piece with faceted blue and purple sapphires and pink sapphire cabochons. It's a pretty piece; wearable everyday. But definitely not lacking in character.

Friday, April 25, 2008

All that glitters!

Gold. Warm. Rich and luxurious. Understandable why countries have been built and ruined by this noble metal. More so these days as prices are as high as they have ever been historically. But of course we do wear jewelry for a different purpose. And to associate it with just material value is totally not the point. We talk about beauty and craftsmanship and all that. At the end of the day if you're happy with a purchase then that's all that matters.

Above is a handmade brooch of multi textured gold sheets with a baroque pearl and diamonds. Will try posting a few more pieces in gold these coming weeks in time for summer.

Thursday, April 10, 2008


More and more people want variety with their jewelry these days, especially with earrings. While some people are comfortable wearing dangling earrings everyday, some only choose to wear them for special occasions. (I, on the other hand, don't believe in waiting for an occasion to wear whatever you like. But that's for another blog.)

Here's somewhat of a solution I propose: detachables. These are earrings of pink and blue sapphires with diamonds set in yellow gold. The baroque south sea pearls can be worn as drops or can be taken out. Dangling earrings and studs in one piece. To take it even further you can substitute other gems for the pearl as drops. I would think some kunzites, tanzanites and amethysts (to name a few) would go well with the base. Or a big ball of twined gold.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Town and Country, April 2008

*click to enlarge image

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Not literally. At least it's an interpretation of sorts. Some juicy orange and yellow sapphires with a criss-cross of pave diamonds and seed pearls. A lively piece, these earrings just pop out; with yellows being the brightest hues in the color scale. Sharp sparkles provided by two of the hardest natural substances, which are of course, diamonds and corundum (sapphires); mixed with the softness of the pearls. I have to say they go agreeably well with most skin tones (and hair colors). And, I'd like to think, personalities.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

pearls and yellow gold pebbles

I started experimenting in matte finishes on metal surfaces a few years ago and found that this type of treatment really made yellow gold look organic. Like glowing pebbles. Strung along a south sea pearl strand with excellent luster, the luminous whites and randomly placed rough yellows make for a great low-key but elegant combination. With the interesting lock meant to be worn like an off-center pendant.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Deco Diamonds

Here's a piece with an updated Art Deco twist. Round and princess cut diamonds set in white gold. Big, bold and angular; yet very refined.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here's a special gem. Upon turning, one can see broad flashes or shimmers of blue light. This light phenomena is called "adularescence". Adularia or Adular is moonstone. Therefore "adularescence" is the light that comes from a moonstone. The moonstone closely resembled the various phases of the moon as you turned it, hence the name. Theoretically.

Indian lore states that moonstones provide the wearer beautiful visions during sleep. They were sewn into clothes, unseen, to induce fertility. And it is reputed to have calming effects and positive energy.

Most common varieties of moonstones are white, milky and translucent. They also come in orange, green and brown and have a soft sheen at best. But most exceptional quality moonstones are transparent with intense blue color flashes. There's quite a bit of difference in prices of "milky" and "colored" moonstones versus the "classical" fine blue specimens. With the transparent variety becoming more and more rare.

One word to describe it, though, is tantalizing. It just draws you in. Like gravity.

-Inset are earrings of fine blue moonstones with seed pearls and diamond pave in white gold.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Here's a piece largely inspired by a person. Originally, I was supposed to design a cuff; but that turned out to be a spiritless effort. In the end, I had this light bulb moment and sketched out something in an instant. The result was this:

A large heavy ring of fine silver in comfort fit with distressed finish and some oxidation. Set with dark multi-colored tourmalines on top.

And here's the owner wearing it.

What first inspired me was his platinum hair. So I represented that in textured silver. He likes wearing earth tones and has this organic style. Which I represented with dark multi-colored tourmalines arranged in this amoeba/paisley/kidney like shape. Industrial and free-form. I think it suits the wearer just fine.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

hot rocks!

