Second nature

Ortaea Fine Jewellery

The London-based jewellery house Ortaea Fine Jewellery creates unique pieces inspired by Africa’s natural wonders

Having been raised in the spectacular landscape of Kenya, Mita Vohra was always awed by the richness and profundity of the nature that surrounded her. So when she established Ortaea, it seemed essential for her to combine this appreciation of the abundance of the natural world with the exquisite and original creations she wrought from precious metals and gemstones. “From every gem and every metal, nature is the essence of creation,” says Mita. “Most of us, when we are among nature, feel exalted by its sense of wonder, but we can lose that in our everyday life. I wanted to capture that infinite beauty in every jewel.”

Ortaea – the name is a combination of the Latin word Ortus, meaning origin, and Gaea, the Greek goddess of Earth and creation – was founded in 2016 in Knightsbridge. Mita shapes the story and mood behind each collection while artists and artisans turn each piece into a sculpted reality using precision, skill and delicacy. “Each jewel has a journey,” says Mita. “There are pieces produced by CAD (computer-aided design) for exactitude and there are elaborate hand-sketched and crafted pieces.”

The fine jewellery house has captured the attention of seasoned and discerning buyers from across the globe, with individuals and families seeking distinctive design with exceptional form, texture and craft. “The Ortaea woman is sophisticated, self-assured, curious and particular about what she owns,” says Mita. “We have a reputation for creating bespoke pieces. There is something very special about creating a piece infused with the essence and story of the person who has commissioned it. It becomes a precious heirloom.” Unique pieces have been commissioned, designed and donated for auction to the Prince Albert Foundation in aid of the Monaco Gala for the Global Ocean on two occasions, as well as one-of-a-kind pieces in aid of UNICEF and amFAR. Ortaea is also involved in an extensive sustainable tree-planting programme in Kenya, which also encompasses creating livelihoods for communities through beehives, honey production and an on-site recycling programme.

The house of Ortaea has a number of collections. Mode is a playful contemporary line; Eternum accents jewels that transcend time and generations; and Nature’s Wonder features spectacular coloured gemstones. Mita is particularly drawn to the lines inspired directly by nature such as Maji, Jardin, Koral and Imperium. “Maji means ‘water’ in Swahili and is inspired by the oceans,” she says, “while Koral is designed to behold the bold, organic shapes within coral reefs.”

Mita enjoys the possibilities raised through collaboration and has worked with landscape artist Prince Rostislav Romanov, one of the last surviving members of the Romanov family. Together they created the Imperium collection, a line of unique pieces that are inspired by the birch tree. “This celebrates renewal, as the birch sheds and renews, constantly in transformation,” she says. “The idea is that eras will come and go, but nature is imperious.”

Since 2022, Ortaea has been integrating evolving technology to heighten the experience of each customer in both online and private consultations. Through retail innovator Modist, the house has created personalised interactions elaborated with storytelling in a very visual journey. Mita is also seeking to create Ortaea’s own private showroom. “It will be Ortaea’s house of curiosity, creativity, craft and purpose.”