Hard as diamonds
Whether it’s a wedding or a coming-of-age party, Tessera’s exquisite diamond jewelry collections have been major milestones for a decade.
The leading brand has also had its fair share of ups and downs that have shaped it into the high-end label it is known for at the moment. Tessera is a unique gem in the fashion industry that brings everything you are looking for in a diamond accessory. All of her pieces serve as style essentials with their timeless designs to mix and match, symbols for sentimental moments and high-value investments.
Refining the diamond in the rough
Carl Fider and Papat Aquino-Fider had Tessera as their first child with their common fondness for the arts.
“I am a designer by nature. I like to design stuff. I like to draw. Art is something that I have always done, ”said Carl.
In 2011, they entered the fashion accessory market, arranging bespoke monograms and necklaces to start their home business: Tessera by PAF. Papat named it after the small fragments that make up a mosaic because it is art in itself. They later moved away from monograms and focused on diamonds, changing the name to Tessera.
The couple said Tessera “started out by drawing little gems.” “I started out small, out of nowhere,” Carl said.
As seen in their works, their art is heavily influenced by their travels through Asia and Europe. The best inspiration they have found in these companies are the diamond sellers who have led them to move their main product to these gemstones even without formal training in the field.
“I traveled a bit to Hong Kong, Belgium, I met a few diamond dealers there and I established relationships with them to develop my business in the Philippines,” he recalls. “I learned from some of the greats in the industry. I learned by seeing stones of all sizes, colors, shapes. I’ve been to factories where diamonds are cut, where a group of experts sit down and decide which rough piece will be cut into a round or fancy shape diamond, and then to which grading lab it will be sent.
Start out of nowhere
The company has always valued the personal choices of its customers for its designs, even in its early years. Until she changed her main materials, she continued to create bespoke pieces for her clients.
“You know, upgrading diamonds is a whole different story. If you want to improve the diamonds you can always come back to us and we will be happy to evaluate you and offer you a fair price for your stones, ”he said.
Carl explained that “the brand offers a wide variety of diamonds, which gives our customers complete freedom to enjoy the experience of choosing the stone that best represents themselves.”
“I learned from some of the greats in the industry. I learned by seeing stones of all sizes, colors, shapes. I have been to factories where diamonds are cut.
The leading jeweler takes pride in their wide range of naturally mined and certified diamonds from 0.30 to 10 carats which have been manufactured in India and Belgium.
“Today we have over a thousand internationally certified diamonds in our collection, ready to be selected and made into your next heirloom,” said Carl proudly.
All of its products are undoubtedly of premium quality and exquisite workmanship. The company even gained popularity around the world when Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray sashayed Binibining Pilipinas’ coronation party donned with the Three Stars and Sun earrings she designed herself.
With the massive craze, the brand continued to be the trusted creator of the beauty queen’s thoughtful ideas to showcase Filipino heritage on the prestigious Miss Universe stage.
The original piece that Tessera created for her is an 18k yellow gold cuff set with four carat diamonds. The audience then urged Catriona and Tessera to improve the design to match her fiery look during the Miss Universe pageant with Alab in Dangal, sprinkling the gold cuff with rubies and diamonds.
They also collaborated on other patriotic designs inspired by the Philippine flag, including the Oriental Pearl and solar studs.
With this fashion in 2018, even the ABS-CBN Star Magic Ball had a Filipino theme that year. With Tessera’s established credibility in the impeccable presentation of Filipino culture with her royal designs, several artists have flaunted their personalized family name accessories on the red carpet.
Cuffs inspired by Philippine eagle wings, red and blue jewelry to mimic the country’s flag and various timeless classics have been studded with high carat diamonds to shine with the stars.
Yet even before her major rise in the trajectory of nationalist curations, Tessera has always been a renowned label and status symbol at balls, weddings, gifts, and other major events.
Tessera’s resilience was tested, however, as everyone was shaken when the global crisis hit in 2019.
He expected a drastic drop in profits, contrary to the industry forecast for 2020 released by McKinsey and his company in 2014. The article explained how fast fashion had contributed to the possible rise in jewelry sales for years to come, with no idea of an international health problem affecting consumers’ economic capacity.
Luckily, the strict quarantine protocols were a call to invest. Many saw the opportunity to purchase valuable diamond coins during this time.
“As people’s travel was limited – no vacation trips, no parties, no fancy dinners – our clients had more resources to spend on other luxuries and investments like jewelry,” said Carl. Others have invested in their relationships instead. As a symbol of endless love, diamonds have been essential options in getting partners to say yes.
“As always, our engagement rings have remained our bestseller because in the event of a pandemic or no pandemic, people always get engaged and get married,” explained Carl. “In fact, since elaborate proposals aren’t an option, people end up spending money on better looking rings that have an impact instead.”
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