THE PRISTINE WILDERNESS OF THE OKAVANGO DELTA THROUGH THE PRISM OF DE BEERS DIAMONDS

EVERY DIAMOND, ROUGH AND POLISHED, FINDS ITS PLACE IN DE BEERS’ LATEST HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION “REFLECTIONS OF NATURE”

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The new De Beers high jewelry collection “Reflections of Nature” consists of five subcollections: Okavango Grace, Ellesmere Treasure, Motlatse Marvel, Landers Radiance, and Namib Wonder.

The power of De Beers’ artists’ imagination, intricate skills and exceptional rough and polished diamonds take you on a spectacular trip to five breathtaking locations: the Okavango Delta, Ellesmere Island, Motlatse Canyon, Landers Reef and the Namib Desert.

The Okavango Grace creations are an amazing combination of light and dark green, grey and light pink, rough and polished diamonds. It is a reflection of the wild and bold nature of the Okavango Delta in Botswana – home to the world’s most endangered large mammals: cheetahs, white and black rhinoceros, African wild dogs and lions.

De Beers has always stood for the importance of wildlife conservation. In 2002, they launched the Diamond Route initiative to protect the biodiversity of eight nature reserves in South Africa and Botswana. “For every hectare of land used for mining by De Beers Group, six hectares are dedicated to the conservation of nature,” says Dr Patti Wickens, the company’s Senior Environmental Manager.

The design of the Okavango Grace drop earrings, inspired by the lush waters of the Okavango Delta, feature a cascade of colored rough diamonds, with two rows of contrasting white brilliant diamonds, recalling the color gradations of slender reeds, terminating in a sumptuous pink diamond waterdrop.

The free-flowing design of the magnificent Okavango Grace necklace features green, pink, white and fancy-color rough and polished diamonds, echoing the graceful aquatic plants that sway in the maze of the Delta’s waterways.

The subtle and refined three-row Okavango Grace bracelet in green, pink, white and fancy-colored rough and polished diamonds is designed so that the exceptional stones enhance each other’s beauty.

“A Diamond Is Forever”, the iconic tagline devised for De Beers by Frances Gerety back in 1947, is still true today.

De Beers’ signature style – the ancient beauty of rough diamonds and timeless sophistication of their polished counterparts – is boldly but gently revealed in the Okavango Grace collection, inspired by this natural, untamed oasis of wild beauty, still untouched by destructive human activity.

THORNY, STRONG AND FRAGILE: THE PERFECT ROSE BY NAK ARMSTRONG

А NEW LOOK AT THE CLASSICAL FLOWER BY THE INNOVATIVE DESIGNER, PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES OF MODERN JEWELRY

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The geometric Rose and Stem earrings – created by Nak Armstrong, an award-winning designer who has a unique talent for managing spaces and gradations of stones, reputed for his innovative metalworking, stone-setting techniques and experimental aesthetic – have detachable rose buds, which can be worn separately as minimalist stud earrings.

A mosaic of Ethiopian opals, peach and green tourmalines, rubellites and rubies, set in recycled 20k rose gold, represents the different parts of the flower that make a rose. The straight, strong stem, dangerous, needle-sharp thorns, the luscious, deep verdure of the leaves and – as the apotheosis of its natural beauty – the gentle, fresh gradation of pink in this indulgent, fragrant blossom: the heart and soul of luxury perfume. Take care not to stab yourself. Be careful not to break it.

Brush strokes of precious stones develop into an allegory of the modern woman: an amalgamation of our strong female nature and delicate beauty, potent ambitions and loving care, enthusiastic independence and affectionate emotions.

This wearable work of art from Nak Armstrong’s botanical Florapiega collection is perfect for every occasion whether in the form of detachable studs, or for a flirtatious night out or a formal reception, A powerful statement of style and vitality, strength and eternal beauty.

Available on @ Nak Armstrong

LA PEREGRINA PEARL

February11Jewelry Now

RICHARD BURTON’S VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT TO ELIZABETH TAYLOR: A VERY ROYAL PEARL FOR THE LEGENDARY QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD.

by Naomi Gryn 

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On Valentine’s Day in 1969 Richard Burton presented to Elizabeth Taylor La Peregrina – The Wanderer – a pear-shaped natural pearl, almost 56 carats in weight. It was seven years since they had fallen madly in love on the set of Anthony and Cleopatra and clearly Burton wanted to mark the occasion with a gift of historic proportions.

As big as a quail’s egg and almost perfectly symmetrical, La Peregrina was found in the mid-16th century off the coast of Panama and brought to Madrid where it was presented to Philip II. For more than 200 years, the pink-hued pearl belonged to a succession of Spanish kings and queens – featuring in many royal portraits including some painted by Velasquez and Goya – until the early 1800s when Napoleon’s brother Joseph Bonaparte ruled Spain.

Bonaparte was defeated in 1813 by the Duke of Wellington and returned to France, taking with him some of the Spanish crown jewels, including the prized pearl which he left to his nephew, Louis Napoleon, who would later, as Napoleon III, become Emperor of France. Louis Napoleon sold it in about 1848 – perhaps to help fund the coup that led him to power in that same year – to the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn. The pearl stayed in the Duke’s family until 1969, when it was put up for auction at Sotheby’s Parke Bernet in New York, and sold to Richard Burton for $37,000.

Ward Landrigan, then head of Sotheby’s jewelry division, delivered the pearl in person to the Burtons’ glamorous penthouse suite at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Liz went to try it on. Famously, twenty minutes later, she ran in crying: “Ward, I’ve lost the pearl.” He searched for it in the pink shag pile carpet and noticed one of Liz’s two Lhasa Apso dogs had something in its mouth. Liz grabbed the dog and got the dog to spit out the pearl, which would become one of the actress’ favorite jewels.

