One of the most versatile and universal of accessories, arm adornments have been worn by both men and women since the prehistoric era. Bracelets are often steeped in cultural significance, with symbolism that can vary depending on where you are in the world. And often, their only requisite function is to be beautiful.

Of course, bracelets can also be practical – from telling time to alerting others of a medical condition. They can denote relationships, such as the friendship bracelets worn in childhood, as well as meaningful heirlooms, like a cherished charm bracelet, a wedding bangle or something special inherited from a beloved grandmother.

Why we wear bracelets – history and symbolism of arm candy

Bracelets, arm bands and anklets have historically carried special meaning in various cultures. Ancient Egyptians were considered the first to wear bracelets solely for fashion, whereas Greek soldiers wore leather bracelets for the pragmatic reason of protecting their wrists during battle. Vikings and Celts wore arm rings as a rite of passage into adulthood, an oath of allegiance to the gods, and even as currency. It wasn’t until the Middle Ages onward that bracelets became more commonly associated with women.

Lot 196: An Antique Natural Pearl Convertible Bangle Bracelet/Brooch, circa 1860, Lot 199: A Retro Ruby, Diamond and Gold Bracelet, circa 1945

For instance, in the South Asian diaspora, it’s traditional for a bride to wear multiple bangles on her wedding day, gifts from the family, and in China, baby girls were often given a bangle skillfully cut from a single piece of jade as protection from evil and to promote good health. In Western culture, bracelets can still carry sentimental or spiritual meaning, but are most often worn as stylish accessories to be removed at day’s end.

Bracelet basics – styles, types and materials

Early bracelets were crafted with organic materials, such as grass, wood, shells, hair and bone. Folk jewellery could be made from horn, teeth or beads. Later, metals like copper and brass were most often used, as well as gold and silver and platinum for fine jewellery. Bracelets have also incorporated man-made materials like glass, enamel and ceramic.

Lot 121 (Fall 2019): A Multi-Coloured Sapphire, Diamond, Enamel, Silver and Gold Bracelet, by Moira

Let’s take a look at some of the more popular and enduring bracelet styles:

Bangles

Bangles are generally rigid, formed of a complete hoop of round or oval shape, or covering the wrist only partially and known as penannular, sometimes hinged or spring-mounted for easy wearing and also of simple pull-on style.  They can be made of plain gold or platinum or be adorned with diamonds, coloured gemstones, or engravings.

Slender versions may be worn singly, or enjoyed as multiples for their stackable wearability; chunkier bangles, especially those featuring a prominent raised design can be worn solo as more of a statement piece.

Lot 9: A Diamond and White Gold Bangle, Lot 40: A Sapphire, Diamond, Ruby and White Gold Bangle Bracelet, Lot 266: A Diamond and Two-Tone Gold Bangle Bracelet, by Sabbadini

Strap and Link Bracelets

The most all-encompassing bracelet types range from symmetrical, asymmetrical, tapering, straight, undulating, foldable, plain or elaborately decorated with allover motifs. Typically, bracelets can be composed of articulated bombé or flat links and often have a convenient clasp closure.

Lot 340: An Impressive Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1950

Lot 247: A Ruby, Sapphire and Gold Bracelet, circa 1970

Lot 338: A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1950

Tennis bracelet

Another most-coveted item to adorn the wrist is the classic line bracelet, designed entirely with a flowing row of diamonds or alternating with a series of coloured gemstones. Although this particular style dates back to the 1920s, the name “tennis bracelet” wasn’t dubbed as such until the 1970s, thanks to American tennis player Chris Evert. She famously wore bracelets during her matches, a novelty on the tennis court at that time. During the U.S. open in 1978, Evert noticed the bracelet she had been wearing had fallen off and play was stopped until it was found.

Lot 38: A Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet

Lot 45: A Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Bracelet

Lot 302: A Diamond and Gold Line Bracelet

Lot 96: A Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet, Birks

Lot 120: A Ruby and White Gold Bracelet

Lot 190: A Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet, circa 1930

Charm bracelet

The original charm is thought to be the beneficent Egyptian “evil eye” bead worn to ward off the glare of evil, protecting the wearer by “charming” or deflecting malevolent spirits. It was adopted by many neighbouring cultures and is still prevalent today.

