How about we start the New Year with a bang and a whole lot of beautiful bling? We pick some epic necklaces that raise the bar in terms of craftsmanship, gemstone selection and design ingenuity
Chopard’s annual Red Carpet Collection never fails to present us with pieces that literally make the jaw drop and this spectacular necklace is one of them. Made from Fairmined gold and aluminium, the necklace — which is one of the 73 pieces that make the collection — features a 19.3-carat pear-shaped citrine that’s surrounded by a suite of spessartite garnets, citrines, diamonds and white opal cabochons. This time around, Chopard’s artistic director Caroline Scheufele, a great lover of nature, designed the jewels along the themes of flora and fauna, and all were made at its high-jewellery atelier in Geneva by its in-house artisans, jewellers, gem-setters and polishers.
Van Cleef & Arpels
This playful yet magnificent Pompon Margaret long necklace watch by Van Cleef & Arpels is made with rows of cultured pearls and in a tassel-like fashion that highlights a 6.19-carat Sri Lankan sapphire — the star of the piece. The remarkably intense colour of the sapphire contrasts stunningly with strands of immaculately white pearls and lapis lazuli beads. Hidden beneath the central motif is a secret dial that reveals itself by pressing one of the diamonds. Meant to be worn in several ways, this piece can transform into a secret watch, a shorter necklace, and different bracelets.
I bet you’ve never seen panther fur quite like this before. Cartier reinterprets it in this incredible Hemis necklace that’s made in platinum and set with a cushion-cut kunzite and a suite of opals, and pink and white brilliant-cut diamonds. The star of the piece is undoubtedly the flawless 71.80-carat cushion-shaped kunzite that boasts an intense pink colour with a hint of purple, which is highlighted by opals of a wide array of colours — ranging from blue to purple-grey — translucency and shapes. The multidimensionality of the piece was achieved with its use of irregular-shaped opals that were polished to look like shiny pebbles, a vision that required hundreds of hours of work and numerous discussions between the designer, gem cutter and the gemstone expert to realise.
Celebrating Bulgari’s passion and long ties with the silver screen, the Cinemagia high jewellery collection uses daring colour combinations, unconventional materials and a myriad of gemstone cuts to create bold and imaginative pieces. Case in point is this necklace mad e in pink gold that features eight outstanding oval-shaped stones, namely a27.28-carat topaz, 22.98-caratrubellite, 21.92-carat citrine quartz, 17.98-carat amethyst, 16.71-carat morganite,16.09-carat Iolite, a 14.83-carat green quartz and a 5.21 carat apatite. These vibrant stones are complemented by rubellite and peridot beads, and pavé set diamonds.
This Gübelin masterpiece called Blushing Wing, which is characterised by its blush colour and design that resembles a bird’s feather, is set with a 12.10-carat cushion-shaped padparadscha sapphire from Sri Lanka, 120 sapphires in different shades and brilliant-cut diamonds. Much thought was put into selecting the pastel-hued sapphires, which were carefully coordinated to match the play of colours within the padparadscha sapphire that was set on red gold to further highlight the stone’s inner fire. The variety of cuts, colours and shapes seen in this piece harks back to Gübelin’s rich and glamorous creations from the 1950s and 1960s.
The Weed Graphique necklace by Chanel hails from the French brand’s tweed-inspired high jewellery collection, Tweed de Chanel. Made in white gold and set with onyx and diamonds, including a 5.03-carat round-cut, the necklace realises the litheness and suppleness of handwoven Scottish woollen cloth through specially developed articulation techniques that enabled the craftsmen to mould precious metals and set gems while
maintaining the jewel’s fluidity.
Last year, Phillips auctioned off a breathtaking necklace by Chinese jewellery designer Feng J called Jardin de Giverny. Featuring a 19-carat fancy light pink diamond, the necklace was inspired by Claude Monet’s The Artist’s Garden at Giverny and Feng J’s love for the romantic fountains of Paris. Feng J designed it as a garland, using her signature floating-set technique in which the precious metal is hardly — if at all — visible, in setting the numerous double rose-cut coloured sapphires, aquamarines, spinels, tanzanites and tsavorites and rose-cut and brilliant-cut diamonds she used for this piece. The rare fancy light pink diamond has pride of place as it sits at the very heart of the garland necklace.
Tiffany & Co
When you have a stone as magnificent as the 128-carat Tiffany Diamond, that’s all you need to make a spectacular necklace. The legendary rock, which, according to Tiffany & Co chief artistic officer Reed Krakoff, rarely makes a public appearance and usually stays inside its vaults, is an extremely rare fancy yellow diamond unearthed in 1877 as a 287.42-carat rough diamond from the Kimberley mines in South Africa, which was eventually procured by Charles Lewis Tiffany. In 1878, the rough diamond was cut in Paris into a 128.54 carat cushion shape brilliant with an unprecedented 82 facets, revealing the stone’s extraordinary fire and beauty. It’s graced the necks of Audrey Hepburn, who wore it at an event promoting Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and likewise by Lady Gaga, who wore it during a performance at the Academy Awards in 2019.
Claire Choisne, creative director of Boucheron, doesn’t disappoint with her 67-piece Contemplation high-jewellery collection, which is said to be her most personal and intimate yet. Taking on a sensory approach, Choisne invites the wearer to feel the sensations that come with these jewels. Case in point is this Goutte de Ciel necklace, on which she endeavoured “to capture what cannot be caught: a piece of sky to wear around your neck”. Boucheron’s two-year search for a material that could reproduce not only the sky’s infinite palette of blues, but also its fleeting, indefinable essence led to a special substance composed mostly of air and silica that’s used in space by Nasa to gather stardust, which Choisne then encloses in a shell of rock crystal set with diamonds and made into an extraordinary talisman that hangs from the choker.
Famous for its inventory of incredibly rare fancy colour diamonds and precious stones, London-based Moussaieff Jewellers doesn’t fall short when it comes to jaw-dropping jewels. A stunning testament to this is this high jewellery necklace that features 68.99 carats of Colombian emeralds and 39.48 carats of diamonds, set in rock crystal. This astounding piece shows not only Moussaieff’s extraordinary access to precious stones of such quality, but also how the otherwise traditional jeweller is increasingly creating pieces that are more daring, creative and instinctive
In a collection described by Hermès creative director for jewellery Pierre Hardy as one “oriented towards intimacy”, Lignes Sensibles was inspired by objects that are used to listen to the body, such as the stethoscope. Hardy uses a range of gemstones in colours close to skin tone, with the goal of creating pieces that, when worn, will be at “one with the skin”. A standout piece in the collection is this Contre la Peau necklace in rose gold that features an astounding 867 brilliant-cut diamonds totalling 45.3 carats. To weave this necklace, so to speak, so that it rests delicately on the contour of the neck like a second skin, minuscule triangles of gold were interlocked with chatons in which the diamonds are set, thus forming a fluid lace-like mesh.