De Beers Swan Lake Collection

Classic ballet is the inspiration for De Beers' new high jewellery collection, Swan Lake. Creative Director Raphaele Canot talked me through this subtle and very sophisticated collection.

DE BEERS, Swan Lake Bracelet Pink Gold. POA

Classic ballet is the inspiration for De Beers' new high jewellery collection, Swan Lake. Creative Director Raphaele Canot talked me through this subtle and very sophisticated collection. De Beers' new high jewellery collection, Swan Lake brings a contemporary feel to the classic diamond necklace. The new collection captures the femininity and beauty of ballet in a collection that mixes different diamond cuts - including round, oval, pear, marquise, baguette as well as traditional rose-cuts and briolettes - as well as pastel colour, fancy grade diamonds. Raphaele Canot explained to me how this collection is a re-interpretation of a classic diamond line necklace, which like a classic ballet, is open to re-interpretation by different generations. "Like a ballet that looks effortless, there is a lot of work and rigour behind this collection," explains Canot. "The settings are as light as the effect of a ballerina being lifted into the air and with the semi-bezel setting we have adopted, the diamonds appear to float in the air. The settings, that have no prongs let the light in from the sides and you can see much more of the diamond." Canot has chosen the wide mix of cuts to give the diamonds a rhythm and contemporary feel. She mixes the soft glow of old-style rose-cuts with modern brilliants and the luxury of briolette drops. Canot places a rose-cut at the centre of one necklace and complements it with other rounded cuts such as marquise or pear cuts. "The clean sparkle of the white baguette cut is like a breath. And by putting space in between each diamond there is a feeling of lightness that you wouldn't have if you put the diamonds in a line. " While some versions include only white diamonds, soft pastel hued diamonds feature in other models. "I have looked for new colour palettes that have not been used before such as pinky orange, smoky grey and light green. These colours are very hard to find as they are not found in any one specific mine so they have to be hunted down." Canot shows me a pear cut grey diamond that has a bewitching stormy sky appeal. "This is one of my favourites because it is so unusual," she says. "These are called 'diamonds of character' and they normally wouldn't come to the market as you never get two the same so they are difficult to sell." I love how Canot has used delicate facetted diamond beads on the top half of one necklace. This gives the necklace more flexibility as well as less formal look than  bezel-set diamonds going all the way around the neck. All the necklaces feature a detachable pendant transforming it into a choker, and Canot believes that chokers are back. As well as mixing colours and cuts, Canot has also played with different tones of gold. In a necklace with a variety of pastel diamonds, a pink may be set in rose gold and an orange in yellow gold or a grey in white gold, all in the same necklace. A black gold version avoids looking heavy by only having the darker metal on the bezels and not the entire setting. Each of the diamonds is no larger than 3 carats (except for the briolette pendants) and Canot points out why: "It is not about the size of the diamonds but how they are set and spaced." The price of the collection ranges from £90,000 to £300,000 and clients can customise the pieces.

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