One of the most recognized names in diamonds, Tiffany & Co., unveiled their latest High Jewelry creations, and Only Natural Diamonds spoke with Tiffany’s Chief Gemologist, Victoria Reynolds, in an exclusive interview about some of the most stunning pieces from the new collection.
The jewelry is the third and final expression of BOTANICA: Blue Book 2022. BOTANICA released in three waves beginning in Spring 2022, with the second this Summer, all with floral-inspired designs from The Tiffany Archives as well as Jean Schlumberger masterpieces. The pieces reimagine floral motifs that have long been a part of Tiffany’s heritage, but for a new generation. Wisteria, magnolia, and orchid are inspirations for the floral designs, and we learned why orchid was among the most technically challenging to bring to life.
Nature has long been an inspiration for jewelry design. Precious metals and natural diamonds are from the earth, so what better to use as design inspiration than flowers? Reynolds explains, “Re-envisioning nature is something that has been deeply ingrained in Tiffany’s heritage and identity from the beginning of our nearly two-century history. In creating the BOTANICA collection, we knew it was critical to find the right balance between honoring our heritage and maintaining a sense of modernity. We were able to achieve this by reimagining some of our most important floral themes that our designers have dreamt up over many years.
We’ve revisited motifs from our heritage. Everything from orchid brooches and Louis Comfort Tiffany’s dandelion hair ornaments to wisteria glass lampshades re-emerge as innovative and transformable jewels. Additionally, Jean Schlumberger’s floral themes are uplifted with special gemstone combinations, giving new life to his most remarkable creations.
A floral design and a design inspired by florals are two very different articles. A floral design is a much more literal interpretation directly resembling the flower, while a design inspired by florals, if done well, captures the essence of the flower without directly resembling it. Tiffany’s new creations offer many aha moments, as you continue to look, each piece’s inspiration comes to you. According to Reynolds, “Honoring the botanical splendor and organic curves of an orchid flower, our designers and master craftspeople collaborated to re-envision the flower’s distinctive profile. This theme’s intriguing silhouettes and rhythmic pattern of diamonds modernize the orchid motif while honoring its significance to our heritage, making the two indelibly intertwined.”
Perhaps the sexiest flower in nature, the orchid is the perfect muse for fine diamond jewelry. “This theme highlights an orchid’s most unique element: its fluid curves. Tiffany & Co. artisans captured the sensual, organic curves yet unique symmetry elevating its elegant silhouette.”
Diamond High Jewelry is often an investment as well as a piece of art. Pieces like these frequently appear at auction years later, with sale prices dwarfing their original purchase price. This can mean that these breathtaking pieces sit in a vault unseen by the world; however, Tiffany wants you to wear them. Reynolds says, “The ability to wear a design multiple ways—such as our Orchid Curve necklaces from the BOTANICA: Blue Book 2022 collection—adds versatility, desirability, and, of course, wearability to these exceptional pieces.”
The rarity and value of the diamonds and the beauty of the design are usually what put one in awe of High Jewelry of this caliber. However, the complexity of crafting many of the pieces, if understood, is awe-inspiring on its own. Reynolds explains, “The Orchid Curve necklace is one of the most exceptional designs of the BOTANICA: Blue Book 2022 collection. The process of handcrafting it was perhaps the most technically challenging, however, and the result is an incredibly innovative work of art. This necklace is sculptural with its organic curves and clean folds. As a necklace, it needs to have flexibility and movement; it needs to be both beautiful and comfortable. We achieved this by custom-cutting hundreds of diamonds to fit each setting. Each diamond has its own movement, and the artisan must conceal the mechanisms that facilitate the organic motion of the diamonds.”
The designation of “High Jewelry” is reserved for the best of the best in terms of design, rarity, workmanship, and value. The natural origin of diamonds and gemstones is essential for jewelry to have rarity and ever be considered High Jewelry. Reynolds says, “Sourcing gemstones for our collections is a quest to find the rarest, most beautiful, and unusual gemstones in the world. My team and I travel extensively in search of these miracles of nature, and every single diamond and colored gemstone is selected by hand. As we searched for the perfect colored gemstone for the Orchid Curve necklace, we were fortunate to find a rare unenhanced sapphire of substantial size with exceptional color and clarity. Its beauty cannot be overstated.”