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Family of Gems
Dr Iroshini Chua is a jewellery designer who is known for her ability to bring out the best in the gemstones that she works with, resulting in beautiful creations that radiate elegance and finesse.
Iroshini’s passion for jewellery was born out of her family’s relationship with jewels. Born in Colombo, Sri Lanka where her family, the Gunawardanas, are veterans in the gem trade, Iroshini has lived and breathed jewellery since birth.
I want to build a future for my daughter, this is her birthright.”
— DR IROSHINI CHUA
Keeping the Legacy Alive
As a fourth generation jeweller (her great grandfather and grandfather owned a jewellery shop while her father was a gemologist who ran a lapidary and gem export business), she spent her childhood surrounded by beautiful stones. The vivid and vibrant colours of the diamonds, sapphires, emeralds and rubies she encountered captivated her imagination but also cultivated within her an innate sense of how best to harness their beauty as well as a burning desire to do them justice.
Although a medical doctor by day and trade, Iroshini never forgot her heritage and memories of her time spent watching and learning from her father through her formative years inspired her to pursue jewellery design more seriously. Whether it be a ready-to-wear collection or a bespoke commission, Iroshini draws on her vast experience and instinctive know-how to come up with truly breathtaking pieces.
Story of Iroshini
Ever since she was a little girl, Iroshini expressed a keen interest in coloured gemstones and jewellery. She would sit on her father’s lap as he worked, exploring their nuances and learning their mystical secrets.
Well-placed to source the best stones available, Iroshini Jewellery specialises in sapphires from Iroshini’s home country of Sri Lanka. Each piece is handcrafted by artisans who have worked with her family for years, many of whom have learnt their trade from their own ancestors .
“One of the biggest reasons why I decided to launch my own jewellery brand is because I wanted to make sure these artisans — who depend on my family for a means of living — continue to have a source of income,” explains Iroshini. “Sri Lanka is known as a place to find high quality craftsmanship and jewellery that are handcrafted and made with love. The pieces are never perfect but that’s what makes them unique. I want to play my part in making sure that this isn’t a forgotten art.
Inspiring The Next Generation
Keen to pass on her skills and knowledge to the next generation, Iroshini has encouraged her daughter Aiyana Chua to try her hand at jewellery design and some of these pieces have been included in the Iroshini Chua Jewellery collection.
“Jewellery design is fun. It has a lot of bright colours and it looks really pretty,” says Aiyana. “This is something that I would like to do when I’m older.”
Iroshini hopes that the jewellery she designs will also stand the test of time and just like the knowledge that has been passed down to her, so will the jewellery she designs be passed down from generation to generation.
“The beauty of jewellery is that they stand the test of time,” she says. “Every piece of jewellery is unique and I design them as heirlooms to be passed down the ages.
I am so happy that she’s decided to embark on this journey because it means that our family’s legacy will continue to live on.”