An epic poem in gemstones
The collection includes 25 jewels, 13 of which have been designed as individual pieces, and the remaining 12 as parts of various sets. Taken together, these pieces make up a genuine treasure, whose value is difficult to estimate, as it resides not only in the noble metals used (white gold and platinum), but also in the rarity, quality and number of gemstones. It is the jeweler’s craftsmanship that truly ennobles them and turns them into collector’s items.
A part of this collection is governed by a triple contrast, white-black-red, the white gold and diamonds thus showing the onyx and rubellites to advantage. Three sets (Stria, Palmea and Aporia), each made up of four pieces, capitalize on the magnetic force of this limited color palette, their consistency in terms of design being absolutely remarkable. One can recognize geometrized vegetal and especially animal motifs, glorifying the fluid, organic natural lines. The jewelry thus acquires a totemic aspect, the three sets being, in fact, variations of the same aesthetic concept.
I have to insist, however, on the variety of gems used to create this collection, as this variety is dictated by the aesthetic codes of the maison. Beautés du Monde can also be seen as a compendium of gemology, as the jeweler has brought together rubellites, chalcedony, lapis lazuli, opals, onyx, tourmalines, spinels and coral to complement the noble “Big Four” of the jewelry world: sapphires, rubies, diamonds and emeralds. The so-called capsule collection made up of seven rings reminds you of the legendary jewels created by the gnomes. Seen from up close, though, the specific traits of contemporary jewelry become easily distinguishable. It is difficult to say which of these rings is the most impressive, yet perhaps many – myself included – would vote for the one in platinum with a central green diamond set in a geometric network of white diamonds.
The showpieces of the collection are the six necklaces – independent creations, like the rings – genuine amulets worthy to be worn by the Queen of Sheba. Each of them suggests a new color combination and a different interpretation of sensuality. The most striking piece is the Apatura necklace, which turns the multicolored opal into a central theme. The mixed colors of the three opals are isolated and redistributed in the rest of this jewelry piece with the help of sapphires and diamonds. This necklace reminds us of the hypnotic force and the odyssey of the opal in Uncut Gems, the movie in which Adam Sandler plays the tragic role of an unfortunate jeweler. With one major difference, though: the Apatura necklace by Cartier – as, in fact, all the pieces in the Beautés du Monde collection – overflow with optimism and vitality.
*This article was published in Issue 16 of Lifetime Magazine, the printed edition.