THE REVIVAL OF NATURE AND JOIE DE VIVRE: BUTTERFLIES BY SILVIA FURMANOVICH

MESSENGERS OF THE APPROACHING SUMMER, TAKING ON NEW DIMENSIONS IN GOLD, DIAMONDS AND WOOD

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They appear out of thin air. Suddenly, out of the corner of your eye, you notice a bright splash of color, carried chaotically by the wind. A butterfly. Moving in unpredictable zigzags, she carries the warmth of the sun on her polychromatic wings.  

Silvia Furmanovich gave rein to her imagination in a joyful and sophisticated collection of butterfly earrings, rings and necklaces.  

A unique phenomenon in the world of jewelry, in her eloquent masterpieces you can smell the freshness and woodiness of rainforests, hear the breath of the wind under butterflies’ wings; you can almost taste the precious stones melting on your tongue like drops of candy, and touch the geometric lines and soft curvatures, brought to life by Silvia’s creative spirit and by Nature herself.  

Balancing on the verge of delicate and powerful, feminine and bold, spiced by the intuitive and sublime combinations of marquetry, precious metals and stones, Silvia Furmanovich’s designs are full of color and life. The designer has travelled the globe with her heart and eyes wide open: ready to absorb and treasure the gems of the natural world, artifacts discovered in the remote parts of the planet, the skills and wisdom of modern and ancient cultures, techniques and artisans.  

In many cultures, butterflies have been perceived as symbols of the human soul, of creation and transformation. Aristotle referred to the butterfly as psyche, a word designating human soul in early Greek literature.

Butterflies also represent much-needed hope. In J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic saga Lord of the Rings, the wizard Gandalf the Grey, trapped on top of the tower by his treacherous counterpart, repeatedly whispers the name of the great eagle Gwaihir to a butterfly which then disappears into the storm, and soon the eagle comes to save him.   

Today scientists study butterflies as they abandon or change their habitats to look for the visible effects of climate change and learn more about our changing planet.  

Yet, Silvia Furmanovich’s interpretation is straightforward: refined, colorful and exuberant, her butterflies are neither an allegory nor the psychoanalytic inkblots of a Rorschach test, intended to evaluate and test you.

Her approach is a whiff of fresh air. No need to guess and overthink. Just experience the pure and luxurious beauty, created by this ingenious designer, in tandem with nature and a seasoned team of jewelers!  

Signature marquetry butterflies by Silvia Furmanovich may land on your fingers, ears or neck. Visit Moda Operandi to find your butterfly.    

TIMELESS PEARLS BY MIZUKI

DO YOU LIKE PEARLS? OR DO YOU THINK THEY ARE OLD-SCHOOL? DON’T JUMP TO CONCLUSIONS BEFORE YOU HAVE SEEN THESE PIECES

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In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Mizuki Goltz remarked that pearls have a sensuousness that can balance a sometimes-cold modernism.

Spring, summer, winter or autumn, these glowing spheres radiate soft, iridescent light, which brightens your face without stealing the spotlight but rather directing it towards the wearer’s eyes, cheekbones, neckline and dainty wrists.

The Tokyo-born New York jewelry designer Mizuki Goltz, winner of multiple awards including Town and Country’s 2017 Pearls of The Year, Pearl Design award at Centurion, and Pearl Design award at the Couture show in Las Vegas, employs her impressive cultural background, along with the knowledge and skills acquired through her studies of sculpture at the New York School of Visual Arts, to create elegant and modern pearl jewelry.

Mizuki jewelry is unique in its lightweight and contemporary aura, with a touch of nonchalant, flirtatious sensuousness. These pieces know no limits. They can be worn anywhere and on any occasion, and will never look excessive or heavy. An absolute win-win for both passionate pearl aficionados and cautious pearl sceptics!

Pearl Kansanshi Bar Earrings by Mizuki can be worn as a single earring or mixed with your favorite studs, ear cuffs or ear crawlers to create balanced and asymmetric, feminine and flirtatiously tomboyish combinations and to power up your creativity and imagination.

Refined and delicate, these pearl and gold bars will organically complement your image and draw pure and subtle light to your face.

Take a look at new Mizuki pearls on Moda Operandi!

LEGENDS OF STONE, AS TOLD BY ANNA WHITE

GEMS COME TO LIFE IN THE DESIGNS OF AN INTUITIVE STONE ARTIST, IMPASSIONED BY THEIR SECRETS

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A wizardess speaking to the stones and looking deep into their ancient mysteries.

