The Gift Guide

The Best Sparkling High Jewelry Gifts of the Season

The Best Sparkling High Jewelry Gifts of the Season

The haute joaillerie shows in Paris are held twice a year in Paris, just after the haute couture shows. A perfect gown requires a perfect necklace, no? Now, just in time for holiday gifting season, these stunning pieces are available in-store (but definitely NOT online). Which ones would make the best gift for someone who loves fine jewelry? Our intrepid correspondent Jillian Tangen volunteered to personally investigate this pressing issue. Now she’s sharing our holiday haute joaillerie gift guide of the best fine luxury sparkling high jewelry gifts of 2020.

the new haute joaillerie collections have arrived 

Twice a year, right after the haute couture shows in Paris have finished, another kind of dazzling show unfolds. One that consists of the unveiling of the latest and most sparkling collections from the world’s foremost heritage jewelry brands 

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However, this year, instead of the usual elaborate installations, champagne, white gloves and guards, jewelers opted to reveal their magnificent gems and jewels virtually in response to COVID-19.  And despite that, the jewels did what they do best, gleaming and glittering on screen. 

the themes of this season’s high jewelry collections 

While the shows might have gone virtual this season, the incredible creativity and craftsmanship on display was very real.  Boucheron used NASA materials to capture stardust.  Chaumet drew on architecture and Cartier, Chopard and Piaget took cues from nature.  Meanwhile, Dior and show newcomer Pomellato lifted spirits with lively bursts of color. 

Even though this year’s most recent presentations of haute joaillerie took place in July, we are only now fully seeing the collections that were exhibited arriving at luxury retail boutiques.  So it’s the perfect year for a gift of high jewelry, if you have the will, the recipient and the means for it.  Or by all means, make it a gift to yourself if the spirit moves you. We all deserve to treat ourselves a little after 2020, right? 

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But even if you can’t be in the market this year, these are lovely little works of art that are just lovely to dream over.  Just think of it – each piece of high jewelry is one-of-a-kind, and can take up to 12 months to create. They’re brilliant examples of craftsmanship, certainly on par with the fabulous gowns shown in Paris just before they were unveiled. And they are SO. PRETTY. 

So come along, dear reader. Let’s open the fine jewelry box and see what’s inside. 

The Best Sparkling High Jewelry Gifts of the 2020 Holiday Season

Whether you call it high jewelry, fine jewelry or haute joaillerie, here’s our gift guide of the most gorgeous creations hitting the stores just in time for the holidays. 

1. boucheron

The oldest jewelry house in Paris’s Place Vendôme, Boucheron, crafted a collection that seems as if it was made for the era of lockdowns.  The 67 piece Contemplation Collection was three years in the making and channels the concept of solitude.  Floating clouds, a quivering dandelion and grass rippling in the wind are elegantly expressed via light and graceful designs.   

best high jewelry gifts 2020 season

Our gift guide of the best luxury jewels and high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Boucheron. Courtesy Photo.

The collection’s pièce de résistance is by far the Goutte de Ciel necklace, which was crafted using an opalescent aerogel developed by NASA (normally used to gather stardust for analysis), encased in rock crystal and suspended from a diamond and crystal collar.  The Nuage en Apesanteur, made with white gold, 10,000 titanium beads, 4,018 diamonds and hundreds of glass beads simulating droplets of water, is nothing short of a masterpiece and evokes a cloud floating around the wearer’s throat. 

2. chaumet

For the past 240 years, Chaumet has drawn on architecture as a central source of inspiration, and its latest 81 piece high jewelry collection, Perspectives de Chaumet, takes it to new heights.  A tribute to architecture’s movements and icons, the collection uses metal, stones and space. It gives the impression of light, elevation and volume. 

best high jewelry gifts 2020 season

Our gift guide of the best luxury jewels and high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Chaumet. Courtesy Photo.

Highlights include the majestic Ondulation, a wide, supple necklace anchored by a 30 carat cushion cut tourmaline.   The brand is best known for its aristocratic tiaras (they’ve made over 2,000 since 1780). Chaumet boldly reimagined the traditional head jewel for the 21st century.  The stunning Lacis tiara makes use of its signature fil couteau, or knife edge setting, and latticework, creating a dazzling optical illusion of floating diamonds.  

