The Best of the Best 2003: Jewelry - Cartier Haute Joaillerie

  • Jill Newman

Louis Cartier was undoubtedly one of the world’s greatest arbiters of jewelry style. During his heyday in the early 1900s, he explored exotic Egyptian, Islamic, and Asian art for inspiration and forged modern, yet feminine, jewelry that distinctly reflected the fashion and culture of his generation.

 

Today, Louis Cartier’s principles of design are ever present in the company’s latest Haute Joaillerie collection, featuring exceptional gemstones in innovative creations that depict sophisticated international style. “This collection is based on lightness—in every sense of the word,” says Cartier Creative Director Pierre Rainero. “The designs give an impression of lightness in form, in the way they move with a woman’s body and with their soft pastel colors.”

The Haute Joaillerie collection may appear stylish and sensual, yet there is no denying that these are power pieces. One collar, for instance, comprises 75 exceptional golden pearls and 1,060 diamonds that gracefully drape the décolletage. It is valued at more than $1.5 million. Another million-dollar necklace features nine large cabochon-cut Colombian emerald drops and 200 spar kling diamonds cascading down the neck in an airy, feminine style. 

The collection, which was created in Cartier’s Paris atelier by a team of designers and craftsmen, includes pieces, such as the golden pearl necklace, that took several years to complete. “We are at the mercy of Mother Nature,” explains Rainero. “It can take years to find matching pearls or gems for a design concept. Thus, we cannot realize all our dreams.”

For a client with a penchant for exceptional gems and simply beautiful designs, however, these jewels are a dream come true.

Cartier, 800.CARTIER, www.cartier.com

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