Mischievious monkey jewellery for Chinese New Year

To celebrate the Year of the Monkey, here is a jungle’s worth of precious primates.

Lydia Courteille monkey earrings

The world will shortly be celebrating the beginning of another Year of the Monkey. For those born in these years, or for anyone who just loves monkeys, there is a jungle’s worth of fine jewellery out there to help you ring in Chinese New Year.

Monkey earrings
Two gold monkeys grasp bunches of opals and swing from sapphire-studded flowers in these Lydia Courteille earrings ($19,500).

And starting with earrings, a lot of Lydia Courteille jewellery features these precious primates. The Parisian designer made her first piece in 1998: “I transformed an antique 19th century brooch, which nobody wanted, into a pair of asymmetrical monkey earrings,” she recalls. “They sold immediately. I was very surprised. Then I decided to incorporate more monkeys into my jewels. Monkeys, as a theme, are just like snakes - they are very easy to work on.”

Read about the rise of the Rainbow Warrior by Lydia Courteille

Spanish brand Carrera y Carrera’s Bestiario collection of animal jewellery offers up a very realistic-looking monkey’s head to be worn on the finger. The yellow gold cocktail ring displays wonderful lattice work, a brushed gold face, and is decorated with green tsavorites, orange sapphires and diamonds.

Two-finger curious monkey ring
Wendy Yue uses gold, diamonds, tsavorites, rubies, sapphires and a rhodolite garnet in her two-finger monkey ring ($12,500).

Another monkey-obsessed Chinese designer Wendy Yue - who happens to have been born in the Year of the Monkey - has a wide selection of diamond jewellery, with tiny golden creatures snaking through fingers or climbing up ears. One of her latest designs is a two-finger diamond ring called the Curious Monkey, which takes the form of a brown diamond-backed monkey seeking out a juicy rhodolite garnet. Yue says the monkey is supposed to represent herself and her habit of being “endlessly curious of my surroundings and seeking adventure”.        

Theo Fennell has added a rose gold and black diamond charm to its Art Charm collection in honour of Chinese New Year, while Bibi van der Velden has recreated a whole troop of monkeys on a brown diamond and tsavorite ring. And US jeweller Elizabeth Showers has yellow gold and diamond monkeys stretching to make hoops and curled up as pendants.  

Animal kingdom: the best loved creatures in jewellery

People who are born in the Year of the Monkey are said to be quick-witted, curious, innovative and mischievous - not unlike the luxury jewellery that captures their spirit. It looks like a fun year ahead for monkey-inspired pieces.

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