3. cartier

Renowned for its exquisite interpretations of plant and animal motifs including the infamous panther, Cartier’s newest high jewelry collection, [Sur]Naturel, combines the figurative with the abstract for a new take on the traditional theme of flora and fauna.  It is exploding with color, texture and volume. Cartier described its 180 piece collection as “nature that is more real than nature itself. 

best high jewelry gifts 2020 season

Our gift guide of the best luxury jewels and high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Cartier. Courtesy Photo.

A stunning 71.8 carat pinkish-purple kunzite is the centerpiece of the Hemis necklace. Organic black opals assembled like pebbles in a stream, all without a trace of visible metal, grace the perimeter. Meanwhile, the Panthère Tropical watch bracelet united coral, tourmalines and aquamarines with the familiar onyx spots of the iconic panther motif. 

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4. chopard

Like Cartier, Chopard looked to nature for its latest Red Carpet Collection of 73 new treasures.  Major statement earrings were the stars, and while they’ll likely see few opportunities to be shown off on any carpet, they serve up plenty of inspiration for future affairs.  

best high jewelry gifts 2020 season

Our gift guide of the best luxury jewels and high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Chopard. Courtesy Photo.

Large showpiece earrings, like the Gingko tree stunners drip with 33.3 carats of pear shaped emeralds, 16.5 carats of brilliant cut yellow sapphires and 14.9 carats of tsavorites.  Contrasting the colorful depictions of flora were animals in whitewashed winter environments including a sparkling Seal ring made of diamonds sourced from suppliers certified by the Responsible Jewellery Council. 

5. dior

Artistic director of Dior jewelry Victoire de Castellane offered an injection of optimism for an otherwise bleak 2020. Tie & Dior is her take on the uplifting homemade tie-dye trend. But this collection is anything but DIY. The 100+ pieces feature every color of the rainbow, with sapphires, rubies, pearls and emeralds. 

Our gift guide of the best luxury jewels and high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Dior. Courtesy Photo.

Among our favorites are a delectable blue emerald ring surrounded by a burst of diamonds, sapphires, tsavorite garnets, emeralds and a pistachio cultured pearl.  There’s also a swoonworthy pair of mismatched earrings – a de Castellane signature – where color blocks of pink and blue sapphires, tsavorite garnets, paraiba-type tourmaline plus two gobstopper-size emeralds ooze from two pistachio coloured pearls.  Yum! 

6. piaget

The latest high jewelry collection from Piaget delivers an escape to a tropical oasis.  Dubbed Wings of Light, the collection was inspired by the magic of nature. 

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts: Piaget. Courtesy Photo.

Anchoring the lineup is a three piece set called Majestic Plumage featuring a question mark necklace shaped like an exotic bird in flight, with chromatic gems, feather marquetry by the master artisan Nelly Saunier and a mechanism that allows the wings to be detached and worn as single or dual ear cuffs.  The Secret Cenote cuff-style watch – a nod to Piaget’s horological heritage – features a dial of Australian black opal with a striking tessellation of diamonds, opals, and blue sapphires from Sri Lanka and Madagascar, evoking a shimmering pool we can’t wait to dive into.  

7. tiffany & co

While the unveiling of the annual Blue Book Jewelry Collection had to be postponed, Tiffany & Co pulled out all the stops for its new 22 piece Jean Schlumberger collection.  This collection is famous for adorning the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy, Wallis Simpson and Elizabeth Taylor. And featuring highly ornate, gem-encrusted flowers, birds and sea creatures. The collection pays homage perfectly to this glittering heritage. 

The best high jewelry gifts of the 2020 holiday season: Tiffany & CO. Courtesy Photo.

Among the iconic jewels reproduced are the Bird on a Rock brooch, featuring a crested diamond bird atop a spectacular gemstone (this time, it’s an oval cut aquamarine) and the dazzling Panier ring, a reinterpretation of a common basket, set with diamonds and highlighting a cushion-cut spessartite. 

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8. buccellati

Buccellati, which just celebrated its 100th year, paid homage to its heritage in a new 30 piece collection based on house signatures that brought back time honored techniques dating back to the Renaissance including the iconic honeycomb technique. 

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts: Buccellati. Courtesy Photo.

