Ethical jeweler Pippa Small on how exciting it was to see Meghan wear her crystal jewelry at royal wedding
Meghan Markle might have gone for an understated (and pregnancy-concealing!) look for Princess Eugenie‘s royal wedding on Friday, but one thing she was happy to show off was a new collection of gold jewelry.
The royal mom-to-be wore a British brand that not only fits her style aesthetic, but her ethical values too.
“I thought she looked beautiful and she looked so radiantly happy, which was lovely to see,” Pippa Small, designer of Meghan’s jewelry tells PEOPLE, adding: “She wore quite a few rings, which was really great to see, especially with her stacking them all up like she did – I just love the way she put it all together.”
Returning to St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle for Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank’s wedding on Friday, just five months after she herself wed Prince Harry at the same venue, Meghan wore six pieces: four rings, one bracelet and a pair of stud earrings from Small’s new Herkimer Diamond collection, which is due to be released next spring.
- Can’t get enough of PEOPLE’s Royals coverage? Sign up for our newsletter to get the latest updates on Kate Middleton, Meghan Markle and more!
The collection, which starts from $780, is not made from diamonds at all, the stone is in fact a quartz crystal, known for its luminous, lustrous nature and hails from the Herkimer County in New York. All the pieces, which have an unpolished look are set in 18 karat yellow gold, known to be Meghan’s favorite.
“They are uneven, imperfect stones that aren’t cut or polished – they are very organic, simple and pure which somehow works really beautifully with her style,” says Small, who has been making jewelry for over 20 years and was thrilled to receive an order from Kensington Palace, just days before the wedding after getting in touch with Meghan personally to introduce her brand.
The British anthropologist-turned-jeweler, renowned for her luxury, ethically sourced gems, travels the world, working with local tribal communities and often in conflict zones.
“We deal with a few issues that might be close to Meghan’s heart in terms of working with women and trying to find cleaner alternatives for quite a polluted industry,” says Small when asked why she thinks the royal has become an overnight fan.
Not to mention the fact that the Notting Hill-based jeweler works alongside the Afghanistan charity Turquoise Mountain, which was set up in 2006 by Prince Charles to revive the traditional arts and architecture industries in the Afghan community. Since then, it has supported and trained over 6000 local artisans and now works in Myanmar and the Middle East.