Émeraude en Majesté by Van Cleef & Arpels: Emeralds in All Their Glory

In order to create High Jewellery collections, jewellery houses use only the finest of gemstones, which might take years to seek out. But sometimes it is the other way round: gems of great beauty are purchased but lay untouched for years until they are chosen for a worthy design. Both instances illustrate perfectly the creative process behind the Van Cleef&Arpels collection Émeraude en Majesté, which includes unique emeralds from Colombia and Zambia, as well as some stones from antique jewellery, and whose total weight exceeds 1,400 carats.

Precious green beryl stones are the primary element of each design, which is built around the gem and aims to ensure the best possible emphasis on the emeralds’ marvellous properties. In choosing the stones for the collection, Van Cleef&Arpels gemmologists looked in the first instance for colour, only choosing the stones with a deep, rich tone. Next, they selected only the emeralds with a relatively high purity, before checking whether the gem had any of its own beguiling characteristic qualities. This led to the third and final of the selection criteria: crystallisation. The better the crystal of a gem is, the brighter it shines, which is especially noticeable when comparing two stones of the same hue.

Émeraude en Majesté contains quite a variety of gemstone cuts: the traditional emerald shape, rare round cuts, teardrops, cabochons, beads – and the list goes on. Of particular interest are the stones carved in the style of the finest traditions of Indian craftsmanship that inspired the jewellery house in the 1920s.

Van Cleef&Arpels Grand Opus set. White gold, round, baguette-cut and princess-cut diamonds, buff-topped square-cut emeralds, white cultured pearls, 3 carved emeralds for 127.88 carats (Colombia). Transformable necklace, earrings and clip with detachable pendants.

Transformability of precious pieces is a signature feature of this new High Jewellery collection by Van Cleef&Arpels. The pendants from almost every necklace can be removed and attached to the earrings, transforming them from modest studs to elegant evening wear. The Grand Opus set, for example, is decorated with three carved emeralds whose total weight reaches 127.88 carats, and it includes a necklace, earrings, a brooch and removable pendants. Depending on your mood, you can attach the pendants to the necklace, brooch or earrings.

The Drapé Majestueux necklace, made from 150 Zambian emerald beads weighing 244.24 carats in total, was inspired by the High Fashion world and is evocative of folds of fabric. It is a flexible necklace, which was made possible thanks to beads of green beryl strung onto threads forming three rows. This jewel is also transformable: it can be worn with either the emerald or diamond side at the front.

The same can be done with the Claudine necklace, which is reminiscent of the great French jewellery designed at the beginning of the 19th century. It includes nine emeralds whose weights vary from 3.99 carats to 6.04 carats, culminating in a combined total of 42.07 carats. The pendant with the largest stone can be removed and worn separately as a brooch.

Speaking of brooches, they are now peaking in popularity and this will remain the case right into the autumn-winter season. There are several brooches in the Émeraude en Majesté collection, including a butterfly, a dragonfly, and a bouquet of flowers, all of which embody the house’s love of the natural world. Though each item was complex to make, I feel the Bouquet D’Émeraudes, with its 11 rare Zambian carved stones weighing a total of 32.53 carats, calls for special attention. The emeralds have been carefully arranged into a variety of flower shapes and secured with a circle of diamonds in the centre of the brooch with white gold.

Van Cleef&Arpels Liens Antiques bracelet. White gold, round and baguette-cut diamonds, round and buff-topped pear-shaped sapphires, 11 octagonal-cut emeralds for a total of 19.38 carats (Colombia)

Continuing the theme of nature we can look to the Canopée ring, which was inspired by the tranquility of tropical gardens. This piece of jewellery is like a little corner of paradise, and in its own way is a take on the solitaire ring placed within an elegant, asymmetrical composition.  The baguette diamonds twist out in an anticlockwise spiral from the emerald at the centre, which weighs 13.52 carats.

Incidentally, the in-house designers have not forgotten about Van Cleef&Arpels’s tradition of the between the finger rings. They created Lune d’Eau jewel with two water lilies that almost blossom in front of you. This ring is a gentle combination of a 3-carat emerald with a 3.03 carats of diamond, carefully selected by weight and shape. Émeraude en Majesté is a real intermingling of style from different epochs. The Émeraude Entrelacée necklace, for example, continues the tradition of jewelled bows and ribbons, created by the masters of the House in the 1950s. Its clean lines emphasise the 17.82-carat emerald at the heart of the necklace.

The Liens Antiques bracelet with its 11 octagonal emeralds, weighing 19.38 carats in total, resembles a gigantic knot, a symbol of union in ancient mythology. And in the centre of the Serrania necklace is a 26.43-carat emerald which compliments the irregular shape of the 26.82-carat pearl, lending a vintage feel to the piece. The unique shades and varied cuts of the emeralds will make each item in Émeraude en Majesté a great addition to the collections of even the most discerning and frequent clientele of this jewellery house.

Van Cleef&Arpels Serrania necklace. White gold, platinum, round, square-cut, baguette-cut, half-moon and pear-shaped diamonds, one natural white pearl of 26.82 carats, one cushion-cut emerald of 26.43 carats (Colombia). Detachable clip and natural pearl

Van Cleef&Arpels Talisman Papillon necklace. White gold, round diamonds, square-cut, faceted and buff-topped baguette-cut sapphires, round, square-cut, faceted and buff-topped baguette-cut emeralds, white cultured pearls, one cushion-cut emerald of 16.52 carats (Colombia). Detachable clip and tassel

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