A proud Russian beauty, with her piercing gaze and magnificent cascade of long, blond hair.

Anna White was born with a desire to create. As a child, she was always busy building and constructing, inventing and experimenting. She was born at that time in Russia when consumer culture was not yet a thing, you could not simply stop by the shop and find whatever your soul desired. Consequently (or genetically), she took her creative spirit from her father who was a master of invention, always coming up with genius ideas, little, daily masterpieces, derived from thin air.

 

 

Later in life, when Anna started buying and receiving gems as gifts, her search for an outlet for her creativity brought Anna to the realm of jewelry, where she found a way to live, breath, materialize and nurture her artistic offspring.

The way Anna works with stones is uncanny. Her instinct towards choosing the right stone is primal and profound: not only does she see, she also senses them. As I was listening to the tone of her voice, watching her facial expressions, it occurred to me that it is not mere admiration for stones as crude material for her creations, it is a fundamental understanding and respect towards them!

Empowering precious and semiprecious gems through her designs, she endows them with a frame of oxidized silver or gold. It’s a peculiar environment for the stones, and for people to comprehend and to wear them. The patina, created through oxidation (a kind of accelerated version of the natural tarnishing process), gives the metal an intentionally darkened, aged look. Thus, excessive luster, characteristic of polished metals, does not interfere with the natural beauty of the stones.

Anna’s approach to jewelry design is not overwhelmed by design itself. For her, the art of jewelry is an instrument for bringing the stones into our world. It is intriguing and refreshing how she does not obsess over big or extravagant gems, but rather contemplates and exposes the character of each stone, its magnetism, the secret microcosm and the ancient myths behind its facets.

In their powerful and beautiful relationship, Anna and the stones act as each other’s integral parts and harmonious continuation.

The enigmatic, primeval minerals come alive in the hands of this miracle worker, with her eagle eye for the beauty and her ear for the fairy tales told by each and every carefully selected and cherished gemstone.

They will talk to you too, snugly settled on your ears and neck, wrists and fingers.

TALES OF THE FLOATING CITY: ESCALE À VENISE BY CHANEL

SEVENTY MARVELOUS JEWELS TELL THE STORY OF THE ITALIAN WONDER IN THE LANGUAGE OF PRECIOUS METALS AND STONES

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Travelling the world through books – a romantic, affordable and eye-opening childhood experience for most of us.  

For Coco Chanel, books were more than just entertainment: they fuelled her imagination, giving her travel and education without leaving her room, allowing Chanel to discover countries, cultures and arts, which later influenced her legendary creations.  

In January 2016, Venice even hosted an exhibition “La Donna Che Legge” (“The Woman Who Reads”), a glimpse into Coco Chanel’s literary tastes, friendships and her relationships with books, writers, poets, artists and musicians.  

Back in the 1970s, Roland Barthes, the French literary critic, wrote in an article for Marie Claire magazine: “If you were to open a text about the history of literature today, you would find in it the name of a new classic author: Coco Chanel. Chanel does not write using paper and ink (except as a pastime), but with fabric, forms, colors.”[1]  

Chanel will always be Chanel.  

At the beginning of this year, the iconic fashion house presented a new high jewelry collection “Escale à Venise” (translated as “Stopover in Venice”): 70 pieces, of which 22 are one-of-a-kind, four brooches in a limited edition of five, as well as five high jewelry watches.  

The collection takes you to the engineering marvel of the world, the city of masks, bridges, romance and Murano glass, and submerges you in the colors, architecture and atmosphere of this extraordinary place – and Coco Chanel’s greatly loved destination – even if you have not yet had the good fortune to see it in person.  

Patrice Leguéreau, director of Chanel Jewelry Creation Studio, invites you to travel to this unique location not, this time, through the pages of books but through the facets of gemstones; to experience its indescribable grandeur through the colors of intricate enamel, layers of precious metals, the flight of imagination and the remarkable skills of Chanel’s jewelers.   

Symbolic depictions of blue-and-white mooring poles, ribboned boater hats, baroque lions from the facade of Saint Mark’s Basilica – the guardians and the spirit animals of Venice – the deep blue of the its starry skies, the tesserae of Byzantine architecture, scattered throughout the city… It takes an eminent mastermind to collect all the pieces of this mosaic and arrange them into an unparalleled object of jewelry art while staying true to the spirit of the city and to Chanel, firing people’s imagination without spiraling into clutter and chaos. It takes Patrice Leguéreau to do that.   

