Look: this expatriate designs rings inspired by the emblematic monuments of the United Arab Emirates – News
‘UAE50’ rings are created from platinum, diamonds and natural stones
Abu Dhabi-based American jewelry designer Tariq Riaz has sold his home in the United States to fund a project entirely dedicated to cultural foundations in the United Arab Emirates.
Riaz marks the UAE’s Golden Jubilee with a stunning collection of rings inspired by the watchtower of Qasr Al Hosn and the iconic Al Jahili Fort, among others.
The ‘UAE50’ rings are created from platinum, diamonds and natural stones. Riaz, a former computer engineer, said the project took more than four years to complete.
“I am from the United States. I have lived in Abu Dhabi for 10 years. My work has brought me to the United Arab Emirates,” Riaz said at the 28th Abu Dhabi Jewelry and Watch Fair.
There is an interesting reason why a Silicon Valley technician with a background in robotics becomes a jewelry designer.
Seven years ago, his pregnant wife Zaara, with swollen fingers, complained that she could not wear her wedding ring.
Riaz, a loving husband, did his best to make his wish come true. The brain of an engineer and the eye of an artist helped him design an expandable ring, which would always suit Zaara.
“It was my first time doing a ring. No one in my family has anything to do with jewelry making. I didn’t know anything about it. But I fell in love with the process, ”he told the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center.
A curious Riaz then learned the trade from the American Gem Trade Association and the Gemological Institute of America. He then took courses in Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany and Russia.
“It took about nine months of traveling and learning to design and make jewelry.”
Then, five years ago, inspiration came and he decided to create unique jewelry that would tell stories from the United Arab Emirates.
In order to launch the collection in the year of the 50th, Riaz has chosen a few themes. Among them were the forts which protected the communities, the Khalas date palms which provided their subsistence and the Jarrah ships which contained water.
He visited Al Jahili Fort a dozen times to understand the different angles, gates, architecture and features, and also frequented Qasr Al Hosn during its renovation. He named two rings “1761” and “1885”, important dates in the history of Qasr Al Hosn and the United Arab Emirates.
Finally, he started working in his studio in Mussafah. He got all the diamonds, waited months to get them cut the way he wanted and finally has a collection of adjustable platinum rings made up of 300 to 700 diamonds and gemstones, including ruby, emerald and sapphire.
“I had a great career in the United States. I won a lot of money. We have built a beautiful house in the United States. I sold it to finance this project. It involved a lot of money. But it is not a job but a passion. I got carried away with the process. Every day the feeling I got while creating it was something I had never felt before. I didn’t think it would take me that long, ”he said.
He stressed that the collection is only for display and not for sale. “It comes from my heart. It is priceless. It is not for sale.
The UAE50 collection has already won numerous international awards, notably for the “Abrazo” brand technique, which makes the ring stretchable.
“This has a custom cut diamond and platinum of the highest purity. Each ring is adjustable up to seven finger sizes. I have won 12 international jewelry awards in the past eight months for design, innovation and manufacturing.
READ ALSO :
Riaz said he felt blessed to pay tribute to the United Arab Emirates on the occasion of the 50th Year.
“I moved to Abu Dhabi because I found a job here. We are enjoying our life here. Our two daughters Eva and Emma were born here. We call it our home. And this is the place where I found my vocation, found the purpose of my life, ”he said.