Van Cleef & Arpels new Haute Joaillerie ?meraude en Majest? collection or The saga of emeralds. Part 3. The collection
To create ?meraude en Majest? («His Magesty the Emerald») collection,gemologists of Van Cleef & Arpels selected 1400 carats of unique Colombian and Zambian emeralds from around the world, gem cutters put all their skill into creative work, designers emphasized the beauty and uniqueness of stones with worthy framing; and 55 new jewellery pieces came to life in the hands of jewellers.
More than 70 masters are working in Van Cleef & Arpels studio, which is not far from the Parisian boutique. After paper drawings, the craftsman makes models of future jewellery. Van Cleef & Arpels create such three-dimensional sketches of tin alloy and crystal. The model gives a good idea of how the jewellery will look like, and allows elimination of latest technical and aesthetic defects of the design. After the model is approved by bosses, jewellers start creating golden or platinum base of the jewellery. Then gem cutters of the atelier get the gems ready for setting - but for diamonds, which are too solid and require the use of special device.
In Van Cleef & Arpels new Haute Joaillerie ?meraude en Majest? collection everything begins from a precious stone. In addition to its beauty, precious stones are a sort of compact financial instrument in today’s life. Value of rear gems is a key factor for jewellery buyers, however incredibly amazing the disign might be. You can always sell your jewellery set with exceptional gems anywhere in the world. A small gem may be millions dollars’ worth. Most of ?meraude en Majest? emeralds are the centers of transformable jewellery, which goes back to old traditions of Van Cleef & Arpels. They created their first transformable jewellery in 1939, it was Passe-Partout.
The Passe-Partout is based on an ingenious technical innovation. Hidden by two flower clips, a system of metal rails enables a flexible yellow gold snake chain to slide in and out, transforming the piece into a necklace, a choker, an opera-length necklace, a bracelet or a belt. The flowers can also be worn alone as clips and in some cases, can even be worn as earclips.
A major piece in the ?meraude en majest? collection, the Grand Opus necklace showcases three engraved Colombian “old mine” emeralds, weighing a total of 127.88 carats. The finesse and regularity of their engraved gadroon motifs, notably found on the costumes of maharajas, endow them with the charm of antique stones. Held in place by understated diamond ribbons, they combine harmoniously, while each displaying its own unique character and proportions.
Also made up of earrings, a clip and detachable pendants, this set can be worn in a variety of ways: the three emeralds can be placed on the necklace, the clip or the earrings to suit any mood. In the same way, delicate tassels of cultured pearls embellish the set’s various pieces. Combining Pierres de Caract?re and the art of metamorphosis, this creation bears witness to the Maison’s unique excellence and style.
Serrania necklace, valued at more than Euro 3 million, is also a transformable piece with a 26.43- carat emerald at its heart.Typical of the old Colombian deposits, the stone’s vibrant color and consistency give it a unique charm, while its weight – the greatest of the collection – is highlighted by a cushion cut, with its subtle blend of softness and brilliance. This Pierre de Caract?re stands out against a backdrop of diamonds, intricately positioned to evoke pre-Colombian motifs. Slightly baroque, a fine pearl weighing 26.82 carats completes the composition, illuminating the emerald in a blend of rarity and prestige. In keeping with Van Cleef & Arpels’ tradition of transformable pieces, the jewelry motif and the fine pearl can be removed from the necklace and worn together as a clip. These treasures of the earth and sea are thus magnified in a host of variations.
Inspired by the famous Claudine collar, Claudine necklace recalls the great French jewellery of the early 19th century with its regular and majestic composition. It gives pride of place to nine emeralds from old Colombian mines, whose weights vary from 3.99 to 6.04 carats for a total of 42.07 carats. The emerald cut constitutes an invitation to plunge into the heart of the gems to admire their lifelike, highly crystalized consistency. Set on diamond motifs, they punctuate the precious garlands that compose this transformable piece. The front motif – set with the largest stone – can be removed and worn as a clip, while the tie motif at the rear includes a detachable pendant, also adorned with an emerald.
With its bold combination of colors and lines, the Twist ?meraude bracelet takes its style from the torque bracelets that inspired the Maison from the 1920s onwards. On either side of a braid, two emerald cabochons – weighing 19.80 and 21.48 carats – seem united in a precious embrace. The curve is accompanied by coiled lines of diamonds and violet sapphires, which contrast with the two stones. The latter share the same intense green, accentuated by the depth of their cabochon cut, the same clear consistency – harmoniously complemented by “jardin” inclusions – and a brilliance rare in polished gems.
Borrowing from couture – a major source of inspiration for Van Cleef & Arpels – a fabric’s folds provide the main theme for Drap? Majestueux necklace, which is designed like a precious textile. It offers a very fluid hang thanks to its three rows of emerald beads, which shape themselves naturally to the curve of the neck.
Weighing a total of 244.24 carats, these 150 Zambian emeralds were chosen for their consistent diameters – between 6mm and 8mm – and intense sparkle. They form an ensemble of rare limpidity for cabochon-cut stones, emphasized by lacework motifs of round, square, asscher, baguette and obus-cut diamonds, some of which were reworked in situ. The delicately crafted rear motif may either plunge down the back or adorn the neckline like a glittering pendant.
Some ties are strong enough to endure the test of time. Revisiting a Van Cleef & Arpels design from the 1950s, the ?meraude entrelac?e necklace continues the tradition of precious bows and ribbons created by the Maison in that era. Its pure lines enhance the generously sized Colombian emerald at its heart, weighing 17.82 carats. Of a deep and even green, it invites the eye to explore its material’s exceptional crystallization. The stone’s brilliance is magnified by an emerald cut: Van Cleef & Arpels has chosen to mount the gem horizontally, accentuating the effect of a broad window on this mineral world. It clasps two strings of round and baguette-cut diamonds, which entwine in an elegant play of light.
The Lune d’eau Between the Finger™ Ring brings two freshly bloomed water lilies together against the skin. It presents a tender encounter between a Zambian emerald and a diamond, both carefully matched in weight and form. The 3-carat emerald, cut in an elongated pear shape, reveals its intense color with a hint of femininity, while the 3.03-carat D IF diamond of exceptional quality instills the piece with purity and brilliance.
With its intertwined precious stones, the Liens Antiques bracelet expresses enduring attachment. Evoking relief and movement, its shape is reminiscent of the Herculean knot, a symbol of union in ancient mythology. The knot theme – a recurring motif in Van Cleef & Arpels’ creative history – is here interpreted in a style that is both elegant and innovative. Arranged in a semi-circle, eleven octagonal emeralds are set side-by-side, glowing with the deep green shade characteristic of Colombian mines. As a result of the Maison’s stringent selection criteria, it took several years to make up the batch, which weighs a total of 19.38 carats.
Recreating all the vitality of a verdant bouquet, Bouquet d’?meraudes clip illustrates Van Cleef & Arpels’ fondness of nature, an endlessly renewed source of inspiration. It is composed around a rare batch of eleven engraved stones from Zambia, weighing a total of 32.53 carats. Accompanied by chrysoprase cabochons, these flowers form an infinite interplay of shades, cuts and reflections, instilling the whole with a spring-like sense of movement. The three-dimensional foliage appears to undulate in a gentle breeze, making the diamonds sparkle.
The most scrupulous rendering of the invisible makes it possible to bring the visible to perfection and create a masterpiece in the form of jewellery by Van Cleef & Arpels.