Elle Drake is no stranger to luxury goods or the fashion industry, given her lucrative career in the fashion industry where she worked as a brand ambassador for Gucci and model for Vogue Gioiello (Vogue Italia’s jewellery edition).

Sparked by this fashion-centric experience, Drake has founded her passion-project turned business empire Monarc Jewellery. More than just a budding curiosity for the stones used in luxury accessories, the former model decided to study at Gemological Institute of America (GIA). “For me, jewellery design strikes the perfect balance between romance and science,” she has said.

Ella Drake in Monarc Jewellery’s London studio
Credit: Supplied

This enhanced awareness of the industry she gained from studying also led her to the search for an alternative to mined diamonds. Short story, ‘aboveground’ diamonds became the stone of choice and are used in Monarc’s most recent collection. Compared to traditionally mined diamonds, the environmentally-friendly alternative – which is created using solar panels – has a lower carbon footprint.

The unique process made to create them also eliminates the social turmoil of labour abuse in some under-developed countries where gems are sourced.

Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio who starred in the movie Blood Diamond, which explores the darker side of the diamond trade, has been vocal in his support for these sustainable stones and expressed his appreciation for the company that makes them, Diamond Foundry. “[The company is ] cultivating real diamonds in America without the human or environmental toll of mining,” DiCaprio has said.

Monarc Jewellery’s aboveground diamond collection
Credit: Supplied

Monarc Jewellery’s aboveground diamond collection
Credit: Supplied 

Monarc Jewellery’s point of difference the transparency of the production process for each ring it sells. Frustrated by her own confusion while navigating the murky waters of purchasing diamonds as a consumer, she wanted to provide an option that openly shared the sourcing of its products and the ethical journey behind it.

“I want to rule out any possibility that someone’s lifelong symbol of love for another person could carry with it exploitation and suffering.”

The brand also emphasises its attention to craftsmanship, the premium experience and quality of the product. It offers both ready-to-wear and bespoke options, with everything from necklaces, bracelets and rings to choose from. A minimalistic aesthetic is infused into each design, emulating Monarc Jewellery’s straight-forward, uncomplicated ethos. Shop the Monarc Jewellery collection here.

Images: (1) Empress Base, (2) Empress Stack, (3) Cleopatra Base, (4) Coeur Base, (5) Couer Stack, (6) Reine Base, (7) Reine Stack, (8) Thea Base

Tile: Style NZ