Jeweller Laings has unveiled a beautiful 2ct diamond and sapphire necklet created to help raise funds for three-time Formula One World Champion Sir Jackie Stewart’s charity, Race Against Dementia.
Influenced by the rugged Scottish landscape, with a dramatic thistle and stag inspired centrepiece, the handcrafted white gold necklet was commissioned as a prize for the clay pigeon shooting event held as part of the Sir Jackie Stewart Classic Festival of Motoring at Thirlestane Castle; a new classic car festival with a charitable mission, celebrating Scotland and one of its greatest sportsmen.
The Celtic yet contemporary showpiece was crafted to pay homage to Sir Jackie’s prestige as a two-time shooting champion for Scotland before he became involved in motor racing. The one-off piece, which features over 100 diamonds and two blue sapphires – which represent the Saltire – was unveiled to 150 VIP guests at Thirlestane Castle on Friday to kick off the charity celebrations.
Said to have a keen eye for detail and personal touches, with a deep appreciation for high levels of craftsmanship and finish, Sir Jackie Stewart worked closely with Laings on the bespoke design which also includes a hand engraving to mark the momentous event. He commissioned Laings to create this prized piece, having formed a long-standing relationship with the family business early in his career.
In 1974, Lady Helen Stewart was gifted a custom-made Laings choker on her 33rd birthday from her husband, Sir Jackie Stewart, to mark his retirement from F1 motor racing. It featured three rows of pearls for his three World Champion titles, 27 rubies for his 27 Grand Prix wins and 99 diamonds for the 99 Grand Prix he entered.
Sarah Alexandar, lead designer at Laings who conceptualised the piece, said: “Over the last 30 years I’ve worked on high profile pieces for Laings, from the Queen’s Golden Jubilee to the Millennium link for the Lord Provosts Chain of Office, but it was an honour to have been asked to work with Sir Jackie Stewart to produce a beautiful piece of jewellery for an amazing couple and such a worthy cause.
“I have always been aware that the relationship between Sir Jackie and Laings dates back decades – not least because the newspaper cutting from the 1974 commission still adorns the showroom wall today. That’s why it was important for us to create a truly exceptional piece that can be cherished for generations.
“We repurposed the round sapphire which had previously taken pride of place in Laings’ 175 necklet made to celebrate Laings’ 175-year anniversary and impressive feat as Scotland’s oldest family jeweller. It felt right that this special stone should be the centre piece for this bespoke commission – an extra special symbol of the enduring link between Sir Jackie Stewart and Laings.”
The Sir Jackie Stewart Classic, held on 18 and 19 June, showcased the career and achievements of three-time FIA Formula 1 Drivers’ World Champion with a weekend-long festival, which included an exhibition of his trophies and an exclusive look at his personal ‘F1 Car Collection’. The event was held in aid of Race Against Dementia – the charity founded by Sir Jackie to raise money for research into prevention and treatment for dementia, a disease that affects 50 million people worldwide including his beloved wife, Helen.
For more information about Laings, visit www.LaingsUK.com.