Van Cleef & Arpels’ love for nature comes through in its many floral-themed collections. From the timeless Alhambra to the playful Frivole, from the elegant Lotus to the ethereal Cosmos… And everybody knows that where there are flowers, butterflies are sure to follow, as they have with the maison’s new Two Butterfly collection.
Representing transformation, rebirth, joy, angels, and many other spiritual qualities, butterflies have appeared in Van Cleef & Arpels’ creations since its earliest years. Their delicate flight and infinite variety of colours inspire generations of jewellery designers who seek to replicate their natural charm using nature’s best materials.
Gold, precious and ornamental stones, mother-of-pearl, lacquer and enamel in a plethora of hues, and surprisingly even wood have all, at some point or other, helped the Van Cleef & Arpels butterfly take flight.
Take as an example turquoise, which is a consistent favourite at the maison, seen in almost every one of its collections—Alhambra, Perlée, Bouton d’Or, Zodiaque—including the tiny but utterly adorable Sweet Alhambra butterfly.
However, this sky-blue stone known for its cleansing calm energy has only just begun dressing the Van Cleef & Arpels Two Butterfly collection, and anyone who has even a fleeting interest in lapidary as well as lepidopterology might want to pay it special attention.
Since the collection’s launch in 2001, Van Cleef & Arpels has paved the butterfly’s delicate wings with diamonds, yellow sapphires, pink sapphires, and tsavorite garnets. On its 10th year mark came a Two Butterfly high jewellery ring featuring pavé diamonds alongside rubies paved in the maison’s signature and patented mystery-setting.
It was only from 2016 onwards that ornamental stones entered the collection beginning with mother-of-pearl, followed by lapis lazuli in 2019, and now turquoise in 2021.
Indeed, Van Cleef & Arpels has certainly taken its time with this stone but the good news is it was well worth the wait, because the turquoise inlays have been carefully selected and matched for their prized medium-blue tone that’s perfectly uniform throughout the specimen. Each butterfly comprises a vibrant quartet of the azure blue turquoise, framed by yellow gold and accentuated by a single marquise-cut diamond.
Other than a fastidious selection criteria, the Two Butterfly jewellery in turquoise also highlight Van Cleef & Arpels’ immense lapidary expertise. The stone’s intense colour and lustrous surface reveal themselves only after multiple stages of cutting and polishing. Fitting seamlessly into the gold structure, the turquoise segments are also rounded and smoothened to evoke the natural curvature of actual butterfly wings.
Pavé diamonds, too, reflect the Van Cleef & Arpels gold standard. Only DEF colour with clarity ranging from IF to VVS2 make the cut here, because from the best stones come the most extraordinary brilliance. All of three different setting techniques are featured in the Two Butterfly collection: bead setting for the pavé diamonds, prong setting for the marquise diamond, and a closed setting for the single round diamond on the pendant.
This elegant pas de deux between two butterflies finds its way all around us. Flitting around the hands, neck, and ears, these jewellery pieces bring a precious energy and vivacity that only happens when shimmering diamonds meet brilliant turquoise.