Call of Ruby: Dubbed “The King of Coloured Stones”, rubies have been a long-time favourite of royalties and warriors alike.

Bvlgari Earrings

Bvlgari Earrings
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As a symbol of their eminent social rank, royalty from several cultures all over the world likewise proudly acquired and wore rubies. Natural ruby gemstones are extremely rare and expensive, making them a sign of opulence and dominance. As rubies have long been revered as a stone of kings, monarchs and other members of the aristocracy in Europe and Asia have adorned themselves with ornate ruby crowns. The birthstone for July, known for its associations with knowledge and beauty, can range in colour from a deep, almost purple red to a pinkish red that some might argue is edging closer to being a pink sapphire. There are no wrong choices when it comes to selecting stunning ruby jewellery for yourself or your significant other, even though the colour may have an impact on the value. In the end, the most appropriate ruby for you is the one you are most drawn to.

Wild Appeal: Enticing animal-themed jewellery

Humans have long had an affinity with the animal kingdom. The elements of nature and the symbolic motifs of our world’s magnificent beasts and critters have long been adopted in glyphs, folklore and art throughout the ages.

The world of haute joaillerie is also no stranger to mother nature’s wild side. Fostering bold, whimsical and one-of-a-kind designs to wear and behold, these decorative feral figures are worn as more than just an embellishment to charm onlookers – they are adornments that symbolise one’s spirit and personality.

Among the myriad of animal-inspired jewellery that has slinked out of the jungle, craftsmanship remains at the centre of these intricate jewellery designs. Take for example Cartier’s iconic Panthère Collection and Chopard’s dynamic Red Carpet Collection, creations that combine nature and fine art.

In this photo:

  1. Panthere de cartier ring
  2. Fred Ombre Feline bracelet
  3. Harry Winston Black Necked Crane brooch
  4. Buccellati Animalier Eagle brooch
  5. Buccellati Animalier Rabbit brooch
  6. Boucheron Fuzzy The Leopard Cat ring
  7. Chaumet Les Ciels de Chaumet brooch
  8. Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Ibex brooch
  9. Chopard Red Carpet Collection ring

(Text: Roberliza Eugenio)

Neck’s Best Thing: Stunning décolleté dazzlers for this season’s soirées

There’s no stronger way to make a statement than to adorn your neck with a stunning, sparkling necklace. Whether it’s a thick choker-style design like Bulgari’s Mediterranean Queen necklace, open-worked creations like Van Cleef & Arpels’ Trésor Astral number or dangling dazzlers like Chanel’s Allure Céleste necklace, there are attention-grabbing bejewelled bijouterie for every special occasion.

To ensure your statement necklace does all the talking, opting for the right neckline is key. Strapless, off-the-shoulder or v-neck gowns or tops are a must when it comes to showing off your chosen accessory to perfection. Avoid clashing with strong patterns or detailing. Rather, monochromatic ensembles can pair perfectly with a strong necklace, provided that it is form-fitting and one colour throughout. However you choose to match your stunning piece of jewellery, with these gorgeous creations, all eyes are sure to be on you.

In the photos:

  1. Van Cleef & Arpels Trésor Astral
  2. Graff New Dawn
  3. Buccellati Étoilée
  4. Bulgari Mediterranean Queen
  5. Harry Winston Blue Python
  6. Chanel Allure Céleste
  7. Gübelin Dancing Dunes 

(Text: Tenzing Thondup)


Also Read: The sensual dual-appeal of transformable jewellery

The sensual dual-appeal of transformable jewellery

Since the early days of the last century, transformable jewellery has been the staple of many of the world’s foremost luxury brands. This has seen such luminaries as Cartier, Chaumet and Van Cleef & Arpels create some of the most technically complex items in their long histories.

Boucheron New Maharajah transformable necklace
Boucheron New Maharajah transformable necklace

While popularised in the 20th century, such items first appeared almost 100 years ago, at a time when such inventive jewellery was strictly the province of royalty. With many weighty items worn solely on specific occasions, it fell to a number of regally-approved jewellers to tweak several royal favourites, allowing them to be worn across a variety of different engagements.

Cartier Imperio transformable necklace
Cartier Imperio transformable necklace

This saw items created with mix-and-match reassembly as a fundamental part of the design. It was a conceit that was soon to enter the mainstream. With the aid of clips, clasps and brackets, today’s jewellery-adept buyers can easily transform a large item into several complementary smaller ones, frequently cross-matching them with other styles or marques.

Van Cleef & Arpels ZIP transformable necklace

Given their facility for a chameleon-esque shift from mood to mood, occasion to occasion and role to role, it’s not difficult to see why the contemporary woman has such an affinity with these fluid adornments. After all, what better symbol could there be for her own multi-faceted engagement with the demands of 21st-century life?

Flower Power: Sparkling high-end jewellery inspired by nature

Since time immemorial, humans have been enamoured with all things floral. Embraced as symbols of everything from new life and fertility to passion and romance, their natural beauty has entranced and enchanted at every turn. Small wonder, then, that they are a constant, never-ending source of inspiration behind the timeless creations of countless high-end jewellery brands.

