My year in diamonds: best of high jewellery 2015

Maria Doulton looks back on the high jewellery highlights of 2015 and selects her favourites from around the world.

Cartier Étourdissant Violine long necklace

We are living in the midst of a jewellery renaissance. Our generation has been privilege to lay its eyes on more one-of-a-kind, high jewellery creations than any other. And I have been fortunate enough to see and even try on almost every one of these jewels that make up the very best of 2015.

Cartier’s Étourdissant collection was brave, richly coloured and bold - all the hallmarks of this French jeweller. This large collection of one-off jewels was presented in three phases in three locations around the world: Cannes, Singapore and Miami. The collection stands out for its exciting use of unusual stones such as the combination of chalcedony, amethyst and diamonds in the lariat-style, back-to-front Cartier Étourdissant Violine necklace.

Read more about the Cartier Etourdissant high jewellery collection 

The show-stopping Giampiero Bodino Barocco choker, set with cascades of blue and green African Paraiba tourmalines totalling 326.21cts in white gold with diamonds.

Maison Giampiero Bodino gracefully glided into the world of high jewellery in 2015 when it opened the doors of its suitably discreet and elegant headquarters in Milan, the only place from which to buy these one-of-a-kind creations. The Barocco choker showcases Bodino’s ability to create majestic jewels shot through with a jolt of contemporary cool.

Read more about Giampiero Bodino jewellery

Saturated colour palettes dripping with lush, exotic hues were prevalent in 2015 and particularly so in the Soie Dior couture-inspired jewels, and the Van Cleef & Arpels Seven Seas marine-themed offerings from the deep. Although Arunashi takes the prize with a spectacular cuff featuring two of the hottest stones of 2015: Brazilian Paraiba tourmalines and Ethiopian opals

Read more about the Soie Dior high jewellery collection

Wallace Chan's intricately detailed Return of the King bangle features icy white carved jade and diamonds set in titanium.
Michelle Ong created a necklace of softly subtle hues ranging from yellow through pink and lavender jade, to the classic green we associate with this stone. Chinese jewellery maverick Wallace Chan offered a new vision of oriental jewellery with stunning, yet delicate, pieces such as the icy jade cuff with diamonds set in purple titanium.

Read more about jadeite jewellery

Hemmerle of Munich found new ways to delight using the most unexpected materials. I love these mismatched earrings made of demantoides, sphenes, brass and gold.

More conventional in its use of precious materials but in no way conformist, Boghossian of Geneva makes diamonds and precious stones dance to new tunes. These parures from the Ballet Oriental family combine more than 200 carats of white and yellow diamonds with a lightness and grace few jewellers can master. 

Read more about Boghossian Jewels 

Black Tahitian pearls nestle in a perfect row of lustrous pearls, cinched by a black onyx shield with an impressive diamond at its centre, on the Newport necklace from Louis Vuitton's Acte V/The Escape high jewellery collection.

The Louis Vuitton Acte V/The Escape collection captured the joy of the golden age of travel in jewels that are easy to wear, despite their high value, such as this pearl, diamond and onyx necklace that slips over the head with the ease of a summer kaftan. And last, but certainly not least, is the De Beers Talisman Wondrous Sphere. This is not a jewel but rather an object for a collector with a spare million dollars and a desire to own a mini universe of coloured diamonds in both their rough, raw state as well as in all their polished perfection. 

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