The story so far on AlphaLuxe:
The Garden of Kalahari Collection
Caroline Scheufele explains, “This (The Queen of Kalahari) 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.”
From that spectacular 342-carat rough diamond of finest colour and purity, Chopard yielded spectacular offspring; an extraordinary ensemble of 23 diamonds: The Garden of Kalahari.
The five master-cut stones – cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear – each exceeding 20 carets, are the basis of an extraordinary collection of six jewellery models in the Garden of Kalahari Collection.
Every hand in the Chopard Atelier in Geneva has touched the Collection at some point from the first sketches to the final polish, representing alost a full year’s work (3200 hours). They even smelt their own gold on-site, which is rare.
The First Cut is the Deepest
The master diamond cutters of Antwerp were entrusted with the nerve-racking and inconsolable task of cutting and polishing the ‘Gifts from God’. Employing both modern laser technology and traditional tools, Chopard finally had all the shiny bits for “the most prestigious set of jewellery ever to emerge from Chopard’s High Jewellery workshop” – the Garden of Kalahari.
Two rings, a bracelet, a pair of adjustable earrings, a secret watch and a necklace, all of remarkable brilliance and blinding pure whiteness; truly the ‘creme de la creme’.
“Little girls! I am in the business of putting old heads on young shoulders, and all my pupils are the creme de la creme. Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.” – ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ (Muriel Spark, 1961)
The Six Garden Jewels of the Kalahari
As a true collection and apart from the sheer size of the centrepiece diamonds, the versatility is a keynote. “I’ve always wanted to do a whole set that you can play with, detach, wear in different ways. I think women like to have something they can alter for different occasions,” Caroline Scheufele says, “If I’m not mistaken there are 17 different possibilities.”
The necklace is a case in point. It can be worn as a simple choker or built up with more rows of petal-shaped diamonds, or a “flower” can be attached, from which you can hang one, two or three pendants.
Necklace in 18ct white ‘Fairmined’ gold adorned with three exceptional D-flawless 50cst brilliant-cut, 26cts heart-shaped and 25cts pear-shaped diamonds, a D-flawless 6.41-ct brilliant-cut diamond and fully set with pear-shaped (98cts), brilliant cut (40cts) and marquise-cut (2cts) diamonds. Ref. 810442-1001
The heart and pear pendants can be pendulant from crescent-shaped earrings at adjustable lengths, for a unique Look as demonstrated by Charlize Theron at the 2017 ‘Oscars’ Ceremony.
Of course, the crescent-shape earrings can be worn pendant-less for a more discreet visage.
Earrings in 18ct white ‘Fairmined’ gold adorned with two exceptional D-flawless 25ct pear-shaped and 26ct heart-shaped diamonds and fully set with pear-shaped (4.55cts) and brilliant-cut diamonds (4.35cts). Ref. 849965-1001
Accessories for the Accessory
This collection is completed 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 surprises everyone who is shown the secret.
Observe the 20-carat cushion-cut diamond framed by Chopard’s signature diamond guipure lace with a luminous cut-out motif; it allows you to accessorise your headline accessories!
Ring in 18ct white ‘Fairmined’ gold adorned with an exceptional D-flawless cushion-cut diamond of 20cts and fully set with brilliant-cut (3.9cts) and pear-shaped (3cts) diamonds. Ref. 820985-1001
Secret watch in 18ct white ‘Fairmined’ gold set with two exceptional D-flawless pear-shaped and brilliant-cut diamonds and fully set with brilliant-cut and pear-shaped diamonds.
Equipped with a Haute Horlogerie L.U.C 96.17-L mechanical movement; micro-rotor in platinum set with diamonds.
“It’s probably the most complex project we’ve ever done, and every time I open the box it takes my breath away,” says Caroline Scheufele. “I think it’s going to go down in history. It’s all documented, the film shows the whole process from the mine to the finished piece; there’s the beautiful photo of the rough. There’s a whole story and the person who owns this will get the entire package.”
The Queen of Kalahari Documentary Video
Alexis Veller produced and directed a film about The Queen of Kalahari diamond, an exceptional 342-carat stone that produced a set of 23 diamonds by Chopard; the five biggest gems all exceed 20 carats each.
We presented excerpts from the film in this series of articles.
The Garden of Kalahari: Collection
The big mystery is the “missing” oval diamong cocktail ring; no image of it can be found.
Ring in 18ct white ‘Fairmined’ gold adorned with an exceptional D-flawless oval-shaped diamond of 12.8cts and fully set with pear-shaped (2.42cts), marquise-cut (1.89ct) and brilliant-cut (1.38ct) diamonds. Ref. 820986-1001
Perhaps, it has found an owner already? It’s likely we’ll never know – high jewellery customers tend to keep a low profile. Chopard hopes the Collection will be sold intact – “It would be a pity to separate this family,” Scheufele says.
Does that mean that even if you have the cash, you may not be able to buy some of these jewels? 😉
For the Eagle Eyed
Aha! Some of our Eagle-Eyed readers may have solved the big mystery. The missing Garden of Kalahari Cocktail Ring with oval cut diamond is hiding with the watch…
Author’s Biography: Melvyn Teillol-Foo (MTF)
Dr Melvyn Teillol-Foo is a contributor on AlphaLuxe web-zine.
He is also a moderator on PuristSPro.com horology discussion fora. He blends his scientific medical objectivity from the pharmaceutical industry with purist passion, in his musings about watches, travel, wine, food and other epicurean delights.
His travelogue ‘Lazing’ and feasting ‘Grazing’ series of articles have now passed into “mythic legend” on the original ‘ThePuristS.com’ website. Those were the halcyon days when he was “rich and famous” that he remembers with bittersweet fondness.
Dr Teillol-Foo is a quoted enthusiast on the watch industry, appearing in feature articles and interviews by Wall Street Journal, International Herald Tribune, Sunday Times (London), Chronos (Japan), Citizen Hedonist (France) and other publications. He has authored articles for magazines like International Watch (iW) – both U.S. & Chinese editions, ICON (Singapore), August Man (Singapore), Comfort (China) and The Watch (Hong Kong).