Last month, we wrote about the slew of colored stone butterfly motifs we saw at the jewelry shows in Las Vegas. But we saved the most impressive butterfly collection of all for last. Studded with fancy cuts, fancy colors, and impressive sprinklings of pavé, De Beers Jewellers’ new diamond-intensive Portraits of Nature collection is a soaring, sparkling ode to the winged creature’s transformative symbolism, and a perfect example of why the butterfly has resonated with so many jewelers this year.
Composed of butterfly designs in both the fine jewelry and high jewelry spheres—the latter range contains pieces set with colored diamonds in a gamut of brilliant hues, from brown to pink to yellow to orange—the collection arrives at a time when the concept of transformation is especially meaningful to consumers.
“Every piece in the Portraits of Nature collection is an ethereal expression of the wearer’s ever-evolving personal journey,” Céline Assimon, CEO of De Beers Jewellers, said in a statement. “The African monarch butterfly is iconic within Africa, a continent close to our heart, so with this new collection we connect our clients to the De Beers Diamond Route, 500,000 acres of conservation land that celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.”
Spanning seven conservation properties and one heritage site located across Botswana and South Africa, the Diamond Route is home to more than 100 species of butterflies. Established in 2002 as part of a conservation effort undertaken by the De Beers Group, the area includes the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa, where the campaign featuring the collection was shot.
The 11 butterfly pieces that comprise the fine jewelry range feature wings outlined in pavé-set diamonds and patterns that evoke a sense of movement. For example, the 18k gold pendant, available in either rose or white gold, is centered on a marquise-shape diamond that represents the body of the butterfly. It is accompanied by a similarly styled ring, stud earrings, and a delicate bracelet, among other designs.
In the high jewelry range, the pieces include earrings, cocktail rings, brooches, and necklaces distinguished by openwork on the wings, beguiling assortments of fancy color diamonds (all-white diamond versions are also available), and elements that allow the pieces to be transformed—say, from a brooch, into a clip that attaches to an 18k white gold diamond necklace. The line also includes a white diamond headband set with a detachable butterfly that looks as if it’s alighting on the hair.
The through line that connects all the designs is a startling verisimilitude. Through the delicacy of its craftsmanship, De Beers has captured the butterfly in all its graceful glory.
Top: Model wearing Portraits of Nature headband and high jewelry earrings, photographed at the Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve in South Africa (photos courtesy of De Beers Jewellers)Follow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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