Coloratura, Cartier’s high jewellery collection, is a riot of colours inspired by exotic locales around the world
Exotic gems feature in Cartier's jewellery arsenal
For its 2018 high jewellery collection, Cartier travelled the world for inspiration, from the depths of the African continent to the exotic palaces in India, via the oriental charms of the Middle East. The result of its adventures is Coloratura, a tome of spellbinding high jewels that feature a cornucopia of colours.
Of course, for Cartier, this is not new. As far back as in 1906, the French maison had already cast its net far and wide, and derived aesthetic influences from the Japanese, Chinese, Persians, Arabic and Indians. In 1911, Jacques Cartier visited India for the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary, and met with the country’s jewellery-loving maharajahs. He developed a close relationship with the Indian kings, and created for them a plethora of jewellery replete with stunning stones, including Golconda diamonds, rubies and emeralds.
It is this legacy of colour that has been injected into Coloratura, which essentially means “an elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody, especially in operatic singing”. An extensive palette of precious coloured stones has been harnessed, and Cartier showcases its virtuosity with the exclusive and exquisite stones that have been used to elevate its savoir faire. Case in point: the Chromophonia suite that features 22 incredibly rare baroque-shaped Afghani emeralds that weigh a total of 199.02 carats. While Colombian and African emeralds are now more commonly seen (well, as common as these rare stones can get), Afghani mines are still under heavy control, and their emeralds are highly coveted for their resplendent bluish-green hue.
Slightly lighter on the palette is the Matsuri ring, centred
upon a gorgeous mint-green tourmaline. A geometric lattice of diamonds and onyx surrounds the central stone, highlighting its almost neon-ish hue. Cartier has utilised complementary gems to accentuate the colour of the central stone, as seen in the Matsuri necklace, where the 7.25-carat ovalshaped green tourmaline is intensified by the accompanying 14.82-carat opal whose play-of-colour is dominated by a turquoisegreen hue.
On the other end of the spectrum are the reds and pinks, represented by a portfolio of spinels, rubellites, morganites and pink sapphires. The orangey-red hue of corals comes to life in the Orienphone wristwatch, which features 19 beads of coral encircling the bracelet and surrounding the watch dial. It must be noted that for ethical reasons, Cartier only uses vintage coral supplies that are already in the market.
A vivid selection of coloured gemstones including emeralds, morganites, opals and tourmalines embody the festive and colourful ethos of Cartier’s Coloratura collection