Call it the butterfly effect. From De Beers’ new Portraits of Nature collection of butterfly-inspired diamond jewels to the countless Lepidoptera-themed designs introduced at the Las Vegas jewelry shows in June, high-end jewelers are paying homage to the winged creatures like never before.
Sure, jewelry has always had a love affair with butterflies — but the events of the past two and a half years have reminded just about everyone of how newly resonant the symbol is amidst our collective, pandemic-induced transformation.
The butterflies in Chopard’s newest high jewelry collection, however, have a much more personal meaning.
Designed in collaboration with Mariah Carey, the diamond-encrusted high jewelry suite, as well as a fine jewelry Happy Butterfly x Mariah Carey Collection capsule, pays homage to the singer’s longstanding association with butterflies.
In 1997, Carey debuted her Butterfly album, a deeply personal, career-defining effort that “not only showcased her already-established prowess as a vocalist, who could belt out ballads or flirt over the hottest summer jams, but also as one of the most versatile songwriters in contemporary music,” writes Essence magazine.
“Knowing that Mariah loves butterflies, I knew I wanted to focus on this as the main inspiration and design,” Caroline Scheufele, co-president and artistic director of Chopard, tells Robb Report. “With that in mind, we were able to bring to life the Chopard Happy Butterfly Collection — a beautiful marriage with a modern butterfly design paired with Chopard’s iconic Happy Diamonds.”
The two women have been friends for many years, having connected “through our love of jewelry and music,” Scheufele tells Robb Report. “She performed at our party in Cannes in 2019, and we had always talked about designing together.”
The co-design process took place during the pandemic, over Zoom, email and WhatsApp (“neither of us was able to travel,” says Scheufele).
“Since Mariah has a personal passion for unique pieces, we knew we wanted to do a few one-of-a-kind creations that would be truly exceptional,” she says. “This led to an extraordinary diamond suite.”
The suite includes three Chopard x Mariah Carey Collection high jewelry pieces decked out in diamond pavé— a pair of earrings, a necklace and a ring, all set in Fairmined-certified ethical 18-carat white gold — as well as the Happy Butterfly x Mariah Carey line of everyday fine jewels rendered in 18k gold, diamonds and carnelian.
The fact that the butterfly is such an integral part of the designs reflects its enduring meaning — to Carey and the countless people reminded of lightness and metamorphosis every time they see it.