Another year, another spectacular season for high jewellery in 2022. Known as the cream of the crop where jewellers give their best, their all, their everything. Exploring the collections is like wandering through the minds of each designer or creative director and discovering entire worlds from their point of view.
Where before, high jewellery was predominantly about family wealth and social status, today it has evolved into precious objects of art and stylish heirlooms you could wear and hand down for generations. For this reason, jewellers of all stripes seek to push the creative boundaries ever further in their quest to bridge haute joaillerie with the beaux-arts.
In such an exalted realm, it is no longer sufficient to offer top quality stones alone. That would be a given, and rightfully expected, since high jewellery represents the crème de la crème of a maison. Hence, creative audacity or imaginative storytelling through precious gemstones have become the key elements that jewellery aficionados look for these days. Fortunately, all the best jewellery maisons are more than ready for the challenge.
Here are the best examples of creative ingenuity and technical savoir-faire for the 2022 high jewellery season.
1 / 17
Boucheron Ailleurs Toucan bracelet
One could always count on Boucheron to reinvent the codes of high jewellery but with the Ailleurs collection, the maison has outdone even itself as it introduces novel materials never-before seen in high jewellery design. Reflecting artistic director Claire Choisne’s yearn for travel and appreciating the world with new eyes, the collection embodies the best of nature through precious gemstones.
This Toucan bracelet is breath-taking not only because of its imaginative representation of the bird in a jewellery piece but its impressive beak made using a three-dimensional marquetry technique of citrine and rubellite sculpted blocks.
2 / 17
Boucheron Ailleurs Bois Diamant brooch
Flowers have consistently been a favourite theme at Boucheron and the maison has been known to employ state-of-the-art technology to create perfect replicas of natural flora in delicate and precious materials.
This Ailleurs Bois Diamant brooch has its extremely lifelike petals individually shaved and sculpted out of palissandre de santos wood. Pavé diamonds highlight its shimmering corolla while titanium strands emulate the stamens, quivering every time the brooch moves along with its wearer.
3 / 17
Boucheron Ailleurs Pie ring
A bird-inspired ring sounds like a pretty idea but the Ailleurs Pie ring with its macabre visual representation of a see-through magpie’s head rather evokes mad scientist vibes instead. Ensconcing the bird’s diamond and white lacquered skull is a fully transparent rock crystal dome hollowed out by hand and shaped to flow so organically from neck to beak one could gaze upon it for hours.
4 / 17
Cartier Beautés du Monde Mizuchi ring
A capsule collection of seven cocktail rings details Cartier’s journey around the world as the maison brings its Beautés du Monde high jewellery collection to life. From the depths of the sea to farthest reaches of the sky, it’s as if all the beauty in one place has been concentrated in a single jewellery piece.
This Mizuchi ring expresses Cartier’s flair and love for colour contrasts. Vibrant green cabochons of tourmalines and emeralds frolic on a set of diamonds and platinum, their natural shimmer accentuated by the presence of sculpted black onyx.
5 / 17
Cartier Beautés du Monde Karet ring
Like colour contrasts, movement, and flora and fauna, geometry is a greatly beloved style of Cartier high jewellery and this Karet ring perfectly captures this design ethos by leaving absolutely no room for distractions. Here, a pair of triangular step-cut diamonds set off a series of cascading layers all paved with round brilliant diamonds to create a spectacular toi et moi ring that’s quite unlike anything else you’d have ever seen.
6 / 17
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Botanica Painted Blossom Orchid brooch
The annual Tiffany & Co. Blue Book collection never fails to leave one dizzy with delight. In this year’s high jewellery creations themed Botanica, florals turned up in full force, brought to life with a kaleidoscopic assortment of precious gemstones. But with the Painted Blossom series, the American jeweller might have just given us its most creative take on floral jewellery to date.
Sculptural and remarkably realistic, its artisans sculpted and smithed platinum to create an achingly elegant orchid that could have materialised from a renaissance painting and none would have been the wiser. Brushstrokes of 18K yellow gold engraved and shaped by hand define each of the flower’s petals which are in turn covered in a mosaic of round rose-cut, modified rose-cut, and round brilliant diamonds.
7 / 17
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Botanica Painted Blossom Iris brooch
On this sculptural Iris brooch, Tiffany & Co. worked with yellow gold petals, crafting them individually in order to preserve their natural folds and crests. Lilac toned enamel gave it the iris’ signature colour effect while three pear-shaped fancy intense yellow diamonds nestle adorably at the centre, like nectar awaiting bees. Additionally, six custom-cut baguette fancy intense yellow diamonds highlight its stem.
8 / 17
Tiffany & Co. Blue Book Botanica Dandelion bracelet
It’s not often that one finds the humble dandelion in a high jewellery creation, but Tiffany & Co. manages to elevate this delicate floral, ubiquitous in the Spring, in a unique and transformable parure. This Dandelion bracelet softly encircles the wrist in undulating waves, completely lightweight and airy, yet distinctive and artful. Rose-cut diamonds at the ends of the platinum stems resemble tiny colourless lollipops that would almost blow away in the springtime breeze.
