Alessio Boschi’s Precious Journey

Creative, ingenious, unexpected, imaginative, inspired… These are only a few of the words used to describe the jewellery designs of Italian-born Alessio Boschi. While each…

By Cynthia Unninayar

Creative, ingenious, unexpected, imaginative, inspired… These are only a few of the words used to describe the jewellery designs of Italian-born Alessio Boschi. While each of these descriptions is certainly accurate, the term “storyteller” perhaps best describes his precious journey into the world of jewellery design.

Alessio’s own story began several decades ago in his birthplace of Rome. A precocious child, he was attracted to jewellery and made simple designs when he was just five or six. As he grew older, his passion continued unabated, resulting in a Bachelor’s degree in Jewellery Design at the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome. 

After graduation and to perfect his craft, Alessio spent time in Greece, Milan, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Australia, where he was design director for five years at one of the world’s largest pearl companies. Soon, the young designer was gaining international acclaim, as demonstrated by dozens of awards for his highly original creations. 

Alessio has especially fond memories of Australia. “I will forever treasure my time there,” he reminisces. “Australia was the true birthplace of my career. It was there that I grew as a designer, where I had the opportunity to blossom like a flower.”

Today, he spends his time between Bangkok, where his unique collections are meticulously hand-crafted by master jewellers and the small medieval village of Bagnoregio in Italy. “My home in Italy is where I draw much of my inspiration,” he explains. “Here, I feel close to nature and to the amazing history and art of Italy and other ancient civilisations.” 

Among these inspired collections are Historica, featuring stories of the personalities, art, and architectural details from ancient times; Naturalia, focusing on colourful flora, fauna, and natural phenomena; Thalassa, encompassing wonderful sea creatures; Surprise Me, a whimsical line of bejewelled gift boxes, decorated with ribbons and bows that conceal a surprise, and two men’s lines: Zodiac, interpreting the 12 signs of the zodiac in jewels with a proprietary Black Gun coating, and Leonidas, which pays homage to the Spartan King, Leonidas, who died heroically in battle in 480 BC trying to protect Greece from the Persian army. 

While a glance at any Alessio Boschi piece will capture its undeniable beauty, it is important to take the time to understand it, decipher its messages, and grasp the uncompromising genius behind it. The core of his work involves great attention to detail and numerous little surprises. Since the jewellery is so intricate, the details are often only noticed if they are pointed out. The creations are also known for their ludic elements—their hidden compartments and articulations—which suggest the story in a playful manner. “I love to hide small surprises in my pieces,” he smiles, “where different narratives are concealed in the settings and galleries and offer a different dimension. I want my creations to spark curiosity and guide the wearer on a fanciful journey full of discoveries where nothing is ordinary.”

Alessio also uses an abundance of coloured gemstones. “In multiple shades or contrasting tones, the colour reminds me of the versatility and depth of life and emotions.” So, what are his preferred gemstones and what stones will be popular this year? “My favourite gems are those with ‘life’ inside, especially black and Ethiopian opal,” he replies. “I also like the neon greenish-blue shades of Paraiba tourmaline.” 

As for other gems, he confirms that Paraiba tourmaline and morganite are both very hot now, while rubellite is quite popular in China. Intense-colour aquamarine, even the rarest Santa Maria variety, is increasing in demand. While sapphires, especially after COVID-19, have seen a boost. For spinel, he notes that pink stones from Myanmar and Tajikistan, deep red from Myanmar, and cobalt blue are all sought after.

One part of Alessio’s creative mission is a strong environmental consciousness, with an emphasis on ethical business practices. “Every effort is made to minimise our footprint by avoiding materials and production methods that may harm our ever-fragile ecosystems and the humans and animals that inhabit them,” he affirms.

Climate change is high among his concerns, so he created the “Melting Arctic” ring to raise awareness of the effect it has on all living creatures, especially polar bears. True to his design style, a secret cabochon moonstone activates the opening of the iceberg, revealing a polar bear family carved from sustainable tagua seeds sitting on the melting icebergs of lapis lazuli and druzy that sadly separate the mother polar bear from her cubs.

Giving back is also part of the Alessio Boschi brand ethos. One way he does this is by teaching a master’s degree course in jewellery design at the Arezzo campus of the prestigious University of Siena, one of Italy’s oldest, established in 1240. Alessio also teaches high-end jewellery courses at the European Institute of Design in Rome. 

“This is the icing on the cake,” he says. “Being with the students is an enriching experience for all of us. We talk about design and my style, with no secrets. It is an open exchange of ideas that I hope can help the students on their own journey.” A precious journey, that for Alessio Boschi, will continue to inspire, delight, and surprise in every way.

Alessio Boschi at his design studio in Italy.

Inspiration for the Rumi ring dates back to the teachings of Master Rumi, a 13th-century Persian poet. The ring opens, revealing five Whirling Devishes who move around the base as they abandon their ego and strive for perfection. 

Earrings in the Seven Princesses collection were inspired by the 1197 poem by Nizami Ganjavi, which tells the story of a wise king in ancient Persia, who was educated by seven talented princesses.

To bring attention to the horrific practice of shark finning, Alessio created the Great White Shark brooch and earrings, in palladium, 18K gold, and gemstones. The earrings are transformable into shark-fin studs, and have a special hiding place inside the shark when not in use. 

The Surprise Me collection offers rings, pendants, and earrings in 18K gold and gems, in gift boxes that open to reveal a surprise message. 

Part of the Tour of Italy collection, featuring Venetian gondolas, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and other iconic Italian landmarks, this Coliseum ring is crafted in gemstones and 18K gold.

The Leonidas men’s collection pays homage to Greek King Leonidas who died in battle. It won this year’s JNA Design Awards in the Tahitian Pearl Category.  

The Melting Arctic ring evokes Alessio’s concern about climate change. The carved white topaz iceberg opens, revealing a mother polar bear, carved in Tagua nut, trying to reach her cubs, separated by melting ice. 

Architectural details serve as inspiration for rings in the Isfahan line, set with sapphire, ruby, and emerald. Their design evokes the glazed columns, intricate tile work, and peacock tail patterns, decorating ancient Persian buildings. 

In the Aspis collection, a silver Denarius Piso Frugi (90 BC) coin, depicting Lucius Calpurnius, is encircled by an 18K rose gold snake with a bejewelled head supporting the chain.

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