In the West, charms gained popularity during World War II with the return of soldiers from their time abroad, bringing home tiny, easy to carry gifts for wives and sweethearts. Post-war, charms were a popular memento used to represent travel experiences for tourists, later expanding to encompass other memorable occasions in life such as weddings, births and anniversaries. Delightful animal and good luck whimsies showcased the wearer’s personality, with endless options available.

Lot 24 (Fall 2018) A Gem-Set, Platinum and White Gold Charm Bracelet, circa 1930

Is it a watch or a bracelet?

Intriguingly, sometimes it manages to be both a practical timepiece AND a gem studded bracelet: a diamond-set hinged cover pops open to reveal a watch dial; a detachable diamond-set dial cover converts to a petite clip brooch; a case smoothly reverses to impress with diamonds; a strap can be entirely composed of multi-coloured gemstones.

Lot 168: A Lady’s Multi-Coloured Gem, Diamond and Stainless Steel ‘Potpourri’ Wristwatch, Corum

Bracelets in June 2021 Important Jewels Auction


  • A Multi-Coloured Sapphire and Gold Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $5,000 - 6,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $1,400 - 1,800

  • An Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1920
    Est: $6,000 - 10,000

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1950
    Est: $14,000 - 18,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • An Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1920
    Est: $6,000 - 8,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Line Bracelet
    Est: $1,500 - 1,800

  • A Ruby, Sapphire and Gold Bracelet, circa 1970
    Est: $5,000 - 6,000

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet Watch, Longines
    Est: $4,000 - 6,000

  • A Ruby, Sapphire and Gold Bracelet, circa 1970
    Est: $5,000 - 6,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond, Ruby and White Gold Bangle Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • An Amethyst, Diamond and Pink Gold Bracelet
    Est: $6,000 - 8,000

  • A Natural Pearl, Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1960
    Est: $8,000 - 10,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Line Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet, Birks
    Est: $3,000 - 5,000

  • A Gold Bracelet
    Est: $5,000 - 6,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet, circa 1930
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • An Antique Natural Pearl, Diamond and Enamel Convertible Bangle Bracelet/Brooch, circa 1860
    Est: $3,000 - 3,600

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • A Retro Ruby, Diamond and Gold Bracelet, circa 1945
    Est: $4,000 - 6,000

  • A Ruby, Diamond and Two-Tone Gold Bracelet
    Est: $4,000 - 5,000

  • A Ruby and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and Silver Bracelet
    Est: $14,000 - 18,000

  • A Red Jadeite, Diamond and White Gold Bangle Bracelet
    Est: $1,000 - 1,200

  • A Diamond and White Gold Line Bracelet
    Est: $1,000 - 1,400

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1965
    Est: $7,000 - 9,000

  • An Onyx, Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $800 - 1,000

  • A Diamond, Onyx and Gold Bangle Bracelet, by J.P Bellin
    Est: $5,000 - 7,000

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1940
    Est: $6,000 - 8,000

  • An Antique Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet, circa 1915
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1960
    Est: $14,000 - 18,000

  • A Peridot, Sapphire and White Gold Bracelet, Zancan
    Est: $1,400 - 1,800

  • A Citrine and Gold Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,500

  • A Diamond and Gold Bangle Bracelet
    Est: $2,600 - 3,600

  • An Impressive Diamond and Platinum Bracelet, circa 1950
    Est: $30,000 - 40,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet, circa 1920
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Diamond and Gold Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • A Coloured Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • A Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Bracelet
    Est: $2,600 - 3,600

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $5,000 - 7,000

  • A Diamond and Platinum Line Bracelet
    Est: $5,000 - 7,000

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $4,000 - 6,000

  • A Diamond and Gold Line Bracelet
    Est: $1,200 - 1,600

  • A Diamond and White Gold Bracelet
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Diamond and Two-Tone Gold Bangle Bracelet, by Sabbadini
    Est: $4,000 - 6,000

  • A Gold Bracelet
    Est: $2,600 - 3,600

Enamel and Gold Brooch by Birks

As the sun’s warmth and spring colours begin to brighten our landscape, we often feel inspired to liven up our wardrobes as well. This is a time of year synonymous with rebirth, blooms and of course, animals frolicking.

