The darkened room at 30 Avenue Montaigne in Paris, where Dior chose to launch its Granville haute joaillerie collection earlier this year, created a striking contradiction. To your right were long cabinets decorated with ceilings of elaborate flowers, which contained the bright Granville collections that clashed together a world of exotic gems. On your left were similar displays, but inside were oversized rolls of blue, green and red ribbons arranged next to elegant designs that celebrated the simplicity of classic sapphire, emerald and ruby jewellery.
In recent years, the jewellery world has developed a fascination with all manner of unusual gemstones. Little-known gems suddenly became must-haves, and prices rocketed accordingly. Perhaps the best example of this is Paraiba tourmalines, a neon-blue gemstone from Brazil that has featured in the collections of most major houses in the past year or two.
While the Dior Granville collection completely answered this thirst for the unusual, and its designs with mismatched gems and settings felt very cool and modern, there was also something undeniably fresh about Victoire de Castellane’s choice to revisit the classic trio of emeralds, sapphires and rubies for its Milieu du Siecle Diamant line.
Other jewellery houses have also been building collections around what Damiani refers to as “the splendid triptych”. The new rings from its Emozioni collection star either a sapphire, ruby or emerald at the centre, out from which fan marquise-cut diamonds, each edged with smaller round brilliants, to make the stones look larger from a distance.
Bayco also celebrates the trio of precious gems in its Monochrome Lotus collection. Each design stars a large cut of one of the gems set within a pavé of the same variation but in miniature, edged with strips of tiny white diamonds – the idea being that each should “be crafted using one specific colour, therefore creating a simple, yet elegant, way for a woman to express herself”.
The simplicity of rubies, emeralds and sapphires was also on the mind of Caroline Scheufele when creating the Precious collection unveiled by Chopard earlier this year. While Chopard has led the charge into exciting new gems – and indeed, at the same time as Precious, launched other collections with more exotic choices, such as its Temptations line starring rubellites, kunzites and beryls in Paraiba-like shades – one of its major launches starred the three most classic gems. Set in ballet-inspired, tutu-like swirls across necklaces, earrings, rings and watches are pear-shaped blue sapphires, emeralds or rubies.
The nature of trends is to come full circle, so after a fling with the unusual and the uncharted, it is little wonder that many gemstone lovers are now returning to the tried-and-tested holy trinity of sapphire, emerald and ruby jewellery.