NEW YORK — Jewelry designer Irene Neuwirth expands her reach with a collection of diamonds, launching exclusively at Barneys New York today.

This story first appeared in the April 27, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The 45-piece line is comprised of earrings, rings, necklaces and one-of-a-kind gems fashioned from rose-cut diamonds and paired alongside semiprecious stones such as opals, chrysoprase, Rose de France and sapphires, ranging in price from $25,000 to $200,000.

“When you go to buy diamond earrings, or a fine engagement ring or a really expensive diamond necklace, the options are limited. I felt that there was a hole in the market and this collection is special, youthful and modern and different than anything else out there,” Neuwirth said.

From meeting clients and hosting various trunk shows, the Los Angeles-based designer found there was a higher demand for jewelry that was more over the top and red-carpet inspired. That, paired with interest from Barneys to collaborate on a future collection and an ongoing stream of requests from friends to design their engagement rings, led Neuwirth to make diamonds the focal point of this new collection.

Neuwirth founded the brand in 2000 as a fine jewelry label with a concentration on semiprecious stones. And while diamonds smaller in scope might have appeared in past collections, this is the first time the designer has worked with the precious gem in a significant way.

Offerings include Rose de France, chrysoprase and rainbow moonstone earrings with 11.2 carats of diamonds, Peruvian opal and diamond earrings and an 18-karat yellow and white gold ring set with rose-cut and pavé diamonds, retailing for $56,000, $37,500 and $35,500 respectively.

The diamond collection is exclusive to Barney’s New York and Neuwirth’s main line is available at high-end independent retailers worldwide such as Jeffrey in New York, A’Maree’s in Newport Beach, Calif., and Lane Crawford.

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