Perhaps there is no better time of year to add some playful animal jewellery pieces to your rotation, effortlessly adding a touch of whimsy and delight to any outfit.

Animal motifs are accessible for anyone and can work with nearly any occasion, as there is a wide spectrum of animal jewellery, ranging from dramatic to subtle to simply adorable.

Each animal imparts its own unique symbolism as well, allowing the wearer to embody a deeper meaning behind the piece. Some common interpretations for popular animal motifs include:

Butterfly: a symbol of transformation, rebirth and the soul

Antique Diamond Butterfly Brooch, circa 1880


Dolphin: harmony and playfulness

Diamond, Emerald and Gold Dolphin Brooch, Cartier


Elephant: often associated with good luck

Yellow Sapphire and Gold Elephant Brooch, Cartier


Lion: represents bravery, strength and justice

Coloured Diamond Tiger Brooch, Rene Boivin


Peacock: beauty, confidence, compassion and prosperity

Antique Demantoid Garnet and Gold Peacock Brooch, circa 1900

From bone to bejeweled – animal jewellery throughout the ages

Antique Enamel and Gold Serpent Pendant

Designers and artists have long found Mother Nature and her creatures to be a muse, and animal themes have been a staple in jewellery for centuries. In fact, actual animal matter in the way of shells, bones, teeth and feathers have all been used to create jewellery.

During the Stone Age, it was often customary to bury the dead with animal figurines as amulets, a practice that continued into Ancient Egyptian times where a scarab beetle trinket was often placed on the chest of a mummy, representing their heart.

The serpent motif was first prominent in Ancient Rome; Ancient Greece and the Etruscans had fantastical fire-breathing chimeras, part lion, part goat, part snake; medieval Europe wove mythological creatures into their jewellery design, beauty in the eye of the beholder. The Victorian age saw a revival of romantic, nature-inspired pieces, namely intricately designed brooches of dogs, birds, and butterflies. Real beetles, too, captured their love of the natural world.

Insects were a source of inspiration into the Art Nouveau period, as their bright and colourful bodies lent themselves perfectly to enamel work. The Egyptian scarab reigned once more during the Art Deco era, a time when the fascination with the discovery of the tombs of the Pharaohs was still at its zenith.

Egyptian Revival Turquoise, Diamond, Platinum and Gold Bar Brooch, Cartier, circa 1925

Snakes and bees and panthers – oh, my!

Among the many themes that have emerged throughout each design era, a number of standout animal pieces or motifs have become signatures for several top jewellery houses.

Cartier’s Panthère pieces: Perhaps one of the best-known animal mascots of a jewellery house is Cartier’s panther, a central motif spanning multiple collections. This symbol of feline femininity was first brought to life by designer Jeanne Toussaint in the early 20th century and famously worn by the Duchess of Windsor in stunning brooch and bracelet forms.

Diamond and Gold Ring, Cartier and Sapphire, Enamel and Gold Panther Brooch, Cartier, Gold and Pearl Ring by Cartier

Bulgari’s Serpenti collection: Arguably the most notable collection of snake motif jewels, these intricate pieces were crafted using the Tubogas technique to replicate the flexible coiling of a snake. Bulgari also designed bespoke serpent pieces for the legendary Elizabeth Taylor and fashion editor Diana Vreeland.

Diamond and Pink Gold ‘Serpenti’ Ring, Bulgari

Van Cleef & Arpels: The multi-sized series of Lion Ebouriffé brooches was beloved by sophisticated women including Princess Grace of Monaco.

Various brooches by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Chaumet’s (& Napoleon’s) bees: French Emperor Napoleon donned gold bee jewels to represent and assert his imperial power. His official royal jeweller was the founder of Parisian jewellery maison, Chaumet. Today, modern interpretations of the symbolism can be found in their Bee My Love collection. Birks ‘Bee Chic’ design collection references the hexagonal form of a honeycomb.

Whether you need a reminder of your inner strength or simply want to add a touch of charm to your accessory collection, there will always be a place for the power of the wild in the jewellery world.

Derived from the Latin words for water and sea, Aquamarine is aptly named for its serene blue-green colour. It is a variety of the mineral beryl (like emerald), forming sizeable crystals that make it an excellent stone for jewellery.

