Watches & Jewellery | Need To Now

Need to Now: Time-limited luxuries

It’s Swan Lake, but not as you know it

Need to Now: Time-limited luxuries

July 14 2011
Vivienne Becker

After a showcase in Asia, which proved very successful in terms of orders for De Beers, Swan Lake, the diamond jeweller’s latest Couture collection, has just touched down in London for a summer viewing (until the end of August), before it continues its world tour. Playing to the brand’s strengths – expertly, painstakingly hand-selected diamonds of exceptional fire, life and brilliance, impeccable cutting, unusual natural coloured diamonds – the collection is intended as a starting point for bespoke commissions and is a contemporary interpretation of the classic diamond “line” design.

A simple collar with removable drop pendant, a bracelet and a pair of pendant earrings – all composed of different fancy cuts and colours of diamonds – all artfully recreate the harmony of line and movement and the graceful fluidity and deceptive effortlessness of a prima ballerina. For such a dancer, the role of Odette, the Swan Queen, is the high point of a career and is honed, like De Beers’ expert craftsmanship, by years of work and passion.

The rhythm of each piece is choreographed from various cuts – oval, pear, marquise, with round brilliants and baguettes for dramatic pauses, and diamond beads that reach around the neck. The coloured diamonds, in true De Beers style, are not the astronomically priced rarefied specimens but subtle, indefinable pastel in-between shades of grey, pink, yellow and orange, stones of great charm and individual, enigmatic character. (Pictured: Swan Lake necklace in fancy-coloured soft-pastel-hued diamonds in a mixed-gold setting, total weight from about 34 carats).

Simplicity comes from the innovative settings, with stones held in fine lines of gold (bespoke for each diamond cut), rather than the prongs of conventional claw settings. Seductive colour comes from inspired combinations of white or coloured diamonds in white, yellow, ballet-pink or striking black gold. As the light dances on the stones, it’s a quite beautiful show.