Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Van Cleef and Arpels “Transforms” the Royals in Monaco

Océan as a formal  necklace.
VC&A continues their tradition with the royal family of Monaco with the commission by His Serene Highness, Prince Albert, and Her Serene Highness, Princess Charlene, to create a set of jewelry on the occasion of their marriage in Monaco on July 2, 2011.

The diamond and sapphire necklace, named "Océan" by Prince Albert, was described as a “love pledge," although according to recent reports it might be more like a bribe to get Charlene to stay in Monaco for a while. And, in keeping with the VC&A tradition of “transformation," the piece can be transformed multiple ways: into a less formal necklace, a tiara, and, as you will see in the video below, when the components are snapped out, they could possibly be turned into earrings or a pendant (or sold off individually as Wittstock secretly makes her way back to South Africa). A sparkler made with 1,200 diamonds and sapphires, VC&A had their stone searchers look for three different hues of perfectly matching blue sapphires that were used to represent the colors found in the ocean. The piece is topped off with a centered 4 carat pear shaped, D - Flawless diamond that would appear at the bottom when worn as a necklace or the top if worn as a tiara. 

Less formal necklace.

 Formal tiara

See how the Océan was made

The relationship between Van Cleef & Arpels and the Royal Family of Monaco dates back to 1956, the year that Prince Rainier III married Grace Kelly, and Van Cleef & Arpels became the “Official Supplier of the Principality” (which means Grace did not shop at the mall for her jewelry).

Prince Albert chose Repossi for Wittstock’s pear-cut diamond engagement ring. Rumor has it that Prince Albert called Repossi and asked them to send “something” when they got engaged.  He never actually “pulled out the chair” and chose the ring himself. How lazy can you be. It was also rumored that Wittstock was not a jewelry affectioniado and felt the ring was ostentatious and preferred something smaller. FYI - the idea of a surprise engagement ring always scares me. It pays to work together when searching for something this expensive and personal. 

Repossi 3 carat pear shaped diamond engagement ring reported to be worth approximately $100,000.  
Does this prove Kim Kardashian is truly  royal with her 20 carat ring worth $2,000,000? 
They chose Cartier for their plain, platinum wedding bands.
Wittstock wore little jewelry on her wedding day...only a huge diamond hair scrunchy.

It turns out Wittstock may have better taste in jewelry than all the royals combined.  She may not be the type to dig tiaras out of Grace's jewelry box or wear dusty old brooches from the 16th century.  Wittstock commissioned renowned French jeweler, Lorenz  Baümer to create a new version of a tiara with a design based on the movement of water. Her past as an Olympic swimmer may have influenced what looks like a splash of water with droplets on the end.  

Above: Lorenz  Baümer's new kind of tiara.  Made in white gold, the frame is set with 11 pear-cut diamonds, the largest weighing eight carats.

Above: Even though this video is in French, you can easily make out how Lorenz Baümer 
 designed and created this beautiful piece. 

Princess Charlene wearing Baumer hairspray at her wedding reception.  This kind of hairspray is not available at the drugstore.

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