Pair of Belle Époque Aquamarine, Diamond and Platinum Ear Pendants

Pair of Belle Époque Aquamarine, Diamond and Platinum Ear Pendants, circa 1910. Sold at Dupuis Fall 2013 Important Jewels auction for $12,000.

Aquamarine stone history and meaning

March’s birthstone has many ties to the sea, aside from its colour. Aquamarine is associated with the astrological water sign Scorpio and its soothing energy was said to calm sea waves, becoming known as the sailor’s gem. Ancient Greeks and Romans turned to the stone for safe passage on journeys across stormy seas.

Aquamarine was thought to bring a soldier victory during ancient battles, making the wearer of the stone invincible and in medieval times was said to reignite youthful love and passion in a marriage. Some modern day gift lists include the gem as a traditional 19th wedding anniversary present.

It is also considered an ideal gift for a groom to give his bride on their wedding day, along the lines of something blue, beyond something borrowed – Prince Harry gifted Meghan Markle a 30-carat emerald-cut pale blue aquamarine cocktail ring surrounded by diamonds which he inherited from his late mother, Princess Diana.

Folklore also describes aquamarine as an effective oracle stone, often used like a crystal ball for divination practices. Today, it is still a popular stone used in meditation, believed to enhance one’s intuition.

Aquamarine gemstone characteristics

Aquamarine is formed in six-sided prismatic crystals, with the top quality historically mined in Brazil, as well as Sri Lanka, India, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Russia. The crystals tend to grow quite big, and a very large specimen weighing nearly 250 pounds, was found in Brazil in 1910.

Aquamarine Crystals

Aquamarine Crystals

A sky blue hue to a slightly greenish blue is the preferred colour for the gemstone in jewellery today, but in the past a greenish aquamarine was considered to be more valuable. The colour naturally comes from the iron content in the stone, which can appear blue, green or colourless depending on the light and angle. This is called a pleochroic effect. The deepest blue stones are called Santa Maria, named after the notable Brazilian mine.

Aquamarine gems used in jewellery today are commonly heat-treated to achieve the more sought-after deep blue colour. The colour and brilliance can also be enhanced by the cut of the stone.

Shopping for aquamarine jewellery

On the Mohs hardness scale, aquamarine comes in at 7.5 to 8.0, making it fairly resistant to scratches and therefore suitable for more than just special occasions, being much more durable than its dainty appearance makes it seem.

As for clarity, faceted aquamarine is more valuable if transparent and free of visible inclusions; however, it is currently a trend to fashion “milky” or translucent aquamarine into unique frosted jewellery pieces, especially attractive in tumbled bead necklaces. Jewellery designers also take more imaginative liberties with one-off specialty cuts, although aquamarine is most often fashioned as emerald-cuts or ovals.

Aquamarine, Diamond and Platinum Ring by Cartier

Aquamarine, Diamond and Platinum Ring by Cartier. Sold at Dupuis Fall 2017 Important Jewels auction for $11,000.

Aquamarine and Diamond Ring

Aquamarine and Diamond Ring. Sold at Dupuis June 2017 Important Jewels auction for $12,000.

A ring, simply set with perhaps a few diamond side-stones flanking a single aquamarine weighing 15 to 20 carats, makes for a stunning bold display.

Two-Tone Gold Brooch

It seems fine jewellery has always been synonymous with romance: love and belonging have been an enduring theme in personal adornment for centuries, typically embodied in more feminine pieces that may feature personalized engravings, symbolic images, lockets or hearts. 

Romantic jewellery is most often given as a gift, to woo a new love or show commitment in a relationship, and for this reason, finely crafted bespoke pieces are more likely to get a message of devotion across.

With Valentine’s Day around the corner – the ideal occasion to flaunt your passion and make the object of your affection swoon – consider the dazzling array of one-of-a-kind romantic jewellery pieces available for bidding at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

Romantic jewellery for the ages

Antique Amethyst and Gold Pendant

Arguably, vintage and antique jewels are the epitome of romantic jewellery. Take for instance the early Victorian era, which according to some historic timelines was also still considered the Romantic Period, especially in the United Kingdom. The jewellery of this time was usually quite sentimental, perhaps reflective of the young royal couple on the throne at the time: Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. 