Floral Trend 

In fact, so strong is this floral love affair that many iconic marques have actually adopted their own flower emblems. Take, for instance, Dior and Piaget, who have both selected the rose as their blossom of choice and unveiled entire collections dedicated to the thorny blossom. Elsewhere, there’s Chanel and the camellia, Chaumet and the hydrangea, and so forth.

Also read: Rainbow hues in high-end jewellery for the colourful customer

Featuring a startling array of colours, shapes and sizes, this nature-inspired leitmotif is flexible to the extreme. Some flower designs are subtle, demure, and perfectly suited for everyday wear. However, the other end of the spectrum accentuates precision jewellery-making at its very finest, using a smorgasbord of precious and semi-precious gemstones and skilled craftsmanship to portray all the inherent beauty of flowers in truly dazzling style.


Also read: Talented Hong Kong jewellery designers you have to checkout

Haute Joaillerie houses embrace stunning rainbow hues in their designs

In contemporary times, the rainbow has come to symbolise hope and new beginnings, so it’s no surprise that haute joaillerie houses the world over have embraced this motif during the current Covid-dominant times. Gone are the days when single-colour styles were in vogue, and in their place are a veritable treasure trove of prismatic designs, pieces that unabashedly embrace a multi-hued appeal.

Subtler creations are imbued with an ombré effect, one that utilises precious gemstones of similar colours to create a graduated look. A prime example of this is the stunning necklace from premium Japanese brand Tasaki’s latest High Jewellery collection, and Tiffany & Co.’s Colors of Nature necklace.

More outré designs that truly reflect the kaleidoscopic nature of rainbows, meanwhile, are also on offer from such luxury labels as Bulgari, with its vivid, gem-studded Multicolore necklace, and Boucheron’s multifaceted ring.

  1. Boucheron ring
  2. Bulgari Multicolore necklace
  3. Piaget Extraordinary Lights earrings
  4. Harry Winston Sparks earrings
  5. Robinson Pelham Synchronicity Rainbow Ray Inner ring
  6. Rosior multicolour earrings
  7. Tasaki High Jewellery necklace
  8. Tiffany & Co. Colors of Nature necklace


Boucheron’s magestic Wladimir Le Chat takes centre stage

Wladimir, the majestic feline emblem from French high jewellery house Boucheron’s first high jewellery creations, retakes centre stage.

Boucheron Wladimir_le-chat_the cat ring_gafencu

The Wladimir Le Chat Ring is a subtle blend of green and sparkling white. Set with diamonds and tsavorites on a white gold band, the captivating cat is delicately sculpted with an edged nose and black sapphire eyes, and wears a necklace of eight rounded tsavorites centred by a pear-cut stone.

Boucheron Wladimir_le-chat_the cat pendant_gafencu

The yellow and white gold Wladimir Le Chat Pendant, on the other hand, is studded with champagne diamonds and a pair of vivid green agates. Tsavorite eyes and a diamond necklace with a central pear-cut diamond complete the gem-loving puss’ look.


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The Neck’s Generation: Jewellery that’s got your throat’s vote

Necklaces, those most delightful of décolleté-decorating devices, have long been symbols of a particular potency. In the case of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, for example, they all habitually wore charms around their necks to ward off evil many thousands of years ago.

Image: Boucheron Lavallière Diamants necklace; FRED necklace; Cartier Gharial necklace; Pomellato Sabbia Flamingo necklace

During the Middle Ages, they then got something of an upgrade, becoming indisputable emblems of authority, as kings and clergymen alike bedecked themselves with huge gem-studded gold collars in order to make manifest their lofty positions.

Image: Piaget Wings of Light necklace; Graff Bullseye necklace; The Alkemistry Colette Galaxia necklace

In times more contemporary, the dangly necklace variants have evolved once more, becoming totems of true femininity. Indeed, the varying shapes and sizes of the many designs served up by the world’s best-loved high jewellery houses afford fashionistas flexibility and freedom of choice for pretty much every imaginable occasion.

Image: Mikimoto necklace, Carolina Bucci Superstellar lariat, Autore Gatsby lariat necklace

For those seeking subtly svelte looks, for instance, simple lariat designs – such as Australian-based South Sea pearl brand Autore’s Gatsby necklace – pair wonderfully with any smart-chic outfit. Those in search of jaw-dropping bijouterie, meanwhile, could do far worse than enhance a daringly bared décolleté with such statement pieces as Boucheron’s sparkling Lavallière Diamants creation or Cartier’s emerald-and-diamond Gharial necklace. Whatever your choice, the key to truly dazzling via this particular haute joaillerie trend is confidence, confidence, confidence… And more confidence.


Well Red Jewels: Scintillate in scarlet

With the Year of the Ox here, it’s the perfect time to revisit the vermillion haute joaillerie creations that best capture the truly festive spirit of Chinese New Year. Indeed, red – that most celebratory of colours – has long been synonymous with good fortune in Chinese culture, while being embraced as a mark of distinction the world over for countless centuries.

