Irish jeweller Chupi Sweetman on making sparkling modern-day heirlooms

02 Sep 2021 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Mhairi Mann

Chupi is known for its striking engagement rings and fine diamond jewellery with an antique sensibility. Founder and CEO Chupi Sweetman discusses lab-grown diamonds, the symbolic power of jewellery and creating a piece of the future.

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I first met Chupi Sweetman several years ago in London. At the time, I was searching for my own wedding band and I was immediately drawn to the glittering, knuckle-high stack on her ring finger, studded with diamonds and anchored by a mesmerising Art Deco-style rock.

“I adore a curated stack of rings. Each one represents a significant moment in my life, from achieving a professional goal to the birth of my daughter Aya, last year,” comments Sweetman. “It was her first birthday in June and I currently have my eye on a beautiful diamond eternity band to mark the date, which she will eventually inherit. We are the first generation of women to buy our own diamonds, and I adore the idea of minding a precious piece that will one day be hers.”

It is this love of heirlooms that inspired Sweetman to quit her job as a fashion designer and parlay her talents into jewellery making. “When I worked in fashion, I was creating stuff that ultimately was forgotten. When my husband proposed and I looked down at my engagement ring, I realised that I now owned a piece of the future – something to be passed down through generations. At that moment, I knew that I wanted to create things that were really special.”

Sweetman studied goldsmithing at the Cormac Cuffe jewellery school in Dublin before launching her eponymous label in 2013. Straddling different eras, Chupi specialises in modern pieces with an antique sensibility. The brand is also known for its contemporary grey diamonds, which are a modern alternative to a traditional engagement ring.

“The more I go forward, the more I look back,” she says. “So much of what I make is influenced by pieces from the past. I’m constantly inspired by beautiful vintage family heirlooms.”

Jewellery is handcrafted in Dublin, where Sweetman lives with her husband and daughter, and prices ranging from entry-level diamonds at around £300 to bespoke engagement rings. Chupi boasts a flagship boutique in Dublin but the majority of sales happen digitally.

“I feel really privileged to live in an era where we can connect with each other across the globe. We sell into 67 countries because of Instagram and Facebook. These platforms allow us to talk to people just like us, who love what we love. It’s incredibly special to hear from our customers directly, sharing stories of hope, love and celebration, but also those of hurt and anguish. Jewellery is for love, loss and everything in between.”

A selection of Chupi lab-grown diamond rings

Customers can book a complimentary, personalised virtual appointment, which allows you to see the brand’s heirloom jewellery collections up-close from the comfort of your home.

Chupi takes sustainability seriously, working exclusively with recycled gold and responsibly sourced wooden packaging. New collections feature lab-grown diamonds, grown using zero carbon-footprint technology. “The lab that produces our diamonds is 100% hydro-powered, meaning zero emissions,” Sweetman explains. “We are very intentional about what we do and why we do it. People are choosing our jewellery for the future. They will be passing down something that has been sustainably made.”

Made to last, designed to be handed down, easily restyled and sparkling with sentiment, buying a piece of consciously made, keep-forever jewellery is quite possibly the best, most sustainable investment you’ll ever make.

The Stories We Tell

Aptly coined The Stories We Tell, the eclectic and emboldening new autumn/winter 2021 Chupi collection is steeped in symbolism. Shop a range of styles including engagement rings, stacking bands, bracelets and necklaces, crafted from recycled gold and punctuated by lab-grown diamonds.

Evil Eye collection

Evil Eye necklace in 14-karat gold, €689, Evil Eye eternity ring, €1289

“I designed the Evil Eye ring last year as a protective talisman to carry with you. Its story sums up the last 18 months for me.” Inspired by ancient Evil Eye amulets, the collection features a pendant necklace, stud earrings and a delicate eternity ring, which is perfect for stacking.

Victorian Lucky Clover collection

Heirloom Lucky Clover ring in 14-karat gold with diamonds, €13,989

The Lucky Clover was inspired by a beloved family heirloom from the Victorian era. Synonymous with good luck, each individual diamond represents faith, hope and love for a beautifully crafted, keep-forever piece.

North Star signet ring

North Star signet ring in 14-karat gold with a classic diamond, €989

The North Star is the brightest star in the constellation and was traditionally used by sailors to guide them at night, whether travelling home or on a new adventure. The latest addition to Chupi’s signature North Star collection is a statement signet ring, crafted in 14-karat gold and accented by a twinkling diamond, designed to be your guiding star.

Follow Your Dreams diamond ring

Follow Your Dreams ring in 14-karat gold with diamonds, €689

Another uplifting piece to inspire strength and ambition, the sinuous Follow Your Dreams ring features an elegant arrow, which wraps around the finger.

The Dewlight lab-grown diamond ring

Dewlight diamond ring in 14-karat gold with a 1 carat lab-grown diamond centre stone, €6,989

The perfect proposal ring, this statement design features a 1 carat lab-grown diamond, flanked by three further diamonds on either side. The little sister to Chupi’s beloved Starlight ring, the striking Dewlight ring is designed to be worn alone or as the centrepiece of your signature stack.

Georgian cushion cut lab-grown diamond ring

Georgian cushion cut ring in 14-karat gold with a 1 carat lab-grown diamond centre stone €7989

A cushion-cut diamond ring is a beautifully soft, classic setting. Inspired by a Georgian old mine cushion cut ring, this modern iteration features a glittering lab-grown centre stone.

Hero garnet ring

Hero garnet ring in 14 karat gold with a garnet centre stone, €3,489

The fiery garnet is symbolic of passion, joy and strength, while the Art Deco emerald-cut setting captures the creativity and frivolity of the Roaring Twenties.

You, Me & Magic 2 carat lab-grown diamond

You, Me & Magic ring in 14 karat gold with a lab-grown diamond centre stone, €16,989

An absolute showpiece, this 14-karat gold band is crowned by three glittering lab-grown diamonds.