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Since it was discovered two millennia ago, the ruby has remained a favourite among collectors and jewellers. And it’s easy to see its appeal, given the gemstone‘s rich, crimson hues and fabled associations with royalty, power and passion.
For designers helming the world’s top jewellery houses, the ruby is also ripe with creative expression — especially in the gem’s highly coveted, vivid form, the Burmese ruby.
This year, we spotted quite a few of the scarlet stones across the high jewellery collections unveiled by the ateliers of Place Vendôme, Bond Street and beyond. This July, for which the ruby is the traditional birthstone, we take a look at some of the standout designs that feature the red gem. More often than not, jewellery designers don’t simply rely on the ruby’s beauty or rarity. Instead, the magic of the marvels below lies also in their savoir-faire and the technical traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation.
These are our favourite ruby jewellery designs, which we can’t help but covet.
The highlight of London jeweller David Morris’ Renaissance collection is this Rubia cabochon choker, which captured the collection’s theme with an extravagant display of rare, Burmese rubies. The necklace is set with a whopping 380 carats of the crimson gem in all, complemented by a fringe of square, oval, pear and round-cut diamonds. The high jewellery piece is versatile, too. Its wearer can easily detach the pendant for a simpler look — if you can call a white gold choker lined with the world’s most prized rubies simple.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Every piece from Van Cleef & Arpels’ Sous Les Etoiles collection is inspired by the planets and phenomena of outer space. One example is the Ison bracelet, which is named after a comet that disintegrated after passing too close to the sun. Here, the French high jeweller has preserved its fiery trail through the cosmos with an array of diamonds and hand-cut rubies, set upon a cuff of 18-karat white gold. The blazing rubies were specially set with the Maison’s Mystery Setting, a century-old technique that shows no prongs or metal. Rubies aside, the only other details to stand out on this magnificent piece are the rose gold stars along with it.