Each July, just as haute couture finery makes its way down Parisian runways, the most revered high jewelry houses present their high jewelry creations, the diamond designs that are the most elaborate, most unique and (naturally) most expensive of the entire year. Though this time around many diamond jewelers resorted to Zoom instead of unveiling their new masterpieces in Place Vendôme ateliers, the allure was definitely not dimmed. For your viewing pleasure, we’ve culled together a few highlights from this year’s diamond showcase. Prepare to be wowed.
If there’s any single piece of diamond jewelry that epitomizes the effervescent, fanciful feeling of high jewelry, it’s a tiara, the accessory that brings to mind fairy tales and frothy royal weddings. And Chaumet is the ultimate master of the art of creating dazzling diamond head pieces. After all, the vaunted Place Vendôme jeweler who (fun fact) was the official jeweler to Empress Josephine has been making them since the 18th century.
Despite its industry longevity, Chaumet has never been satisfied with sticking to tradition; Chaumet’s diamond jewelers breathe new life into the form year after year. Case in point: 2020’s Lacis tiara, a display of natural diamonds that seemingly float within a streamlined, light-as-air geometric framework inspired by contemporary architecture. It’s as downtown chic as formal diamond jewelry can be.
Even money-is-no-object shoppers want to maximize the mileage they can get from a single statement jewel, n’est-ce pas? The Vatna necklace from Cartier’s [Sur]Naturel high jewelry collection, can be worn in all its maximalist glory, complete with a central 21.11-carat emerald-cut diamond accompanied by thirty-two more emerald-cut diamonds that total to 36.14-carats (!!!) alongside smaller square-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds. What’s more, the emerald cut diamond necklace transforms to tone down or mix up your look: Its diamond drops easily detach (wear them as earrings), the longer diamond necklace is removable, and the central motif can be reconfigured as a diamond ring. Isn’t it nice to see that even the most precious of high jewelry pieces can have a practical side?
A raindrop. The wind rippling through grass. Birds circling overhead. Each of the 67 pieces in Boucheron’s Contemplation high jewelry collection alludes to ephemeral features related to the sky. The most impressive of the diamond jewelry collection might just be a necklace that takes the shape of a cloud as it encircles its wearer’s neck. The Nuage en Apesanteur (or Weightless Cloud) collar supports 4,018 natural diamonds—each appears like a brilliant water droplet suspended in air—on flexible titanium threads that sway softly as it moves. It updates the formula for exceptional fine jewelry with its fusion of fine diamond stones and technology that required years of development.
Messika excels at crafting diamond jewels with a youthful, unstuffy attitude. The brand’s 2020 high jewelry collection, Voltige, applies such an approach to its most rarefied offerings including cool silhouettes like an essential pair of diamond hoops, two finger diamond rings and diamond ear cuffs. A pair of geometric, asymmetrical earrings is particularly standout: from one ear a streamlined drop dangles a single pear shape diamond, on the other linear strands set with baguette diamonds envelop the entire ear and dangle three more pear shaped diamonds. They’re just as suited for a black-tie event as a downtown dinner party.
Vibrant, delectable color is a Bulgari signature and the brand leaned into that heritage with the Barocko high jewelry collection, which takes cues from Rome and its splendor. Among the trove of gems to make an appearance in the just released designs were colorful diamonds in saturated hues, which are the rarest of the rare. A diamond ring set with a 5.02 carat fancy vivid yellow-orange diamond at its center attracted attention for its sunshine bright tone and unusual shield diamond shape—a treasure to adore forever inspired by the Eternal City.