The Jeweled Jungle Book

Hunt down your favourite amongst today's finest animal-inspired jewellery collections

by 09 May 2013

Beautiful jewellery literally comes in all shapes and sizes. Whether it is a ring, bracelet, necklace, a pair of earrings or cufflinks that you are looking for, there are more choices out there than you can imagine. Among the most sought-after jewellery designs, nature is one of the most celebrated themes. From fierce animals shimmering in dazzling gemstones to ephemeral blossoms captured forever in precious gold, the jewellery kingdom of fauna and flora is full of sumptuous finds. Get out there, explore and hunt down your favourite!

Chanel, after launching last year’s much-anticipated ‘1932’ collection with 80 high jewellery pieces celebrating the Mademoiselle’s favourite things in life, has now introduced yet another icon: the lion. Coco Chanel’s star sign and favourite animal is majestically featured on two new sautoir necklaces in the collection. One is set with a jawdropping 32-carat yellow diamond in a comet design topped by a rutile quartz lion. The other sautoir necklace, also with a diamond comet, sports a rock crystal lion. Rutile quartz and rock crystal – unexpected materials for high jewellery – add both visual and tactile interest to the ‘1932’ collection’s newest addition.

Wildlife has been roaming in Boucheron’s kingdom since 1858 when the Parisian jeweller opened its first boutique on 26 Place Vendome. The serpent, along with other creatures, has been a Boucheron icon since the late 19th century and animal design is still one of the maison’s greatest fortés today. From the Cabinet of Curiosities collection, the Hathi white and pink gold ring with an elephant design is a classic. Brown and white diamonds, orange, purple and black sapphires are set in an intricately-figured elephant, which seems to defy gravity. The Cypris ring featuring a pair of white and black diamond swans takes flight with its wingspanning silhouette. Boucheron’s playful side is evident in a whimsical tiger ring where the big cat perches its paws on your finger, with its tail wrapped around it. White and black diamonds recreate the animal’s distinctive stripes, while oversized emerald eyes add a fun touch to this fascinating jewellery piece.


Van Cleef & Arpels’ take on nature with its dazzling ‘Palais de la Chance’ collection is full of surprises. Swallows, storks, butterflies and creatures from the zodiac set come alive in bright palettes and unexpected silhouettes. The Hirondelles set is a nod to Art Deco, celebrating shades of green with a combination of emeralds, tsavorite garnets and chrysoprase beads. Also with an Art Deco-inspired silhouette is the Moments de Chance set featuring black and white butterflies, one of Van Cleef & Arpels’ most enduring symbols. The long necklace, detachable clip and earrings shine with diamonds, white cultured pearls and stunning onyx beads, in a glamorous, black-and-white design.

Cartier’s Naturellement collection celebrates the animal kingdom by showcasing some of the jungle’s most recognizable wildlife. A panther – entirely set in diamond with iconic emerald eyes – lie lazily on a platinum earring where white diamonds contrast with black onyx for a dramatic effect. Equally stunning is a pair of panther head earrings, with a cascade of diamonds flowing elegantly from the feline’s neck. The Naturellement collection takes flight with its aviary species. The parrot is depicted in over ten different designs - some regal, some simply adorable. Colourful gemstones exalt the bird’s beauty: cushion-cut blue sapphires, purple sapphires, emerald drops… Peacocks, snakes, tigers, imaginary birds and dragons are crafted in precious golds and dazzling gemstones. Their vividness inspires new passion for sophisticated animal jewellery design.

Mystical animals have always spurred man's imagination, fantastical creatures that are often omnipotent and represent super human strength and wisdom, and Carrera y Carrera chose the most majestic of all for their Cìrculos de Fuego collection: the dragon. The pieces in this collection are veritable pieces of art in miniature and sculpted impeccably thanks to the unique savoir-faire that distinguishes Carrera y Carrera. You will be seduced by the extraordinary detailing of this magical and fortuitous beast as crafted by the venerable Spanish maison. Four dragon heads with diamond eyes converge in a stunning ring where they seem to guard the precious sapphire at its center, and in other pieces the contrast between polished and matte gold make the animal come alive. The dragon is of course also a symbol of good fortune, and who wouldn't feel wonderfully lucky to wear Carrera y Carrera's superb creations?

Garrard offers a slightly more abstract interpretation of animal-inspired design with its Feather collection. The motif seems to take on a life of its own, appearing in different widths and lengths on bracelets, earrings, rings, pendant and collars. The fascinating design combines sapphire, diamond, Tahitian pearl, opal, amethyst, chrysoprase, tsavorite and spinel with yellow, white and blackened gold for visual depth and textural variety. A bird-like creature spreads its dark wings; a ring of feathers that look like a wreath from afar creates an elegant necklace… Nature is never what it seems.

Animal-inspired jewellery offers a new dimension where centuries-old craftsmanship unleashes its power with imaginative silhouettes and the creative use of diverse gemstones: elegant, fanciful, simply exuberant.