Pragnell’s Masterpieces celebrate the unique beauty of mother nature’s extraordinary gemstones. These one-of-a-kind creations are the result of generations of design and craft excellence, each one handmade in Great Britain by skilled craftsmen using the most sophisticated modern and traditional techniques.
At the heart of each Masterpiece is a rare gemstone. Whether a Golconda diamond, a Kashmir sapphire, a Colombian emerald or a Burmese ruby, each stone is remarkable for its rarity, beauty and intrinsic value. Even an untrained eye will recognise the vibrancy of colour that makes these gems unique. Jewellery connoisseurs will also appreciate their scarcity, hailing, as they frequently do, from historic mines that are now exhausted.
“There is a finite amount of these rare stones on the planet, and the examples used in our Masterpieces are the finest of their type,” says managing director Charlie Pragnell, grandson of George Pragnell. “They are what we term in the trade ‘gems’ - a perfect example of that particular gemstone. They’re completely clean to the eye, very bright and lively, in the ideal colour for a stone from that mine.”
Many of these rare gems are in British houses; precious heirlooms that have been passed down since they were first discovered in the late 19th century. Pragnell’s reputation as the trusted jeweller to British families means we have unrivalled access to these precious, historic stones.
Some are set in exquisite antique jewels. Whether signed by a notable house or created by an anonymous artist, pieces that stand the test of time become part of Pragnell’s antique and period collection. Other stones need freeing from their current setting in order to showcase their true beauty. The finest examples become Pragnell Masterpieces.
The design of each Masterpiece begins with the acquisition of a rare gem; whether it’s hundreds of years old, or an exceptional new discovery. Each one is selected by Charlie Pragnell, along with his cousin Tom Crookenden, who draw on their expertise as GIA-trained gemmologists along with the intrinsic knowledge that comes from growing up surrounded by beautiful stones.
Working closely with their team, Charlie and Tom discuss and sketch designs that will best showcase the magnificence of the gem. The agreed sketch is turned into a detailed gouache, before being translated into a 3D CAD design and passed on to a master goldsmith: a marriage of traditional craftsmanship and modern techniques.
In the workshop, gemstone and artistry combine to create a rare jewel worthy of the title ‘masterpiece’. Each one takes between six months and two years to create, through constant dialogue between goldsmith and designer. Finally, Masterpieces are individually numbered and stamped with the Pragnell Seal, which together guarantee the jewel is one-of-a-kind, handcrafted in Great Britain.
“The demand for the rarest of all of nature’s wonders is continually increasing, so there is certainly a significant return on rarity,” says Charlie Pragnell. “But jewellery is more than an investment. Jewellery is the permanent embodiment of memories and emotions. It’s art, not fashion. Our Masterpieces are beautiful, timeless pieces of jewellery that encapsulate this essence.”