Top Gem in the Philippine Jewelry Industry Celebrates a Decade of Ups and Downs – Manila Bulletin

hard as diamonds

PRECIOUS GEMS, PROUD PINOY Local luxury brand Tessera is known for its custom jewelry and classic diamond retail

Whether it’s a wedding or a coming-of-age party, Tessera’s exquisite diamond jewelry collections have been major milestones for a decade.

The leading brand has also had its fair share of ups and downs that have shaped it to become the premium label it is known for now. Tessera is a unique gem in the fashion industry that brings everything you are looking for in a diamond accessory. All of its pieces are style essentials with their timeless mix-and-match designs, symbols for sentimental moments and high-value investments.

Refine rough diamond

Carl Fider and Papat Aquino-Fider had Tessera as their first brain with their shared fondness for the arts.

“I am a designer by nature. I like designing stuff. I like drawing. Art is something I’ve always done,” Carl said.

In 2011, they entered the fashion accessories market, curating bespoke monograms and necklaces to start their home-based business: Tessera by PAF. Papat named it after the small fragments that make up a mosaic because it is art in itself. Later they moved away from monograms and focused on diamonds, changing the name to just Tessera.

The couple said that Tessera “started out by designing little jewels.” “I started small, from almost nowhere,” Carl said.

As seen in their works, their art is heavily influenced by their travels through Asia and Europe. The best inspiration they found in these businesses, however, was the diamond sellers who led them to shift their main product to these gemstones, even without formal training in the field.

“I traveled a bit to Hong Kong, Belgium, met a few diamond dealers there and made connections with them to expand my business in the Philippines,” he recalls. “I learned from some of the big names in the industry. I learned by seeing stones of all sizes, colors, shapes. I went to factories where diamonds are cut, where a group of experts s sit down and decide which rough piece will be cut into a round or fancy shape diamond and then which grading lab it will be sent to.

From nowhere

The company has always valued its customers’ personal choices for its designs, even in its early years. Until she changed her main materials, she continued to create bespoke pieces for her clients.

“You know, valuing diamonds is a completely different story. If you want to improve diamonds, you can always come back to us and we’ll be happy to evaluate and give you a fair price for your stones,” he said. he declares.

Carl explained that “the brand offers a wide variety of diamonds, which gives our customers complete freedom to enjoy the experience of choosing a stone that best represents itself”.

“I learned from some of the big names in the industry. I learned by seeing stones of all sizes, colors, shapes. I visited factories where diamonds are cut.

The leading jeweler prides itself on its wide range of naturally mined and certified diamonds from 0.30 to 10 carats made in India and Belgium.

“Today we have over a thousand internationally certified diamonds in our collection, ready to be selected and turned into your next heirloom,” Carl said proudly.

filipino pride

ALAB AT DANGAL Among Tessera’s most famous works is this patriotic ear cuff in gold with rubies and diamonds, which was worn by Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray

All of its products are of premium quality and exquisite workmanship without a doubt. The company even gained worldwide buzz when Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray sashayed Binibining Pilipinas’ coronation night donning Three Stars and a Sun earrings that she designed herself.

With the massive craze, the brand continued to be the trusted maker of the beauty queen’s thoughtful ideas to showcase Filipino heritage on the prestigious Miss Universe stage.

The original piece Tessera created for her is an 18k yellow gold cuff adorned with four carat diamonds. The public then urged Catriona and Tessera to improve the design to match her fiery look at the Miss Universe pageant with Alab in Dangal, dotting the gold cuff with rubies and diamonds.

They also collaborated for other various patriotic designs inspired by the Philippine flag, including the Oriental Pearl and the Sun Nails.

With this fashion in 2018, even the ABS-CBN Star Magic Ball had a Filipiniana theme that year. With Tessera’s established credibility in portraying Filipino culture flawlessly with her regal designs, several artists flaunted their personalized household name accessories on the red carpet.

Cuffs inspired by Philippine eagle wings, red and blue jewels to mimic the country’s flag, and various timeless classics were studded with high-carat diamonds to shine with the stars.

Yet even before its major rise in the trajectory of nationalist curations, Tessera has always been a renowned label and a status symbol at balls, weddings, gifts and other major events.

Silver lining

Tessera’s resilience was tested, however, as everyone was shaken when the global crisis hit in 2019.

He expected a drastic drop in profits, contrary to the industry forecast for 2020 that McKinsey and company published in 2014. The article explained how fast fashion had contributed to the possible increase in jewelry sales for women. years to come, with no idea of ​​an international health issue affecting consumers’ economic capacity.

Fortuitously, the strict quarantine protocols have been a call to invest. Many saw the opportunity to purchase valuable diamond pieces during this time.

“Because people’s travel was restricted — no vacation trips, no nights out, no fine dining — our customers had more resources to spend on other luxuries and investments like jewelry,” Carl said. Others have instead invested in their relationships. As a symbol of endless love, diamonds have been essential options for partners to say yes.

“As always, our engagement rings have remained our best seller because pandemic or no pandemic, people are still getting engaged and getting married,” Carl explained. “In fact, since elaborate proposals aren’t an option, people end up spending money on nicer, impactful rings instead.”