In JCK‘s 150th anniversary issue, which just came out, there’s an article tracing the history of pearls in America. This is not a tale we could tell without noting the contributions of Kokichi Mikimoto and his pearl company’s legacy of quality, incredible beauty, and innovation.
At the center of the article—literally straddling the middle of the first spread—is a magnificent necklace that shows how far Mikimoto is willing to push the limits of jewelry design and craftsmanship as a 21st-century pearler. The necklace, pictured below, is part of the Jardin Mystérieux high jewelry collection, which premiered over the weekend in Tokyo.
Its a great example of the house’s relatively recent affinity for embracing the breathtaking magic that occurs when pearls are paired with vibrant colored gemstones such as lilac- and wisteria-hued spinel and tanzanite and the brightest pink sapphires.
Jardin Mystérieux is an ode to palace gardens of the sort enjoyed by European royals and aristocrats, conjuring images of strolling courtiers and parasols, poetry readings and resplendent tea parties on the lawn, swans blithely gliding on a fountain-studded pool, and kisses stolen behind a flowering hedge.
Seven brooches stand out as highlights. Each depicts a garden scene, or garden inhabitant, with remarkable detail, from “wrought-iron” gates and arches heaped with climbing roses to a formal garden’s labyrinthine pathways, where a single mimosa tree greets blue sapphire–studded doves in flight.
A graceful swan and a majestic peacock complete this whimsical tableau with a sweep of shimmering pearl or colored gemstone feathers.
Top: Brooch with natural freshwater pearls, sapphires, tourmaline, garnets, alexandrite, and diamonds in 18k white gold, price on request
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