It’s not everyday that diamonds get the avant-garde treatment. In the hands of Hong Kong jeweller Nicholas Lieou, though, it’s inevitable.

The proof is in Lieou’s new capsule collection for Sotheby’s Diamonds, comprising of glittering diamond rings and earrings. There are 10 pieces in all, each reflecting the designer’s unique interpretation of organic forms in nature.

Take the Pod Ring, for example, which features a brilliant green 4.40 carat diamond peeking out from under a cocoon of pavé diamonds — unexpectedly set in reverse. Lieou also applied that technique on the Cocoon Rosé Ring, whose shell opens up to reveal a 4.50 carat, rose-cut diamond in all its glory.

If Lieou’s irreverent approach to jewellery design isn’t yet crystal clear, see the Reishi Edge earrings. Featuring round, brilliant-cut diamonds, the pair fans out into an ebony eclipse — a nod to the flat caps of the Reishi mushroom.

Lieou is evidently a fan of sinuous lines (“[Jewellery] needs to go with the body’s curves,” he said) and that’s best captured in the Willow earrings. Each side features a cascade of pavé-set diamonds, dangling from a large, pear-shaped diamond.

The design is reminiscent of the Medusa earrings from his namesake jewellery label, Mr. Lieou, which he launched after stints at Louis Vuitton, Shanghai Tang and most notably at Tiffany & Co., where he was design director of high jewellery. Much of Lieou’s artistic flair, though, was awakened through his apprenticeship for Shaun Leane, the maverick British jeweller that helped bring Alexander McQueen’s visions to life.

Like Leane, Lieou has a reverence for the craft of jewellery — but also an itch to break the mould of what it should look like. His capsule for Sotheby’s Diamonds makes that abundantly clear: the pieces are modern, wearable and in some cases, transformable. “I tried to make this collection more ‘everyday’, items that people can wear casually,” he shared, highlighting the preferences of the new generation of jewellery customers.

Working with Sotheby’s Diamonds was a no-brainer. The company — an independent offshoot of Sotheby’s auction house — specialises in one-of-a-kind high jewellery designs; it has previously collaborated with independent jewellers like Lily Gabriella, Eliane Fattal and Joseph Ramsay, all of whom create bold, cutting-edge designs that are anything but typical.

For its part, Sotheby’s Diamonds offers them the finest diamonds to work with. This is thanks to its partnership with Diacore — an expert in sourcing, cutting and polishing the world’s best diamonds — and the eagle eye of Sotheby’s Diamonds chairman, Patti Wong. As one of the most experienced jewellery specialists in the business, Wong selects every gemstone used in a Sotheby’s Diamonds jewel.

“The complexities of the collection are a testament to both the high level of craftsmanship at Sotheby’s Diamonds and the brand’s strong commitment to creating truly extraordinary pieces,” shared Lieou on his collaboration. Indeed, his collection speaks for itself.

Discover Nicholas Lieou’s capsule collection for Sotheby’s Diamonds here

Header photo credit: Sotheby’s Diamonds | Featured photo credit: Mr.Lieou

Pameyla Cambe
Senior Writer
Pameyla Cambe is a fashion and jewellery writer who believes that style and substance shouldn't be mutually exclusive. She makes sense of the world through Gothic novels, horror films and music. Lots of music.