Best Of The Best 2006: Van Cleef & Arpels Pierres De Caractère

Somewhat decadent and remarkably relevant to contemporary styles, Van Cleef & Arpels’ Pierres de Caractère collection flaunts some of the world’s finest and rarest gems, including chunky, grape-size emeralds from ancient mines in Muzo, Colombia; hefty, mouthwatering Nigerian mandarin garnets; and a 50-carat blazing orange Brazilian topaz paired with an abundance of diamonds in autumnal hues. (Click image to enlarge)

To mark its centennial anniversary, the Parisian jewelry house spent three years acquiring these gems to create the 100-piece collection, which was presented last fall at a series of parties in Paris, Moscow, Hong Kong, New York, Palm Beach, and other cities. A 127.45-carat rough Muzo emerald set in a necklace wowed clients at a party in Los Angeles and ultimately sold for more than $3 million.

The collection also includes diamond-encrusted bows, and jeweled tassels, buttons, and zippers that reference couture fashion. A favorite piece of Van Cleef & Arpels president and CEO Stanislas de Quercize is the functioning zipper necklace, a design that originally was made for the Duchess of Windsor. “It’s inspired by couture,” de Quercize says, “but it’s bold and playful.”

Another necklace comprises 15 mandarin garnets laced together on a diamond-studded ribbon that cascades down the neck. Several pieces in the collection resemble items from Van Cleef’s archives, indicating why the company’s vintage designs still command top dollar.

Van Cleef & Arpels
800.822.5797
www.vancleefandarpels.com

Photo by Bertrand Moulin
A cloak of secrecy has long kept the jewelry trade hidden from public view...
The show will spotlight a selection of rare pieces from seven of the world’s top diamond houses…
Photo by Doyle New York
In its 53 years, Doyle has auctioned the estates of Gloria Swanson, Bette Davis, and other film...
Exceptional colored gemstones were in high demand at the annual fair…
In celebration of Easter, here are some of Robb Report's favorite Fabergé eggs...
The internally flawless type IIa stone is one of the largest and rarest in existence…
The Milanese jeweler celebrated the opening with one-off jewelry pieces inspired by paintings…
The London jeweler uses baguette-cut gemstones to echo the film’s neon-lit buildings…
The store is located inside the Peninsula Hotel in the 16th arrondissement…
Photo by Matthias Hoffmann
The 13-piece collection will be on display in cities around the globe in the coming months…