At Paris Couture Week, historic houses unveiled new masterpieces featuring truly sensational natural diamonds..
Twice a year, the world’s top high jewellery houses create sensational collections of jewels that exemplify the highest quality diamonds and most exquisite craftsmanship. And though Covid-19 disrupted the calendar, it certainly did not stop designers from dreaming big.
While some looked to the heavens for inspiration, debuting jewellery intended for red carpets and black-tie galas, others reconsidered the meaning of high jewellery altogether, resenting lighter and more wearable pieces. No matter the direction, the best diamond jewellery presented during Paris Couture Week all has in common fabulous diamonds, superb artistry and a strict following of all the codes and craftsmanship of haute joaillerie. Read on for our favorites of 2021..
Van Cleef & Arpels
Captivating artists for centuries, the starry night sky is a perennial source of inspiration for Van Cleef & Arpels. In its newest high jewellery collection, Sous les Étoiles (under the stars), Nicolas Bos, CEO & Creative Director of Van Cleef & Arpels, explores outer space in 150 extremely creative pieces: there are planets—including a charming gold and diamond brooch that depicts Saturn and rings that appear to float in space—as well as stars, comets and romantic interpretations of the cosmos.
The house is renowned for its transformable jewellery, and the Halley necklace is a perfect example. Inspired by Halley’s Comet, this unique necklace features a significant 11.29 carat Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond as the heart of the comet. The comet’s tail is formed by rays of white and yellow diamonds that bust from the central stone. The stunning yellow diamond can be removed from the necklace and placed into a ring. The ring has a 3.26 carat DFL diamond that sits atop yellow diamonds—a masterpiece of its own.
Buccellati is known for its exceptional engraving, which truly shines in its high-jewellery collections. Every angle is hand-decorated using traditional techniques, which takes hours to complete and can only be engraved by highly trained artisans.
A perfect example: the ethereal Polvera di Luna collection. To perfect its light-as-air effect, artisans painstakingly drilled the pieces to remove gold, creating an openwork setting where bezel-set diamonds hang from delicate branches, forming a honeycomb motif. Buccellati’s mix of white and yellow gold also helps to create a very unique look.
In this beautiful bib necklace, the central diamonds are rose cut for a soft and romantic look, and set in yellow gold bezels for enhanced warmth. Every aspect has been hand-engraved using the rigato technique that highlights Buccellati’s Renaissance-inspired designs. There are matching earrings and a flexible bracelet, too.
De Beers looked to the birthplace of its diamonds, Africa, in its Reflections of Nature high jewellery collection featuring one-of-a-kind pieces that mix faceted white diamonds with rough fancy-coloured diamonds in a spectacular rainbow, highlighting the range and beauty of natural diamonds.
The collection’s five beautiful sets are inspired by some of Africa’s most scenic landscapes, including bountiful coral reefs, deep canyons, the stark Namibian desert, plus the lush Okavango Delta, one of the greenest parts of Africa. The latter is represented in De Beers’s show-stopping Okavango Grace necklace, which showcases a diamond collar with nine removable fringe-like strands of rare fancy-coloured green and pink diamonds that symbolize both cascading water and the reeds in the Delta. In total, the Okavango Grace necklace features a total of 301 diamonds, including nearly 32 carats of rough green diamonds and nine internally flawless pear-shaped diamonds. The collection also includes a ring, two bracelets and two pairs of earrings inspired by the Delta.
Can high jewellery be effortless and wearable, but still special and standout? In the deft hands of Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s Co-President and Artistic Director, the answer is yes. The Swiss house’s latest collection, Precious Lace, interprets the lightness and fluidity of lace into diamonds. Historically, lace was made by hand and worn only by royalty and nobility due to its rareness and value.
By using delicate settings and mimicking the scalloped edges of the finest lace, Chopard’s artisans were able to recreate lace in gold and diamonds. In the Vague and Nuage collections (which translate to wave and cloud in French), pear-shaped diamonds are surrounded by swirls of pavé diamonds that create the delicate lace-like effect. The Nuage pendant combines pear-shaped diamonds with a central brilliant-cut diamond for even more radiance. The house also revisits its iconic Heart collection, adding the same pavé diamond edging to a diamond heart. All of the gold in the pieces is ethically sourced, continuing Chopard’s 2018 promise to exclusively use ethical gold in all of its jewellery and watches.