Afghan history inspires new jewellery collection

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Paul Spurgeon among designers who worked on co-operative project.

By Courtney Hagen

Aayenda Jewellery has launched an ethical collection inspired by the history and gems of Afghanistan.

The namesake collection, meaning “future” in Dari, is the result of a six-month co-operative with international jewellery designers Paul Spurgeon, Annie Fensterstock, and Anna Ruth Henriques and 36 Afghan artisans.

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Conducted by Afghan charity Future Brilliance | Afghanistan, the project gave young Afghan men and women training in jewellery craftsmanship, gemology, and business management to assist in the development of the Aayenda Jewelry brand.

Future Brilliance founder and chief executive Sophia Swire said: “The launch of the Aayenda brand is a significant and historical milestone for Afghanistan. We look forward to continuing to use the inspiration from thousands of years of Afghan history and the incredible skills and design talent of Afghan artisans to develop the Aayenda Jewelry collection.

"By using super fine, hand-carved lapis beads that are only made in Afghanistan and showcasing the myriad of precious and semi-precious gemstones found in Afghanistan, we are working to create thousands of sustainable jobs for Afghan men and women as well as a globally recognized jewelry brand.”

The collection will debut this week at the New YorkNOW exhibition in New York City.

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