I was inspired by this Tiffany & Co. photo to make my own little (digital) pinboard of inspiring motifs. It’s winter, and I’m drawn to snowflakes and similar shapes — here’s a few things I’ve been enjoying lately.
Inspiration Book: Belperron, Ippolita
In addition to my hoard of gemstone photos found on the internet (I have gobs, I tell you… GOBS OF PHOTOS), I collect photos of jewelry I find inspiring. If I like the materials, the stones, the settings, or the style, I file it away for later oggling. (I oggle a lot. I think oggling is sorta standard, in the gem and jewelry industry.)
Earlier this week, Sotheby’s auctioned off jewelry from the personal collection of Suzanne Belperron, a French designer who never signed her work (her style was her signature, she said.) A lot of things about her work appeal to me. It looks approachable, wearable; she mixes fine gems with common ones (a diamond set in a solid rock crystal ring, for instance, or the ring shown here, a sapphire set in blue chalcedony.) There’s something very clean, deceptively simple about her designs. I can dig it. (And I want this book on her work.)
I love this piece because it reminds me of my favorite strung bracelet, chock full of gems — my gems are certainly not as nice as these, but still! It looks like a happy bracelet, very fun to wear. And check out what’s on it:
Set with polished beads such as amethyst, pink tourmaline, citrine, emerald, sapphire and ruby, to an annular clasp partly decorated with rose diamonds, length approximately 185mm.
I love it, and if I were the winning bidder of this piece, I’d wear it every day! (Sadly, I’m not.)
Finally, this Ippolita Starry Night collection from late 2011 hits all my buttons: labradorite – faceted! Why faceted? There’s no reason to facet labradorite, but I love it! Also the crystal and geometric shapes, the celestial colors… and yeah, the name helps. What can I say? I’d happily wear the whole stack of bangles pictured below.
A New Look for the Tiffany Diamond
It’s always a pleasure to share an outstanding piece of jewelry — I mean, let’s face it, posting beautiful images is one of my favorite things! Today, I present the 128.54-carat Tiffany Diamond in a new setting, in honor of Tiffany & Co’s 175th anniversary. (You can hardly see the prongs for all the scintillation — the brilliance might knock you over, in person. I don’t know that for a fact, but I volunteer to try it out!)
Despite the volume of accompanying diamonds, there’s nothing to obstruct or distract from the centerpiece in the frontal view. I love colored diamonds, especially yellow ones. The Tiffany Diamond is a prime example of what a yellow diamond can and should be! It has 82 facets — quite a few more than the standard 58-facet brilliant cut. The intensity of the yellow makes the surrounding diamonds look nearly blue by contrast.
One thing that fascinates me about jewelry making (and other forms of creative work) is the “process” — design sketches, ideas, how the concept emerges and develops — and I’m delighted to see some of that in this image:
I love the ornate side details of the Tiffany Diamond’s setting (both the final design, and the alternates.) It’s beautiful from the front, and breathtaking from the side.
Here’s a snippet from the press release (and two detail views from the images above):
The Tiffany Diamond is one of the world’s largest and finest fancy yellow diamonds. The transcendent and mesmerizing beauty of this wondrous stone symbolizes Tiffany’s reputation as the quintessential jeweler for diamonds of the utmost quality. The necklace designed for this priceless gem was created in this great tradition.
Tiffany’s jewelry designers submitted innovative ideas and concepts for the new setting, and the result perfectly reflects their efforts. Like the generations of expert craftspeople before them, skilled artisans then meticulously hand cut and set each diamond in the modern, fluid design that rests lightly on the neckline, radiating light and energy with every movement. Over a year in the making, the elegant necklace of white diamonds totals over 120 carats and features 20 Lucida® diamonds and 58 brilliant-cut diamonds. The Diamond’s mounting, an openwork motif of sunrays, is designed with 481 sparkling stones.
— Tiffany and Company
The Tiffany Diamond necklace will appear at celebrations in Tokyo, Beijing, and Dubai, before returning home to New York City. If I have an opportunity to revisit NYC in the near future, I’ll surely pay it a visit!
Natural Motifs in Dior Fine Jewelry
There’s always reason to post a beautiful piece of jewelry — how wearable it is is debatable, but really, who cares? Both the ring above and “Fleur d’exces” below are by Dior Fine Jewelry, springing from the imaginative mind of Victoire de Castellane. I love the nature motifs; this article by Evelyne Politanoff has more photos. (Be sure to enlarge both photos posted here — you’ll enjoy the details, guaranteed.)
If you’d like to see more, check out DIOR JOAILLERIE by Michele Heuze, published earlier this year.
The first book to celebrate the timeless beauty and craftsmanship of Dior’s jewelry designs. Since launching Dior Fine Jewelry in 1998, Victoire de Castellane has been celebrated for having revolutionized the staid world of jewelry design. Her designs play with the barriers between natural and artificial. Renowned as one of the most creative and fearless jewelry designers in the world, she trailblazed the use of the semiprecious gemstones and lacquered gold in baroque, translucent colors. Her sources of inspiration include a global mix of pop culture, floral and natural motifs, and the visual excesses of Bollywood.
— Huffington Post
Why am I so excited, you ask? Because Chanel created a line of celestial jewelry JUST FOR ME. (Okay, not just for me. But it is a jewelry line after my own heart.)
Launching the Comète line are some amazing one-off pieces, in celebration of the 80th anniversary of Gabrielle Chanel’s 1932 Exhibition de Bijoux en Diamants. These pieces will tour the world in a traveling exhibition — this article has more photos.
Of the one-of-a-kind pieces I’ve seen, my favorite is the Céleste brooch above. The soft colors, the combination of glowing pearls and sparkling diamonds, and the design elements (stars! rings! planets!) are hitting me in all my vulnerable spots. This piece has me palpitating.
From the Comète line, I adore the sapphire and diamond Comète ring (available, but “price upon request.” Eep.) I can’t fathom how something like that is created, but I LIKE IT. I LIKE IT A LOT.
In conclusion, all the starry things are gorgeous. I hope you agree!
Just a teaser Tucson post: my favorite giant gem from the GIA display at AGTA GemFair Tucson this weekend. Kunzite is a pink variety of spodumene, named after U.S. mineralogist G. F. Kunz, who first described the gem in 1902. (Sadly this picture lacks scale — bad geologist! — but the gem looked to be over two inches in diameter. Very nice!)
Nearly three months ago, there was a fairly significant wedding, at which time I came across this crown-themed post at JCK. I love crowns and tiaras, so pretty much everything featured was to my liking; these are a few of my favorites.
I admit, until recently I didn’t really “get” cocktail rings. Rings, yes. Big flashy rings, no.
I’ve since seen the light, thanks to these cocktail-inspired rings by Piaget. “Inspired” is right! I’ve posted Piaget’s “Mojito” because I find it impressive both in design and execution.
The lime slice is delectable, carved from a single piece of citrine, and every speck of color is a mounted gem — no enamel, anywhere. (That I know of.) The “drink” is a dreamy tourmaline.
My other favorite from this ring series is “Whiskey on the Rocks”. I love the little rock crystal ice cubes, and the way the gold mounting seems to splash upwards to meet them. The central stone is a perfectly whiskey-colored citrine.
I’ve been looking at these pictures for days now. The detail and planning is evident from every angle. (The details are what matter the most!)
I find the other four rings equally charming; the above two are my favorites. I’m not much of a cocktail drinker, but I admire these clever rings immensely!