9 / 17
Hermès Les Jeux de l’Ombre Chaînes d’Ombre
Bringing a playful twist wherever it goes, Hermès revels in the creation of fresh dialogue between jewellery and jewellery lover. With Les Jeux de l’Ombre, one would definitely see high jewellery in new light. Creative director of Hermès jewellery Pierre Hardy explores the dramatic tension between contrasts. Light and darkness, the movement of shadows. In the Chaînes d’Ombre set, whether ring, brooch, or necklace, pavé dark blue sapphires and black spinels intermingle as they form shadows stretching out behind the maison’s cherished chaîne d’ancre emblem paved with brilliant white diamonds.
10 / 17
Hermès Les Jeux de l’Ombre Lumières Brutes
Exploration of the object-and-shadow relationship continues in the Lumières Brutes set where Hardy worked with a new and surprising feature: rough gemstones. Indeed, leaving gemstones as they are has long been the creative director’s dream. The Lumières Brutes ring features a flaming orange spessartite garnet centre stone, uncut and left mostly in its original state, with a trail of pavé gemstones in red, orange, yellow hues behind, as if it were a comet hurtling through space.
11 / 17
Van Cleef & Arpels Ornement Mystérieux clip
It’s hard enough, as it is, to look away from any Van Cleef & Arpels high jewellery creation, much less one as distinguished as the Ornement Mystérieux clip from the maison’s Legend of Diamonds – 25 Mystery Set Jewels collection. Of course there are other pieces with far larger stones but this elegant clip elevates even the Van Cleef & Arpels signature mystery setting with 21 extra round diamonds almost floating above the rubies.
Look at the knot at its centre and you could hardly believe how this clip is not actually made of fabric, but solid white and rose gold, which is then invisible set with baguette diamonds and square-cut rubies following the flow of the ribbon. Such is the incredible jewellery making mastery of Van Cleef & Arpels.
12 / 17
Dior Print brooch
With a rich and fabled history in couture, it is only right that Dior’s high jewellery collections seek inspiration from its fashion legacy. The starkly named Dior Print is its latest one dedicated to the world of fabrics, and here, creative director Victoire de Castellane sought to transpose soft and silky textiles into works of high jewellery art. This Dior Print brooch captures the natural undulations of printed fabrics, with colours expressed through round cut diamonds, blue sapphires, and emeralds all neatly arranged in five rows.
13 / 17
Making its debut in the high jewellery space, Fendi unveiled the Flavus parure at its F/W couture show in Paris. Created by the fashion house’s artistic director for jewellery, Delfina Delettrez Fendi, who owns and designs her own highly successful jewellery line, the set draws a leaf from haute couture, expresses purity of light and movement through precious materials. White and yellow diamonds in brilliant and baguette cuts cascading in a delightful fringe effect where the inverted FF monogram emerged in a flash of dynamic yellows—the de facto colour of Fendi, naturally.
14 / 17
Dolce & Gabbana Alta Gioielleria coin bracelet
No one does OTT high jewellery better than the Italians and with its latest Alta Gioielleria collection, Dolce & Gabbana embraces its Italian-ness with unabashed fervour. Coin jewellery is one of the best loved of all Italian jewellery styles and this sculptural gold cuff features an historical Roman coin in place of a centre stone. Accentuated with garnets and rubellites, it plays with matte and polished surfaces for a nuanced finish.
15 / 17
Gucci Hortus Deliciarum double ring
The Roman tradition of micro-mosaic finds its way into Gucci’s latest Hortus Deliciarum high jewellery collection. Featured in an extensive selection of necklaces, bracelets, and rings, these historically rich art pieces are deeply cherished by the fashion house’s artistic director Alessandro Michele, who personally oversaw the creation of the high jewellery collection. This double ring embraces the bold and modern Gucci identity while also bringing something refreshingly new to the high jewellery space.
16 / 17
Louis Vuitton Spirit Fantasy bracelet
There’s always something irrevocably contemporary and progressive intrinsic in Louis Vuitton’s high jewellery creations, and the Spirit Fantasy bracelet captures that perfectly. With its interlacing of yellow gold chevrons laced with diamond-paved triangles and Vs in white gold, the fashion house presents an updated vision on the classical two-tone aesthetic while expressing power and presence for the modern jewellery lover.
17 / 17
Louis Vuitton Spirit Radiance bracelet
High polished scales individually mounted to form a distinctive chequerboard pattern, the Spirit Radiance bracelet by Louis Vuitton adheres so perfectly to the wrist it is practically a second skin. Catching the eye with its fiery orange tone, a cushion-cut mandarin garnet is cradled in a Louis Vuitton V set fully with baguette diamonds. And we can honestly think of no better piece of jewellery to wear when House of the Dragon premieres.