“Escale à Venise” is a collection with many faces, offering a contemporary interpretation of the different emblems of the Floating City. It consists of four parts: Sérénissime, Gran Canale, Isole della Laguna, and Spirito de Venezia.  

Sérénissime is the traditional name of the Republic of Venice or, in Venetian, Serenìsima Repùblega Vèneta – a sovereign state and maritime republic, which existed from 697 to 1797. It offers an intriguing interpretation of Venetian architecture: the facades of its palaces, the multicolored marble floors and mosaics of its churches, rendered in paragon, geometric lines, baguette-cut and round diamonds, warmed by the soft hues of Padparadascha and mandarin sapphires and rose gold.  

Gran Canale was inspired by the Venetian waterways: the big and small canals, brightly spotted with gondoliers’ hats, reimagined as whimsical cocktail rings, with ribbons set in red and black enamel and diamond pavé, as well as the blue-and-white mooring poles, dreamed up in the blue enamel and diamond pavé of earrings, necklaces and bangles.  

Isole della Laguna plays with the theme of camellia, Coco Chanel’s best-loved flower. Inspired by Venetian Murano glass, this iconic blossom is given new meaning and structure in rock crystal, hand-carved into the shape of the classic Chanel camellia, punctuated with diamonds and set in yellow gold.  

Spirito de Venezia contemplates the image of the lion – Coco Chanel’s astrological sign and her favorite talisman – and the blue-and-gold starry scene on the rooftop of Saint Mark’s Basilica. The winged lion on the Basilica is guarding the Bible on Chanel’s one-of-a-kind ring – an impressive pear-shaped diamond.  

High jewelry by Chanel is almost impossible to put into words. Beautiful? Beyond compare. Stunning? Absolutely. One-of-a-kind? Without question.  

Their new high jewelry collection “Escale à Venise” captures the heart and soul, colors and shapes, air and mood of the city and translates them so precisely into the language of beauty and art that even a person who has never been there can say: This is Venice!  

Let the “Escale à Venise” jewels speak for themselves. Give in to their charm. Listen to their story…          

 

[1] “Si vous ouvriez aujourd’hui une histoire de notre littérature, vous devriez y trouver le nom d’un nouvel auteur classique: Coco Chanel. Chanel n’écrit pas avec du papier et de l’encre (sauf à ses moments perdus) mais avec de l’étoffe, des formes et des couleurs […].” (source: Identités visuelles (Formes sémiotiques) by Jean-Marie Floch).    

CLASSIC PEARLS SHOWING THEIR TEETH IN SCHIAPARELLI’S INTERPRETATION

EDGY BRACELET AND EARRINGS BY THE SURREALIST MAISON

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Look closer. Much closer. What do you see?  

They look classy and classic but once you realize what they really are, you are bound to smile.  

On closer inspection, the splendid, huge, white pearls are… teeth!  

Each gold-colored tooth is clutching a massive, teardrop-shaped pearl.  

The Large Tooth Earrings and Tooth Bracelet in gilded brass with white pearls, from Schiaparelli’s Autumn–Winter 2020/21 Ready-to-Wear collection are a direct expression of the temperamental and unpredictable nature of the Maison.  

The founder of the Maison, Elsa Schiaparelli, was always balancing on the edge of surreal glamour. Experimenting and remodeling classics, submerged in the spectacular art of her close friends Salvador Dali, Man Ray, Marcel Duchamp and Jean Cocteau, she brought the avant-garde and eccentric vision of art into fashion.   

The innovative and influential artist and designer who was the first to use brightly colored zippers and figural buttons resembling small brooches in her clothing designs, the visionary inventor of “Shocking Pink” – the ultra-bright magenta hue – Elsa was not one to err on the side of safety.  

Nor was status quo her territory, whether in color choices or in the cuts and shapes of her clothes. Schiaparelli’s divided skirts – predecessors of the modern, chic culottes – caused a straight-out scandal and condemnation by the conservative British press back at the beginning of the 20th century. She challenged, recolored and reshaped what was considered fashionable in sharp contrast to her elegant rival, Coco Chanel, creator of the minimalist, ultra-feminine little black dress.  

