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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • A Gold Locket Pendant
    Est: $600 - 800

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

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

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

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

  • A Gold Bracelet
    Est: $400 - 600

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

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

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

  • An Unmounted Blue Spinel
    Est: $300 - 400

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Art Deco Sapphire, Diamond and Platinum Ring, Tiffany & Co., circa 1925, sold for $12,000 at Fall 2017 Important Jewels auction.

As Holly Golightly will tell you, “Nothing very bad could happen to you there.”

She’s referring of course to Tiffany & Co.’s flagship jewellery shop on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

From their legendary heart tag bracelets to their iconic Tiffany Blue Box, Tiffany & Co. is arguably one the world’s most recognizable, popular and timeless jewellery brands.

From Art Deco era masterpieces to the modern Tiffany T collection – the debut for the brand’s first female Design Director, Francesca Amfitheatrof – Tiffany & Co. has endured in popularity for decades. Their jewels are a staple on the red carpet and their signature designs coveted by women everywhere.

Interestingly, the jewellery house didn’t start out selling jewellery, at least nothing more than costume pieces. The brand began as Tiffany & Young in 1837, purveyors of stationary and fine giftware.

It wasn’t long before Tiffany’s began offering European-imported jewellery, eventually acquiring their own stock of diamonds and gemstones. By the turn of the century, Tiffany’s had begun to solidify their reputation as an innovative and trendsetting jewellery house.

A Pink Tourmaline, Diamond and Gold Bracelet, by Tiffany & Co., sold for $46,000 at Dupuis June 2017 Important Jewels auction.

The start of signature designs

In the 1950s, Tiffany & Co. began featuring individual designers, starting with Jean Schlumberger, the creator of Tiffany’s classic “X” bangles, as well as brightly coloured, enameled animal motifs. He was the first designer the brand allowed to sign his work. His extensive Sixteen Stone and Ropetwist collections are considered new classics.

Only a handful of other designers for Tiffany’s have this honour: Paloma Picasso, Elsa Peretti and Frank Gehry.

A Diamond, Platinum and Gold ‘Lynn’ Bracelet, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., sold for $6,500 at Fall 2018 Important Jewels auction.

In the 70s, Peretti’s simple and elegant designs transformed the way we wear diamonds, making them suitable for every day, in addition to upgrading sterling silver. Picasso joined Tiffany’s in 1980, bringing flair and sophistication with her bold designs.

Cherished symbols of style

Not the work of a famed designer, but certainly a signature motif, is the Return to Tiffany ® collection. Perhaps the most famous of all their designs, the heart tag bracelet is at the forefront of this contemporary collection that also features pendants, bangles, cuffs and earrings, all emblazoned with the well-known phrase.

Gold ‘Atlas’ Bangle Bracelet, Tiffany & Co., coming up for sale at June 2020 Important Jewels auction.

The story behind the iconic expression goes back to 1969, with the introduction of the Return to Tiffany ® key ring inscribed with “Please Return to Tiffany & Co. New York,” and each one assigned a unique number. The idea was that if anyone were to lose their keys, they would be able to retrieve them from the famed Fifth Avenue shop.

The phrase has now simply become an invitation to visit the ultimate style and luxury locale, in the heart of NYC.

Also easily recognizable, the iconic Atlas collection featuring Roman numerals, is reminiscent of the storied clock that decorates the exterior of the flagship building. A mundane everyday object like a household key, becomes in the hands of an inspired designer, a popular selection of diamond-set pendants.

With warmer weather ahead, this usually means spring cleaning and a wardrobe overhaul. But what about your jewellery collection? Of course there are significant pieces that will always have a place in your jewellery box, but it may be time to take stock and toss certain stale accessories.

Pair of Diamond and White Gold Ear Pendants, by Myles Mindham, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $20,000-$30,000.

How to take advantage of jewellery trends and still shop smart

The good news is that jewellery trends typically evolve at a slower rate than clothing trends, so you don’t need to strain your wallet to keep up. You can also stick to fashion jewellery for the more outrageous trends. That way you can still have some fun without overspending on something you might not get much wear out of in the long run. Save the larger investment for pieces that will remain timeless for you, regardless of what’s happening on the runway.

While taking inventory of your current jewellery collection, you can also keep an eye out for gemstones that could be rescued from a worn, dated setting and reimagined in a fresh new style. Not only is this a sustainable, economical approach to enhancing your jewels, it’s also a way to finally get some wear out of the sentimental pieces you’ve been hanging onto but would never wear in their current state. In fact, this current take on the three environmental Rs is an emerging trend in itself among jewellers, as consumers continue to care more and more about environmental impact.

Art Deco Diamond and Platinum Brooch, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000.

Be aware though, that very often the value is not in the intrinsic worth of any particular gem. For instance, breaking up a classic Art Deco piece into its constituent bits is a major no-no. In such a case, it’s preferable to find a different good home for it, keeping the integrity of the design; choose to sell at auction, for example, and use the proceeds for something in a style that you will enjoy wearing.

Pair of Enamel and Gold Ear Clips, Schlumberger, Tiffany & Co., Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $5,500-$7,500.

