We turn to the ancient Chinese ideology of the five elemental essences of the universe — Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth— and their relationships to each other as the theme for our upcoming Jewels and Jadeite Fall Auction collection.
An expansion of the yin-yang theory of balance, the Five Elements and their association with the concept of equilibrium and harmony are fundamental to understanding ourselves and our surroundings. Believed to be at the root of the universe and the reason for all connections and interactions, these Five Elements are the building blocks to multidisciplinary subjects, from martial arts to medicine, in the East.
To reinterpret this cosmic philosophy, our expert jewelry specialists extrapolate characteristics in both the literal and figurative sense to find the most befitting representations of each of the Five Elements for this special curation.
Lot 577: Van Cleef & Arpels - A Diamond 'Alhambra' Bracelet and Pendant Necklace; Lot 578: A Diamond Necklace; Lot 579: An Exceptional Diamond Ring
True to its tangible form and characterizing its physical attributes, an exceptional diamond ring symbolizes Metal in the Five Elements collection. Echoing strength, shine, and brilliance, the diamond closely resembles its metallic partner. The reflective quality of Metal is pronounced in the refracted light and luster from the diamond facets, the clean pear shape curvature is suggestive of a sharp bladed sword, while the diamond and platinum represent the inherent solid and sculptural quality of Metal itself.
Lot 579: An Exceptional Diamond Ring, set with a 12.33 carat, D color, Internally FLawless, Type IIA, pear-shaped diamond.
Lot 582: An Exceptional and Rare Emerald and Diamond Bracelet; Lot 581: A Jadeite, Emerald and Diamond Ring; Lot 580: Karen Suen - An Ebony Wood and Diamond 'Rose' Ring and Earring Suite
Jewelry designer Karen Suen’s inspirational and exquisitely feminine designs are often anchored in nature. Breathing new life into fine jewels, she frequently weaves an unusual material into her craft — in this instance, ebony. Each petal is meticulously carved out and juxtaposed against shimmering diamonds to contrast with the warmth of timber. Wood signifies spring, the season of birth and new beginnings; just like Suen’s ring and earring set, which captures the full bloom of a rose. (Lot 580).
Wood is associated with gemstones that are green in color, including emerald and jadeite, which signify growth and flexibility.
Lot 585: A Fine Sapphire and Diamond Ring; Lot 583: A Paraiba Tourmaline and Diamond Pendant Necklace; Lot 584: An Aquamarine and Diamond Brooch/Pendant, Circa 1950
As the source of all life, Water is associated with change, emotions, and purification. Capturing the mannerism of Water in Five Elements, is a rare teardrop aquamarine imbued with the blue hues of the ocean which exudes a sense of calmness and serenity. Crowned at the tip of the stone are pear-shaped diamonds that mirror a cluster of icicles — the solid state of Water. When worn, the pendant dances with movement much like Water’s ability to flow. (Lot 584).
Water is associated with sapphire, tourmaline and aquamarine. The element that represents a person's wisdom, meaning they are articulate, clever and introspective.
Lot 588: An Exceptional Ruby and Diamond Ring; Lot 586: A Pair of Rubellite Tourmaline and Diamond Earrings; Lot 587: A Ruby and Diamond Bracelet
Rubies and Rubellite Tourmalines hold the same warm, passionate and exciting attributes associated with the fire element. For just over a decade, Mozambique has become a rising star, producing some of the world’s finest rubies. This 8.08 carat unheated, oval-shaped 'Pigeon Blood' ruby flickers under the light with its fiery scintillation evocating the embers of a fire. Surrounded by a halo of diamonds, the intensity of the red in the ruby is further emphasized by the contrasting diamonds.
Lot 588: An Exceptional 8.08 Carat Mozambique No Heat Ruby and Diamond Ring
Lot 590: A Pair of Fancy Intense Yellow Diamond and Diamond Earrings; Lot 589: A Fine Fancy Vivid Yellow Diamond and Diamond Ring; Lot 591: Graff An Important Colored Diamond and Diamond Necklace
The element of harvest — nurturing and abundant — Earth represents balance and ground. Mined from the Earth, yellow and white diamonds join together to create this mesmerizing five-strand necklace. Taking on the tones of sand and soil, the yellow and gold are offset with alternate white diamonds for a striking effect. With over 135 carats of mixed cut diamonds in total, this Graff necklace nods to the plentitude that the Earth element implies. The draping and fluidity of the necklace also reminds us of the curves and contours found in desert dunes, themselves a true testament to the sands of time.
Lot 591: Graff An Important Colored Diamond and Diamond Necklace