At last month’s Baselword fair, I spent the bulk of my time in the watch hall. To give my brain a break from talking about movements, hairsprings, dial treatments, and, especially, smartwatches, I escaped into the jewelry hall, where it soon became clear that necklaces are the statement jewels du jour. Here are five of my faves.
Amrapali Ruby Necklace
London-based Amrapali has fashioned the Mozambican rubies at the heart of this elaborate bib-style yellow gold necklace into a lotus symbol, which is signature to the brand. The lotus was a recurring motif in its Baselworld collection, as were rubies—don’t miss the Jewel Box section of JCK‘s upcoming May issue for a spectacular example of Amrapali’s way with the rich red gems.
Georg Jensen’s Dew Drop Necklace
Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe was my kind of woman. Born in Malmö, Sweden, in 1927, the silversmith and jeweler lived in Paris and Indonesia, cavorted with the likes of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, and created some of the most memorable designs of the 20th century for the Danish jeweler Georg Jensen. The brand honors her legacy this year with a series of Dew Drop “neck ring” and pendant inspired by one of her iconic styles. The ruby version shown below—featuring Mozambican rubies from Gemfields—makes clear one of Torun’s core philosophies: that the clasp is just as important as the design itself and should be worn front and center.
Courtesy Georg Jensen
Marco Bicego Unico Necklace
The Italian jeweler’s big focus for spring 2015 is the Lunaria collection, as well as two fetching and very wearable spin-off lines, Diamond Lunaria and Aqua Lunaria. But I’m partial to the one-of-a-kind Unico pieces the brand unveiled in Basel, including this sophisticated sapphire and diamond necklace in 18k yellow gold.
Courtesy Marco Bicego
Messika Joaillerie Miss Dietrich Collier
Ten years ago, Valérie Messika debuted a diamond jewelry collection that capitalized on her father’s expertise as a respected diamond dealer. This year, the designer presented a line of high jewelry pieces crafted in her new Parisian atelier. The Miss Dietrich necklace shown below, with its 860 diamonds totaling 77.25 cts., is a rich example of Messika’s knack for setting stones to create dramatic silhouettes distinguished by intriguing use of shapes and textures.
Courtesy Messika Joaillerie
Sutra Turquoise and Brown Diamond Necklace
It’s no secret that JCK’s editors are enamored with the creations of Houston-based Sutra. And why wouldn’t we be? Owners Divyanshu Navlakha and Arpita Parikh consistently turn out mouth-watering jewels with exceptional color combinations and top-quality gems. Case in point: This $150,000 18k black gold collar necklace set with 144 cts. t.w. Sleeping Beauty turquoise and 56 cts. t.w. brown diamonds.
Editor’s Note: This post was updated on April 7 to reflect an update to an image. The original image shown for the Georg Jensen Dew Drop necklace was a rendering; it has been replaced by a photograph.