Other cultures had their own take on romantic jewels:

Celtic symbolism in jewellery often depicted interconnectedness and relationships, such as the weaving loops of the Celtic Knot that give the illusion of no beginning and no end – eternity. The three-pointed Trinity Knot is said to represent love and honour, making it an ideal choice for engagement jewellery.

And then there is the iconic Claddagh ring, with two hands holding a heart to symbolize love, friendship and family. How the ring is worn tells the wearer’s relationship status.

Gold Brooch by Tiffany & Co., and Diamond and Gold Brooch.

Knots and hearts and locks – oh my! 

Of course, no symbol could be clearer when it comes to gifts from the heart then, well, the heart. 

The first reported use of the heart shape to depict love was in the Middle Ages, and it remains an ever-popular symbol for romance today. 

Similar to the Claddagh, the fede gimmel ring features two hands clasped together that open to reveal a heart, and it is traditionally given as a betrothal ring. Another style is the “witch’s heart,” which is curved toward one side and implies one is “bewitched” with their love.  

Other classic standards for romantic jewellery include three stone rings to represent the past, present and future – typically bestowed as an engagement ring – and the eternity band, which is most often given as a traditional first anniversary gift to symbolize everlasting love. 

Perhaps the most personal of all romantic jewellery gifts is the locket. What could be more nostalgic and significant than a photo of your loved one, held close to your heart? Lockets have been a classic statement piece since the Victorian ages, when it was popular to adorn these pieces with a lock of hair. They still remain a meaningful way to showcase your love story.

Heart-shaped locket pendant

A more recent trend sees brides fastening lockets to their bouquets, sometimes to honour the memory of a loved one, or they can be engraved with the wedding date, initials of the couple, or anything else significant to the bride and groom.  

There are countless ways to turn nearly any piece of fine jewellery into a love story; after all, it is the meaning and intention behind the gift that truly makes it romantic!

Romantic Motifs – Boutique Jewels February 3–10, 2021


  • A Sapphire, Diamond and White Gold Ring
    Est: $400 - 600

  • An Emerald and Gold Pendant
    Est: $300 - 400

  • An Antique Amethyst, Seed Pearl and Gold Pendant, circa 1880
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Diamond and White Gold Eternity Ring
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Diamond, Ruby and White Gold Eternity Ring
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Pearl, Split-Pearl, Garnet and Gold Bangle Bracelet
    Est: $500 - 700

  • A Diamond and Gold Eternity Ring
    Est: $700 - 1,000

  • A Mabe Pearl, Diamond and Gold Pendant/Enhancer
    Est: $700 - 900

  • A Gold Locket Pendant
    Est: $600 - 800

  • A Diamond, Ruby, Platinum and Gold Bar Brooch
    Est: $500 - 700

  • A Pair of Two-Tone Gold Ear Clips
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Diamond and White Gold Eternity Ring
    Est: $1,000 - 1,400

  • An Emerald, Diamond and Gold Ring
    Est: $800 - 1,200

  • An Unmounted Blue Spinel
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Gold Charm Bracelet
    Est: $2,200 - 2,600

  • A Gold Bracelet
    Est: $400 - 600

  • A Two-Tone Gold Brooch
    Est: $800 - 1,200

  • A Pair of Pietra Dura and Gold Ear Pendants
    Est: $400 - 600

  • Two Cultured Pearl and Gold Brooches
    Est: $300 - 400

  • A Pearl, Turquoise, Silver and Pink Gold Locket Pendant
    Est: $400 - 600

  • An Enamel, Cultured Pearl and Gold Brooch
    Est: $500 - 700

  • A Charming Gilt Birdcage with Singing Birds Automaton, by Reuge
    Est: $1,000 - 2,000

  • A Ruby, Diamond, Platinum Ring
    Est: $950 - 1,400

  • A Set of Diamond, Ruby, Sapphire and Platinum Eternity Rings
    Est: $800 - 1,200

  • Two Diamond and Gold Jewels
    Est: $700 - 900

  • An Antique Turquoise, Pearl and Gold Pendant/Brooch, circa 1900
    Est: $900 - 1,300

  • A Diamond and Gold Ring
    Est: $1,400 - 1,800

  • An Emerald and White Gold Necklace
    Est: $400 - 500

  • A Diamond and White Gold Locket Pendant/Enhancer
    Est: $600 - 800

With colder weather fast approaching, we’ve swapped sandals for sweaters – which also means it’s time for an accessory adjustment as well. A change of season is a good reminder to switch up both our wardrobe and our go-to jewellery items.

