Every year, while Americans are celebrating the Fourth of July over fireworks, sparklers of an entirely different variety descend on Paris around the same time. Known as Paris Couture Week, this important summertime event is when some of the most influential fine jewelry houses unveil their high jewelry collections to buyers, press and other VIPs.
What do we mean by high jewelry? The New York Times described it this way: “one-of-a-kind pieces priced from $50,000 to several million dollars and often handcrafted in Vendôme ateliers to showcase precious stones and advanced artisanal techniques.” That basically translates to some of the most impressive new jewelry designs you’ll see all year (and quite a few of them make jaw-dropping gems the focus).
This year’s Paris Couture Week welcomed famed Japanese pearler Mikimoto and the USA’s David Yurman alongside the top-tier French maisons (think Van Cleef & Arpels and Cartier).
Ahead, we recap five of the event’s best high jewelry collections—think of it as our version of a “postcard from Paris,” sealed with (rubellite-accented) kiss.
With “Carte Blanche, More is More,” Boucheron creative director Claire Choisne pushed the boundaries of traditional high jewelry with 30 ultra-modern jewelry designs made with unconventional materials (e.g. acetate, magnesium, lacquer, titanium, and resin). A playful theme—informed by extravagant volume, optical illusions, bold, Pop Art-inspired color combinations, and nods to surrealism—unites the pieces, from jewels for a hoodie sweatshirt to necklace inspired by a Rubik’s Cube.
Clockwise, from left: Tie the Knot brooch in red bio acetate and magnesium with diamonds. Earrings in white gold, yellow gold titanium, and lacquer with citrines, onyx, cacholongs, diamonds. Ring in resin, titanium and white gold with diamonds, yellow sapphires, and rock crystal. Parfum ring in rock crystal and white gold with 33.15-ct. elongated tanzanite and diamonds. Embroidered flower brooch in silver, white gold, and lacquer with diamonds. All prices on request.
With its new high jewelry collection, “Metaphoria,” Piaget has unveiled 52 exceptional pieces that refer back to the 21st Century collection that chairman Yves Piaget debuted in 1969. The 2023 reimagining of that series is a dazzling metaphor for nature and its every-changing shapes and textures. More specifically, the maison honed in on oceans, mountains and forests: “Our goal was to emphasize details that call to mind the flow of a waterfall or the rays of the sun, while inspiring a particular emotion,” said Stéphanie Sivrière, creative director at Piaget, in the collection notes. “The materials we use, from insect elytra to precious wood, were selected to bring an unpredictable, living element to a piece of 21st century high jewelry. ”
Clockwise, from left: Aura high jewelry watch with baguette diamonds and ombré blue sapphires. Foliatura necklace in yellow and white gold with diamonds and mother of pearl. Foliatura earrings in white gold with emeralds, chrysoprase, and diamonds. Adrivea earrings in white gold with aquamarines, diamonds and sapphires. Foliatura ring in white gold set with 5.34-ct. cushion-cut emerald chrysoprase and diamonds. Prices on request.
Showcased at the brand’s first international flagship store at 245 rue St. Honoré in Paris—which opened its doors in 2022—the “DY Genesis” high jewelry collection is inspired by the beauty of the natural world. Designed by David Yurman president and chief creative officer, Evan Yurman, the pieces lean heavily on botanical motifs, including tropical palm fronds and blossoms, and the flora and fauna of the ocean (think anemones and coral). “The DY Genesis High Jewelry collection represents the apex of innovation in design at David Yurman,” Yurman said in a statement. “Through the use of materials like aluminum, titanium and precious metals to highlight our most exceptional and rare gemstones, we’re evolving the brand codes of artistry and innovation while staying true to our heritage.”
Clockwise, from top left: Chrysanthemum earrings in 18k gold with red enamel and pavé sapphires. Monstera earring in anodized aluminum with emeralds. Fleurs De Mer pavé drop earrings in gold with light blue and violet sapphires. Dianthus drop earrings in gold, copper, and anodized aluminum with rubellites and diamonds. Prices on request.
Dovetailing with the brand’s 130th anniversary, Mikimoto’s “Praise to the Sea” high jewelry collection highlights its famous pearls in designs that embrace the ocean’s diverse life forms (including octopus, squid and jellyfish brooches and a necklace with a ruffled coral motif). Collectively the designs tell a story of brilliant light dancing on the ocean’s surface, the progression of colors from shallow waters down to the ocean’s depths, and clusters of fish traversing the open sea.
Clockwise, from top left: Blue Whale necklace in 18k gold with green tourmaline, aquamarine, sapphires and diamonds. Clownfish and Sea Anemone brooch in 18k gold and black rhodium with natural freshwater pearls, fire opal, garnets, sapphires, and diamonds. School of Fish earring in 18k gold with white South Sea pearls, alexandrites, aquamarines, tanzanites, tourmalines, amethysts, garnets, sapphires, spinels, and diamonds. Sea Urchin brooch with black South Sea pearl, diamonds, and mother of black South Sea pearl. Threadfit Butterfly brooch with akoya cultured pearls, beryl, sapphires, alexandrites , and diamonds. All prices on request.
A follow up to the first installment of De Beers’ high jewelry collection, which debuted in January, “Metamorphosis Chapter Two” celebrates the transformative aspects of diamonds with bold designs inspired by nature’s perpetual evolution. Divided into four sets, one for each season of the year, four distinct aesthetics emerge across 20 pieces, including modern multi-finger rings, ear cuffs, and an avant-garde tiara that dangles a glacial, glistening 8.49-ct. pear-shaped diamond at its center.
Clockwise, from top left: Summer butterfly ring in yellow and white gold with white and yellow diamonds and removable green titanium jacket. Winter tiara in platinum and multiple colors of titanium with rough and polished diamonds. Spring ring in gold and diamonds with 2.78-ct. fancy intense pinkish purple diamond. Autumn cocktail ring in white gold, rose gold, enamel, and diamonds. Prices on request.