31 Jul 2021
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Reena Ahluwalia The Intrepid Voyager
Canadian jewellery designer Reena Ahluwalia’s vociferous appetite for travel ably fuels her ceaseless capacity to innovate, finds Roli Gupta.
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 19 2011 12:10PM
Reference: 6258  

I am a curiosity junkie!” exclaims Reena Ahluwalia, award-winning Canadian jewellery designer describing herself. “Travelling informs my design decisions and deepens my design thinking. Including the life experiences and cultural cues gained during my sojourns help expand my vision and keep it fresh. Sensing the world from my nomadic mind’s perspective brings a free spirit of enquiry and exploration – and that shows up in my cutting edge designs.”

A first generation jeweller, Reena credits a large part of her success to the industry itself, even as she thinks it’s a blessing to have been able to chart her own trail. “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to have worked with, and been mentored by, the best diamantaires in the industry. Now I count them as my most trusted confidantes. I have worked very hard to earn their trust through my work, skills and the value my creativity brings to a project. As far as my work ethic is concerned, it’s an amalgamation of persistence, patience, the desire to stay inventive and lead through design and of course an unbridled passion for my craft.“

Reena’s hard work and perseverance of more than 15 years has paid rich dividends – awards and accolades have been aplenty. Some of her achievements are nothing short of extraordinary - iconic British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen featured Reena’s award-winning piece in his Spring/Summer 2000 collection debut in New York. Her 101 carat diamond jewel ‘Bel Canto’ was a finalist at the HRD Awards 2007, a competition organised by the Antwerp World Diamond Center. The same piece won her another rare honour – it was featured and released as a special edition postagestamp entitled “Antverpia 2010,” by the Belgian Postal Service to highlight Antwerp as a celebrated diamond centre - an exceptional and highly coveted honour, given that only a handful of jewellery pieces is ever featured on postage stamps.

In February 2009, Reena made history again – she was invited by the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and De Beers Canada to design a diamond setting for the _ rst two mined diamonds from the Canadian province of Ontario. These diamonds have been set in the historic Mace of Ontario, a sceptre-like object that held a symbolic place in the regalia of the British Parliament during the 14th century. The Mace of Ontario was last refurbished over 100 years ago to recognise the ascension of King Edward VII to the throne when Queen Victoria died in 1901. As part of Canadian history, Reena Ahluwalia’s name has been recorded in the Ontario’s Legislature’s archives and will forever be remembered along with the Mace’s long history. Speaking about this eponymous design, Reena explains, “The base of the diamond mount has a quatrefoil shape with its equal sections representing symmetry and balance. The spiralling form of the design secures the rough diamond that signi_ es the diamond mine and natural riches of Ontario. It leads up to the polished square Ideal-cut diamond that rises above and represents the valueadded processes that promise prosperity. This design represents growth, continual change and evolution. My ultimate design challenge consisted of determining a persuasive _ nal design that not only worked in visual and symbolic symmetry with the existing historic Mace, but one that could stand the test of time.”

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