12 Stunning High Jewelry Collections to Know
In what once were normal times, July is the high season in Paris. From haute couture to high jewelry, haute joaillerie, the city, and in particular the home of high jewelry Place Vendôme, bustling with fashion lovers looking to be inspired and delighted by new collections. However, this summer was most certainly different. With designer brands opting out, postponing, or going virtual, Paris’ Haute Couture Week took on a whole new form. Nonetheless, stunning new haute couture and high jewelry designs debuted in 2020 to date.
Check out our favorite haute couture looks here! And read on for stunning high jewelry collections we are sure will delight your eyes! In case you didn’t already know, high jewelry is not the same as fine jewelry. While the definition of high jewelry is not completely solid. Essentially it stands above fine jewelry due to its use of the finest quality of rare gems, diamonds, and precious metals, brilliantly distinctive designs, and exquisite craftsmanship from famous designers and jewelry houses. Enjoy!
12 Stunning High Jewelry Collections to Know
In January 2020, Chanel launched its Tweed de Chanel fine jewelry collection, inspired by Chanel’s iconic use of tweed. Later in 2020, the brand’s watch studio released a collection of exquisite secret watches entitled Mademoiselle Privé Bouton. Again taking inspiration from tweed, however this time specifically the sleeve of a Chanel tweed jacket. Among the collection are two extraordinary high jewelry timepiece creations.
The Limited Edition Mademoiselle Privé Bouton high jewelry timepiece, Ganse de Diamant, features a white gold cuff coated in glossy black topped with a signature Chanel Pearl.
One of a kind: the Chanel Mademoiselle Privé Bouton Serti Neige secret watch. The face features a 1.5-carat cushion-cut diamond and 16 more stones weigh almost 3 carats while the cuff features 2,481 handset diamonds, approximately 45 carats, into the gold bracelet form.
The Contemplation collection is the result of Boucheron’s magically talented creative director, Claire Choisne. Inspired by a trip to Naoshima, Japan’s remote art island, Claire designed the collection to capture the poetry of a single fleeting moment in nature. Contemplation showcases Claire’s innovation and creativity. As seen through its use of unconventional materials such as Aerogel, a lightweight synthetic matter commonly used by NASA.
Contemplation’s pièce de résistance is the Goutte de Ciel necklace. Symbolically featuring opalescent aerogel encased in rock crystal and suspended from a diamond and crystal collar. “A piece of sky you can wear around your neck,” says Claire.
Boucheron’s Fenêtre Sur Ciel necklace was inspired by James Turrell’s work in Naoshima (a skyroom where a visitor’s eye is directed to the clouds drifting by in the roof opening high above their head that particularly inspired Claire). Fenêtre Sur Ciel is a feather-light titanium scarf. The design is set with tanzanite, diamonds, and mother of pearl spray-painted with 30 layers of lacquer evoking the sky. “I wanted to offer a piece of the sky to the woman,” says Claire.
In July 2020, Piaget launched a tropical collection called Wings of Light. The collection beautifully captures the splendor of the lush jungle and embodies a flourishing natural utopia. The Wings of Light collection features three chapters. Each a perfect explosion of shapes and captivating colors sure to win over women around the world.
Lucia Silvestri, Bulgari’s creative director, took inspiration from Rome’s Baroque architecture and decorative arts for the stunning Barocko collection. Colorful gems, bold designs, and a sense of movement define, all reminiscent of the Baroque style, define the elegant collection.
The Riders of the Knights collection by Louis Vuitton takes inspiration from the heroines of medieval times. Courageous women whose determination and independence embody the values that reflect the Louis Vuitton woman. Each of the figurative pieces draws its aesthetic from medieval codes of chivalry and heraldic crests.
Since its inception over 240 years ago, Chaumet has drawn inspiration from architecture. Its latest high jewelry collection, Perspectives de Chaumt, takes architectural inspiration to new heights with 81 modernist-infused pieces.
Renowned for its creation of aristocratic tiaras (the brand has made over 2,000 since 1780), in this new collection, Chaumet boldly reimagines the traditional headpiece jewelry for the 21st century with pieces like the stunning Lacis tiara.
For Pomellato’s first high jewelry collection, La Gioia, the Milanese brand created a whimsical collection of 165 pieces. Defined by the brand’s signature use of bold colors and voluptuous shapes, La Gioia features artful high jewelry treatment to past designs along with new show-stopping creations.
The pièce de résistance is surely the Gourmette Caméléon choker necklace. To create the 27 gradient shades, 1,798 gems, including sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, topaz, and diamond, were pavé-set across the 29 rose-gold links.
Renowned for its exquisite interpretations of plant and animal motifs, Cartier’s newest high jewelry collection [Sur]Naturel combines the figurative with the abstract for a new take on the traditional theme of flora and fauna. Exploding with color, texture, and volume, and an emphasis on the power of stones, Cartier described its collection as “nature that is more real than nature itself.”
One of our favorites is the Opheis necklace, a supernatural take on the iconic serpent. In this asymmetrical design, a giant cabochon emerald overlaps diamonds that evoke the texture of snakeskin.
As a homage to its 100-year heritage, Buccellati’s artistic director Andrea Buccellati created a new 30-piece collection based on Maison signatures. Using the same time-honored techniques dating back to the Renaissance, Andrea hopes the one-of-a-kind pieces will enrich the collections launched by his father, Gianmaria Buccellati, during the 20th century.
One eye-catching piece is a white-gold bangle set with 1,049 brilliant-cut diamonds and 12 large oval-cut stones, totaling more than 15 carats. A work of art that took the master artisans more than a year to make.
Van Cleef & Arpels
The French jewelry house postponed its new high jewelry collection until 2021 and instead decided to reimagine a selection of three pieces from the past that were worn by iconic women and leading clients.
One standout is this Art Deco Merveille d’Emeraudes necklace. Inspired by an emerald collarette necklace dating back to 1929 acquired by Princess Faiza of Egypt in 1947, the necklace features five pear-shaped Colombian emeralds weighing a total of 70.4 carats. And like Faiza’s necklace, has a dazzling diamond train that suspends down the back.
Taiwanese jewelry artist Cindy Chao has become a name to know in the world of high jewelry in recent years for her daring sculptural creations inspired by nature. And her newest designs are must-sees!
After holding on to a pair of 90-carat pear-shaped Colombian emeralds for over a decade, Cindy Chao finally found inspiration for them this year. The result, a stunning pair of earrings named Green Plumule unveiled during Paris couture week 2020. Each stone is surrounded by tsavorites, alexandrites, and color-changing garnets. Even with 2,291 stones, the earrings are exceptionally light and graceful. In addition, Cindy created a Green Plumule brooch featuring 487 pieces of fancy-cut emeralds, totaling 172.58 carats, with the largest being 30.06 carats.
Also launched were the Cameron Falls earrings featuring a pair of rare conch pearls set in titanium with streams of pink sapphires, purple garnets, and rose-cut colorless and fancy colored diamonds.
Valérie Messika launched her first high jewelry collection in 2013. This year she turned up the volume on her designs with Voltage, a collection of innovative designs heavy on diamonds but still weightless.
Noted for her minimalism, the collection includes simple yet statement designs such as the Double Ring, which is set with a 7.7-carat emerald-cut diamond and a 7.6-carat pear shape diamond that appear suspended in space. And a singular linear earring defined with a line of baguette-cut stones and anchored with a 10.3-carat pear shape diamond.
Words by Anna Beck Bimba