Each July, just as haute couture finery makes its way down Parisian runways, the most revered jewelry houses present their high jewelry creations, the designs that are the most elaborate, most unique and (naturally) most expensive of the entire year. Though this time around many 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 diamond jewelry highlights from this year’s 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 gear. 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 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-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds. What’s more, the piece transforms to tone down or mix up your look: Its diamond drops easily detach (wear them as earrings), longer necklace is removable, and the central motif can be reconfigured as a ring.. Isn’t it nice to see that even the most precious of 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 lot 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 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 stones and technology that required years of development.
Messika excels at crafting 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 oversized hoops, two-finger rings and ear cuffs with major diamonds of the highest quality. 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 cut diamonds envelop the entire ear and dangle three more pear shape stones. 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 collection, which takes cues from Rome and its splendor. Among the trove of gems to make an appearance in the just released designs were diamonds in saturated hues, which are the rarest of the rare. A 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 shape—a treasure to adore forever inspired by the Eternal City.