The Manila Times

Diamonds on their mind


Art, in whatever form, has always been founded on great storytelling, sharing the tales of adventure and other truths that artists wish to portray. Denovo, the homegrown leader in diamonds and precious jewels, elevates the artistry of jewelry making by welcoming a talented roster of young designers, artists and creators.

For Denovo’s latest collaboration, designers, including Cheryl Tiu, Jia Estrella, Jinggoy Buensuceso, Leeroy New, Maureen Disini, Neil Felipp and Olivia d’Aboville, were given creative freedom to express their artistic vision, using an array of precious metals, gems, and diamonds that are as rare and unique as their own stories.

“It all began with our objective of coming up with a luxurious brand of diamond jewelry that can also be considered as a work of art. From that concept, we tapped Filipino artists to share their talents using our diamonds,” explains Denovo co-owner and creative director Caryll Martinez-Benitez.

To check out the complete collections, visit

* * *


Seraph Collection

While more known for his art that leans towards the dark and the macabre, Leeroy New takes an enlightened route with Seraph. Fascinated by celestial beings and religious imagery, he plays with iconic symbolism and reinterprets his most famous work, The Sacred Heart, in his jewelry collection. Made from a mix black rhodium, yellow gold, white gold, pave diamonds and micro pave rubies, New’s pieces exude a certain lightness even as they tackle the serious and sobering matter of the Divine.

* * *


La Collezione Promessa

Renowned couturier Maureen Disini is known for her romantic and feminine silhouettes, which allow a woman to feel beautiful and confident effortlessly. She translates her gift for design in her line of wedding bands and engagement rings for Denovo, called the La Collezione Promessa. Here, her romantic sensibilities truly shine. Each piece, like the Alessandria ring, captures the essence of lifelong commitment and everlasting love with brilliant cut diamonds set in white gold. “I chose my favorite stones, and wanted to create something that young women would adore and cherish for the rest of their lives,” she says.

* * *


Global Collection

The multihyphenated Cheryl Tiu shares her adventures and wanderlust in her Global Collection. The pieces – made from white and black diamonds set in gold – each bring to life the colorful memories of her trips to Jerusalem, Istanbul, Budapest, and Rio de Janeiro. But the most sentimental piece, she reveals, is the one inspired by home – The Three Stars and a Sun Cuff. “After Typhoon Yolanda/ Haiyan, I was so touched by the incredible hope that surged through our country despite having been plagued by one of the worst calamities in the world. The sun in the Philippine flag is emblematic of the hope that we Filipinos have.”

* * *


Crystal Dew Collection

French-Filipino artist Olivia d’Aboville is a truly creative woman, renowned for her masterful sculpting technique, which infuses movement and fluidity into her art pieces. “(When considering how to incorporate diamonds into my Denovo designs), I thought that water is the best element to represent diamonds as they are both transparent,” she says. In the collection, she fashions the gold and precious stones into earthy pieces that are luxurious yet still appropriate for the everyday. For her Cycle of Life cuff, she wields the gold into a weave of twigs with diamonds delicately placed at the ends like morning dew on branches.

* * *


Simian Collection

Cebuano designer Neil Felipp shows off his humorous and playful side in the Simian Collection, which has pieces named after children’s games like Follow the Leader necklace, I Spy earrings, Hide and Seek ring, Capture the Flag pendant and the Ringolevio cuff. “These designs were actually inspired by Abu, Aladdin’s monkey friend, and all the fun they had together,” he says, explaining the key monkey character in his collection. While crafted from weighty gold and diamonds, Felipp’s pieces are light with whimsy and mischief, making them a wonderful reminder on how we shouldn’t take life too seriously.