Spring jewellery trends for 2020

Let’s take a look at what Spring fashion forecasters are calling for this season – and what these new pieces could replace:

In: Supersized earrings

Hoop earrings never seem to go out of style, but this year it’s all about the power hoops: big, shiny, colourful, bold.

If you really want to make a statement, you could always opt for the single earring, a look that dominated several runways this Spring. Just make sure the earring is substantial enough to make an impact on its own.

Out: Ear crawlers & huggie earrings

Spring jewellery trends this season are spotlight stealers, not wallflowers. It’s time to trade in those easy-to-wear, but often overlooked tiny earrings and huggie hoops for something more stylish.

Pair of South Sea Cultured Pearl, Blue Topaz, Diamond and White Gold Ear Pendants, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $1,000-$1,400.

In: Pearls

A feminine classic that will remain a jewellery staple, pearls are getting a lot of wear this season, and not just as a simple strand around the neck: designers are using pearls in fresh new ways, from single earrings to headpieces and even sculptured shapes.

Out: Bohemian chokers

It’s time to set aside those Coachella-esque fabric chokers. This season is inspired by more masculine styles, such as signets and medallions.

In: Colour

Designers are getting playful this spring, especially with the use of bright hues, vibrant floral motifs, candy-coloured beads, and rainbows of baguette gems. This trend is all about having fun, creating unique looks with a mishmash of stones and metals.

Multi-Coloured Sapphire and White Gold Necklace, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $15,000-$20,000. (left) Multi-Gem and Gold Necklace, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $2,000-$3,000. (right)

Out: Blackened metals

Spring brings the welcome return of sunny days and vivid colours, which leaves little room for dull or dreary metals.

Long Gold Necklace, Spring 2020 Important Jewels Auction. Estimate: $7,000-$8,000.

In: Chains & charms

Oversized chains were huge (literally and figuratively) on the runways this Spring, from sparkling to enamel, layered to textured. Chunky links reign supreme for necklaces this Spring.

Charms and long, layered lariats are a lighter, yet just as fashionable option, worn draped around the neck like a scarf.

Out: Bib necklaces

This Spring, it’s either chunky choker or long chain – no in-between. That means bye-bye to bib necklaces.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for what’s trending in Spring 2020 jewellery design is freedom and personalization. Customized elements, specialty-cut stones, and fearless mixing and matching will have your jewellery collection on point this season. Overly simplistic or delicate pieces are on the way out as more jewellery lovers gravitate toward bold, standout pieces that reflect their own unique personal style. But remember, if simple and delicate is your default comfort zone, experimenting can be fun. And rules are meant to be broken.

There are few gems as versatile as the amethyst: regal enough to adorn crown jewels, yet also accessible enough to enhance fashion jewellery.

Shopping for a Valentine’s Day gift or a February birthday gift? Amethyst is a stunning choice for a fine jewellery gift. Aside from its beauty, amethyst is also a stone steeped in symbolism.

Antique Amethyst Cameo and Diamond Brooch, sold for $10,000 at Dupuis.

Amethyst birthstone history and meaning

Amethyst owes its name to its deep purple hue. Being the colour of grapes, ancient Greeks associated the gem with Bacchus, the god of wine. The belief was that wearing the stone would protect one from drunkenness. Their word for this remedy was amethystos. Still today it is often worn as a symbol of sobriety and thought useful in overcoming addiction or overindulgence of any kind.

Amethyst is considered to be a highly spiritual stone, a staple in meditation and often used in malas and Tibetan prayer beads. It is thought to enhance intuition, relieve stress, and promote balance, either stimulating or calming the mind, as appropriate.

The traditional February birthstone also has ties to royalty, thanks to its coveted colour, purple being considered a distinctly regal colour. The Russian Empress, Catherine the Great, was fond of the gem and it appeared frequently in her jewellery collection. This was during a time when amethyst was still rare and expensive, with Russia being the main source of the stone. An amethyst suite believed owned by the Empress Josephine was redesigned to include a tiara and is now part of the Swedish monarchy’s crown jewels. During the Victorian era, the stone took on a somewhat sombre use to appropriately signify a period of mourning.

In the 19th century a large amethyst deposit was discovered in Brazil, with other sources found in Africa, Bolivia, Canada and the US.

Although amethyst became less costly as it became more common, it was also given more occasion to shine, and began to appear frequently in jewellery design, especially during the Edwardian era in graceful lavalier necklaces with multiple garland festoons.

Wallis Simpson, the American socialite turned Duchess of Windsor, famously wore a Cartier amethyst and turquoise bib as part of her exquisite and memorable collection. An impressive history for a crystal considered to be a gem of personal empowerment.

Amethyst birthstone characteristics 

Amethyst is a type of quartz, available in a variety of weights, shapes and sizes, from hollowed out geodes big enough to stand inside to multifaceted polished cuts and cabochon beads used by jewellery designers. The colour can range from deep plum to pastel lavender with zones of darker and lighter colours. The reddish purple shades are typically the most valuable, but all are beautiful.

