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Van Cleef & Arpels - Homage to High Jewellery

Ever since its foundation in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has perpetuated a unique taste for exceptional stones, illuminated by the Maison’s style and savoir-faire.

Van Cleef & Arpels - Homage to High Jewellery

14 July 2020

Ever faithful to that tradition, it is today unveiling three High Jewelry pieces that celebrate emeralds, rubies and diamonds respectively. The Merveille d’émeraudes necklace, Rubis en scène bracelet and Tendresse étincelante earrings have been created using rare batches of precious stones, while paying homage to iconic pieces that belonged to some of the Maison’s leading clients.

A brand new creation from the workshops in Place Vendôme, the Merveille d’émeraudes necklace echoes a prestigious piece from the Maison’s heritage: Princess Faiza’s collaret necklace, dating from 1929. Adorned with 10 drop-shaped emerald pendants suspended from a geometric mount entirely set with diamonds, it was acquired for Her Royal Highness in 1947 by the Egyptian court’s representative in France. In 2014, this historic piece – which was worn by the Princess on several occasions – was added to the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection to be displayed at exhibitions across the world.

Merveille d'émeraudes necklace
Merveille d’émeraudes necklace

Today, the Merveille d’émeraudes necklace reveals another batch of gems with unique charm, and bearing an age-old story. Weighing a total of 70.40 carats, five Colombian emeralds of a warm green hue display slender pear shapes of generous dimensions. At the stones’ tips, the attentive observer can make out an unobtrusive notch on the culet, which is testimony to their previous life: these former pendants have been split in two pear shapes to reveal all the delicacy and beauty of their material. The latter is typical of old mines: suffused with elegant gardens that emphasize the distinctive character of each specimen. Preserved by the Maison in this pear shape, the emeralds now punctuate glittering ribbons of round, baguette-cut and triangle-shaped diamonds. Following in the footsteps of the Faiza necklace – with its remarkable jewelry clasp that hangs down the back –, the piece also includes a dazzling diamond train adorning the nape of the neck.

This pure and luminous geometry lends itself to different transformations, to suit every mood. The emeralds can be removed from the necklace to be accompanied or replaced by pear-shaped diamonds (one DFL type 2A weighing 5.81 carats and two DIF type 2A stones weighing 3.59 carats each), which may adorn the clasp. Both the emeralds and the diamonds can also be suspended from the earrings that complete the set, providing one short and two long options with the precious pendants.

Final polishing work (left) - Setting finitions (right)
Final polishing work (left) - Setting finitions (right)

With its three-dimensional structure and flamboyant paving, the Rubis en scène bracelet is a tribute to one of Marlene Dietrich’s favorite jewels: the Jarretière bracelet designed by Van Cleef & Arpels. Purchased by the actress in 1937, this impressively-sized piece is made up of large loops set with rubies and diamonds. Marlene Dietrich was regularly photographed with this bracelet, which she wore in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Stage Fright (1950).

Rubis en scène bracelet
Rubis en scène bracelet

The Maison has now reinterpreted this iconic creation, in a bracelet adorned with a batch of 72 Burmese rubies, weighing a total of 84.74 carats. Rarely in its history has Van Cleef & Arpels brought together so many rubies of such quality; carefully matched by the Maison’s expert gemologists, they have been recut into cushion shapes.

Distinguished by their material – typical of Burmese rubies – and their deep and intense color, the stones display shades ranging from bright red to purple, whose harmony offers an intense gleam to the eye. Like precious velvet, the gems hug two semi-circles of different diameters, in a generous interplay that embellishes the wrist. The ensemble is supported by an openwork structure in white gold, specially designed to ensure comfort and balance, and set with round, square-shaped and baguette-cut diamonds. The daring feel of the original design is today mirrored both in the bracelet’s architecture and in the abundance of precious stones, which unfurl in a remarkable effect of color and radiance.

Jewellery work, assembling (left) - Bead setting work (right)
Jewellery work, assembling (left) - Bead setting work (right)

This High Jewelry piece is inspired by the Van Cleef & Arpels earrings that Aristotle Onassis offered to Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis in 1968 as a wedding gift. She appeared several times wearing these large, diamond-set floral motifs, their pendants adorned with generous ruby cabochons.

Today, the Maison once again expresses its attachment to nature and Pierres de Caractère – gems that instill a unique emotion – with the Tendresse étincelante earrings. On each of them, a blossoming corolla unfurls around a pear-shaped diamond. Adorned with delicate veins, the petals are brought to life by curves and an effect of relief – illustrating the Maison’s cherished vision of a lively nature in perpetual motion.

Tendresse étincelante earrings with detachable pendants
Tendresse étincelante earrings with detachable pendants

These precious flowers are completed by detachable pendants, made up of two pear-shaped DFL type 2A diamonds for a total of 20.21 carats. The stones – weighing over ten carats each – are noteworthy for being cut from the same rough. Along with their impressive size and flawless purity, they both stand out for their harmonious cut and vivid material.

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