The celebrated Taiwanese jewellery artist Anna Hu bears the surname that translates from Chinese as 'butterfly'. It is not surprising that she has made it a tradition to create high jewellery butterflies every year, each being unique. Butterflies have long become the signature motif of Hong Kong based designer Jessica Fong, as in her culture: "they symbolise transformation of life and are believed to bring happiness, that's why these charming creatures have become my muse”.
Stenzhorn has created an extensive ‘Butterfly Lovers’ collection of rings, earrings, and necklaces which is an ode to the Chinese legend of the same name. A young couple’s ill-fated love story ends in both of them transforming into butterflies, and having their souls live on together forever. De Beers has just presented its latest 'Portraits of Nature' collection dedicating a whole 'The Monarch Butterfly' chapter to the fluttering beauty. It was embodied in a gorgeous medallion with a 4.11 cts fancy brown yellow cushion cut diamond, delicate between the finger rings and earrings fashioned as ear jackets.
Though it’s true that butterfly fine jewellery designs are especially prevalent with jewellers from the Far East, their fluttering wings and intricate markings create an extraordinary natural beauty which is highly desirable. People have been enraptured by butterflies since the age of the Cabinet de Curositié, followed by the Victorian trend for catching and displaying them in frames as part of an exotic décor.
Even though on a basic level butterflies represent hope and freedom - as many winged animals do - in the case of fine jewellery, they are an especially appealing being to depict in precious materials. The natural form and patterning of butterfly wings allow designers a chance to experiment in a more abstract way than when depicting many other creatures and this is what makes their creative journey so exciting.