Of course there is always a place for our most meaningful, timeless pieces. And there are plenty of sustainable and economical ways to update your collection without going overboard.

Yet, winter is our longest season and can also be the dreariest, so there is no better time to add bright new bling than when we have to bundle up! Especially with the holidays on the horizon.

Fall jewellery trends for 2020

Here are the top trends for the current fall and upcoming winter season. Consider it inspiration as you start to think about what you might like to add to your holiday wish list!

Tubular, Fringe and Bib Necklaces

Scarves aren’t the only accessory to wear around your neck this season. This is a more substantial take on the choker trend that can pair just as nicely with a chunky knit sweater as a long dress. These heavy metal necklaces rest right on the collarbone and make enough of a statement to be worn on their own.

Lot 397: A Topaz, Diamond and Gold Necklace

Lot 260: A Ruby, Diamond, Silver and Gold Necklace

Lot 389: A Diamond and White Gold Necklace


Reimagined pearls

Pearls continue to endure this year as designers keep coming out with inventive new ways to wear them. This is your chance to get creative with a classic, layering strings of pearls in varying lengths or even pairing different shapes and sizes together, as seen on many high fashion runways throughout 2020.

Lot 296: A South Sea Cultured Pearl, Diamond and White Gold Bangle Bracelet

Lot 404: A Cultured Pearl, Diamond and Pink Gold Necklace

Lot 198: A South Sea Cultured Pearl, Gem-set and Gold Ring


Statement gemstones

Bigger is certainly better this season when it comes to gems. If you have a vintage cocktail ring that stays in your jewellery box, this is the time to pull it out and show it off. Or, have fun with colourful stones that are sure to add dazzle to your holiday looks this season. If it sparkles, it’s in style!

Lot 63: A Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Ring

Lot 157: An Emerald, Diamond and Platinum Ring

Lot 213: A Purple-Pink Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Ring


Retro punk

There is something about the coziness and colours of fall that can make us feel wistful, which might explain the throwback trends we are seeing this season. From artsy geometric pieces reminiscent of the funky 70s to more edgier pieces indicative of the punky 80s, express yourself with the look of the decade that speaks to you!

Lot 34: A Gem-Set and Gold Bangle Bracelet, Karl Stittgen

Lot 189: A Gold ‘Trouble’ Pendant, Boucheron

Lot 202: An Opal, Diamond and Gold Pendant/Brooch, Cavelti


Chain links and charms

Another nostalgic nod to classic pieces of the past, chain link jewellery complete with a designer take on the sentimental charm continues to be on trend this year. From shells to pearls to branded logo charms, mixed metals and bright colours, there is a charm for every style to adorn necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Chain belts have even made a comeback on the runway!

Lot 6: A Gold Charm Bracelet

Lot 203: A Gold Necklace

Lot 131: A Lapis Lazuli and Gold Bracelet


Oversized earrings

Perfect for winter, statement earrings can be the one accessory that lets you stand out while you’re covered up! Even if you’re bundled from head to toe, these standout earrings show off your style, from sculptural shapes to shoulder-grazing danglers.

Lot 160: A Pair of Emerald, Sapphire, Diamond and White Gold Ear Clips

Lot 264: A Pair of Diamond and White Gold Ear Clips

Lot 57: A Pair of Citrine, White Sapphire, Diamond and Gold Ear Pendants

How many luxury jewellery brands can boast a long list of truly regal clients, from the Maharajas of India to the British royal family, and even Hollywood royalty like Elizabeth Taylor and Grace Kelly? Well one renowned house can for certain: Cartier.

Gem-Set, Diamond And Enamel ‘Tutti Frutti’ Bracelet, Cartier. Sotheby’s April 2020 Auction.