Schiaparelli reputedly referred to Chanel as to “that dreary little bourgeoisie” and “that milliner”, while Mademoiselle Chanel backlashed with a dismissive “that Italian artist who makes clothes”. Coco Chanel is even said to have tried to set Elsa on fire at a high-society costume ball, just before the outbreak of World War II.  

Their takes on jewelry were also diametrically opposite: Chanel’s understated, simple elegance versus Schiaparelli’s unrestrained, never-before-seen shapes and colors.  

Today, Maison Schiaparelli continues to produce cool and edgy clothing and jewelry. They dressed Michelle Obama for Barack Obama’s second inauguration and Lady Gaga when she performed The Star-Spangled Banner, America’s national anthem, at Joe Biden’s inauguration.

Daniel Roseberry, Artistic Director of the Maison, summarizes its philosophy in a razor-sharp comment to Vogue (link: https://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/spring-2021-couture/schiaparelli): “It’s just something that’s not as polite as couture typically tends to be.”  

The powerful statement Tooth Earrings and Bracelet by Schiaparelli capture the glorious and most amusing moments of life, the phantasmagorical and hilarious moments of our existence, with the unstoppable creativity and imagination of the Maison’s designers generating an alternative vision to the ubiquitous white pearl classics.  

INFINITY IN HER EYES, ETERNITY IN HER EARS: HOOP EARRINGS BY TAFFIN

FLIRTATIOUS, TIMELESS AND ULTRAFEMININE, THE HOOPS ARE BACK

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Can a man know a woman so well that he can create exactly what she wants?

In a moment of doubt, I recalled James Taffin de Givenchy, a jewelry designer, an expert in exotic gems and the founder of TAFFIN – the eponymous couture jewelry house, creator of pieces that are both zesty and experimental.

James Taffin de Givenchy is an alchemist, balancing emotion, intellect and logic to design one-of-a-kind objects of wearable art.

His easily recognizable designs often feature unconventional materials: rubber, ceramic (Taffin’s signature ingredient), wood, even steel from recycled AK-47s, resulting in thrilling challenges and, on occasion, a royal pain for the house’s jewelers who must find ingenious and innovative solutions to bring those imaginative projects to life. And, ultimately, pure joy for the women who will be wearing them!

Among James’s recent, dreamy creations are large hoop earrings: a delicate lace of carved white jade, sprinkled with rose gold ceramic and turquoise beads.

Time and time again, I’ve come back to these mesmerizing, semitranslucent jade circles: looking for the perfect angle, the perfect light, the perfect painting to reveal their transcendent beauty and breezy vibes. My many searches have at last come to an end with the intriguing portrait of a woman by Chris Gambrell.

Hoop earrings are as old as time. In Ancient Egypt, even cats were pictured with hoops in their ears. Bast, or Bastet – the Egyptian goddess of home, fertility and childbirth, protector of home from evil spirits and disease, embodiment of gracefulness and affection – was sculpted and portrayed as a black cat wearing a gold necklace and gold hoop earrings.

That said, they never fall out of fashion. Throughout a history of ever-changing tastes, trends and styles, these eye-catching classic circles, symbols of eternity, might sometimes accidentally disappear from the horizon, only to make an even more ambitious and spectacular comeback.

The hoops by TAFFIN are back!

For woman, for the goddess, and for a stunning amalgamation of both.

ICONIC SHAPES FOR ALL TIMES AND EVERY WRIST: CALLA BRACELETS BY VHERNIER

ASTOUNDING AND TIMELESS, CALLA BRACELETS HAVE BECOME EVEN MORE COMFORTABLE AND CLOSER TO THE SKIN

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Gold and titanium, monochrome and mixed, metal-only and adorned with signature diamond pavé, with large and medium-sized links, the Calla bracelets by Vhernier are a recognizable, versatile and unique attribute of style, equally capable of elevating а chic, casual outfit or amplifying the splendor of а sublime evening gown.

The Italian jewelry house has transformed the fragile essence of the calla flower into an iconic, rhythmic and meditative succession of precious cones.

Lean, elegant and sensual, the emblematic Calla line by Vhernier, encompassing necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings and pendants, has evolved since its conception in 1999, becoming slimmer, more curved and ergonomic to comfortably embrace wrists, fingers, neck and ear lobes without breaking the original aesthetics of the series.

