Malaysian fine jeweller Suen presents a vivid and lavish world in its Symphony of Colours collection

The collection was specifically designed to showcase the beauty of the remarkable coloured gems.

The collection focuses on 15 pendants alongside an array of smaller rings and earpieces (All photos: Low Yen Yeing/The Edge Malaysia)

Colour, cut and carat — these are the three Cs that determine the value of a gemstone. While the stone’s weight and the way the craftsman approaches it are important, its tint is a defining trait with roots going back to long before modern fine jewellery was born.

For centuries, the world’s wealthy and elite favoured the mesmerising tones usually found in emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Several of history’s most famous jewellery pieces and artefacts sport rare shades. The milky-blue Star of Asia sapphire, the Attalah amethyst cross pendant and the carmine Timur Ruby are just three examples of such glorious gemstones.

Diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but a gem that looks like no other and expresses its owner’s personality through its hue is arguably more precious. The global market for vibrant jewels and unconventional varieties is steadily gaining mainstream traction as buyers seek more personal, irreplicable pieces.

In the heart of Kuala Lumpur, a similar movement is taking place. Homegrown brand Suen, founded by Suen Lee, stands at the forefront of it with the release of the fine jeweller’s all-new Symphony of Colours collection.


Suen Lee, founder of Suen, donning a deep blue unheated tanzanite pendant, poses beside the pink tourmaline piece

Focusing on 15 pendants alongside an array of smaller rings and earpieces, the collection was specifically designed to showcase the beauty of the remarkable coloured gems that transcends traditional luxury. It includes an electric pink 9.17-carat tear-drop tourmaline encased in rose gold, surrounded by sparkling peridots, sapphires and diamonds. Some circular pieces resembling flowers and snowflakes are a multi-coloured mix of moonstone, red jasper, lapis lazuli, opal and green onyx, among others, and are most beautiful when worn layered (as pictured far right). Two checkerboard editions, one in yellow gold and the other, white gold, feature baguette-cut sapphires in candy tones alternating with diamonds to fashion a lattice pattern.

The pièce de résistance, the imperial jadeite pendant, puts a modern spin on classic jades passed down through generations as family heirlooms. The central Mui Fa Lok clover stone is a deep green like that of a forest. Framed by a triple border of blue and pink sapphires, lime tsavorites and diamonds, the 18-carat white gold piece is strung on a delicate chain with tiny individual bezel-set charms, almost like dainty blossoms on a vine.

The Symphony of Colours joins Suen’s existing One & Only collection, which also shines a spotlight on a range of unparalleled vivid gems that even the most accomplished of collectors would envy. From saturated Pigeon Blood rubies and Muzo emeralds to fiery black opals and cornflower blue sapphires, the finery speaks of the jeweller’s long-standing dedication to curating exceptional offerings that honour Mother Nature’s most brilliant wonders.

When asked what inspired her to create these eye-catching pieces, Lee cites her own daily life experiences and passions. “I like art a lot, recently pop art,” she says, referencing the modern style where bright hues coexist together in the same work, and is not only normal but celebrated. “There’s so much doom and gloom in today’s news. I wanted something that brings us cheer — when you look at it, it brightens up your day, your outfit and adds colour to our lives. I think we need that.”


The model is wearing pendants fashioned with a mix of carefully selected gemstones

Even more significant is the emphasis on matching the stones, their colour and the symbolism behind each one to the wearer’s style as well as the persona they wish to embody. For example, the pink tourmaline represents compassion and serenity, while the blue sapphire is said to awaken loyalty and wisdom. “When you only wear diamonds, there is less expression of individuality,” Lee mentions, adding that the latest collection would appeal to those who enjoy infusing their ensemble with their own flair. “With this collection, you select the pieces that best fit you. When you wear it, it becomes a part of you.”

In terms of general popularity, coloured gemstones have yet to beat white diamonds, the crowd favourite especially in the engagement ring department. (Fun fact: diamond betrothal pieces only became popular during the late La Belle Époque, or Beautiful Age, following the establishment of mines in South Africa.) That said, the gradual shift towards more elaborate, vibrant designs in luxury special-occasion pieces marks the growth of variety in the international jewel trade and speaks of the endless innovativeness of labels like Suen that resonates with jewellery lovers worldwide. “I’m always mindfuls of what we offer our customers, and a lot of them look for something different and progressive. I’m always seeking a different angle to excite them,” she says.


Rings that showcase the finest gems and Suen's ingenious craftsmanship

In a peak era of minimalism where a stark, clean and neutral aesthetic is increasingly equated with wealth, modern options from interior to fashion design are losing their character — the essence that made trends of bygone years so memorable. Suen stands among a small but growing number of artisans who are departing from the status quo and shaking things up in their own way. “I tend to focus on classics but with a twist and difference in style. I’m always exploring and keeping an eye out for new things,” says Lee.

With input from friends in the jewellery business around the world, she hopes to continue bringing Suen into the future. While it is uncertain what exactly that holds, one unwavering fact is the brand’s steadfast resolve to present only the finest gems and ingenious craftsmanship, proving that elegance and opulence do not mean something needs to be devoid of colour, but rather abound with it.

To explore the Symphony of Colours collection and browse Suen’s offerings, visit

This article first appeared on Dec 4, 2023 in The Edge Malaysia.


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