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An Antique Jewelry Collection That Broke Our Brains

We’ve never seen diamonds this big, or this flawless before.

An Antique Jewelry Collection That Broke Our Brains

Among the things you can expect to find in Austin, Texas, are hipsters (sigh…), live music, bats, and excellent queso. More surprising? Museum-quality, priceless jewelry—but then again, Austin is full of surprises!

Bell and Bird, founded by couple Cyrus and Rihanna Shennum, occupies a small storefront beneath a workshop where they make custom jewelry and must-be-seen-to-be-believed-level gorgeous jewelry boxes. Housed in the shop? Said priceless jewels, which, at the time we visited, included a matching pair of pear-shaped Type IIa flawless diamond drop earrings (in non-diamond nerd speak, that means really, really, really, ridiculously rare), a collection of custom diamond rings incorporating antique stones into custom settings, and an enormous emerald ring that this writer had a very, very hard time leaving behind. (Ahem, Santa…)

In one of the greatest days of our professional life, Cyrus and Rihanna let us fondle all the goods inside the vault, play a serious game of jewelry dress-up, and told us the stories behind some of the rarest, most special pieces they have.

It was truly a dream. Click through for a collection of antique diamonds that temporarily broke our brains.

“We were both separately in the [jewelry] business. I was working with private clients, making things for them and for other stores, and she was selling vintage jewelry to independent boutiques. We met when I was buying shoes at one of the stores [where she was buying], ByGeorge.”
“We were both in a relationship at the time, and about two years after that we started traveling to jewelry shows, and you know… So we kind of started as a separate business doing two different things. That’s what makes the store sort of unique in that we can have a little bit of high-low. We can have exposure to both. She’s very good at buying things because it looks great, and I’m more of an academic buyer, so we’re good for two different kinds of clients.” —Cyrus Shennum
Part of the series:

Diamond Week

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