Our favorite version of Calla bracelets with diamond pavé is captivating: viewed from one angle, the diamonds are “hiding”, leaving the pure, laconic, titanium and gold links in pristine glamour. As you rotate your hand, the subtle diamond circles reveal themselves. The smooth cones turn into tiny, stylized rockets, shooting gentle, shiny flames into space around your wrists.

Contemporary and archetypal, the timeless Calla bracelets are a perfect adornment for every stylish wrist.

THE TRANSCENDENT. THE WISE. THE BEAUTIFUL. THE WOMAN

IN CELEBRATION OF EVERY WOMAN AND EVERY MOTHER

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It has become common practice to talk about women and men, femininity and masculinity in terms of Yin and Yang – contradictory, yet inseparable opposites. Women, the traditional representatives of Yin energy, have been celebrated as the sweet, gentle safekeepers of life, while men are destined to conquer, dominate and protect.

But the woman of today is, herself, both Yin and Yang. Balancing ever-increasing demands of family and career, she stands tall as a stronghold of ]opposing powers and idiosyncrasies: а svelte entrepreneur corralling a bunch of happy toddlers; an uncompromising politician with a weak point for her grandkids; a cool-headed brain surgeon who writes children’s books as a hobby; a lightning-fast sprinter, supporting dogs in an animal shelter.

Even when those opposing forces are not as dramatic, they are always there – softness and backbone, daintiness and solidity, centuries-old wisdom and contemporary intelligence – in every woman, in every single one of us. Just look inside to find it.

That is how I discovered the color red: the color of daring, of courage, the lipstick of a femme fatale, the color of fragrant wild strawberries, and of blood, which, let’s face it, is the inescapable companion of every birth, every new life.

Strong, spirited and beautiful: I chose this color as a statement to celebrate Women’s Day and Mother’s Day this year.

The symbolism behind the crimson red earrings from Sylvia Furmanovich’s Amazonia Bamboo collection is striking: the artist turns this common plant, an ordinary building material and food product in South, East, and Southeast Asia, into refined pieces of art. Through her daring designs, attention to detail and passion for traditional and innovative craftsmanship, her mix of precious and semiprecious stones, pearls and metals, she elevates the humble, yet strong and resilient bamboo to the dizzying heights of spicy, delicate and feminine refinement.

This is the quintessence of all the beauty in the world, which would never have happened were it not for the women.

Happy Women’s Day!

And Happy Mother’s Day!

ALL WE ARE WE OWE TO OUR MOTHERS …

A WOMAN OF VALOR, WHO CAN FIND? FOR HER PRICE IS FAR ABOVE RUBIES

by Naomi Gryn 

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P. Picasso Maternite' (Mother and Child), 1963 Lithograph

Surprisingly, Britain’s Mothering Sunday – commemorated this year on 14 March – does not share its origins with USA’s Mother’s Day, but grew out of a 16th century custom for worshippers to visit their ‘mother church’ – often a cathedral – for a special service on the fourth Sunday of Lent. Domestic servants would be given the day off to visit their parents, with Lent’s fasting rules relaxed, and often taking with them a gift.

The tradition fell out of fashion by the beginning of the 20th century but was revived by a vicar’s daughter, Constance Penswick-Smith. In time, this became fused in style with the American Mother’s Day which was first established in West Virginia in 1908 by social activist Anna Jarvis to honor the memory of her own mother who had died three years earlier. It caught on like wildfire and by 1914 it had become a national holiday, celebrated on the second Sunday in May.

Appalled by the way Mother’s Day was commercialized, Anna later tried to reverse it. “A printed card means nothing” she wrote, “except that you are too lazy to write to the woman who has done more for you than anyone in the world. And candy! You take a box to Mother—and then eat most of it yourself. A pretty sentiment.”

Is there any love more selfless and unconditional than a mother’s for her children…

CLOSE TO YOUR SKIN AND LIGHT YEARS AWAY: CÉPHÉIDE NECKLACE AND ULTRAVIOLET EARRINGS BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS

FROM THE NEW HIGH JEWELRY COLLECTION ‘SOUS LES ETOILES’ COME SOME POWERFUL AND EXTRAORDINARY DEPICTIONS OF THE STARS ABOVE  

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Painting by Michal Lukasiewicz

Celestial bodies fabulously beyond our reach and range of vision, many of which, even in these high-tech times, exist only in the calculations of mathematicians and astronomers and have yet to be captured by even the most advanced telescopes, it’s the stars and galaxies, constellations and nebulae that have inspired Van Cleef & Arpels to create their latest wonder: the ‘Sous Les Etoiles’ collection (translated as ‘Under the Stars’).  

