Jean Noel at the bench with his son and inspiration Henry
Kate Ellen works closely with gem-cutting rock-star Jean-Noel Soni to select and create custom rings featuring his precise and one-of-a-kind designs. The infamous and award winning gem cutter approaches each crystal family and each piece of rough stone as an individual to be honored, working with his sense of intuition to bring out the best and most interesting qualities of that species and each stone.
The tattoo clad designer tends little care for the established cuts that dominate the current market, yet he simultaneously deeply respects the legacy of his trade and the history of how stone cutting has evolved over time. The scintillating gems produce more than just a visually dazzling display, they also evoke an ethereal wonder.
Kate Ellen loves working with Jean-Noel. "First Jean-Noel himself is so fun and easy to collaborate with-- he brings a vitality and enthusiasm that is really energizing-- he brings super good vibes which is paramount to me because I truly believe that artists put something of themselves into their work that remains. His stones are jaw-dropping; whenever I see one for the first time it feels like nothing else-- just pure joy and beauty."
Montana Sapphire Ring by Kate Ellen
The process for designing a custom ring using Jean-Noel's begins with an inspiration stone-- clients usually look through the @topnotchfaceting Instagram account and find stones the desired color or shape. From there he selects a piece of rough material-- usually sapphire, garnet, spinel, or phenakite-- and he gets going on cutting a custom stone.
Kate Ellen begins her design work once the stone arrives finished and uses it as the basis for her inspiration. The mounting is crafted to that stone, the shape, faceting patterns, and light refracting map the direction of the ring. Budget extra time for buying on of these rings, Jean-Noel's work is in high demand and usually has a waitlist.
Pinkish Purple Spinel custom engagement ring by Kate Ellen
Sunstone custom cut green and yellow
Sapphire rough in hand
Handcut Zircon gemstone
Montana sapphire ring by Kate Ellen
Jean-Noel focuses on sustainable material from around the world, primarily from Sri Lanka, Africa, and even Montana. He cuts stones with both beauty and waste reduction in mind. His totally unique approach has garnered him awards from The Gemology Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Trade Association.