Jewellery aren’t just pretty accessories to adorn one’s self, they’re also fine pieces that have an entire story behind them – from the conceptualisation to the savoir-faire required to craft each ornament. With each new fine or high jewellery debut, there’s always something unexpected and unique to look forward to.
Then there are classic collections that are known and loved for their timeless quality. They transcend new trends and find new ways to evolve into the contemporary era. Whether you covet or wear them, these are the 7 most iconic jewellery collections of all time.
Chopard Happy Hearts
Joy and happiness lie at the heart of a piece of Chopard jewellery. The Maison’s Happy Hearts collection was made for the everyday woman with a big and generous heart, becoming symbols of love, luck, and joie de vivre. Some of the most memorable pieces in Happy Hearts are the whimsical bangles – which feature a coloured heart and a heart containing a mobile diamond, the Happy Hearts Wings – where three hearts form an elegant butterfly, and the Happy Hearts watch – where mobile diamonds are housed within its dial. Through its collection, Chopard has also associated it with various non-profit, women-led organisations, such as the Naked Heart Foundation, the All Hands and Hearts Foundation, and the Education Above All Foundation.
Understated yet alluring, Piaget’s Possession collection is beloved for its infinitely whimsical, dynamic design. Think simple yet stunning pieces that celebrate movement, encrusted with diamonds and embellished with precious stones for a touch of colour. The turning rings encircle the finger playfully, while the pendants, bracelets, and earrings become feminine modern-day talismans that can worn from day to night. The idea of open rings and open bangles further root the message of freedom and movement, enabling mixing-and-matching with other accessories to create a stunning effect.
One of the most recognisable jewellery collections is without a doubt – the Bulgari Serpenti. The seductive Serpenti collection stars the enigmatic serpent, a motif that represents wisdom, vitality, and the circle of life in ancient Greek and Roman mythology. Bulgari Serpenti kicked off in the 1940s when wristwatches took the form of the elegant snake, and used the Tubogas technique which would then become a hallmark of the Maison. The serpent eventually slithered its way to bracelets, timepieces, necklaces, rings, bags, and other accessories, hypnotising its admirers with its supple, flexible shape and vivid hues courtesy of the precious materials and gemstones used.
How far would you go for Love? The timeless Love bracelets by Cartier are created to “lock” you into their loving grasp, with its distinctive screw motifs, oval shape, as well as the need for a tool to actually remove the bracelets. First designed in 1969 by Aldo Cipullo, the earlier versions of the bracelet featured gold plating, while more recent designs have seen the bracelet fashioned out of yellow gold, pink gold, and white gold. Its popularity eventually birthed an expansion of the line based on the original design, including rings, earrings, necklaces, watches, and even cufflinks.
Van Cleef & Arpels Alhambra
It was the year 1968 when Van Cleef & Arpels unveiled its enchanting Alhambra jewellery collection, featuring the four-leaf clover motif which has served as an inspiration and emblem of luck for the Maison since the 1920s. The star of the collection was the Alhambra long necklace, which comprised of 20 four-leaf clovers in creased yellow gold and trimmed with gold beads. The symbolic design was an instant hit, and since then we have been treated to new reinventions of the Alhambra necklace and the collection.
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Tiffany Return to Tiffany
Distinguished by its heart tag, the widely admired Return to Tiffany jewellery takes its inspiration from a key ring of the same name that debuted in 1969. Each key ring sold was engraved with a special serial number and registered so that if lost, it could be returned to the Fifth Avenue Tiffany flagship store and reunited with its owner. Today, the Return to Tiffany collection features cuffs, bracelets, tag necklaces, rings, and pendants sporting the message “Please Return to Tiffany & Co New York”. The motif continues to evolve throughout the years, taking the form of different inspirations such as an urban garden for the 2019 Love Bugs collection, while the 2020 Spring collection takes on a cooler, contemporary approach.
The camellia flower has long been the official flower for Maison Chanel. The fashion House’s matriarch, Gabrielle Chanel admired the simplicity and purity represented by the delicate flower, and favoured its classic, geometric roundedness compared to the more opulent rose. Her love for the camellia then spurred the annual jewellery collections for the brand, which reinterpret the flower on rings, pendants, necklaces, brooches, and embroidered watch dials.
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Photos courtesy of the respective brands.