DARIUS is the collection of fine jewelry by artists and designers Darius Khonsary & Arielle Chiara. The work draws reference from Khonsary’s matrilineal Persian ancestry, building a bridge to the archaeological past through the use of symbol and material. The designers approach jewelry as totemic vessel; objects of power and protection that serve as a focal point for communication with the universe. Chiara’s background in gemology accounts for the brand’s distinctive approach to utilizing fine quality colored gemstones as well as the brand’s strict use of antique and reclaimed diamonds. Each unique piece is crafted entirely by hand in Los Angeles by the brand’s in house Master Goldsmith. Fabrication techniques are skin to that of the ancient world, rendering each piece truly one of a kind. 


“Our collection is made with the highest form of respect for the wisdom of the ancient world,” says Khonsary. “It is an attempt at deciphering the messages that the ancients left us, activating these historical energies and bringing them into the present, allowing for the birth of new worlds. To wear jewelry is to facilitate in the creation of magic.”


Mystical and archival references captured in the work include the Chasing Lovers Scene depicted in the Lovers Necklace, born from a Cylinder Seal found at the Ziggurat at Ur c.2100 BCE depicting a singed alicorn pursuing its lover/prey. Figures from an Akkadian Cylinder Seal c. 2220-2159 BCE, reimagined from their original form as femmes, take center stage in the Sisters Necklace & Ear Pendants. The symbols they carry - Moon, Sun, Fish and Vessel (overflowing with water) - are interpreted as manifestations of feminine archetypal imagery.


As a transgender woman, Khonsary has been witness to the direct parallel between the transformational process of jewelry fabrication and the alchemical reality of transgender magic. “Transness is both enduring and eternal, and many ancient cultures regard transgender individuals as sacred, holding places of power in society through their ability to tap into a vastness of archetypal cosmic energies,” says Khonsary. “Transformation as a process is associated with divinity, thinning the barrier between physical and spiritual worlds. These pieces, which speak to both the ancient past and deep future, open up the possibility of collapsing the expanse of time.”