Photography compliments of John Hardy. 

The brand’s legacy is creating jewelry that reflects a collaboration of designers and artisans who are influenced by that commitment to be “Greener Every Day.” John Hardy is recognized as much for its unique designs, as it is for their environmental and social beliefs. 

The story started in 1975 when a young art student from Canada moved to the island of Bali in Indonesia. Here John Hardy began to study Balinese jewelry making techniques with a master artisan whose ancestors were goldsmiths to Bali’s former Royal Courts. John Hardy formed his company in 1989 and melded the techniques he had learned with his own fresh and original ideas... and the legend was born.

In the late 1990’s head designer and creative director, Guy Bedarida joined the company. He possessed a vast knowledge of joaillerie from years of training and experience with prestigious design houses in Paris and his expertise took the John Hardy brand to a new level of excellence. Bedarida introduced new standards and techniques to the Bali studio artisans and guided a team of local illustrators in the French art of fine jewelry drawing as an integral part in the development of new designs. His aesthetic is inspired by nature, the ancient arts of Asia and his travels, this along with his flair for design and the ability to seamlessly blend the ancient Balinese craftsmanship along with modern European design has led to the development of some of John Hardy’s best-selling collections. The union between the time-honored Balinese traditions of the artisans and the chic interpretations of designers sets the John Hardy brand apart from the rest.

CEO Damien Dernoncourt joined the team in 2003. Damien shared the dual passion for not only making jewelry but also a difference in people’s lives. Dernoncourt wanted to become part of the dream and make it a reality and has succeeded in building John Hardy into one of the most successful jewelry brands in the United States. He is dedicated to ensuring the company continues to be a pioneer in the area of environment and cultural preservation.

Dernoncourt is of the belief that internal beauty is just as important as external beauty and the company’s ethics and practices illustrate this belief. 

Along with their innovative and beautiful pieces, John Hardy also creates bespoke jewelry known as the Cinta Collection. Meaning “Love” in Indonesian, Cinta is their rarest collection of Haute Joaillerie. Founder John Hardy first asked Head Designer Guy Bedarida to create a special piece to offer as a gift to his wife in 2002. Soon , it became a regular tradition, with Guy designing exquisite pieces for Hardy’s wife until others began asking for their own. Each Cinta piece is entirely unique designed around a special shell or stone found on Bedarida’s world travels and then embellished to maximum beauty. The 18 karat gold cuff on the left is made with a Rubellite center stone, pink Sapphires and Diamonds. 

The John Hardy compound, shown above, was built in 1996 and is the company production centre. It is located in the heart of Bali and surrounded by bamboo forests and palm trees and is nothing short of a tropical paradise. Inspirational and eco friendly, the compound is made up of a series of low impact buildings, constructed in traditional Balinese style with bamboo and mud, some of the environmentally conscious efforts can be seen in the steps which have been constructed out of banyan tree roots and the cathedral which is entirely bamboo and entirely sustainable. Apart from the magnificent bamboo buildings which house showrooms, workshops and meeting rooms, the compound has two streams running through it, heirloom rice fields and an organic farm and serves as a living and gathering space for employees and animals alike. Their organic farm supplies the kitchen, where a five star chef provides meals for employees and guests every day.

The mission of this amazing brand to be “Greener Every Day” is part of their ongoing commitment to sustainable practices in every aspect of their creative process. From using recycled silver, sourcing alluvial gold, tracking the origins of stones and the “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo” initiative. Everyone at John Hardy is committed to live with a consciousness about their impact upon the planet. Motivated by the passion of beautiful things and beautiful people, their efforts to preserve water and decrease their carbon footprint are displayed in the different environmental initiatives that John Hardy employs. “Bamboo helps in both water preservation and sustaining the forests and John Hardy is definitely doing their part on that front.” says CEO Damien Dernoncourt. To date 800,000 bamboo trees have been planted via the operation “Wear Bamboo, Plant Bamboo.” The company also contributes to the Balinese community through programs such as “Job for Life”, which works with a local orphanage and offers apprenticeships at the John Hardy Bali compound where the children and young adults learn to develop skills for professional use so when they complete high school they are at an advantage.

There is so much more to John Hardy than unique and stunning hand made jewelry. The techniques used to create the pieces and the collaboration between artisans and designers is only the beginning. The jewelry is all created in an environment of respect for people and nature, which further attests to exceptional values of John Hardy. Influenced by that commitment to be “Greener Every Day” John Hardy is recognized as much for its unique designs, as it is for their environmental and social beliefs.

John Hardy is definitely a brand apart and is available in Barbados at all Diamonds International locations.

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