Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels Reveal The Most Creative Jewels

I love the jewelry industry because unlike it’s fickle sister, fashion, jewelry is not a commodity that loses its luster, gets tossed a box and sent to Real Real. Generally speaking, jewelry and watches from notable French houses like Cartier or Van Cleef & Arpels are not created for influencers to show on their feeds, but rather are meant to be well-worn for decades and passed down to the next generation. The pieces retain much of their monetary value and are sentimental talismans. Similarly, the marketing and PR for these brands refect this ethos with editors, journalists, and stylists. They take the long view and maintain long-standing relationships which I am grateful for, so I can continue to talk about and style stories and just gawk at these sublime pieces.

July is Haute Couture fashion month in Paris while also the time for historic jewelry Maisons to reveal “High Jewelry” collections. High jewelry basically means, unattainable for normal humans to purchase, although definitely inspirational and fun to ogle for those interested in gems and jewels.

This time around the fashion runways are empty and the jewelry presentations are also scaled down to digital assets only. But the brand stories told from their deep history seems unending. The archives are a limitless wealth of celebrities and royalty who purchased or were gifted or designed a piece for a significant occasion. Other times the story presented for this masterful array is dreamed up without reference to their past. And this is the case with Cartier.

For Cartier, nature is not as we see it but as we dream it. The Sur Naturel high jewelry creations are uncanny takes on nature fashioned into a work of art. The necklace below is inspired by a surreal plant using 2 huge and exceptional beryls as its the focal point.

“This new collection really speaks to the Maison’s stylistic identity and pays homage to finding beauty wherever it may lie – especially during a moment in time where nature is such an integral part of our lives, perhaps more so now than ever before.”
This new collection really speaks to the Maison’s stylistic identity and pays homage to finding beauty wherever it may lie – especially during a moment in time where nature is such an integral part of our lives, perhaps more so now than ever before. 

Cartier Sur Naturel High Jewelry

The blue piece below is executed with brilliant-cut diamonds and 5 rare sapphires that mimic the movement of an undulating river.

Cartier Sur Naturel High jewelry Brilliant cut diamonds with 5 sapphires

The last necklace, fashioned with diamonds, onyx and emeralds, emulate an abstract snake. With one foot in the natural world and the other evoking a landscape of limitless possibilities, they created a fitting fairy tale for these works of art. Seeing the pieces on a model is a must to grasp the scale and beauty.

Cartier Sur naturel Emeralds, diamonds and onyx, abstract snake
Cartier Sur Naturel High Jewelry

Van Cleef & Arpels created a trio of more traditionally designed rarities inspired by former clients, Princess Faiza of Egypt, Marlena Dietrich, and Jackie Kennedy Onassis.

The original collarette ( below) made for Princess Faiza in1929 is called the Merveille d’émeraudes necklace and boasts 70.40 of Columbian emeralds which can be removed and transform the piece into an all-diamond version.

Van Cleef + Arpels Merveille d’émeraudes

The RUBIS EN SCÈNE bracelet echos a piece purchased by actress, Marlene Dietrich in 1937 and wore in the Hitchcock movie, Stage Fright in 1951. It’s created with rubies and diamonds and is as substantial as the original in size and use of gemstones.

The final piece is a reflection of a gift to Jacqueline Kennedy by her husband, Aristotle Onassis for their wedding. Originally the earrings were made of cabochon rubies and diamonds with a detachable floral motif. The current version, called, Tendresse étincelante is crafted two pear-shaped DFL type 2A diamonds for a total of 20.21 carats. The stones weigh in at over ten carats each and detach like its inspiration.

Van Cleef& Arpels High Jewelry Tendresse étincelante earrings

High jewelry is not something you will see collecting dust in shop showcases but will be taken out of the vault for road trips to display to potential secret buyers. But there is a chance the one of a kind creations will be seen on the red carpet event— if that ever happens in the future.

About Mimi Lombardo

Fashion, travel, luxury brand news. Styling portfolio at E-mail me for bookings Or contact Michele at
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