Ask Victoria jeweler Idar Bergseth of Idar Jewellers why his work draws from nature and he’ll tell you it wasn’t always that way.
Jewelers Idar Bergseth (foreground) and Erkki Mursula, of Idar Jewellers, won a design award for their Pirouette ring (below). PHOTOGRAPH: JEFFREY BOSDET.
“When I first started in the 60s, everything was very organic, like the Seaweed ring, but after that I went through a cubist period, when the jewelry was very structural and clean,” Idar says. “Then I had the idea of doing a Calla Lily ring and things evolved from that. We do a lot of florals now.”
This includes his popular Summer Series, which celebrates West Coast flora and fauna. Idar’s signature bumblebee trademark — designed by daughter Lara Bergseth — is stamped on the inside of each hand-forged piece and is inlaid in the sidewalk outside the store.
“The rings with the critters are always popular,” Lara says. “Bees, ladybugs, dragonflies and the flowers. They are lower-profile, and while they’re not glitzy, they’re spectacular.”
Since opening in 1972 (first on Broad Street then moving to the iconic Fort Street location), Idar has seen demand for styles shift to a simpler esthetic. Stacking rings with delicate gemstones are ultra-popular right now.
“People don’t want big,” he explains. “They want the everyday piece that they don’t have to worry about. But some of these stones, like the pink diamonds, are very rare and costly, even though they are tiny. It’s understated. We call it stealth wealth.”
Calla lilies, roses and periwinkle, along with summer creatures such as ladybugs and dragonflies, inspire Idar’s Summer Series.
Idar Jewellers’ Pirouette ring, which won an Award of Excellence from Canadian Jeweller Magazine, is handmade in platinum and set with naturally pink diamonds.
Originally published May/June 2018 YAM magazine.