SINGAPORE (Feb 18): All great creations come with a good story: Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s co-president and artistic director, says her love for gemstones began as a young girl when she used to play with her mother’s jewellery. Later, she dreamt up creations where gemstones took centrestage. The dazzling new Magical Setting collection by Chopard is a realisation of that dream. With it, she pushes the envelope to create jewellery that illuminates the majesty and magnificence of gemstones, the colour and radiance of coloured stones and the infinite depths of diamonds.

Pendant in 18-carat white gold set with diamonds featuring a central 3.3-carat diamond

The spectacular collection of cluster rings, pendants and earrings are put together in such a way as to unlock the intense light and lustre in a gemstone. The collection offers a choice of jewels set with diamonds only, or with diamonds and blue sapphires from Sri Lanka, rubies from Mozambique/Madagascar or emeralds from Colombia/Zambia. Each cluster is centred on a significant single stone and encircled with other stones, giving the classic design an unexpected twist.

(Above, left: Ring in 18-carat white gold set with sapphires and diamonds, and featuring a central five-carat sapphire)

The setting enables each piece to give a light performance, so to speak. This is achieved with an innovative setting technique, developed by Chopard’s master artisans, and inspired by Scheufele’s long-cherished dream of intensifying the life and light of a gemstone.

The centre stone in each cluster is set in barely-there claws, while the surrounding stones are held in place, as if by magic, with no visible means of support, and no metal visible from the front or top of the jewel. The cluster is underpinned by an entirely new and pioneering structure, exclusive to Chopard. This means that light can flow freely in and out and around the gemstones, rippling across the surface of the stones. Meanwhile, the gold of the underlying structure intensifies the dazzling brilliance, creating a visual treat.

Cluster designs can be traced back to the 14th century where medieval brooches were used to secure tunics and cloaks. It was only in the 17th and 18th centuries that these brooches got a bit more elaborate especially after the discovery of diamonds in Brazil during the 1720s. Throughout the 19th century, the fashionable cluster took the form of a single and usually important coloured stone, encircled by diamonds. It acquired an air of majesty and splendour as it took pride of place in the jewel boxes of royalty and nobility. In this shape and form, the cluster remained the traditional motif of 20th century haute joaillerie, in which the focus was on the gemstone.

(Above, right: Earrings in 18-carat white gold set with diamonds)

Now, with Magical Setting, Chopard’s artisans have used cutting-edge technology, combining it with age-old craft skills to create a new generation contemporary classic: jewels to scintillate and fascinate.