The designers and jewelers at Van Cleef & Arpels have reached into the depths of ancient archives and sci-fi movies, primitive old-time drawings and cutting-edge visualizations, NASA imagery and their own imagination, to look more closely at the skies.  

The women from the paintings by Michal Lukasiewicz are wearing the one-of-a-kind Céphéide necklace and matching, unique Ultraviolet earrings from this new, stellar collection.  

Cepheids – giant, pulsating stars – gave Van Cleef & Arpels the idea to create this eponymous, transformable necklace, featuring eleven chalcedony cabochons, mauve sapphires, tsavorite garnets and diamonds.  

The deep, hypnotizing indigo of the night sky, revealing itself in dreamy two-tone tanzanites and mauve sapphires, is pierced by glowing diamonds of stars and the jolly verdure of tsavorites, reflected by the matching Ultraviolet earrings, complete with detachable pendants.  

Preoccupied by our daily hustle and bustle, we have stopped paying attention to the skies. But have we, really? On 18 February 2021, NASA landed its rover Perseverance on Mars. To raise public awareness of this mission, NASA initiated a ‘Send Your Name to Mars’ campaign, where anyone could send their name to the Red Planet on a microchip, stored aboard the rover. Once registration had been completed, it turned out that a whopping 10,932,295 names had been submitted – all to be flown to Mars!  

This euphoria over reaching out to the skies, the ambitious and competitive NASA and SpaceX projects, the butterflies we get in our stomachs when we look at creations as wonderful and exquisite as the ‘Sous Les Etoiles’ jewelry: everything points to how the stars have not been forgotten.  

The galaxies of precious stones and metals, the ultra-sophisticated and poetic mastery of Van Cleef & Arpels’ jewelers and designers, the mesmerizing energy of the magnificent Céphéide necklace and Ultraviolet earrings are clear evidence that, even at the peak of the current bumpy ride, human hearts and eyes never stop looking – and finding – the beauty beneath and above the dome of the sky.

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.

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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.

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A STORY WORTH TELLING: JOSEPHINE AND NAPOLEON IN CHAUMET’S EXHIBITION AT 12 VENDÔME

THEIR ROYAL FAVOR TOWARDS MAISON CHAUMET LINKED THE IMPERIAL JEWELER TO THEIR (EXTRA)ORDINARY LOVE STORY, AND TO THE HISTORY OF FRANCE

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The eagerly-awaited spring in Paris is about to witness an extraordinary event: not only the return of warmth and sun to the city of romance, but also an exceptional exhibition: “Joséphine et Napoléon, une histoire (extra)ordinaire”, an ode to the passionate and tender, turbulent and deep, fleeting and profound royal love and life of these two magnificent historical figures, and an inspired way to commemorate the bicentennial of Napoleon’s death.

The path of the royal couple first crossed with François-Regnault Nitot, son of the founder of Maison Chaumet Marie-Étienne Nitot, in 1805 in Milan, where Napoleon and Josephine were preparing to be crowned King and Queen of Italy.

Josephine was astounded by Nitot’s work, and he was appointed her favored jeweler. In turn, the modern and free, elegant and strong-willed, splendid and powerful Empress, who reinvented royal style and fashion, has remained for more than two centuries Chaumet’s muse.

Tiaras, aigrettes, laurel and oak leaves – symbols of power borrowed from Antiquity, sentimental jewelry featuring colored stones spelling out the names of her children, Eugène and Hortense, gold, pearls, diamonds and colored gems, joyful and elegant, bold and innovative combinations reflect the Empress’s unique personality, femininity and tender maternal love.

Napoleon himself looked at jewelry from a highly political perspective. During the French Revolution, the French crown jewels had been destroyed. When Napoleon declared himself the Emperor, one of his aims was to return to himself and his family the sumptuous royal aura of majesty. To that end, he requested that Nitot should create a new gold coronation crown, designed in the style of the ancient crown of France – the Crown of Charlemagne – a clear demonstration of Bonaparte’s identification with Charlemagne, or Charles the Great (King of the Franks, King of the Lombards, and Emperor of the Romans) destroyed during the French Revolution, along with a new set of crown jewels.

Napoleon also revived the tiara as a symbol of imperial power. This fashionable and majestic instrument of displaying dominance and authority became a trend that spread across Europe’s aristocracy.

