The Queen of Diamonds: 10 Questions With London’s Luxury Jeweler Jessica McCormack

By Maria Ward

Much like her designs, Jessica McCormack is what you would call a rare gem in the world of fine jewelry. New Zealand–born, she designs, creates, and sells her creations in a six-story townhouse with its very own workshop in Mayfair, London. Though her Rolodex of celebrity clientele includes Victoria Beckham, Meghan Markle, India Hicks, Nicky Hilton Rothschild, and more, her “home office” is warm and inviting with an open-door policy. The bespoke designs are particularly popular among brides-to-be and betrothed couples alike, who McCormack works closely with to bring the engagement and wedding rings of their dreams to life.

“My jewelry is modern, but the techniques we use have been passed down through the centuries,” McCormack says. Indeed, her calling card is mixing Georgian-era traditions with modern design, to create pieces with a contemporary twist. “My collections are design-focused. It’s design that comes first, and that’s what makes a piece feel uniquely JM.” Undecided on shape, setting, size, or otherwise? McCormack and her team are bonafide bridal gurus, and the path to enlightenment starts on the first floor: the library, replete with plump sofas where you can talk it all out by an open fire.

For McCormack, “it’s about spending time on what is ultimately a very important decision for someone,” she explains. “My team and I want to respect that and want to make the experience enjoyable and fun. It’s a privilege to be a part of such a big life moment for a client, and so each appointment matters to us.” Adding: “Expert craftsmanship ensures a piece stands the test of time, paired with modern design, that’s what makes something special, wearable, and timeless.”

For more pearls of wisdom, McCormack answers 10 questions on everything, from bespoke engagement rings to statement shapes and more.

1. What inspired your love of jewelry as a young child and leading up to now?
My father was an auctioneer in New Zealand, so growing up, I was surrounded by antiques and art and learned the value of something beautifully made. He had a real possession obsession, which I definitely inherited. I’ve always loved the way objects can hold onto emotion, and no objects do that better than jewelry.

2. What is your philosophy when it comes to jewelry design and engagement rings?
Don’t get caught up in technicalities. A piece of jewelry should speak to you, and you should love it for how it makes you feel. I believe in leading with that. We can provide you with all the technical information of course, but I don’t believe that’s how you should choose a piece, especially if it’s an engagement ring. You have to fall in love with it.

3. What should you be looking for when it comes to finding the perfect engagement ring, and how do you know when it’s “the one.”?
Everyone knows about the 4 C’s (cut, clarity, carat and color), and a lot of men who come to us seem to have become so focussed on those – that it’s ended up holding them back. To try and interject some freedom around what should be a really enjoyable, emotional purchase we added our own 5th C, Character, and I really feel like it’s the most important one. It’s a piece’s character that should mean the most to you. How does it make you feel? Does it feel like ‘the one’? Because it sounds like a bit of a cliché but it’s true – when you know, you know.

Photo: Cinzia Bruschini

4. The Over The Moon ethos is “to create a life well-lived.” The townhouse evokes a similar feeling, as engaged couples can design custom wedding rings in a space where they can imagine their future together. 
The townhouse is home for us. I used to say it was my silent partner in the business because it feels so important. From the minute we moved in, I wanted to create a whole world—not just a space for jewelry cabinets and trays, but a place filled with art, objects I love, things I have collected, and a building for jewelry to live in. When looking at jewelry in the townhouse, it’s not hard to imagine it becoming a part of your real-world life. Because that’s what we’ve created here—a little world.

5. Which stone shapes are the most popular among your bridal clients?
We’ve seen a lot of love for the tilted pear. Also, the Toi et Moi ring seems to be having a moment, and we have an incredible one that just launched. An emerald-cut diamond is situated next to a heart-shaped diamond. It’s a real showstopper.

6. What is it like working with such strong, inspiring women as a female founder?
I feel so lucky to have such incredible women wearing my pieces. My clients are my inspiration. I love seeing how they wear their pieces, how they layer, and how they pair things. That’s when I am most excited! That can be said for when I see someone that I love wearing my brand on the red carpet or when I spot someone next to me in the hairdressers or in a restaurant wearing my earrings stacked up their ear. It’s my favorite thing.

A bespoke Jessica McCormack jewelry box. Photo: Cinzia Bruschini

7. What inspired the ring boxes and jewelry boxes? Both would be perfect wedding gifts!
The jewelry boxes are the perfect present! We have created so many beautiful ones, some that are part of our own collection and some that are bespoke commissions. All of them convey meaningful messages and intricate details that tell a story or transport you somewhere. For me, they’re so much more than just a jewelry box; they are an object of desire!

Jessica McCormack bespoke Party Jacket. Photo: Courtesy of Jessica McCormack

8. The Party Jackets that transform into cocktail rings and Button Back settings are just as coveted.
A desire for versatility is what inspired our Party Jackets. They offer a different way to wear a ring, be that something pre-existing in your jewelry wardrobe or a ring you’re purchasing alongside the Jacket. They can transform a piece. A button back is a Georgian setting that’s designed to get the most out of a stone, but the reason I love it is that it makes jewelry feel incredibly wearable. They become part of you—and your wardrobe—rather than a separate entity.

9. When you designed your husband’s wedding band, you had it engraved with the message “Two Hands One Heart, Till Death Us Part” inside. What are some other ways to add a sentimental touch?
I love a little engraved note or something special and personal. It’s very Victorian to send a message pictorially, and I love that. Any creative way to say “I love you,” or “you mean something to me.” I am drawn to that romance.

10. What does your engagement ring look like, and did you also design it yourself?
I’m so fickle! My engagement ring has changed so many times, and each time I see something new, I fall in love with it. Also, my clients tend to fall in love with pieces I’m wearing; I’ve had an engagement ring purchased right off my ring finger!