Van Cleef & Arpels is, among the jewelery houses, one of those that boasts great attention in the choice of precious stones. A testimony of this special attitude is the Pierres précieuses exhibition, inaugurated at the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle in Paris and which will continue until June 14, 2021. The work of Van Cleef & Arpels is entitled Rocher aux merveilles and is centered on the contrast between rough stones and high jewelery. The nine high jewelery creations that make up the Rocher aux Merveilles include ring, clip, pendant, earrings and bracelet.
The most surprising aspect of the exhibition is just the contribution made by the Parisian Maison, which used a large raw stone of lapis lazuli of 6.2 kilograms that looks like a mountain, resting on a 13 kilogram blue quartz plate, next to a forest of tourmaline crystals for 2,171 carats and with a small treasure of high jewelery: a dragon, a unicorn, two fairies, flowers, and a cascade of diamonds and sapphires. The whole is a miniature fairy tale landscape. An atmosphere that, in fact, is one of the recurring inspirations in the high jewelery collections by Van Cleef & Arpels.
The making of this small world of fine jewelry involved carving the fairies and the unicorn in wax, cutting the stones, assembling, crafting jewelry, setting and polishing. In all, almost 6,400 hours of work were required, with over 4,700 hours of jewelry, 1,200 hours of setting and 500 hours of polishing.