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This Lavish Diamond-and-Emerald Necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels Has Detachable Earrings Built in

Crafted from a massive 910-carat rough diamond, the Chevron Mystérieux has a backstory as captivating as its looks.

Van Cleef & Arpels Chevron Mystérieux necklace Van Cleef & Arpels

Van Cleef & Arpels is no stranger to monumental stones. From the 90 brilliant-cut diamonds, totaling 115 carats, set in a necklace for Princess Fawzia of Egypt in the late 1930s to the 34.64-carat pink “Princie” diamond (said to have once been owned by the ruling nizams of Hyderabad) acquired by the house in 1960, the company’s history is full of headline-grabbing jewels. Now, meet the newest: a mammoth 910-carat Type IIA D-Color white diamond rough from South Africa’s Letšeng mine, dubbed the Lesotho Legend, which served as the building block for the Parisian jeweler’s latest high-jewelry collection.

Purchased in 2018 for $40 million through diamond dealer Jean-Jacques Taché, the Legend is the fifth-largest gem-quality diamond ever mined. The resulting finished stones range in size from 25.06 to 79.35 carats; in total, 67 diamonds came from the original rough. In Chapter I (of II) of the Legends of Diamonds collection, 25 jewelry pieces are created from the most important stones surrounded by rubies, sapphires and emeralds, the colors of which amplify the significance of the flawless and internally flawless white diamonds. The undeniable star is the Chevron Mystérieux necklace (pictured above), adorned with three massive pear-cut white diamonds—measuring 31.24 carats, 12.18 carats and 12.07 carats—dangling beneath an array of intense green emeralds and deep-blue sapphires.

Van Cleef & Arpels Chevron Mystérieux necklace pendants

Two of the necklace’s diamonds can be detached and used to adorn earrings.  Van Cleef & Arpels


Each piece is arranged in a Mystery Set technique, patented by the house in 1933, in which stones are set without the use of prongs or other visible metal components; the designs are so challenging that an entire workshop was dedicated to their production. “That’s why we’ve never seen something of this nature before,” says Nicolas Bos, president and CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels. “It means that, for two years, we’ve had to put on hold almost every other project in Mystery Setting to really concentrate on this collection. For us, it’s quite historical because it’s a huge commitment—a type of exercise we’ve never done before.”

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