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

<< Back to Robb Report, June 2006

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

From Around the Web...
These four designers are making names for themselves in London’s brilliant and bold jewelry scene…
Cadar’s Endless cocktail ring in polished 18-karat gold with diamonds ($12,750)
Five jewelers use shiny gold as their canvas for sculptural new designs…
Foxfire diamond 187-carats
The massive 187-carat gem embarks on a worldwide tour this summer…
These Indian innovators are reimagining traditional styles for modern tastes…
59-carat Pink Star diamond
The Pink Star stands to break a world record when it crosses the block in April…
These bright designs are bursting with color and life…
Hemmerle's jeweled rectangular earrings with a 19th century micro mosaic portrait of an Egyptian Pharoah
A look at the top designs unveiled at one of the world’s most prestigious art and antiques event…
Designer Bina Goenka’s pink-pearl designs are a labor of love, and great persistence…
K. Brunini Jewels
The SoCal-based artist talks connecting to gems, the power of earthly wonders, and more…
This Swiss jewelry house risks shattering its most brilliant gems to create exceptional designs…