Home Trends and Fashion Behind the Design: Buddha Mama’s ‘Gemmy’ Cocktail Ring
Trends and Fashion

Behind the Design: Buddha Mama’s ‘Gemmy’ Cocktail Ring

Miami-based fine jewelry collection Buddha Mama, which debuted in 2008, is famous for its colorful, Eastern-inspired jewels that utilize vibrant gems and talismanic imagery, while simultaneously boasting a playful Pop Art feel.

Founder Nancy Badia and her daughter and co-designer, Dakota Badia, originated the bombastically oversized ‘Gemmy’ cocktail ring (which essentially supersizes a classic gemstone ring) in 2017. It’s proven so popular, the duo’s made the one-of-a-kind style a staple in their collection.

The latest Gemmy ring, which is for sale through Bergdorf Goodman, was fabricated from 20k hammered yellow gold and centers on a stunning 8.70 ct. oval-cut purple-pink kunzite. The $48,000 jewel also features pear and flower clusters festooned with 3.06 cts. t.w. diamonds, 1.12 cts. t.w. tanzanite, 0.95 cts. t.w. emeralds, and 0.16 cts. t.w. pink sapphires. The resulting color mix is downright intoxicating.

We chatted with co-designer Dakota about the inspirations for the duo’s Gemmy rings, and how they’re made.

Top and above: Buddha Mama ‘Gemmy’ ring, $48,000

The Zing Report: Your Gemmy cocktail rings are epic! What led you to create such a bold and colorful piece?

Dakota Badia: We love the playful combination of stones on this piece. We’re from Miami and we’re not shy about rocking some bold color. As far as styling goes, I think this can play well with many things in terms of colors and patterns. We are of the more-is-more school of style!

Let’s talk about this specific Gemmy—how did you come to this color combo with the kunzite in the middle?

I was leaning towards an elegant tropical feel. This shade of kunzite is special, and we loved adding even more vibrancy to this piece with the emeralds, pink sapphire, and tanzanite. And of course, diamonds. It’s like a little bit of vacation every time you wear it.

How did your design process play out with this ring? Stones first?

Stone first! We found this 8.7 carat baby from our dear friend Dave Bindra at B&B Fine Gems and it was love at first sight.

I know you debuted the design in 2017, but I wonder if you were you inspired by historical aesthetics?

I would say it is inspired by pieces my mother Nancy Badia had back in the ’60s. Of course, this particular ring is on a larger scale as center stones back then were always a bit daintier. Then we added our heavy hammered setting that has a nice height and dramatic look.

How long does it take to fabricate one of these rings? 

One-of-a-kind pieces such as this can take anywhere from two to three months depending on how complicated the production is.

Where was this one fabricated and by what craftspeople?

We manufacture our pieces in Bangkok due to the many different techniques we use, and the level of skilled craftspeople we’re able to work with there to achieve our vision. We partner with a lovely family atelier with amazing artisans whom we’ve been working with for about 14 years. It takes a village!

Who would you say your core customer is for big, collectible pieces like this one?

Probably someone on the bolder side who likes heavy layers and all things fabulous. Or really anyone who needs a killer piece to add to their collection. We seem to attract like-minded clients who aren’t afraid to really go for it.

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