Each piece in the Sixième Sens par Cartier High Jewelry collection is created with exceptional craftsmanship. Allyson Klass uncovers the exquisite gemstones and intricate techniques behind three extraordinary rings in this exclusive feature.
The Phaan ring: a skilful play of light
“This unique ring surprises, thanks to its remarkable ruby of rare vitality. Slightly raised, the stone dominates a precious architecture. This is how the magic happens: the light filters through the heart of the piece and reveals the unexpected presence of a cushion-shaped rose-cut diamond. An illusion is created by the diamond, which gives depth and intensity to the color of the ruby, deceiving our senses.
Jacqueline Karachi, artistic director of Cartier
Every creation at Cartier begins with a unique stone – in this case, a phenomenal 8.2-carat cushion-cut ruby from Thailand that crowns the astonishing Phaan ring from the Sixième Sens par Cartier High Jewelry collection. Like the muse of a haute couture workshop, the jewel fueled the imagination of an expert team of designers, jewelers and gemstone cutters in the workshops of the house.
Revered for centuries as the most precious gemstone, the ruby holds a special place in the world of jewelry and at Cartier, where it plays a major role in the house’s many fine jewelry creations. However, getting the richest shade of this gem through the perfect cut, without compromising its weight and value, is a huge challenge.
Appearances are deceiving here. A closer look reveals not one, but two levels that make up the ring’s unique architecture. A daring undertaking such as this can only be executed by a house such as Cartier which possesses unparalleled know-how.
The simplicity of this creation masks a laborious and intricate step-by-step construction, which sees a 4.01-carat rose cushion-cut diamond set just below the ruby.
With research largely focusing on the most appropriate technique for setting the diamond under the central ruby, in-depth volume studies had to be carried out. This required multiple mockups used by jewelers as well as designers to ensure the viability and stability of the gemstone arrangement.
The addition of polished ruby beads and triangle cut diamonds of varying sizes added to the complexity of the assembly. As it was imperative to maintain the airy aesthetic of the jewel from an overhead view, the additional gemstones had to be positioned at varying heights around the piece and between the subtle openwork. This allowed the center diamond to catch the light and illuminate the ruby from within. The unorthodox setting also served to further intensify the luscious red tone of the ruby.
Just as standards of excellence and quality are rigorously monitored at every step, Cartier is committed to responsible practices and sourcing through the Responsible Jewelery Council, which has expanded its certification process to include stones colors such as rubies. It is also through the Colored Gemstones Working Group, of which Cartier is a founding member, that the house strives to promote the development of best practices in the jewelry industry.
Hélianthe ring: Harmonious geometry and transparency
“This ring is inspired by frosted flowers. Its slightly drooping corolla is crystallized with sparkling snowflakes, magnified by a composition of diamonds of different sizes, such as rose, hexagon and triangle. This interplay of shapes gives the piece its unique geometric structure and enhances the glow effects.
Reminiscent of a diamond flower with an intense play of light and transparency, the Hélianthe ring in the Haute Joaillerie Sixième Sens par Cartier collection is the embodiment of perfect symmetry and exceptional relief. Seemingly frozen but possessing an airy lightness, the masterpiece features six petals surrounding a diamond pistil of incomparable brilliance – showcasing Cartier’s exceptional craftsmanship.
Assembling a multitude of diamonds of various shapes in such harmony was the workshops’ first major challenge. For example, the setting of delicate and sharp points of triangular stones required a technique and know-how that can only be accomplished by the best artisans of Cartier. To maximize the intensity of the light reflected by the diamonds, the artisans took care to reduce the spaces between the stones throughout the production process, so that the platinum structure remained perfectly hidden.
The result is a composition of brilliant and rose-cut diamonds in hexagonal, octagonal and triangular shapes that fit together with extreme precision to reveal a slightly curved corolla that looks as if it has been crystallized by sparkling snowflakes.
On the top of the ring, diamonds are set in a pattern similar to the view in a kaleidoscope. This adds to the graphic aesthetic of the ring, while allowing each stone to dazzle from every angle and lend exceptional luminosity to the room.
To enhance the brilliance of the central 2.55-carat rose-cut diamond representing the heart of the flower, Cartier designers have created an intricate new setting by placing another 0.51-carat brilliant-cut diamond in a hexagonal pattern below. in an inverted pavilion setting.
A surprise awaits you on the underside. The design incorporating this unexpected second stone echoes the geometric pattern on the top, emphasizing the great finesse of the whole and Cartier’s unparalleled technical mastery.
The Parhelia ring: A valuable ripple effect
“From an impressive 20.51-carat sapphire cabochon, waves paved with diamonds and emeralds extend in “echoes”. This motion effect is amplified by blue, green and black – a palette that uses its own contrast to enhance the optical illusion.
A game of visual perceptions with a unique shape, the Parhelia ring is one of the most enigmatic pieces in the Haute Joaillerie Sixième Sens par Cartier collection.
The singular style of the house is expressed through the harmony of the polychrome stones on this incredible jewel. Featured in many Cartier creations since the turn of the 20th century, the sensual and flamboyant combination of blue and green – known as the peacock pattern – was dreamed up by Louis Cartier, who drew inspiration from Islamic arts, as well only costumes and decorations. the Ballets Russes – a renowned traveling dance troupe based in Paris from the early 1900s made up of eminent dancers from the Imperial Ballet.
Initially an experiment, the unconventional combination of sapphire and emerald – perceived as discordant in Europe at the time – testified to Cartier’s bold and creative vision. Both colors have since been introduced to the house’s signature palette and continue to be interpreted in a wide range of shades to this day.
It’s impossible to take your eyes off the 20.51-carat main sapphire with a saturated blue – a hue associated with the divine and immortal since ancient times. Diamonds and buff emeralds set between five platinum “brackets” contrast the rich color of this cabochon. Angled slightly downward, each unfurls like a ripple breaking the surface of a lake. Black lacquer punctuates the outer lines, creating a shadow effect and reinforcing the illusion of fluid movement.
We see precious kinetic waves “reverberating” on each side in halos that emanate from the sapphire. The length of the ring extends over three fingers with slightly flexible tips to ensure comfort when worn. This imposing piece is also modular: its main motif can be detached from the ring to turn into a brooch resembling an Art Deco-inspired bow tie.
This story first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore.