The Best Diamonds from the June and July 2021 High-Jewelry Collections
Stunning diamonds meet modern design in these beautiful high-jewelry collections.By Kristen Shirley |
While Paris Couture Week remains the main venue for high-jewelry presentations, several houses took clients abroad to glamorous locales, including Cannes, Monaco, and Rome, so that they could have their undivided attention. This year’s high-jewelry collections are truly spectacular. Ranging from tightly edited themes, like Van Cleef & Arpels’ charming ballet dancer brooches, to exuberant and colorful diamond collections from Bulgari and Chopard, and stunning pieces and techniques from Boucheron and Chaumet, each collection reinvents what high-jewelry means today.
Boucheron is known for its boundary-breaking high-jewelry collections, where Creative Director Claire Choisne has complete creative freedom. These July collections, appropriately named Carte Blanche, frequently include materials and techniques not seen before in high jewelry, and the new Holographique collection is no different. Choisne collaborated with the French industrial manufacturing company, Saint-Gobain, to bring a holographic coating to several pieces featuring rock crystal and ceramic. These wild colors are accented with colored gemstones and, of course, diamonds.
The Prisme suite features slices and pieces of rock crystal that appear to show all colors of the rainbow at once. The bracelet alternates between these holographic pieces and pavé diamonds, while the ring features a pavé diamond setting topped by a pear-shaped rock crystal. The Halo suite looks very futuristic, with smooth, circular pieces of rock crystal bringing to mind UFOs flying through the sky. These large pieces of rock crystal also have a holographic coating, but the effect is more subtle. Bands of baguette and round diamonds add a dose of high-jewelry glamour. The showstopping Holographique suite features dramatic slices of holographic-coated rock crystal set with pavé diamonds around the edges of each slice. The play of light through the slices is amazing, creating rainbows at every turn.
Prisme Bracelet and Earrings
The new Cartier Sixième Sens collection uses diamonds, colorful gemstones, trompe-l’oeil, optical illusions, and geometric patterns to evoke our sixth sense. These pieces showcase the artistic power of jewelry, and its ability to evoke emotion and touch our hearts. This collection makes it easy to get lost looking at the mesmerizing motifs.
Three sensational suites featuring architectural, geometric patterns are particularly evocative of this notion. The Pixelage suite transforms a pixelated picture of a panther into a masterpiece. The pixels, representing its fur, are crafted from onyx and white, yellow, and orange diamonds. A trio of golden topazes sits at the center of the piece. The Meride necklace showcases a remarkable design. It features squares of mirror-polished metal, onyx, and diamonds that are set at different levels, creating a hypnotizing optical illusion.
Chaumet is one of the world’s oldest jewelry companies, but despite its prestigious pedigree, the French maison is not afraid of pushing boundaries. Its newest high-jewelry collection, Torsade de Chaumet (torsade translates to twist) features wild spirals, coils, and curls of diamonds on everything from a modern tiara to necklaces and brooches. Aside from its obvious beauty, the collection is remarkable for its gender-fluid design. Spirals, after all, aren’t masculine or feminine. To emphasize this point, Chaumet featured a male model in the campaign, wearing a brooch and a ring. It’s the chicest, most contemporary interpretation of a signet ring that we’ve ever seen.
In some pieces, Chaumet features exceptional diamonds that peek out underneath the spirals, or are placed at their center. This ring features an emerald-cut diamond between two diamond twists, while these earrings have emerald-cut drops suspended from the diamond coils. We love the contrast between the sharp shape and the spontaneous coils.
Torsade de Chaumet Earrings
Torsade de Chaumet Necklace
Torsade de Chaumet Brooch
Torsade de Chaumet Ring
Torsade de Chaumet Ring
Torsade de Chaumet Ring
Bulgari’s unveiled its Magnifica high-jewelry collection this summer in Milan and included several of the Italian house’s signature motifs, including the iconic Serpenti collection. These two necklaces reinterpret the snake in different ways. One has scales of diamonds and onyx, and the serpent’s head and body slither around the necklace. Its tail is topped with a rubellite cabochon.
The other features an all-diamond snake that coils around the wearer’s neck. Its diamond scales form a geometric pattern and exclusively use round diamonds. The snake’s head is topped with a dramatic star-shaped motif crafted from marquise-cut diamonds. The only color in this necklace comes from emeralds: The serpent’s eyes are made from pear-shaped emeralds, and there are nine large cabochon-cut emerald drops suspended from the snake’s body.
Gucci’s Creative Director Alessandro Michele is one of the most influential fashion designers of the past decade. After conquering the fashion industry, he turned his brilliant mind to jewelry, bringing his eclectic design inspiration and sense of whimsy. His second high-jewelry collection, Hortus Deliciarum (meaning “garden of delights” in Latin), was just released. Delightful, indeed.
The 130 pieces explore Gucci’s iconography and archives through the lens of the natural world. These one-of-a-kind jewels bring Michele’s sense of maximalism through brilliant colors and intricate designs. This necklace features an astronomy-inspired design with diamond-and-emerald suns, moons, stars, and meteors, and dangling diamond drops evoke moondust. Instead of the typical sapphires or moonstone, Michele used brilliant green emeralds. Next, a three-dimensional bow—bows being a frequent source of inspiration at Gucci—is set with diamonds on both sides. It’s surrounded by flowers and stars and features several colored gemstones beneath the bow.
The collection debuted with a campaign shot in a dreamy swimming pool featuring British actress Jodie Turner-Smith.
Japanese jeweler Mikimoto is known for its exquisite pearls, but its high-jewelry collections are so much more than perfect pearl strands. They feature ultra-rare pearls—including Melo Melo and conch pearls—in masterful designs featuring diamonds and colored gemstones. The new collection, Japanese Sense of Beauty, combines Japan’s design aesthetic and jewelry culture with western influences to create a truly unique collection that brings together the best of both worlds. Mikimoto debuted the collection during Paris Couture Week with a campaign and video featuring supermodel Ai Tominaga, one of the first Japanese models to gain international acclaim.
A trio of pieces inspired by chrysanthemums showcases Mikimoto’s expert metalwork. Each of the flowers has different petal designs and features a pearl at the center, including orange Melo Melo, Black South Sea, and a pink Conch pearl. Some petals curl outwards at different angles, making them look truly alive, while others follow traditional patterns. One even mixes Akoya Keshi pearls with diamonds.
This stunning necklace interprets the mujinagiku flower through a delicate frame. It features open worked petals and flowers set with diamonds. There are conch pearls and a range of colored zoisites scattered throughout. Some are set at the center of flowers, while others are tucked into petals.
The new Dior Rose high-jewelry collection is a garden of 116 jeweled blooms, each inspired by a different rose. It’s a testament to the whimsy and inventiveness of Victoire de Castellane, Artistic Director of Dior Joiallerie, that each piece is different, and never repetitive. She meditates on the beauty of the rose through stained glass, romance, avant-garde designs, haute couture, and abstract interpretations.
The abstract Dior Rose ring and necklace feature pink sapphires surrounded by diamonds using an open worked technique, so each round diamond evokes unfurling petals. While many of Dior’s high-jewelry pieces achieve their signature colors through gemstones, this couture Dior Rose necklace adds color through lacquer. The all-diamond necklace has a large emerald-cut diamond at the center of organically shaped rose petals and leaves. The leaves are trimmed in different shades of pink lacquer, while the leaves feature green lacquered tendrils.
Cindy Chao is known for her feather brooches—she releases a new one every year. It’s incredible to see an artist reinterpret the same motif repeatedly, yet find fresh inspiration with each one. This year’s White Label Masterpiece brooch did not disappoint: The Titanium Feather brooch features a staggering 1,013 gemstones. It has several large cushion-cut diamonds—each around two carats accented by even more diamonds. The structure and barbs of the brooch are crafted from titanium, which gives Chao utmost control over the design and makes the piece as light as possible. The green titanium is accented with green color-change garnets and tsavorite. It’s finished with a 1.72-carat fancy-yellow pear-shaped diamond set in warm 18K yellow gold.
Every year, Chopard debuts its high-jewelry collection in the most glamorous way possible: the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. Last week, the Swiss house showed an incredible collection with varied inspirations, and there were several standout pieces featuring diamonds. This magnificent Red Carpet Collection necklace exclusively features fancy yellow diamonds, which are rarely found together in a necklace this significant. There are two strands of square-cut fancy intense yellow diamonds that total 83.15 carats, which would be impressive enough on its own. But, Chopard takes this necklace to the next level with a spectacular 30.68-carat emerald-cut fancy vivid yellow diamond that is suspended from the choker.
Plenty of A-listers walked the red carpet wearing Chopard, including French actress Isabelle Huppert, who dressed up an all-black ensemble with these diamond hoop earrings from the new collection, as well as diamond bracelets.
Earlier this year, Graff unveiled its stunning Tribal high-jewelry collection focused on folk tales, timeless symbols, and geometric motifs. In honor of Paris Couture Week, Graff debuted a new Tribal high-jewelry suite, the Sun + Moon suite. The highlight is undoubtedly the necklace, which features white and fancy yellow diamonds.
Graff’s designers mixed multiple shapes of white diamonds but exclusively used pear-shaped fancy yellow diamonds. This restraint and purity of vision are truly special, and it took several years to find the matching fancy yellow diamonds, which total over 56 carats. The necklace includes dueling motifs from the Tribal collection. There’s a diamond half-moon with white diamonds that evoke moonbeams, while the yellow diamonds represent rays of sunshine.
In honor of the 200th birthday of the maison’s founder, Louis Vuitton, the French house introduced Bravery, a high-jewelry collection that celebrates the courage it took for the young man to leave home as a teenager and found his own company. The pieces play on motifs important to the house, like the monogram print, arrows, and the ‘V’ shape. Some pieces, like the La Star du Nord necklace, feature its signature diamond cut, the LV Monogram Star, which is modeled after the famous monogram print.
This choker features two rows of diamonds tied together with a knot. At the center of the knot is a 10.07-carat Type D internally flawless Type 2A diamond in the LV Monogram Star cut. This incomparable stone is removable and can also be worn as a ring.
The dancing Aurora Borealis, glimmering floating lanterns, the sun, and the night sky inspired Piaget’s latest high-jewelry collection, Extraordinary Lights. Each chapter evokes these different light sources through diamonds, colored gemstones, and intricate settings that mimic rays of light. The Blissful Lights suite is particularly striking. This suite highlights ultra-rare fancy-intense yellow diamonds. The necklace showcases a 10.12-carat intense yellow diamond, which can be removed and clipped into a ring. It took 280 hours to craft this removable setting. The matching earrings are absolutely gorgeous, and perfectly capture the essence of floating, illuminating lanterns. They feature matching radiant-cut intense yellow diamonds, which are suspended from glittering rays of white diamonds.
The Extraordinary Lights set mixes white diamonds, fancy yellow diamonds, red spinel, blue sapphire, and spessartine to include all of the colors of the sky in one piece of jewelry. This ring features an incredibly fancy vivid yellow cushion-cut diamond that weighs 5.54 carats, which is the highest color grade for fancy colored diamonds. Piaget designed the suite around this stunning stone, and it took two years to complete the search for perfectly matching stones.
Blissful Lights Ring
Blissful Lights Earrings
Blissful Lights Ring
Blissful Lights Necklace