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Mara Hotung

A trained gemmologist, Mara Hotung gained extensive experience at leading houses such as Sotheby’s and Van Cleef & Arpels.

After a very successful early career at Sotheby’s as a Deputy Director and jewellery specialist, she joined Van Cleef & Arpels to help expand brand awareness and market share in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. In early 2007, Mara launched her own jewellery company.

Her inspiration comes from observing nature and her surroundings. She also looks to the past.

Mara’s fascination with gems and jewellery began more than 20 years ago, when her mother presented her with 16 marquise-shaped diamonds. Rather than keep the diamonds for herself, she designed a pair of cluster earrings for her mother to wear, on the condition that it be known that her daughter designed them.

Mara continued to sketch and design over the years, often taking her mother’s out-of-date jewels and remaking them into classic, yet contemporary, pieces. Soon her friends took note and what was an obsession became a professional passion.

Each piece that is designed by Mara is set with unique and unusual stones. She favours the subtle colours of rose quartz, pale green kunzite and moonstone juxtaposed with vibrant gems such as amethyst or intense yellow sapphires.

‘I like designs that are classic and timeless. I want my creations to be remembered not only for unusual stones or colour combinations but also their simple designs and dual function.’

Functionality is key with many of her designs. For example, a long necklace can be shortened into a choker and bracelet.

Most of Mara’s jewellery is one of a kind. It can take several months to complete a piece. If it is not up to her exacting standards, it goes back to the atelier.

To Mara designing jewellery is an evolving journey. By word of mouth, private sales and exclusive trunk shows, Mara has a growing number of steadfast, discerning devotees who want jewellery that is elegant, unique and understated.

Gem Voyager is a socially and environmentally responsible organisation

The world and our shared environment are under great stress. The jewellery industry has contributed in part to the current state of affairs. 

Mara Hotung has spent time and energy finding responsible and ethical gem dealers and manufacturers who care about our planet. Mara personally vets her suppliers and manufacturers to ensure that the gems and materials used in her designs are responsibly sourced.  Mara also advocates recycling and reusing jewellery to reduce waste. It is important that our industry be transparent, and contributes meaningfully to efforts to look after our planet. It’s also important to give back.

Gem Voyager has supported Youth Action Diabetes, Leonard Cheshire Disability, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the English National Ballet.