Liz worked closely with Alfred Durante of Cartier to re-design for La Peregrina a two-strand necklace with rubies, diamonds, natural and cultured pearls, which she wore in several films including A Little Night Music and Anne of The Thousand Days. After her death in 2011, Christie’s sold the necklace in auction to an anonymous buyer for $11,842,500. “I cannot see life without Elizabeth,” Burton revealed in an interview, one year before he gave her the pearl. “She is my everything — my breath, my blood, my mind, and my imagination.” But his gift lasted a lot longer than their tempestuous marriage, divorcing for a second time in 1976. Pearls, created in the delicate flesh of an oyster, are – like romantic love – both exquisitely beautiful and a function of pain. But on Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love for the joy that it brings.

MYSTICAL MOON DUST ENTERS THE JEWELRY WORLD THROUGH THE EYES OF BUCCELLATI

February04Jewelry in Art

A NEW, REFRESHINGLY VERNAL COLLECTION “POLVERE DI LUNA” BY THE ITALIAN LUXURY JEWELRY HOUSE

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Get ready to see something amazing on the virtual catwalks of 2021.

The luxury Italian heritage jewelry brand Buccellati presents its new high jewelry collection “Polvere di Luna” (“Moon Dust”).

Shrouded in mystery, moon dust has been the subject of scientific research for decades. The Moon is thought to be covered with an ultrafine layer of dust particles which are in constant motion, leaping up and down on its surface. This phenomenon has been lyrically named “lunar dust fountain” or “Moon fountain”, analogous to the water molecules of a fountain which appear static, yet follow a ballistic trajectory.

Refined techniques, perfected since 1919 by successive generations of the Buccellati family, turn their haute couture, rich creations into sophisticated and classy, contemporary and timeless pieces of art.

This year, Andrea Buccellati, Creative Director at Buccellati, and indeed all the jewelers involved in the making of their astounding pieces, have surpassed themselves.

The jewelry house’s aesthetics, elegant taste and intricate craftsmanship, painstaking manual drilling and hand engraving have culminated in a delicate, openwork set of cocktail pendant earrings, set with 178 diamonds, a flexible bracelet set with 280 diamonds, and a super-light necklace, set with 304 diamonds. They appear on the wintery horizon like a lily of the valley, emerging with the first breath of spring through the last of the snow.

Like ethereal particles of moon dust, the refined combination of diamonds, white and yellow gold in the new, filigree Buccellati collection, “Polvere di Luna” sheds fresh light on the concept of luxury jewelry: eternal classics, perfect for nowadays, or any day.

THE JEWELRY ICON

EVANESCENT TIMES AND ETERNAL BEAUTY: NICHOLAS VARNEY AND HENRI LAURENS

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TWO CREATORS, TWO DISCIPLINES AND TWO MASTERPIECES FROM DIFFERENT EPOCHS REVEAL THE PERPETUAL IMPACT OF ART

When we compare different artists, we ask ourselves what do they have in common? But to work in harmony, like the tenor and alto in an opera, do they actually need to have anything in common.

This is the case with two outstanding artists from different generations, artistic disciplines and backgrounds: contemporary jeweler Nicholas Varney and sculptor Henri Laurens (1885–1954).

Two different stories:

Nicholas Varney started travelling the world as a child and has continued his journeys throughout his educational and professional life. From the schools of New York, Newport and Florida, to discovering the beauty of the Caribbean, the museums and antique stores of London, fishing in Ireland, backpacking on his bicycle across Russia and Europe.

Unlike Nicholas Varney, Henri Laurens was not a bred-in-the-bone traveler, and was in his fifties before he visited even the seashore for the first time.

The contemporary jeweler and educated gemologist, Nicolas Varney, has been drawing since childhood. Shells and bark, coral and other curious natural objects, diamonds and colored gems, rare natural freshwater Mississippi, Colorado clam, abalone and conch pearls of all colors, shapes and sizes, precious beads and gold: today his emotionally charged designs come to life in sophisticated and whimsical jewels. Never building an idea for a future piece around any specific stone, first he creates the design in drawings and then seeks the perfect materials to fulfil it, using nature and juxtapositions as the main source of inspiration and driving force for his singular creations.

Multitalented sculptor Henri Laurens often found additional outlets for creativity: collages, posters, book illustrations. He even participated in the most unusual, multidisciplinary project, working with a group of artists on Sergei Diaghilev’s ballet “Le Train Bleu”: the scenario was written by Jean Cocteau, Laurens created the set, Darius Milhaud wrote the music, Coco Chanel designed the costumes, and Pablo Picasso supplied a painting for the curtain.

Laurens’ feminine and moody sculpture “Seated Woman”, which I have paired with Nicholas Varney’s warm-colored earrings in peach garnet, diamond and agate, was created at a time when Laurens had started moving away from Cubism towards more classical shapes, graceful curves and volume. This has been perceived by art historians as a longing for stability after the damage done by World War I, and in opposition to the supposedly effete and overly sophisticated present.

The round shape of Nicholas Varney’s earrings softly merges with the feminine curves of the textured sculpture. The tranquility and undisguised nude womanliness of the crouching clay figure, the circular shapes and curves of her body, come into perfect balance with the delicate garnet and diamond circles, offset by a few bold strokes of agate. A gentle ode to Woman as the focal point of the circle of life.

Two different artists. Two different artistic disciplines. One – universal – beauty.

THE JEWELRY ICON

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