STONE AGE

Coloratura, Cartier’s high jew­ellery col­lec­tion, is a riot of colours in­spired by ex­otic lo­cales around the world

Singapore Tatler Jewels & Time - - Contents - Text Kar­ishma Tul­si­das

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

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