It's February again. The so called season of love. To which i never understood why the birthstone originally assigned for February is the amethyst. Amethysts were believed to protect its wearer against seduction and drunkenness. Which is totally the antithesis to the "wining and dining", and so on and so forth activities during the love month.... don't you think? I find nothing wrong with the stone per se; in fact i love purple. But for February I propose a more fitting example of passion through Fire Opals. Whereas the most recognizable white and black opals are found in Australia, it is in Mexico where fire opals' only significant deposits in the world lie. They were the preferred symbols of fervent love by the Indians, Persians and Central Americans long before diamonds became popular. Obviously due to its fiery warm glow! Below is a Mexican Fire Opal pendant with orange sapphires and diamonds in yellow gold.

They're really just fascinating to look at. And I didn't really need to design anything so elaborate for it as the gems stand out on their own.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

pinks and blues

So...... here's a pretty simple design using Kunzites. Diamonds encircling the relatively large, excellent samples of the pastel hued stones. And the pear shape drops being detachable so you can just wear the smaller pink studs on top if you wanted to. pretty versatile. From the grocery to a gown...
In the same picture is a necklace made of aquamarine rough; with an off-center pendant of hammered gold and diamonds. I didn't exactly create these two pieces together but they seem to go along fabulously. (I'm really not into matching pieces.)

So what exactly is "aquamarine rough"? The word "rough" is a general term used in the gem business as an uncut/unpolished specimen. Basically how you'd find the gems in the mines or in natural form. Cleaned of course. Precious stones are often found in these "rocky" looking forms and then faceted and polished into the gleaming gems that most are familiar with. However, there's just this certain ineffable appeal to rough gems.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

on display

Aum Jewels was originally conceived to bring alternative designs to more people. We do, in fact, purchase jewelry as personal adornment above all. To be beautiful. To be unique. People now have increasingly refined tastes that they overlook the fact that this very human trait to express ones self through jewelry and accessories has probably been around since man was still walking on all fours. BUT i digress.

I am only one of the designers featured in Aum. I also showcase friends who are as passionate as i am in designing equally unique and beautiful pieces. and these designers are:

Patrick Valero - a Graduate Jeweler Gemologist whose items can also be found in Amanpulo. bold silver, jade and tourmaline pieces. very oriental

Kristine Dee - a Pratt alumni, who makes all her pieces with her own hands. she has come out with several one-man-shows already, showcasing her art jewelry. very feminine style

Jul B. Dizon - who needs no introduction; is an institution locally for painstakingly designed and crafted nature pieces.

as you can see, the store has no doors. and has no corners (at least the walls). the brightest areas are the display cases. and all the jewels are treated as pieces of art. which they should be. allowed to stand out on its own. of course jewels looks different when its actually worn so, yes, all pieces can be tried on.

a favorite item is this rose/white gold earrings with diamonds, pink sapphires and rubies set all around.

and lastly a picture of my display.

looks better up close and in person ;)


What exactly is "Aum" and why did i choose the word "Aum" for my jewelry?

initially i wanted a simple, one syllable word. Unique and easy to remember. and related to both jewelry and the complete woman.

"Aum" is derived from the latin/scientific word for gold, which is "aurum". "Au" in the table of elements.

"Aum" is also the one word mantra, chanted to destroy negative elements of the mind, body and soul. therefore achieving balance. and this relates to the woman, who despite the many different roles she plays in her life, still maintains to be successful.

there's a certain warmth you feel when you pronounce the word "aum". very organic and natural. and i have noticed my designs, at least for the moment, have been evolving this way. (evolving BUT not being trapped in the design paradigm, thank god)

Below is a leaf inspired bangle with a soft organic finish. i used diamonds as sort of a "stem". i really like this piece and was one of the first items i have sold at Aum in TriNoma. The same series leaf earrings (which have also been sold) can be seen in the background.

a stark contrast to what i started out designing. masculine, architectural pieces. as seen below.

but be it organic, modern, architectural, warm, cool, etc... i still find that i always like things clean. and i guess i still have a certain look, as I'm told.

but anyway, let this first post be a preview of the new pieces, old pieces, and maybe random posts on gemological and jewelry matters. if you want anything in particular discussed, send me a message and let's see what we can do.