THE QUEEN OF KALAHARI

By MINE

This is the enchanting story of how one rare 342-carat diamond gave rise to the most precious jewellery set ever created by Chopard


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Chopard: the dazzling Geneva-based jewellery maison, adored by
A-listers. The brand not only occupies a seat at the industry’s top table,
but is applauded for its awareness of ethics within the industry. Striving
for more accountability and transparency in mining, it’s the brand that
studies the conscience of the market as much as it fashions its beautiful
pieces. It’s little wonder Hollywood stars and serious jewellery collectors alike line up to be associated with Chopard. Running the show at Chopard is Caroline Scheufele, co-president and creative director. Caroline has strong ethics, vast experience and – not surprisingly – a passion for fi ne jewellery. Having already
led the jewellery house to great heights, she was thrilled to take things to a new level with the discovery of an incredible 342-carat diamond.
Size, clarity and perfect colour – this diamond has it all, and is, quite literally, fi t for a queen. Unearthed a year ago at the Botswanan mine Karowe, the stone was an astonishing find, and Caroline travelled out immediately to examine it. “I straight away sensed this was an incredibly rare gem of exceptional beauty and purity,” says Caroline.

 

The Garden of Kalahari watch

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Caroline Scheufele, co-president of Chopard, examines The Garden of Kalahari collection

     

Charlize Theron wears the collection’s spectacular earrings at the 2017 Oscars

 
 
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Caroline and Victoria Beckham pose for pictures on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival 2016. Victoria wore white- gold Chopard bracelets set with diamonds and a matching ring

 

“The energy and emotional charge emanating from this stone is incomparable.” Boasting a combination of D colour – the most beautiful – with grade F (flawless) clarity, along with a mighty 342-carat weight – this type of diamond is extremely rare. Caroline named it The Queen of Kalahari. What does one do with such a huge and brilliant diamond? “This is an exceptional stone, but we did not wish to treat it as a mere trophy,” says Caroline. “Instead, we intended to prepare it for a destiny worth its stature.” And so, as the Queen’s crafting began, Chopard enlisted its most talented artisans to fashion the gem.

 

 

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Almost a year later, and following thousands of hours of work by these expert men and women, employing 30 skills in unison,
with Caroline overseeing the project, we have the children of the Queen, a jewellery set named the Garden of Kalahari. The Garden of Kalahari is Chopard’s fi nest artistic creation to date; a set of 23 diamonds– five weighing more than 20 carats – representing the main cuts: cushion, brilliant, heart, emerald and pear, all designed as flowers. The 50-carat brilliant becomes a sunflower, the 26-carat heart a pansy, the 26-carat pear a banana blossom, the 20-carat cushion a poppy and the 21-carat a water lily, resulting in the most captivating jewellery set. A necklace with three pendants (two of the pendants, the pear and heart stones, can also be worn as earrings), two rings, a bracelet, and a watch. Such is the glamour of these creations, Charlize Theron wore the earrings at this year’s Oscars – a ringing endorsement of a rare and valuable piece of art, made wearable thanks to Chopard’s in-house brilliance and Caroline’s unfaltering direction.

Left The Garden of Kalahari earrings; and below Julia Roberts wears
Chopard at the Cannes Film Festival 2016

 
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the collection’s stunning necklace

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Marion Cotillard was another star to wear Chopard at Cannes 2016

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One of the two exquisite rings in the collection