Amethysts are known for their striking clarity with relatively few inclusions and rate a 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means amethyst is strong enough to wear daily. Still, amethyst should be stored with care to protect against scratching (from rubbing against harder gemstones or abrasive cleaners, for example). Amethyst jewellery can be cleaned with mild soap and warm water and is generally safe in an ultrasonic machine.

How to wear amethyst birthstone jewellery  

If you’re drawn to bold jewellery, amethysts can often be found as a prominent feature in very large cocktail rings. Even today, it’s not uncommon to see stunning gems weighing more than 30 or 50 carats and larger set in rings or pendants.

 

AMETHYST LOTS IN FEBRUARY 2021 BOUTIQUE JEWELS AUCTION


  • An Amethyst, Diamond, Coral, Pearl and Gold Ring
    Est: $250 - 350

  • An Antique Gold, Amethyst, Garnet and Enamel Choker Necklace, circa 1870
    Est: $1,200 - 1,500

  • An Unmounted Amethyst
    Est: $300 - 500

  • An Amethyst, Diamond, Multi-Sapphire and White Gold Pendant/Enhancer Necklace
    Est: $1,000 - 1,200

  • An Amethyst, Cultured Pearl and Gold Ring
    Est: $500 - 600

  • An Antique Amethyst, Diamond, Split-Pearl, Silver and Gold Pendant, circa 1870
    Est: $1,500 - 2,000

  • An Amethyst, Diamond and Gold Pendant
    Est: $400 - 600

  • A Pair of Amethyst and Gold Ear Clips
    Est: $600 - 800

  • An Amethyst and Gold Ring
    Est: $500 - 600

  • A Parcel of Unmounted Amethysts
    Est: $150 - 300

  • An Antique Amethyst, Seed Pearl and Gold Necklace, circa 1890
    Est: $400 - 600

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

  • An Amethyst, Diamond and Gold Ring
    Est: $500 - 700

  • A Pair of Amethyst, Pearl and Gold Brooches
    Est: $500 - 600

  • An Amethyst and Gold Bar Brooch; An Amethyst, Diamond and Gold Ring
    Est: $400 - 600

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

  • A Pair of Amethyst and Gold Ear Pendants, Roberto Coin
    Est: $400 - 600

When you think of high jewellery, visions of diamonds and sapphires typically appear, along with rubies and emeralds. These “Fab Four” precious gemstones have been the cornerstones of leading jewellery houses for well over a hundred years, and will certainly continue to take centre stage.

Cartier has created “a dialog between stones” with their Magnitude collection. This Equinoxe necklace features spheres of lapis lazuli surrounding lacework diamonds and yellow sapphires in yellow gold

However, as seen in several haute couture collections that debuted earlier in 2019, there is room in high jewellery for so called “semi-precious” gems in addition to our usual shiny suspects. Some in the jewellery industry find the term itself somewhat outmoded but still useful in differentiating it from the Fab Four group. Designers have no qualms about creatively using such semi-precious stones – they were front and centre in several pieces crafted by jewellery’s biggest players, proving these stones are far from inferior when it comes to fashion.

Uplevelling ornamental stones 

Semi-precious gems are often reserved for fashion jewellery and generally available at a much lower price point than high jewellery. There have been notable exceptions of course, namely during the Art Deco era, known for the dramatic use of contrasting diamonds with the bold colours of black onyx, red coral and green jade in various geometric patterns. These accents were cut as cabochons, panels and plaques, again contributing to the striking juxtaposition of materials.

For many top design houses, the exotic earthiness of these shaped stones draws on a slightly different appeal than the usual spectacle of a facetted gem: in this case, gems are embraced for their typical inclusions, unique textures and saturated hues.

Semi-precious stones working in harmony with precious gems 

Tourmaline ring by GRISOGONO.

High jewellery’s leading designers have managed to elevate these minerals to a higher degree of status through the same level of workmanship and attention to detail you would expect from the world’s most prestigious brands, setting them in a way that brings out their natural beauty. 

Combined with their more precious counterparts, an appealing aesthetic is the desired effect; for example, pairing any matte bead, such as lapis lazuli, with sparkling stones will create a distinct contrast in both colour and texture.

The union of precious and semi-precious gems can be seen in several elite collections, solidifying the acceptance of these types of stones in high fashion.

During the 72nd Cannes Film Festival in May of 2019, Swiss jeweller de GRISOGONO, showcased an haute joaillerie collection, the Art of Technicolour, a tribute to cinema featuring vivid shades and unique cuts. This pink gold ring is set with an oval-cut rubellite, flanked by smooth cylindrical-cut onyx and adorned with rubies.

Louis Vuitton ‘Riders of the knights’ lapis, diamond and emerald bracelet.

Paying homage to Medieval heroines and heroes, Louis Vuitton’s Riders of the Knight collection launched in Paris during Couture Week. This bangle bracelet highlights gold-flecked lapis lazuli with emeralds and diamonds in white gold. 

There will always be a place for precious gems; this expression of creativity and disruption of haute joaillerie traditions is making way for new innovations – a sure sign of the times and a new take on style. 

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