So much in nature is glorious for its ephemerality, bounded to the ebb and flow of the fleeting seasons. The explosion of colour as flowers bloom in spring, the warm embrace of the summer sun, the fiery hues of autumn’s blaze of glory, the pristine white of winter’s first snow—each is nature’s coup de théâtre, a masterpiece of a performance to be enjoyed only in the moment.
If nature’s seasonal displays could ever be immortalised, it would be in Allegoria—Gucci’s allegory of the cycle of the four seasons, materialised as its latest high jewellery collection. Coloured stones, voluminous and generous in their proportions, are often presented in the jaws of the house’s emblematic Lion Head motif, expressing an exuberance that is played off by the poise and clarity of antique European-cut diamonds.
The allegory begins with the awakening of nature in spring. The joie de vivre that encapsulates this season comes through in the lively hues of coloured gems and an interpretation of Gucci’s iconic Flora motif. The soft green of a cushion-cut, 226-carat tourmaline mirrors the verdant tones of fresh, young foliage. Framed by baguette diamonds and star motifs, the collector-worthy gem dangles from a necklace chain set with tourmalines in pastel shades of green, purple, pink, and yellow; a veritable flower garland carved in gold.
Another magnificent tourmaline—161-carat and also cushion-cut—captures the showy beauty of spring’s blooms with its deep pink hue. It hangs from a chain of rainbow-coloured tourmalines, meticulously selected, matched, and arranged in a gradient that shifts from green to yellow to pink.
The heat of summer finds its match in the saturated hues of emeralds, spinels, and Paraiba tourmalines. Gucci has taken fancy cuts to the next level in this collection, exploring fan, briolette, kite, and paisley shapes in its designs. The last—the paisley—calls to mind the organic forms of the leaves that feature in Gucci’s Flora print.
On a pair of jacket earrings, two fan-shaped emeralds totalling 18 carats take centrestage. Strands of diamonds cascade from below them, ending in multi-coloured marquise-cut tourmalines. The soft curves of the fan shape give way to angles in a hexagonal emerald on a necklace, its geometric form echoed by the clean lines of the baguette diamonds that frame it. Dangling below the emerald are two 16-carat Paraiba tourmalines the colour of clear turquoise waters.
The collection heralds autumn with warmer, muted tones. A 78-carat yellow sapphire bucks convention with an east-west mounting, flanked by tourmalines in a soothing colour palette symbolic of nature’s annual waning—faded greens, soft yellows, and orangey-pinks. In contrast, a vintage-style yellow gold bracelet celebrates the fiery colours of this season with five mandarin garnets flaunting their strong orange hues.
The glittering of snow crystals under the winter sun and the season’s icy coolness are reflected in the iridescent sheen of opals and the clear shine of old European-cut diamonds. Just as every snowflake is unique, so is every antique European-cut diamond. Popular between 1890 and 1930, the old European cut was developed before machine cutting was available. Cut by hand, and unique as a result, these gems are now coveted by collectors. Unlike the modern round brilliant cut, the old European cut prioritises fire over sparkle and brilliance—the multi-coloured flashes of light that come from within the diamond are enhanced, but the shine is softened.
An outstanding 10-carat example of an old European-cut diamond crowns a floral motif necklace. Framed by a milky opal that has been carved into the shape of flower petals, its fire is echoed by the soft iridescence of the opal. On the necklace chain, more carved opal beads reinforce the floral design. The same motif can be found on a pair of matching earrings featuring two old European-cut diamonds of more than 12 carats each.