In her research, jewelry historian Diana Scarisbrick mentions that Napoleon authorized the removal of over eighty cameos and intaglios from the state collection of the Cabinet des Médailles which were then nested in a set of tiara, necklace, belt and bracelets designed for the Empress, but which, due to the abundance of precious stones, proved to be too heavy for her to wear. Yet, as Diana tells in her research, Josephine found other ways to enjoy this magnificent parure: taking it from the jewelry box and discussing its splendor with close friends.

The story of Napoleon and Josephine is the story of a marriage, which was not well received by Napoleon’s family, since Josephine was six years older and a widow with two children. It’s the story of Napoleon being crazy in love with Josephine, time and again proved by the passionate letters he wrote to her during their separation as he was leading the French army into Italy. It’s the story of Josephine rarely writing back to him, and when she did, it was with lukewarm and less than enthusiastic responses. It’s the story of Josephine’s affair with Hippolyte Charles, a lieutenant in the Hussar regiment, which cooled Napoleon’s love for her. It’s the story of Napoleon’s subsequent affair with Pauline Fourès – “Napoleon’s Cleopatra” – and his other affairs, as well as his famous statement “Power is my mistress”.

“Joséphine et Napoléon, une histoire (extra)ordinaire” will feature over 150 exhibits: pieces of jewelry, paintings and other works of art, along with examples of correspondence and illustrated documents, from the historical collection of Maison Chaumet, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Musée de l’Armée, Archives Nationales, Fondation Napoléon, Musée du Louvre, Château de Fontainebleau, Musée National des Châteaux de Malmaison et Bois-Préau, Musée Masséna, Musée Carnavalet, Fondation Dosne-Thiers, as well as loans from private collectors.

The exhibition will be open from 10 April to 12 June 2021, at the salons of Maison Chaumet at 12 Vendôme, Paris.

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COLLABORATION CARVED IN STONE: SUZANNE SYZ & MATTHEW LUTZ-KINOY

COLORED MARBLE AND ONYX MASKS AS MISCHIEVOUS DISPLAYS OF WHIMSICAL JEWELRY.

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Serious pieces with a sense of humor and feminine touch: jewelry by Suzanne Syz is anything but conservative.

Ultimate luxury fused with a mixture of both traditional and unconventional materials which allows greater freedom of size, form and palette, coupled with the outstanding technical knowledge, material mastery and artistry of Suzanne’s Geneva-based team, and topped with imaginative flair taken to extremes.

Colorful and ironic, temperamental and lighthearted, complex and chic, Suzanne’s designs are a product of exceptional creativity, intelligence and refined taste, as well as remarkable attention to detail. Her creations effuse color and sensuality, freedom and joy. They defy the ordinary.

Suzanne, who is an art collector herself, breathes love into each and every one of her unique pieces. It’s not that she doesn’t take things seriously. She does—but always with a smile. A beautiful smile.

Suzanne has created more than a thousand inimitable pieces. The symbolic culmination of her jewelry journey—before she decided to switch her focus to organic winemaking—is this final artistic collaboration with Matthew Lutz-Kinoy which sums up 20 years’ work and her love for jewelry.

Over the past few years, Suzanne has invited a selection of contemporary artists and friends to re-envision in the form of sculpture some of the conservative ways jewelry is displayed. Her former collaborations—“Dorayaki” by John Armeleder, “Frozen Yogurt” by Alex Israel, “Magnifying” by Sylvie Fleury, and “Dino Runes” by Kerstin Bratsch—have now been complemented by five colored marble and onyx masks, created by Matthew Lutz-Kinoy, which he calls “A Spear of Summer Grass”, after Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself”.

The orifices, curves and nooks of the masks serve as vessels and carriers for Suzanne’s jewels, while her jewels in turn serve as means of self-actualization for the masks, complementing and interplaying with each other.

The theatrical marble displays are expressive and dynamic, changing with the source and angle of light, simultaneously changing the pieces of jewelry displayed on—and in—them as they go through the flow of transformation.

Each piece of jewelry changes its appearance and purpose depending on the way it is placed on the masks: in the mouth or the eye socket, under the eye, on the ear.

The narrative constructed by the interlacing and synchronization of the two art forms is physically and intellectually immersive. The freedom of interpretation and exploration yielded by this amusing, interdisciplinary collaboration, is infinite.

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