From French Revolution to style evolution 

The maison was founded in 1847 when Louis-François Cartier took over his master’s workshop, but it was his three grandsons who elevated the brand to the highest heights of the high jewellery world. Their father had put Cartier on the map with the move to Rue de La Paix in Paris. Yet, it was the forward thinking and exacting craftsmanship standards of Louis Cartier and his brothers Pierre and Jacques that ushered in the golden age of Cartier. 

From creating the first wristwatch to producing the iconic Tutti Frutti pieces during the Art Deco era – not to mention ties to the most famous diamonds in the world – Cartier was on its way to creating a lasting legacy that would endure the ages.

Diamond and Gold Bracelet by Cartier. Dupuis November 2020 Important Jewels auction, lot 210.

The business is no longer family-run but has since become a globally recognized design house synonymous with luxury.

The Taj Mahal An Indian Diamond And Jade Pendant Necklace Ruby And Gold Chain, By Cartier. Christie’s December 2011 auction.

Diamonds are a brand’s best friend 

Cartier’s storied history is as fascinating as the gems it involves. 

Cartier briefly owned the infamous Hope Diamond, believed to be cursed. Pierre Cartier set the 45-carat royal blue diamond with a halo of white diamonds at the request of buyer Evalyn Walsh McLean, a prominent socialite who brought notoriety to the Cartier brand with her purchase. 

There was also the famous 69-carat Cartier diamond, the largest to ever be privately owned, that was bought by Richard Burton as a gift for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. He would later gift another renowned Cartier diamond to his wife: the heart-shaped Taj Mahal Diamond. 

With links to India since well before that, Cartier was often commissioned to create lavish jewellery for Indian royalty, including the famous Patiala necklace, set with nearly 1,000 carats of diamonds.

An opulent nod to Mother Earth

Perhaps the best known Cartier offering is their signature panther, first depicted on a wristwatch in 1914. Thanks to the creative vision of Jeanne Toussaint, the first designer credited with exploring femininity through the panther, the motif soon became an intrinsic aspect of many Cartier creations, from cigarette boxes to brooches.

Coloured Diamond and Onyx Bangle Bracelet by Cartier. Sold for $160,000 at Dupuis Fall 2009 Important Jewels auction.

Lady’s Very Fine and Rare Enamel, Diamond and Gold ‘Le Cirque Animalier de Cartier Tigre’ Wristwatch by Cartier. Sold for $55,000 at Dupuis Spring 2017 Important Jewels Auction.

Diamond and Gold Ring by Cartier. Sold for $22,000 at Dupuis Spring 2008 Important Jewels auction

Cartier Panthere Tropicale wristwatch and Hemis necklace from the (Sur)Naturel 2020 high jewellery collection.

Cartier’s newest high jewellery offering is a showstopping and ever regal line that features its favourite emblematic animal, alongside other wild and organic elements. This nature-inspired collection couldn’t come at a better time, when life in lockdown has everyone craving a taste of the natural world.


The [Sur]Naturel collection celebrates Mother Nature with flora and fauna designs, such as the Panthère Tropical timepiece that encapsulates the vivid colour and beauty of a rainforest with coral, aquamarine and tourmaline. And of course, onyx and white diamonds to represent the spots of their mainstay mascot.

The panther motif is reimagined further in the Hemis necklace, with its irregularly shaped opals to represent a panther’s fur. Set atop in the centre is a richly hued cushion-shaped kunzite weighing nearly 72 carats.


CARTIER PEICES AT THE NOVEMBER 2020 IMPORTANT JEWELS AUCTON


  • A Gold 'Love' Bangle Bracelet, Cartier
    Est: $2,400 - 3,400

  • A Diamond and Gold Bracelet, Cartier
    Est: $8,000 - 12,000

  • A Gold Cigarette Holder, Cartier
    Est: $800 - 1,200

  • A Lady's Diamond and Pink Gold 'Tank Anglaise' Wristwatch, Cartier, circa 2016
    Est: $3,600 - 4,200

  • A White Gold Necklace, Cartier
    Est: $1,500 - 2,000

  • An Elegant Diamond and White Gold 'Tank Française' Wristwatch, Cartier, circa 2007
    Est: $20,000 - 30,000

