The collection celebrates the Maison’s rich attachment to this precious stone, which has appeared in a number of their most celebrated designs. Today, Van Cleef & Arpels spends much time searching for the most exceptional emeralds, ensuring that the gems used in any one piece are exactly matched in quality, colour and carat weight.
For this collection alone, the Maison's expert gemologists carefully selected over 1,400 carats of emeralds from the world’s most renowned sources. These include the traditional Colombian deposits, as well the recently discovered Zambian mines.
Each emerald is then selected according to three strict sets of criteria. These firstly start with the colour, which has to be an exact hue of deep green and is examined by the gemologists in northern light, which provides a more accurate impression. The second criterion is purity, for which the gemologists carefully look at the emerald’s “jardins” - the famous inclusions so characteristic of this stone. Finally, the consistency of each emerald depends on the way the crystal grew in the depths of the earth, and is the characteristic that makes the gem stand out for its quality.
Pieces in the Émeraude en Majesté collection draw on a range of historical design influences and continue to be inspired by culture and couture. Examples include the Grande Opus necklace designed with engraved gadroon motifs commonly found on the costumes of maharajas, and the Fée Titania clip inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.
Similar to a demanding, patient and enthusiastic collector, the Maison’s exhaustive search for superlative emeralds and its interpretive designs have ensured the Émeraude en Majesté collection reveals all the beauty and character of this prized gem.