New Orleans, LA—Aucoin Hart Jewelers is no stranger to award-winning design, but this year’s AGTA Spectrum Awards had particularly special significance. Aucoin Hart’s pair of 18k white and yellow gold butterfly cufflinks won first place in two categories, Best Men’s Design and Best Design/Use of Color. The breathtaking cufflinks contain 1,076 gemstones: 3.09 carats of natural sapphires, 2.36 carats of diamonds, and 1.37 carats of tsavorite garnets. They were created by Donna Marie Aucoin in collaboration with master jeweler David White, to commemorate a very significant moment when a butterfly came to console her and her husband Tommy after the loss of their son Ryan to cancer.
“The butterfly design inspiration started from observing a beautiful butterfly in our garden. It was one year prior to that day that we had lost our precious son Ryan to lymphoma. As my husband and I were in a consoling embrace in our backyard garden, both thinking so deeply about Ryan, this magnificent butterfly fluttered all around us, almost dancing in the air, determined to get our attention, and then landing on a magnolia tree with its bright beautiful wings standing out against the dark green leaves. The butterfly would stay through the night and well into the next day, comforting us with so much peace and love from our Ryan. The AGTA winning design was inspired by that Butterfly of Peace in our garden,” she explained.
Donna Marie’s conceptual butterfly design, featuring painting with gemstones, was handed off to Aucoin Hart’s master jeweler David White, who worked tirelessly over an 18-month period, perfecting the design then hand-crafting the gem-filled cufflinks, bringing them to life.
The one-of-a-kind creation was given as a gift to Donna Marie’s husband Tommy as a remembrance of the butterfly of peace and a reminder that that Ryan will always be watching over his family.
“This design odyssey culminated in a pair of butterfly cufflinks which ultimately won highest honors from the most prestigious American Gem Trade Association Spectrum awards. Everyday, we feel the ‘Wings of Love’ from Ryan surrounding our family and providing peace.”
A closer look at the winning butterfly cufflinks.
For more information and photos of other Aucoin Hart award winning designs, visit aucoinhart.com. Aucoin Hart also proudly and actively supports the Greater New Orleans community through the Aucoin Hart Foundation and the New Orleans Lympho-maniac Cancer Fund.
Top image courtesy of AGTA, photo by Moghadam Photography