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Van Cleef & Arpels’ Gilded Butterfly

Jill Newman

For nearly a century, the ethereal butterfly has served as a source of inspiration for Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry. With more than 200,000 butterfly varieties in a range of artistic forms and colors, it’s easy to see how the captivating creatures inspired its design in dress clips in the 1920s, earrings in the 1970s, and playful rings the last few years. Its new interpretation of the butterfly is expressed in the haute couture collection Papillons (“butterflies” in French). These one-of-a-kind pieces feature a wide range of colorful gemstones in finely articulated designs. One ring has a large emerald-cut aquamarine surrounded by an intricate lattice of diamonds, while another ring is composed of rubellite stones with pink sapphires and diamonds to create vibrant color wings. The jeweler manages to take a familiar motif and redesign it every few years giving it a distinctly fresh and artistic point of view. (877.VANCLEEF, www.vancleef-arpels.com)

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