Among our favorites was the colorful Joie De Vivre Bracelet that just oozes happiness, not to mention sparkle with its 214 emeralds, 216 rubies and 216 sapphires, alternating and combining with 300 diamonds and the contrast created by white and yellow gold.  Equally colorful is the  dazzling Arlecchino Set for a cool $800,000 dripping with multicolored briolette sapphires. 

9. bulgari

The Italian jewelry house Bulgari was inspired by the ornate drama of the city of Rome for its Barocko collection.  The combination of exuberant gems infused with a sense of movement and elegance, capture the city’s Baroque architecture and tradition of decorative arts.  

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts

The best luxury gift of fine jewelry: Bulgari. Courtesy Photo.

The Lady Rubellite necklace captures the era perfectly with a sensational 60.7 carat pear shaped rubellite hanging from an elegant pearl, amethyst, rubellite and diamond bead necklace that’s finished with a pearl tassel.  Crafted as a tribute to one of Rome’s most powerful estates, the Cabochon Exuberance necklace is equally generous in color and abundant in sophisticated details. 

10. messika

The latest collection from Messika called Voltage turns up the volume on high jewelry, exploring the concepts of motion, movement and shapes. Diamonds sit akimbo in oversized hoops and giant gems. They seem to float over the hand of the wearer in double finger and open style rings.  

Our holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine jewelry gifts

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts: Messika. Courtesy Photo.

Among the most impressive pieces is the Danseurs Aériens double ring inspired by two circus acrobats where the diamonds seem as if they are floating over two fingers.  And for earrings, we love the Equalizer duo consisting of one shorter linear diamond drip and another longer line of baguette stones anchored with a 10.3 carat shaped diamond.  Because sometimes you just need to make a statement, right?  

11. pomellato

For Pomellato’s debut in the world of high jewelry, the Italian jewelers presented La Gioia, a whimsical collection of 165 pieces full of rainbows, volume and masterful gem setting techniques.  

Our holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine jewelry gifts

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts: Pomellato. Courtesy Photo.

The showstopper was surely the Gourmette Caméléon choker necklace featuring no less than 27 gradient shades, a staggering 1,798 gems, including sapphires, emeralds, aquamarines, topaz and diamonds, pavé-set across 29 rose gold links.  Equally colorful is the Nudo Collier Plastron necklace with draped layers of rose gold chain coupled with a kaleidoscope of blue topaz, peridot, amethyst, lemon quartz, Mandarin garnet, rhodolite, tourmaline and, of course, diamonds. 

12. cindy chao

Celebrated Taiwanese jeweler Cindy Chao has been causing a stir in the jewelry world in recent years for her daring sculptural creations inspired by nature and her latest Black Label collection was no exception.   

Our holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine jewelry gifts

Our 2020 holiday gift guide of the best luxury haute joaillerie fine high jewelry gifts: Cindy Chao. Courtesy Photo.

Demonstrating Chao’s cutting edge titanium craftsmanship, the Green Plumule brooch features a whopping 487 pieces of fancy cut emeralds, totaling 172.58 carats, with the largest being 30.06 carats. The famously pink Cameron Falls in Alberta, Canada inspired a pair of stunning earrings.  Featuring two 5 carat conch pearls, the Cameron Falls Earrings drip into a shimmering suite of pink sapphires and purple garnets. 

The Best Sparkling High Jewelry Gifts of 2020

That’s it! Our holiday gift guide of the best sparkling luxury jewels and fine jewelry.

Which piece is your favorite?  Frankly, we loved them all. But if we had to choose, we might pick the jaw dropping Nuage en Apesanteur necklace from Boucheron. Or Cartier’s colorful Panthère Tropical watch bracelet.  Santa, do you hear us? Anyone? Hello? Honey, you’re reading this, right? Hey, a girl can dream. 

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This article contains affiliate links to products independently selected by our editors. As an Amazon Associate, Dandelion Chandelier receives a commission for qualifying purchases made through these links. 

Jillian Tangen is the Head of Research at Dandelion Chandelier and a former Senior Research Analyst at McKinsey & Co and Analyst at Shearman & Sterling. She is an avid fan of Nordic design, having owned an independent lifestyle store and sales agency focused on emerging Scandinavian design. She loves cross-country skiing, the New York Rangers, reading, travel and discovering new brands.

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