Amrapali necklace; Bayco ring; Cartier Destinée ring; Christian Dior Cupidon Heart ring; Selim Mouzannar Beirut Ring; Tiffany & Co. Jean Schlumberger Five Leaves earrings.

Today, this scarlet hue remains the first choice of many luxury jewellery labels, seeing it frequently highlighted in a range of gems, including spinels, garnets and carnelians. By far the most sought-after precious stones embodying this striking shade, however, are rubies. With the word derived from the Latin term for red, ruber, they have been variously dubbed ‘drops of the heart blood of Mother Earth’ in the Orient, as well as being proclaimed ‘the lord of gemstones’ in India. 

Ruby de la Cruz ring; Boucheron Quartre red edition ring; Chopard Happy Hearts wings earrings and ring; Piaget bracelet

Unlike other precious stones, the values of rubies are determined by colour rather than clarity, an aspect that ranges from orangey reds to shades so deep they actually appear violet. The most prized of these, though, tend to be uncovered in Myanmar’s Mogok Stone Tract mine, a seam that has delivered a string of stunning ‘pigeon’s blood’ stones for more than 800 years.

Bina Goenka earrings; Chanel Rouge Incandescent; Chopard Happy Hearts wings necklace; Gucci necklace

Choose a lucky charm to complement your zodiac sign

Every year, luxury jewellery houses and watchmakers pay homage to the tale of the Chinese zodiacs with animal motifs that decorate pendants, jewelries and watches. But as Chinese beliefs would have it, keeping a close contact with these 12 zodiac animals can bless one’s year with great fortune and protection, provided that the right charm is worn to match his or her sign. Not just to adorn one’s features and add a touch of style to an outfit, lucky zodiac charms complement one’s personality and and ward off bad luck. Here’s how to pick out a lucky zodiac charm to match your sign. 

gafencu magazine chinese zodiac lucky charm piaget year of the ox watch
Piaget Year of the Ox watch

Established by feng shui masters, the compatibility of each sign is categorized by two grouping methods: The ‘six-harmony’ and ‘trine’ signs. They follow the theory of Five Elements and the concept of Yin and Yang to determine which zodiac animals complement each other the best.

gafencu magazine chinese zodiac lucky charm Paloma’s Chinese Zodiac Rooster Charm tiffany & co.
Paloma’s Rooster charm by Tiffany & Co.

The most compatible matches in terms personality, values and temperament are within the six-harmony groups. The bonds between the pairs in these groups are strongest and is the ideal match to boost one’s luck all-around.

Six-harmony compatible signs:

Rat & Ox

Tiger & Pig

Rabbit & Dog

Dragon & Rooster

Snake & Monkey

Horse & Goat

Year of the Ox necklace by Louis Vuitton

However, according to Chinese astrology, people in their zodiac year are believed to offend Tai Sui (the God of Age) leading to an unfortunate year ahead if you were born in the year of the Ox. It is also known by Chinese astrologists that there are five zodiac signs in conflict with the Tai Sui this year: Ox, Goat, Dog, Horse, and Dragon.

gafencu magazine chinese zodiac lucky charm tessa packard mr pig earrings
Tessa Packard ‘mr pig’ earrings

In this case, if any of these five signs are in your “six-harmony” pairing, it’s best to opt for another animal within the “trine” group. A trio of signs that get along well with one another in areas of habits and interests, and can boost one’s luck and happiness in life.

Trine Signs:

Rat, Dragon, Monkey

Ox, Snake, Rooster

Tiger, Horse, Dog

Rabbit, Sheep, Pig

gafencu magazine chinese zodiac lucky charm from boucheron Laïka, Le Husky’ ring
Boucheron’s Laïka-Le-Husky ring

Besides knowing your lucky animals, there are also charms that are best avoided. Following the Five Elements theory, creation and destruction are complementary processes in which the ultimate goal is harmony. Meaning that while some signs come together to create life, other signs with contrasting elements tend to be in conflict with each other. For instance, water (Rat) puts out fire (Horse), which can explain why the two are always butting heads with one another.

gafencu magazine chinese zodiac lucky charm chopard monkey ring from red carpet collection
Chopard monkey ring from Red Carpet collection

On the other hand, though Ox and Goats are both earth elements, their designated years are always six years apart. Coinciding with what feng shui states as the ‘circle of conflict’. Knowing the element of your sign, it’s safest to stir clear from wearing charms that feature zodiac signs that belong to elements that conflict with yours, as well as those that are three, six and nine years apart from you.

Conflicting pairs: 

Rat (Water) vs Horse (Fire)

Ox (Earth) vs Goat (Earth)

Monkey (Metal) vs Tiger (Wood)

Rabbit (Wood) vs Rooster (Metal)

Dragon (Earth) vs Dog (Dog)

Snake (Fire) vs Pig (Water)


Feature image from Fabergé