Fine-jewelry brand Yutai combines minimalist Japanese aesthetics with intricate technical artistry in its Fused Gems collection. Founded and led by Tokyo-based designer Yuta Ishihara, the company has developed a signature technique that involves fusing multiple gems together to form a single stone.
Ishihara subtly upends tradition by splicing precious materials, creating hybrids of garnets and citrines, rutile quartz, ametrine, and blue topaz. The resulting polished stones are multilayered and visually striking.
The highly specialized technique is unique to the brand. “When I was developing the concept for the Yutai Fused Gems, I was thinking about what makes a gem sparkle,” Ishihara recalls. “I wanted to take this idea and experiment with how the stone would look if I took two different-colored stones and combined them together into one to see how the light would reflect and the colors of the two stones would mix.”
The process involves using a strong adhesive to fuse the rough gems, then cutting and polishing the result, he explains. He came up with the idea while fixing broken pieces of a gemstone. “I noticed that the adhesive became nearly invisible, and thought this was a method that had the potential to expand the possibilities of stones.”
A high level of skill and precision is necessary in this process, as is an innate understanding of different gems’ optical properties. One challenge is finding two stones that have a similar hardness so they can be cut once fused. Citrine and garnet, for instance, are both about 7 on the Mohs scale.
“I found that selecting the right color combinations of the stones was important as well to create this unique mixing of colors [from] the reflected light,” the designer adds.
This article is from the March-April 2023 issue of Rapaport Magazine. View other articles here.
Image: Fused lemon quartz and Swiss blue topaz. (Yutai)