Ten/ten Botswana: small rings with a big meaning

Michelle Fantaci

What is the concept of the Naledi ring?

I didn’t start with a theme but saw patterns emerging as I was drawing. The shapes developing around the center served as a platform for it. My exploration of circles in relation to angled geometric forms included the domes of the Pantheon in Rome and St Peter’s Basilica, both with an oculus surrounded by geometric pattern. The radiating lines in the kite shaped shank are Art Deco influenced and a recurring theme in my line. The meshing of these different elements; of the shank “holding” the center and a dome surrounding it, is similar to the mixing of lives in relationships. In comittment, you find a way to mesh your different lives and points of view in a way that enriches your relationship.

What’s the importance of Ten/ten for you?

The first two things I learned about the ten/ten project were that the rings were to be accessibly priced and sustainably sourced from Botswana. In my own bridal line I use diamonds and gemstones of known provenance that were ethically sourced or recycled diamonds. Diamonds from Botswana are not only ethically sourced but have been the source of Botswana’s financial empowerment. The government earns 81% of the diamond revenues and invests that in education, healthcare, infrastructure and conservation. Debswana’s mines conserve 6 acres of land for wildlife for every one acre it uses for mining. In addition to that, the mines are safe for workers that are paid a living wage. It’s a very important story to tell and meaningful to me to know I’m designing with a product that at the very least has not caused harm, and has actually done immense good.

Also, when I started my bridal line, one of my goals was to keep the prices more accessible to more people without losing beauty or craftsmanship. So I loved the idea of Ten/Ten keeping the rings in a friendly range. Not everyone is looking for a flawless diamond— it’s more important that it is beautiful and speaks to them.

Pamela Love

What is the concept of the Treccia ring?

I chose the braid as inspiration because to me marriage is like a braid- multiple elements, souls, lives weaving together to form something stronger and more beautiful. I’m very smitten with this ring. Especially the hand engraving of 1 through 10 on the inside.

What’s the importance of Ten/ten for you?

This projects has been a wonderful experience and I love seeing how each designer interpreted love, commitment, forever into their ten rings. But I think for me the truly best part was learning the history of Botswana and the role diamonds play in transforming the country from one of the poorest in Africa to one with a thriving economy and healthy middle class.


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