On the occasion of Haute Couture Week in Paris, Chopard co-president Caroline Scheufele unveiled The Garden of Kalahari, an extraordinary high jewellery collection showcasing 23 absolutely pure diamonds, all cut from one single 342-carat diamond called The Queen of Kalahari.
An ultra-rare 342-carat diamond provides the stones for the most precious jewellery set ever produced by Chopard!
It’s the story of an extraordinary flower that ‘bloomed’ in the desert, a gem born in an arid – yet paradoxically fertile land. It’s the story of a stunningly beautiful, pure and radiant stone whose beating heart proclaims the wonderment of natural treasures. It’s the story of an absolute stone, The Queen of Kalahari diamond.
The Garden of Kalahari collection is entirely built around the idea of a jewellery lacework like diamond guipure lace with a luminous cut-out motif.
Among these 23 diamonds, five weigh more than 20 carats and each of the main stone cuts – cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear – is represented. “Faced with this rough diamond, we had a number of potential options. I wanted to explore every possibility and to represent all diamond cuts.” This transformation stemming from the fertile imagination of Caroline Scheufele once again testifies to the artistic vocation and savoir-faire of the Maison Chopard. From the rough stone to the completed jewellery model, this transfiguration of the original matter is made possible by virtuoso technical skills dedicated to the cause of unfettered creativity.
“This is a truly exceptional stone, but we did not wish to treat it as a mere trophy, but instead to prepare it for a destiny worthy of its stature,” Caroline Scheufele explains.
A natural-born visionary, Caroline Scheufele is the creative soul of the Maison Chopard. Around these five stones, she has built a daring and dancing network of poetic and metaphorical symbols. Through her eyes, the radiant 50-carat brilliant cut becomes a sunflower, the 26-carat heart shape a delicate pansy, and the 25-carat pear shape a majestic banana blossom. As for the perfect 20-carat cushion cut, it indulges in a gentle tête-à-tête with the flaming poppy, while the 21-carat emerald cut floats idly alongside a water lily. Shapes, echoes, reflections and colours entwine in an enchanting scene, an extraordinary garden where poetry, light and radiance are the only rules. These five diamonds are the masterworks among the 23 diamonds composing The Garden of Kalahari – the set of diamonds cut from The Queen of Kalahari. It is around these stones that an extraordinary collection of six jewellery models has been dreamed up, testifying to the creative wealth and peerless expertise of the artistic crafts cultivated in the Chopard workshops. The collection alone represents almost a full year’s work: thousands of hours lavished on this endeavour by the eyes, heart and hands of the Chopard jewellery artisans and gemsetters.
As a pioneer of sustainable development in jewellery, Caroline Scheufele actively encouraged the Karowe mine to join the growing number of Chopard’s suppliers – covering gold, coloured gemstones and diamonds – to engage with Eco-Age’s independent Green Carpet Challenge validation criteria, which mirrors best international practices in environmental and social justice. Caroline and the owners of the Karowe mine agreed to the visit of the Eco-Age team to independently assess all elements of its mining activities. The Karowe mine is continuing in its own journey to sustainability by moving towards the fulfilment of the standards necessary to achieve the RJC certification.
The centrepiece of this collection throbs gently near the heart of its wearer. The Garden of Kalahari necklace testifies to the ingenuity and the playful spirit governing Chopard design. This model is playfully interpreted in four variations, the first of which is a gorgeous and supremely modern choker to be worn alone. An entirely invisible mechanism means it can be detached in the centre and adorned with an exquisite flower to form a more sophisticated version. And for festive evenings, this flower itself serves to attach three majestically beautiful pendants, since they are adorned with the three biggest diamonds in The Garden of Kalahari: the 50-carat brilliant-cut, 26-carat heart-shaped and 25-carat pear-shaped gems. Each of these precious ‘attachments’ can be worn alone or together, culminating in the perfect necklace with all three at once.
The Garden of Kalahari high jewellery colleciton testifies to the virtuosity of the artisans involved in its conception, as well as in the genius that was essential to its development under the aegis of Caroline Scheufele at Chopard.
And because Chopard loves to combine beauty with fanciful touches, two of these pendants – the heart-shaped and pear-shaped diamonds – can be worn attached to the earrings, thus creating a spectacular set matching the necklace, adorned (or not) with the flower and the brilliant-cut diamond. The earrings can also be worn without the heart- and pear-shaped diamonds, for a more discreet version. This truly singular and totally modern idea of beauty leaves the owner complete freedom to associate carats and shapes, thereby giving full scope to the fascinating diversity of moods, occasions and desires.
“I immediately sensed that this was an incredibly rare gem of exceptional beauty and purity”, says Caroline Scheufele when recalling her first encounter with the diamond she named The Queen of Kalahari. It was at the heart of the deposit mined in Karowe, Botswana, that this exceptional stone was found. Born of the volcanic rock known as kimberlite, formed at high temperatures and pressures across endless ages, this diamond enshrines a sense of permanence and the strength of the ties that bind human beings to the earth.
This collection is further enriched by a cuff bracelet adorned with two emerald-cut diamonds; two rings of which one bears the 20-carat cushion-cut diamond; and of course an astonishing secret watch that is as delicate by nature as it was to create.