High Jewelry Dazzles in Post-Pandemic Return to Society

In perhaps its biggest season yet, the diamond industry is seeing an increase in sales of exceptional diamonds in 2022, including those used most commonly in high jewelry collections.

 

Showcases for luxury houses recently altered the trajectory of high jewelry as the world returns to a post-pandemic lifestyle.

Houses such as Cartier, Chanel and Gucci created stunning exhibits to reveal their latest collections, pulling inspiration from destinations, the legacy of their founders and exquisite jewels.

Many fine jewelry brands saw a dip in sales throughout the pandemic and amidst geopolitical uncertainty in Ukraine. Still, as the affluent continued to amass wealth, high jewelers showcased their record-breaking collections as societies worldwide began to emerge from their lockdowns.

A Return to History

Across luxury houses, many take inspiration from past collections and revisit their motifs and history.

In their latest campaign, Chanel reflects on high jewelry, reviving its heritage. This year, Chanel celebrates its 90th anniversary as it reprises celestial themes in the Comet, Moon and Sun chapters. Chanel’s 77-piece collection converges its honorary theme in its Allure Celeste necklace with its detachable diamond comets and halos that can be worked in 20 different ways.

Gucci’s high jewelry collection Hortus Deliciarum, Latin for ‘Garden of Delights,’ revisits its iconography to emulate “historical and architectural eras suspended in time and space.” A maximalist’s dream, Gucci draws influence from 19th-century Grand Tours and romantic Italian craftsmanship. One such piece from the collection even holds a micro-mosaic of St. Peter’s Basilica nested between a necklace of stars in diamonds and sapphires.

However, Gucci wasn’t the only luxury house to feature architecture. Hermès’ Couleur du Jour necklace was heavily inspired by the stained glass windows in the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris.

Popular Art Styles

Timeless, classic art styles also saw a revival in various high jewelry collections such as neo-Art Deco and the Op Art Movement.

Cartier’s Beautés du Monde collection showcased the Artios necklace. Styled with 16 Colombian emeralds totaling 41.34 carats on an openwork chain of diamond with onyx accents, the necklace emulates a neo-Art Deco style that rose in popularity during the 1920s and is seeing a resurgence today.

DeBeers paid tribute to Victor Vasarely, leader of the Op Art Movement, with its seven-piece parure called Optical Wonder, which experiments with pavé diamonds, anodized titanium and aluminum.

Exceptional Diamonds

In perhaps its biggest season yet, the diamond industry is seeing an increase in sales of exceptional diamonds in 2022, including those used most commonly in high jewelry collections.

Supply chain issues as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the global diamond industry hard. In 2020, the total value of the diamond jewelry market amounted to 68 billion, an $11 billion decrease from the previous year. Despite poor projections, luxury houses aim to dazzle with new collections as a reintroduction to normalcy with bigger diamonds than ever before.

Van Cleef & Arpels crafted Atours Mystérieux, a transformable diamond and ruby necklace inspired by pieces from its archive, with the heaviest stone in the collection. At 79.35 carats, the center-piece diamond steals the spotlight.

The global luxury jewelry market, separate from the diamond industry, is expected to reach $70.2 billion by 2028. China and India are the two largest segments for luxury jewelry in the Asia Pacific market, accounting for the largest revenue share of 65.4 percent in 2020.


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