A friend of mine has been worrying dearly over his fiancé’s beginning ideas for an engagement ring. After consulting with friends and conferring with random hotshots in the diamond district, he called me for help. I suggested Elleven because I’d read flattering reviews about it – and so we planned to meet there.
I arrived at Elleven a bit shortly before my friend, and I’m glad I did because I got a chance to scope out the place. I was not swooped in on the minute I entered, but was allowed to breeze freely through their collection before shop owner Nsim asked if I needed help. When I told him I was waiting upon a friend, he seemed let down – a disappointment that had nothing to do with him wanting to secure a sale, rather Nsim wanted to dig his creative claws into a project ASAP. Nsim is the creative genius behind the éclat at Elleven – and he is thrilled about his trade. Everything you see here, aside from the antique pieces, is crafted by Nsim in the store’s basement/his workshop.
Tugging my heartstrings were Elleven’s dazzling collection of studs. I loved a vintage pair sparkling with cabochon amethyst stones ($380). Cabochon I learned refers to a gemstone that has been shaped and polished resulting in a convex top and a flat bottom. The technique makes scratches less apparent on translucent gems. Another pair featured citrine, a golden yellow stone, framed in a square of 14K yellow gold for $325. I want, want, want them.
The trove of rings at Elleven is more than heavenly – each flaunts the individuality of a snowflake, one more gorgeous than the next. Before I got a chance to go try-on crazy, my friend showed up. In an instant, he was drawn to an early 1900’s Iranian ring set with a cluster of various shaped turquoise spheres nestled in an intricate braiding of 18k yellow gold ($1,850). The ring apparently mimicked ideas that his fiancé expressed, and when Nsim was summoned, he was over-the-moon ecstatic to work from there. Together, my friend and Nsim designed and re-designed mock ups resulting in a blueprint of what my friend called “totally spot-on…she’s going to love it”. Before even seeing the final product, I can say that a mission was clearly accomplished. To boot, the price quote was a little over $2,000 which was way less than my friend thought he’d be spending.