De Beers presented a new diamond jewellery collection called 'Imaginary Nature' that is unlike anything I have seen from this house. Of course we all expect diamonds, and lots of them and of the highest quality from a name like De Beers, but this collection based on movement and metamorphosis is far more artistic than the previous collections seen from this house.
These all-white diamond and platinum jewels capture the idea of wings opening to take flight. But the theme is more fantastical than a literal interpretation of birds and flight and aims to express the moment Nature is about to unfurl, be they wings of a bird or a flower that is about to bloom. This feeling of lightness and floating is captured in the very airy structure of the jewels with light mounts and plenty of open work. The diamonds are set to achieve a maximum exopsure of fire and metal is kept to a minimum and works hard behind the scenes creating a look that is almost downy in its softness - something you wouldn't expect from cold diamonds and hard metal.
Pear-shaped diamonds, that designer Raphael Canot considers to be the most feminine of cuts, are the centre piece of the main jewels. The pear-cut diamond appears to be caressed by swirls of cool baguettes and ribbons of closely-set brilliant-cut diamonds that are shrouded in a mist of even more pear-cut diamonds, that in the necklace are all set at graduated angles and slightly overlapping like feathers themselves.
Talking to Raphael Canot, she explains that this effect is achieved by firstly choosing the right cuts of diamonds that offer maximum fire and are what she describes as "full of life."
"This is not just about the clarity and the colour, but about the cut," Raphael Canot says, " and it is also more than just DIF diamonds (the top clarity and colour grading for white diamonds) as we are giving birth to a new wonder."
You will notice that there are no square-cut diamonds and the central pear-cut diamonds appear to be shrouded by the other stones that wrap around it. "We wanted to create the feeling of the marvel of nature as a frail thing as opposed to look achieved by rigid symmetrical settings," explains Raphael Canot, who incidently has just recently left the firm.
A compact collection of just seven pieces, 'Imaginary Nature' sets De Beers on the map as a jeweller capable of creating imaginative jewels with a story to tell and the ability to delight and surprise rather than just the place to go for classic style diamond solitaire rings and perfect diamond necklaces. This marks a new direction for the house and I will be following them closely.