  • A Diamond and Tricoloured Gold Ring, Cartier
    Est: $1,500 - 2,000

  • A Stainless Steel 'Santos Galbée XL' Wristwatch, Cartier
    Est: $1,000 - 1,500

  • A Stainless Steel 'Pasha C' Wristwatch, Cartier
    Est: $1,300 - 1,600

  • An Emerald, Diamond and Gold 'Sonata' Ring, Cartier, circa 1984
    Est: $3,000 - 4,000

  • An Emerald and White Gold Clip Brooch, Cartier, circa 2017
    Est: $3,600 - 4,200

  • A Diamond and White Gold 'Love' Bangle Bracelet, Cartier
    Est: $2,000 - 3,000

  • A Gold Panther and 'Trinity' Brooch, Cartier
    Est: $2,600 - 3,200

  • An Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Jabot Pin, Cartier, circa 1930
    Est: $5,000 - 7,000

Moonstone, Cultured Pearl, Turquoise and 18K Gold Brooch, Karl Stittgen, circa 1970.

As Canada’s premier jewellery auction house, Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers takes pride in our collection of one-of-a-kind pieces from the world’s most renowned designers.

This month we’re showcasing a selection of exclusive signature pieces from Vancouver-based custom jeweller, Karl Stittgen, noted for his use of edgy, architecturally-inspired motifs juxtaposed with organic sculptural forms found in nature. Even the company logo and maker’s mark is an attractive, suitably symbolic ginkgo leaf. Most easily recognizable is his bold use of repetition, exuberant cluster-effects and hammered or molten textures contrasted with a high polish, sometimes with just a judiciously modest sprinkling of diamonds or the addition of a coloured gem or a few pearls. The most iconic designs feature fine metalwork as the major starring attraction and the gem accents are frequently the understudy.

Gold Gingko Leaf Brooch, by Karl Stittgen.

 

Karl Stittgen emigrated from Germany in the early 1950s and established himself as a prominent jeweller and watchmaker in West Vancouver. His creations soon gained global recognition and consequently he opened additional Stittgen stores in Calgary, New York and San Francisco. In his golden years, he trained many Master Goldsmiths who carry on his traditions and techniques today.

Karl Stittgen’s profound impact on both local and international jewellery design was honoured in 2009, when he received the Creative Achievement Award of Distinction at the 5th annual British Columbia Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design.

Though now essentially retired, his legacy continues: Stittgen Fine Jewellery maintains the founder’s signature contemporary style and dedication to exceptional workmanship, further allowing these distinctive designs to be deservedly appreciated by a new generation of collectors. And, as with any truly exceptional fine jewellery brand, the creations stand the test of time.

Stittgen designs are deceptively simple, yet elegant in their audacity.

Here is a sampling of some of the handcrafted Stittgen pieces that will be up for bidding at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers:

Lot 324: Canadian Heart-Shaped Diamond Ring.

So you finally decided to pop the question. But before you get down on one knee, you need to find the perfect ring for your proposal. This is perhaps one of the most important purchases you will ever make – talk about pressure!

While choosing the right engagement ring can seem an almost impossible task, it can also be a memorable experience, especially if you opt to forego the retail route, and the added hassle of dealing with pushy sales people, and instead buy a one-of-a-kind piece at a jewellery auction.

Shop at an auction, expand your options

Buying your engagement ring at an auction is accessible no matter what your preferences or budget. In fact, you can expect to pay considerably less than you would shopping at a traditional bricks-and-mortar jewellery store. You can feel confident knowing you’re getting the most bling for your buck. Got a question? Staff are onsite with spec and tech info.

In addition to great value, the selection of engagement rings available at an auction is unrivalled. Whether your soon-to-be fiancé prefers vintage opulence or understated modern elegance, you’re bound to come across a unique style that pleases them – and your wallet.

How does buying at Dupuis work?

Here at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers, there are many ways to bid when buying jewellery at auction. We suggest attending the live auction for the experience; however, you can also bid live online or over the phone. You can view the lots ahead of time in our gallery showroom or with our searchable online catalogue. All condition reports for each piece are easy to access, too.

Here is a sampling of just a few of the dazzling diamonds that will be available in the upcoming auction.