Van Cleef & Arpels - Zodiac Set

A superb series of jewellery based on the twelve star signs

by 02 October 2012

These beautiful pieces by Van Cleef & Arpels possibly fill a gap in the world of haute joiaillerie. Star signs are generally a favourite amongst lower-end jewellery, but why not propose the elemental appeal of astrology to the high-end market? These pieces were presented in September at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, as part of the Palais de la Chance collection. The pieces take different approaches in different signs, but the metaphor drawn between gems and stars is always apparent, along with some lovely design work.

Aries, for example, is a realistic depiction of a ram, in diamonds and yellow sapphires, with four lovely Mandarin garnets in a bright orange shade. The sign of Cancer is treated in a different way, in just diamonds, onyx and a pearl, a delicate symphony in black and white, ideal for the sign ruled by the moon. Leo is a bold flurry of yellow and white diamonds, sapphires, and an oval cut ruby. Aquarius takes the form of a graceful female figure pouring a constellation of precious stones from an amphora in sapphire. In the Pisces clip, the Van Cleef & Arpels artists were inspired by Greek mythology and a tale in which Aphrodite and Eros escape from the sea-monster Typhon by transforming themselves into fish. Lapislazzuli create an ultramarine blue accent with the diamonds and a 35 carat aquamarine.

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Biennale des Antiquaires

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In the title photo above, Aries, white gold, diamonds, yellow gold, gradation of yellow and orange sapphires, Mandarin garnets, blue sapphire, and 4 oval-cut Mandarin garnets weighing 20.95 carats in total.

Below, Taurus, white gold, diamonds, emeralds, one carved emerald of 14.41 carats, onyx, grey mother-of-pearl and one cabochon-cut sapphire.

Below, Gemini, white gold, diamonds, white mother-of-pearl, yellow gold, yellow sapphires, lapis lazuli beads, one 14.07-carat cushion-cut yellow sapphire and rose-cut diamond faces.

Below, Cancer, white gold, diamonds, onyx and one white cultured pearl with a diameter of 16.40 mm.

Below, Leo, yellow gold, yellow diamonds, white gold, diamonds, sapphires and one oval-cut ruby of 3.09 carats.

Below, Virgo, white gold, diamonds, sapphires, red gold, Mystery Set™ sapphires and rose-cut diamond face.

  

Below, Libra, white gold, diamonds, onyx, red coral, white cultured pearls, yellow gold and tsavorite garnets.

Below, Scorpio, white gold, diamonds, multicolored sapphires and spinels, and one 12.93-carat black opal.

Below, Sagittarius, white gold, diamonds, yellow gold, yellow sapphires, 5 Mandarin garnets weighing 24.36 carats in total.

Below, Capricorn, white gold, diamonds, rubies, colored sapphires, onyx and black lacquer.

Below, Aquarius, white gold, diamonds, black lacquer, sapphires, 5 star sapphires weighing 18.28 carats in total, red gold, Mystery Set™ sapphires and rose-cut diamond face.

Below, Pisces, white gold, diamonds, lapis lazuli and one 35.40-carat emerald-cut aquamarine.