By Åse Anderson
A dazzling medallion necklace will elevate any outfit from bland to bling in the seconds it takes to fasten the clasp. A word of caution though: if you prefer to blend into the background, steer clear of these attention-grabbing bejewelled discs. If, on the other hand, you don't mind basking in the reflected glory of a design that dates back to the reign of Alexander the Great, you will rejoice in the return of the medallion - the ultimate statement necklace.
These latest incarnations are far removed from the "medallion man" of the 1960s and 1970s, with a few too many buttons undone on his shirt to reveal a golden disc hanging casually from his neck. Firmly ensconced in the realms of high jewellery, these pieces are dripping in precious gems, from emeralds and diamonds to sapphires and pearls.
From Chanel's newest high jewellery collection Les Intemporels, the Spirale necklace glistens with diamonds and pearls, while the Lion Talisman depicts one of Gabrielle Chanel's favourite motifs, the king of the jungle, in black and white diamonds. For a more colourful but no less luxurious option, the Chanel Café Society necklace incorporates seven different gemstones in a dazzling circular display.
With a mix of rough and polished diamonds, the De Beers Talisman medallion recalls the ancient talismanic powers associated with the sparkling gemstone, while the aptly named Mind Games necklace by Zaiken for Gemfields incorporates a working maze in which a diamond moves through emerald-encrusted walls.
For pure opulence, you can't beat the Lumieres d'Eau necklace from Chaumet's Biennale high jewellery collection, set with an Ethiopian, cabochon-cut white opal surrounded by sapphires, diamonds and amethyst beads. Another one-off creation that is sure to put a swagger in your step is Louis Vuitton's Chain Attraction necklace, which boasts a fiery topaz in its centre.
Worn on its own or layered up, a medallion pendant is the ultimate piece statement necklace this spring.