Daria de Koning is the daughter of an artistic Dutch immigrant and a fifth-generation American. Growing up, she spent summers traveling between her family home in bustling New York City and the Netherlands - the center of modern design. During this time, she discovered her love for crystals and rocks, which she began collecting. It was this love that eventually led her to seek formal training as an artist, and after apprenticing with a master metalsmith, she pursued a Graduate Gemologist degree from the G.I.A.
Daria’s design aesthetic draws deeply on her mother and grandmother, who never left the house without earrings and lipstick. She pays homage to their elegance with her feminine, confident and polished designs. She combines this aesthetic with her childhood love for rocks and crystals; gemstones are both an inspiration for and the apex of Daria’s designs. The natural shapes and colors of gems remind her of the work of Monet, Seurat, and Dali. She sees these stones, particularly cabochons, as paint on a canvas.
De Koning handcrafts each piece of her eponymous collection in collaboration with master metalsmiths in Silverlake, California. While many fine jewelry designers start with a sketch, Daria prefers to work the materials with her hands, letting them guide her to the final design. When she sees certain shapes or colors, she knows they are supposed to be together, largely relying on and honoring the natural growth and shapes of gems as they are formed. She is fueled by the challenge of using these rigid materials to create something that feels fluid, ultimately evoking the wearer the feeling of the movement of color that is seen in both modernist and impressionist paintings.
“Sustainability is two-fold for me. First, having a mind towards the earth – appreciating what it gives you, as well as taking care of it and fixing it up when you’ve extracted from it. Secondly, to create a sustainable life with fair pay, education, and shelter for the people that work hard to bring beautiful items within the earth to the world.” - Daria de Koning, Founder