We talked to a Jordanian princess about her new jewelry line

Jordanian royal, Princess Nejla Bint Asem, the daughter of Prince Asem bin Al Nayef, collaborated with jewelry giant Damas to release an exclusive jewelry line.

The royal who has had a knack for jewelry design since childhood, has described the collection as her ‘first major jewelry venture’.

The collection, which consists of 16 pieces, is a celebration of cultures and combines both Eastern and Western influences by blending traditional oriental pieces with monochromatic hues and tones.

We sat down with the Princess/designer/mom to talk about her collaboration with Damas.

Tell us, what made you want to become a jewelry designer?

It all started when I was really young, I took an old prayer bead (masbaha) we had at home that I disassembled and used some string to create something new of. I used the stones, and changed the string and design to create a necklace.

As a child my grandmother caught out my passion for jewelry design and helped me nurture and develop the craft. We shared countless moments discussing gems, stones and different pieces. She would describe some of the most memorable pieces she’s seen in her time and I would try to imagine them in my head.

I also remember the days my family and I would walk through Downtown Amman. There, I always stood before shops selling semi-precious stones admiring their beauty and imagining what I could create with them.

After I graduated from university with a degree in Media & Communications, I decided to pursue my passion for jewelry and take an intensive course in Florence, Italy.

The collection with Damas is the biggest thing I’ve ever done. For years, I have been creating designs for friends and family, but nothing on such a big scale.

How would you describe the collection?

They’re all statement pieces. I used simple materials but the design is bold. Whether you’re wearing them with jeans and a top or a full on formal dress, they will stand out. The pieces reflect harmony between Eastern and Western cultures.

Which one is your favorite?

My favorite piece (pictured above), was designed to look like a flower with the word “love” in Arabic inscribed all around the circumference. It symbolizes love beyond the infinite.

The circular shape was inspired by the Dervish twirl and Rumi, my favorite poet. If you look at the Dervish dance from a high point, the shape you see of the robe is the same shape as the piece itself.

What’s the story behind the Scarab Beetle in your logo?

The logo is a minimalistic take on the Scarab Beetle, which is an ancient symbol that was used in jewelry in Egypt during the time of the Pharaohs. When a Pharaoh would die they would place a stone carved Scarab Beetle with a precious gem on the mummy’s heart… The scarab was seen as a symbol of the heavenly cycle and reincarnation.

What was your biggest challenge designing this collection?

This collection made me step out of my comfort zone. Before this venture, jewelry design to me was only a hobby. Designing a whole collection on such a large scale was a challenge in and of itself; it was also difficult to create something that was not too flashy, yet bold and intricate at the same time.

What’s your favorite material to work with?

Yellow gold and semi precious stones. I don’t believe that a stone needs to be expensive to look good. Some people find stones like turquoise and lapis to be imperfect or not as pretty as diamonds and rubies, but they’re gorgeous in my opinion…

I believe we have a lot of very beautiful stones that we as designers can showcase through our designs.

What was the best advice someone gave you about your designs?

Express how you feel in your designs and never create anything that would please everyone. Your designs should be personal and tell your story the way you want it to be told.

Do you have a favorite designer?

I don’t love any specific designer, but I like to follow up on up-and-coming designers that have new and fresh ideas.