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