Most fine jewellery houses have developed a personal lexicon to designate their favourite gems. At Van Cleef & Arpels, they speak of ‘stones of character’. It is almost exclusively precious stones (emeralds, rubies, sapphires but also coloured diamonds) whose preciousness is determined by the established parametres of superior quality. The French house goes beyond the stage of mastery to reach the virtuosity.
In mid-March, over 60 couples were invited to discover the Treasure of Rubies, a jewellery collection, on the banks of the Chao Phraya River in Thailand. This is not the first time that Van Cleef & Arpels devoted an entire collection to one stone. In 2002, it spotlighted coloured diamonds. In 2016, the emeralds were the focus. The latest to catch its fantasy are the red rubies.
The making of the collection and its style could seem simple in the eyes of a novice, but the collectors know its difficulty. The house took almost ten years to gather the 3,000 carats of certified rubies whose brightness, fire, hue, weight and size are identical. The target was to avoid monotony in order to achieve the 60 unique pieces of the collection.
The centrepiece of the collection, the Flamboyant Ruby necklace has a ruby weighing over 25 carats. Its story is astonishing. Its raw texture was kept as a treasure, before being sold and then it was cut into a cushion, revealing its finely crystallised material and its powerful red colour. This is the first time it has been unveiled to the public.
From dark red to pinkish red, each piece is like fire that mesmerises its audience. Asymmetry, another style of Van Cleef & Arpels, is expressed on a ring called Between the Fingers. On other pieces such as the Unison earrings, which are perfectly symmetrical in their design, the colours of the stones are reversed. “The rubies have been selected one by one for the beauty of their colour and their deep flamboyance. These elements make life throb inside the stone,” says a gemologist expert from the brand. For Nicolas Bos, President, Van Cleef & Arpels, the rubies represent power, fire and blood. They are the spirit of an unstoppable passion.