Transcript| 15 sep 2014
Maria Doulton: I'm in jewellery heaven as the Biennale des Antiquaires is quite simply the most amazing jewellery show in the world. The best jewellery companies have been working for two years to create the best jewels they can possibly make, and you've got but 10 days to come and see them. I'm going to take a look.
I love this necklace by Van Cleef & Arpels, which is called Rose Marine. It is in fact inspired by an Indian sunset and that pinky hue that you get just as the sun disappears. This is all captured in a Wello opal, tourmalines and some incredibly deep blue lapis lazuli, and you can wear it as a long sautoir or as two bracelets. This necklace has in fact been sold, so it won't be seen again, so this is a very special, exclusive moment for The Jewellery Editor.
Graff returns to the Biennale in grand style, and you must see its stand because I have never seen this amount of incredible diamonds all in one place, and one that you can't fail but stare at is the Royal Star of Paris, which is perhaps the most valuable brooch ever created. It's a daring combination of a 100-carat D Flawless white diamond, combined with a yellow diamond that's over 107 carats.
Francois Graff: I had to lose 100 carats of impure diamond surrounding the perfection that was left. Today, collectors want something really so extraordinary that they can probably safely say that it will be never done again in their lifetime, or their children's lifetimes.
Maria Doulton: Chaumet celebrates water in its many forms with the Lumières d'Eau jewels. What's interesting is that it hasn't used the obvious blue, but have instead explored the many forms of water, and I particularly like those that are frozen. It's captured in diamonds, opals and rock crystal.
Cartier Royale focuses on exceptional, supersized and even historical stones. This cornflower blue ring has a sapphire of almost 30 carats and is said to be one of the finest of its kind in the world, due to its colour and size. I've decided to show you this bracelet because it has a completely natural, untreated tanzanite at its centre.
For me, one of the highlights of the show is this Boucheron brooch, which was shown at the original 1925 exhibition in Paris of Arts Décoratifs that in fact gave art deco its name. Lee Siegelson tells us more.
Lee Siegelson: As you may know, the 1925 exhibition in Paris was the birth of art deco, and this bracelet I think is the best representation in the fair today of a piece of jewellery that shows where the birth of art deco started, in this room at the Grand Palais.
Maria Doulton: Piaget celebrates its 140th anniversary with a collection that looks back to the 1970s. And when you look at these designs you can see exactly what was happening at that time, with a lot of freedom and creativity, with hammered gold, stones such as turquoise combined with diamonds, and of course these cuff watches that I think so define Piaget.
Maison Giampiero Bodino is the newest brand to arrive at the Biennale, and Giampiero Bodino brings his love of Italy and of architecture and culture into these incredible jewels that are so rich in colour, as well as historical references. These rings were particularly appealing, and Giampiero Bodino explained to us how he likes the way that a new effect is created by layering a large stone over a series of smaller stones, and letting the light shine through and create its own special effects.
This impressive choker may look classical at first sight, but if you look again you can see it's actually very contemporary, and that's what Giampiero Bodino is doing in these jewels - he is taking references that we know and recognise from history, from art and then making them into something very new.
London jeweller David Morris comes to the Biennale for the first time and brings us this stunning 60.15 carat type IIA diamond that is from the famous Golconda Mine in India. This is the mine where the Koh-i-Noor diamond came from that's in the Crown Jewels. I was equally mesmerised by this incredible natural pearl that is 70mm, and it is in fact the largest round natural pearl in the world. It's set alongside a sapphire that is 125 carats, so that is quite a combination.
Christian Dior's skill as a couturier comes through in the Archi Dior collection, which takes his architectural approach to design and translates it into jewels. So believe it or not, ball gowns become sapphire and diamond creations, and these jewels are swagged, draped and pleated in ways you never thought possible. This is what the designer, Victoire de Castellane, set out to do, to transform this architectural vision into jewellery, and I really think she's achieved it.
This display of sapphires at Alexander Reza comes from their extensive inventory that has been collected since the 1950s. So these stones will appear in jewellery over the coming years, and expect to see something very fabulous.
At Bulgari I caught up with an old friend, because this is, of course, Liz Taylor's emerald necklace from Bulgari. And there's also a more contemporary way to wear your emeralds at Bulgari, and this necklace of emerald beads weighs in at over 1,000 carats and has two detachable snake earrings.
Welcome to the world of Wallace Chan, which is weird and wonderful. This year he has really gone overboard, but I'm going to focus on this Vividity brooch, which has an unusual selection of stones, including elbaite, green tourmalines, rubies, diamonds and lots of sapphires, and it only weighs the same as an iPhone.
Wallace Chan: [Foreign speech 0:06:16 - 0:06:24].
Maria Doulton: I've shown you but the tip of the iceberg of what there is to see here at the Biennale des Antiquaires, so come see for yourself. It's on until the 21 September at the Grand Palais in Paris.
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