For several years now, Chopard has been devoting its traditional Parisian Haute Couture Week event to presenting the most stunning precious stones. Since her childhood, the Maison’s Co-President and Artistic Director Caroline Scheufele has cultivated a genuine passion for exceptional gems. Endowed with a natural instinct and a keen eye, she travels the world in search of the most coveted specimens to nurture her boundless creativity. In 2017, Chopard had the honour of presenting the Garden of Kalahari, a collection created around a rare 342-carat rough diamond that gave rise to a set of 23 gems of which five were over 20-carat D-Flawless grade diamonds. Another extremely pure rough stone-the 6,225-carat Chopard Insofu Emerald – is currently in the expert hands of the in-house artisans being prepared to sparkle within a collection in the making.
New gems are now being unveiled, heralding the splendour of jewellery creations such as only Caroline Scheufele can dream up.
Sapphires with a sunny glow
The presentation starts with a pair of brilliant yellow Ceylon sapphires, each weighing 151.19 and 127.70 carats (Sri Lanka is renowned as the “Gem Island”). They also feature superb clarity, flawlessly matched colour, and the well-balanced structure typical of the most valuable Ceylon sapphires, in addition to their amazing size. They are destined to adorn a ring with a bold design and a matching cuff bracelet. They are as brilliant as solar stars.
The corundum family is completed with a second 26.70-carat sapphire in the highly sought-after Royal Blue hue. A clear blue tint catches the light via its octagonal shape, which has a sought-after symmetry that enhances the intensity and brilliance of coloured stones. It is also mined from Sri Lanka’s fertile soils.
This no less precious vivid red ruby is distinguished by its remarkable 10.06-carat weight and fine purity. Its strong red saturation, size and characteristics make it one of the finest-quality East African specimens. Like the above-mentioned sapphires, its colour is natural and has not been subjected to any heat treatment.
The sense of wonderment continues with two sets of coloured diamonds: intended for a dainty pair of earrings with a sleek contemporary design and a ‘You and Me’ ring, on which three pink and three green diamonds will star in an elegant play on their pear-shaped design. Far less common than white diamonds, coloured diamonds owe their hues to the presence of chemical elements or inclusions that modify their absorption of light. That is why, above and beyond the natural beauty of these exceptional gems, the finesse of their cut plays an important role in revealing the brilliance of their colour. While coloured diamonds-such as the famous ‘Dresden Green’-were long regarded as the prerogative for monarchs who had them set on royal regalia, coloured diamonds have for several years been enjoying renewed interest among discerning collectors. Green diamonds are still among the rarest, while pink diamonds have seen their value rise due to their eminently feminine shade, as well as because of the recent exhaustion of the Argyle mine in Australia, which for several decades extracted the bulk of pink diamonds in world trade.
The three green diamonds acquired by Caroline Scheufele from mines in Brazil, as well as the three pink specimens from South Africa, are distinguished by their excellent combination of size (the largest in the lot weighed 4.63 carats) and few impurities.
Harmony of colours
Finally, how could the crystal-clear purity of blue tourmaline, highlighted by Chopard through a batch of three stones, not be included in an exploration of the beauty of Nature’s treasures? The first two stones, which have a combined weight of almost seven carats, a colour that matches, and a very fine purity, make the perfect pair for earrings. Due to numerous internal reflections, their proportions and the fineness of their gently oval cut provide vibrant blue hues.
The northern Mozambique region where these stones were discovered has recently produced some of the best tourmalines in colours ranging from blue to greenish blue, which are very similar in many ways to the well-known “Paraiba” tourmalines mined in Brazil during the 1980s and later in Nigeria. This is due to the presence of copper in its soils. It is a rare opportunity to put together a collection of Mozambican tourmalines of this colour, size, and quality. A third almost 16-carat stone will be the focal point of a ring that coordinates with the earrings to create a mesmerising combination.
Exceptional stones and jewellery-making skills
In addition to these precious stones whose destiny has yet to be forged, Chopard is also presenting the Parisian public with some jewellery fresh from its Haute Joaillerie workshops. Among them is a creation fit for a queen: a white diamond necklace flowing into a fantastic burst of sunshine in the shape of an over 100-carat fancy intense yellow diamond. As Caroline Scheufele explains: “Because of my family’s history as jewellery specialists across several generations, my life has been marked by encounters with the rarest gems. Impressive in size and captivating in colour, this yellow diamond immediately caught my attention and our Maison is proud to present it today.”
There is also a ring featuring a 30.63-carat fancy intense yellow oval-cut diamond and entirely adorned with diamonds; as well as a necklace graced with sculpted rose gold, diamond or pink sapphire motifs and inspired by the lace collars of 17th century courtiers’ costumes- a reminder of the enduring ties between the artistic crafts of couture and jewellery.
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