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Jewellery In Living Colour: Bespoke Jeweller Madly Focuses On Finding The Best Coloured Gemstones For Customers

In Living Colour: Bespoke Jeweller Madly Focuses On Finding The Best Coloured Gemstones For Customers

From left: Family ring in white gold with spinel, tourmaline, paraiba and tanzanite; cocktail ring in white gold with kite-cut lagoon tourmaline; earrings in white and rose gold (with removable earring jackets) with princess‑cut imperial topaz studs, tsavorites, yellow sapphires and diamonds
Image: Madly
By Tan Wei Lin
August 19, 2019
Tatler Focus
Diamonds are beautiful but coloured gemstones open up a whole new dimension. Local jeweller Madly demonstrates its potential with its vibrantly hued creations

Ask any jewellery enthusiast about the best places to go to for fine jewels in Singapore, and you’re sure to hear Madly mentioned among other top names. The jeweller, which has a creative studio in the quaint neighbourhood of Tiong Bahru, is not particularly aggressive on the marketing and advertising front. Instead, it lets its work do the talking. And that is how Madly, under the stewardship of founder Maddy Barber, built its reputation for being an expert in coloured gemstones.
 
Word of mouth is also the best form of advertising for the brand—impressed by the work of its designers and artisans, clients have continually sent their friends its way. In just five years since its establishment, Madly has grown its clientele base by leaps and bounds.

 

What is its formula for success? There’s no secret—the folks at Madly share a genuine passion for gemstones and, of course, the expert knowledge and knack for working with vibrantly coloured jewels.
 
“Coloured gemstones allow us to go big—[the price of] a top-quality 1-carat diamond allows me to get a 3 to 5-carat gemstone, which is often rarer than white diamonds, of a similar quality,” says Maddy. It’s a fact that many clients found hard to believe—in fact, five years ago, her team had to try very hard to convince them that coloured gems can be an excellent choice. That the brand sources many of its gems, including sapphires, garnets, spinels and tourmalines, from the same tradesmen that supply major international jewellers and its insistence on acquiring stones of the utmost quality has greatly helped in changing the mindsets of its customers, too.
 
While Madly used to source for diamonds for its customers, the demand for coloured stones has increased so spectacularly that Maddy knew that a new strategy had to be put in place. That is why sometime last year, she decided to stop sourcing for diamonds and fully concentrate on searching for the best-coloured gemstones in the world. (Madly still, however, continues to work with diamonds and produce diamond‑encrusted creations.)

(Related: 11 Asian Jewellery Designers You Should Know About)


An exceptional over 6 carats indigo tourmaline is intricately framed with custom-cut diamonds in this very chic and highly labour intensive ring
An exceptional over 6 carats indigo tourmaline is intricately framed with custom-cut diamonds in this very chic and highly labour intensive ring

“Coloured stones are indeed what we truly love and know; no one knows more—really. That’s why I thought we should focus on what we are really good at,” she says. Even though the business could have reaped more profits if it did not choose to carve a niche for itself in coloured gems, she believes that “it’s really about doing what you excel in”.

So far, it has proven to be a sound strategy—going niche has given the Madly team the time and bandwidth to create authentic designs that are bold, brilliant and unique for their customers. Taking this alternative route is also in line with the brand’s philosophy: “Being off-centred and a little left-field is what we proudly call ‘classic Madly’.”

(Related: Candy-Coloured Pieces Of Jewellery Worth The Sugar Rush)

The creative studio in Tiong Bahru (Image: Roy Lim)
(Image: Roy Lim)
 

That said, Madly is not resting on its laurels. There are expansion plans in place and it is looking to establish overseas when the time is right. Meanwhile, in Singapore, it continues to focus on its bespoke creations, which account for a large part of its business.

Whether you’re a regular or a first-time customer, the team will take the time to understand your personality and every desire concerning jewels before suggesting a stone and the best possible design to harness and amplify its beauty. After all, Madly is not your typical jeweller and is about “more than just creating and selling beautiful jewellery”.
 
“It’s about making the world a more joyful and sparkling place with what we do,” Maddy enthuses. And looking at the beaming smiles on the faces of clients leaving its studio, we cannot help but agree.

Madly | #01-63, 72 Seng Poh Road, S(160072) | 6650 1544 | create@madlygems.com

(Related: 5 Facts You Didn't Know About Diamonds)

Specially custom-made "slot" rings for a client's anniversary featuring an exceptional mandarin garnet and indigo tourmaline, that can be worn separately or together
Specially custom-made "slot" rings for a client's anniversary featuring an exceptional mandarin garnet and indigo tourmaline, that can be worn separately or together

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