Every year, during the presentation of the new high jewellery collections, it is usually very hot on a sun-drenched Place Vendôme. And this year, particularly, the temperature rose a notch for the discovery of the new collection of the house Van Cleef & Arpels. An exceptional occasion, because the house does not express itself much on its high jewellery segment – exceptional stones because nothing is too beautiful and too rare for the couture week. At the bend of a porte cochere, behind the high façades of the square, it is into a real safe that we enter. And for good reason, with “Legend of Diamonds – 25 Mystery Set”, Van Cleef & Arpels unveils a set of pieces set with impressive diamonds all coming from the same rough: the Lesotho Legend, a 910 carat type IIa and D colour stone was extracted in 2018 by the diamond company Gem Diamonds in the Lentseng mine. Sold shortly after its extraction for $40 million, it is among the largest stones found at this deposit known for producing date stones.
Atours Mystérieux transformable necklace. White gold, rose gold, a 79.35-carat oval-cut DFL Type 2A diamond, individually set mystery ruby, traditionally set mystery ruby, ruby, diamond. van Cleef & Arpels
Finding a stone of this size and quality does not happen every day. It is the diamond dealer Taché who presents it to Van Cleef & Arpels. As a rule, for diamonds at least, the brand almost never starts with rough stones. It was therefore necessary to rethink the way in which the material was approached in order to properly exploit this stone to its full potential. With the help of the Antwerp-based diamond cutter – the company Diamcad – the adventure could begin. Founded in 1989, the company quickly turned to innovation by partnering with the University of Antwerp to develop some of the most advanced cutting tools on the market. The company’s scanners quickly went into action to analyse the 910-carat rough in order to optimise the way it was split and then cut in order to extract a maximum number of gems. Among the stones already cut by Diamcad are the Lesedi la Rona (1109 carats, Graff), the Queen of the Kalahari (342 carats, Chopard), the Peace Diamond (709 carats, Graff) or the Letseng Legacy (493 carats). The final result was 76 stones totalling 441.75 carats, from Flawless to Internally Flawless. The largest stones weigh 79.35 carats, 51.14 carats, 31.24 carats and 25.06 carats respectively.
Mysterious Chevron necklace and earrings with detachable pendants. White gold, pink gold,
3 DFL Type 2A pear-cut diamonds of 31.24, 12.18 and 12.07 carats, one DFL Type 2A round diamond of 1.08 carats. Traditional Mystery Setting emeralds, emeralds, sapphires, diamonds. van Cleef & Arpels / Ring Liseré Mystérieux. White gold, pink gold, a 2.50 carat DFL Type 2A pear-cut diamond,
Traditional Mysterious Setting emeralds and sapphires, diamonds. van Cleef & Arpels
Then the design studio took over. The result is a collection in two major chapters, the most breathtaking of which is the 25 Mystery Set. In this opus, 25 pieces revolve around the invisible setting, the house’s signature, which is as much about perpetuating it as about modernising it through active and lively R&D. This year, the company is really putting the spotlight back on the “Serti Mystérieux Individuel”, which was developed in 1937. The covid interfering in the planning, it took almost 4 years to realize this collection where more than 3000 stones were necessary. I let you imagine the work of sourcing and selection of gemologists and traders involved in its design.
Mysterious collar Necklace and ring. White gold, rose gold, two DFL Type 2A emerald-cut diamonds of 51.14 and 10.52 carats, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, Individual Mystery Set rubies, pink sapphires, diamonds. van Cleef & Arpels
From there, one word: breathtaking. This collection is among the most spectacular presented by the house in recent years. Echoing the collections dedicated to the Pierres de Caractère®, Legend of Diamonds is in line with the continuity of its DNA, which decades after decades has been dedicated to showcasing the most fabulous gems. The volumes are perfect, the technique is everywhere, the craftsmen involved in the realisation of the pieces – and they are numerous, and they will recognise themselves here – have done a magnificent job. One last word to conclude, or two: bravo and thank you!
Draperie Mystérieuse brooch. White gold, rose gold, two DFL Type 2A pear-cut diamonds of 1.26 and 1.09 carats, one DIF Type 2A pear-cut diamond of 1.73 carats, emeralds and sapphires Traditional Mystery setting, sapphires, diamonds / Mysterious Double Ribbon Clip. White gold, rose gold, a 3.08 carat DFL Type 2A emerald cut diamond, Traditional Mystery Set rubies, pink sapphires, diamonds. van Cleef & Arpels SA – 2021
Cover photo: Volutes Mystérieuses transformable necklace. White gold, pink gold, a 30.61 carat oval-cut DFL Type 2A diamond, traditional ruby mystery setting, rubies, diamonds. van Cleef & Arpels 2022