From colourful earrings and slinky bangles to intricate gold work and neon enamel rings, these are some of the coolest jewels you can buy this Christmas.
Pippa Small's fine jewellery pieces are instantly recognisable with their natural, tactile and earthy designs. Having collaborated with Gucci, Nicole Fahri, Chloe and more, her own collections have a raw, quite literally strung-together quality, which feels both effortlessly elegant and comfortably down-to-earth. As an anthropologist and humanitarian, Pippa Small spends much of her time with the poorest communities around the world from the Afghan jewellers of Turqouise Mountains to the slum children of Nairobi, helping them to create and bring to European and US markets their jewels - the income from which helps improve their lives. She is also one of the first fine jewellery designers to use FairTrade gold.
Established in Milan in 1967 by Pino Rabolini, Pomellato has already become one of the giants in European high jewellery. A forward-thinking company in its philosophy, Pomellato originally made waves with its prêt-à-porter collections, liberating women to take advantage of luxuriant elegance wherever they where, whatever they were doing. From its classic Re and Regina pendants through to "M'ama non m'ama" and the phenomenally successful Nudo stacking rings, its innovative and colourful use of precious stones makes for cuts that carry a softer shape than other companies, displaying an unquestionably unique style.
Before launching his eponymous fine jewellery collection in 1999, Shaun Leane was a longstanding collaborator with the late Alexander McQueen, providing provocative jewels for his legendary catwalk shows. Be it his recent Blackthorn collection, or the exquisitely shaped and gracefully set Salomé pieces, his works channel Art Nouveau aesthetics with a sentimental, often poetic edge, that appeal to the likes of Daphne Guinness, who recently commissioned the "Contra Mundum" gold and diamond gauntlet.
Solange Azagury-Partridge's fine jewellery collections blend pop-art immediacy with ancient mysticism - the pieces themselves bearing vigorous energy and bold craftsmanship. From the striking rock-and-roll colours of her enamel pieces to her wildly colourful Poptails cocktail rings, and her collaborations with Swarovski and H&M, there's much to admire here.
Polish-born Tomasz Donocik is a trailblazer in contemporary jewellery, creating pieces that combine the traditional craft of an artisan with bold and inspired designs that take their cue from literature, architecture, surrealism and even 80s sci-fi. Named UK Jewellery Designer of the Year in 2011, his jewels win awards year after year, including the 2016 Couture Design Awards in Las Vegas for his Stellar earrings, pictured.
Sumptuous, brightly coloured jewellery and luxury watches are a signature of Bulgari, one of the most revered jewellery houses in the world. Bulgari is known for its architectural designs, iconic Serpenti jewellery and watches, and use of brilliantly coloured gemstones, favourites of which include emeralds and rubies. Bulgari has created some of the most valuable and exquisite jewellery ever auctioned. Whether they are worn in Cannes or at the Oscars, the red carpet is awash with colour whenever Bulgari jewellery is on show. Jessica Chastain famously wore Elizabeth Taylor's emerald brooch and ring, both by Bulgari, at the Cannes Film Festival, and Bulgari carries its bold and colourful approach through to its ladies' and men's watches. Bulgari approaches all of its creations, be it jewellery, watches or accessories, with rigorous care and precision, which ensures that, despite imitations, there is only one Bulgari.
Steeped in family history that utilises the very best of Florence's goldsmiths, Carolina Bucci's high jewellery is regularly on display in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and W magazine, appearing herself on Vanity Fair's "Power Player" list. Her high jewellery designs are ingenious, such as her Woven collection using an ancient Florentine textile loom adapted by her father to weave together gold and silk threads.
London's Hannah Martin founded her very particular fine jewellery and accessory brand in 2005, aiming it at an audience often overlooked by other companies: men. Since then Hannah Martin has also designed collections for women, but regardless of gender, the ethos remains the same. Each fine jewellery piece is imbued with a carefree rock and roll approach, defined by strong lines and an extravagance with an almost cavalier attitude. Every design stems from Martin's firm belief that luxury is something that should have a lasting veracity, which stems from edgy, inventive, and genuinely unique craftsmanship.
German-born artist and fine jewellery designer Ute Decker puts equal importance on the provenance of her materials as the sculptural beauty of her finished creations. Inspired by the ancient Japanese philosophy of wabi sabi, Ute Decker has crafted fine jewellery that is minimalist yet magnificently realised.
Fernando Jorge, an award-winning young Brazilian fine jewellery designer based in London, creates jewels that are highly original and very sexy. Fluid lines, soft shapes and sensuous curves make his fine jewellery pieces almost cling to the skin. In some models, even the stones are carved into smooth shapes to add to the tactile appeal of his creations.
Gaia Repossi is the third generation to helm her family's Italian fine jewellery house, Repossi. Although based on Place Vendôme, "we still use the same ateliers as my grandfather and father in northern Italy," she explains. "The head of the atelier is the same person who worked with my father for 30 years." Raised in the south of France surrounded by statement gems created by her father Alberto Repossi, these are not Gaia's personal style. "I would not wear a single jewel as a teenager. I think it's only when you look at design in a radical way, with a strong desire to shift things, that jewellery gets interesting," she says. Joining the business in 2007, when she was 22, she is famed for her Berbère and black-gold Art Nouveau Nérée fine jewellery collections. Her minimalist Berbère ring and ear cuffs have a huge fan base in the world of entertainment.
Piaget has been making luxury watches since 1874, and since the 1960s has been applying its expertise to fine jewellery with incredible success. Both its watches and jewellery embody the innovative and original craftsmanship of the company that, more than 50 years ago, took the bold decision to only work with precious metals. Watchmaking feats include the ultra-thin Calibre 9P manual-winding movement in 1957, and in 1960 the automatic Calibre 12P movement at 2.3mm - making it the thinnest self-winding movement in the world. The house's ultra slim movements have made an icon of the Altiplano, as it allowed the house to experiment with exotic stone dials in the 1960s - a spirit that fuelled later design audacity such as the Emperador, or the perennially popular Piaget Polo.