Discover Tiffany & Co.’s 2016 Blue Book on the streets of New York

Blue Book

Sea Change

A celebration of all things rare and remarkable, the annual Blue Book is a stunning showcase of Tiffany and Co.’s highest creative endeavours, and unites the most spectacular gems with the house’s centuries-honed flair for extraordinary design and craftsmanship.

Created by design director Francesca Amfitheatrof, this year’s Blue Book is titled The Art of Transformation, and develops the aquatic theme initiated by its predecessor the year before. Where previous muses hailed from the ocean’s depths, Amfitheatrof says this collection is inspired by life forms found just beneath the water’s surface, as it prepares to make its maiden voyage onto land.

Blue Book
Tiffany archival sketches from the 1960s

“From the deep ocean, we float to the edge of the water where stillness reigns. In this world, cocooned in calm, transformation occurs. Life changes, and nature reaches to the surface and takes its first breath of air. It’s a story about evolution and all that is possible in silence and peace, where nature plays its magic and creates the mysteries of the world we live in.’

If the 2015 Blue Book made a splash, this year’s edition is the surging of the wave – a veritable masterwork of incredible stones and technical wizardry. Its launch was feted over the course of several days, which saw international journalists and VIP customers preview the collection in Tiffany’s iconic Fifth Avenue flagship in New York, diamond workshops and a celebrity-studded gala dinner in Wall Street’s historic Cunard building.

Blue Book
Cuff and Earrings of round yellow diamonds

The collection is inspired partly by Cape Cod in the US, where Amfitheatrof spent last summer, rambling across terrain she describes as “still extremely wild, and filled with lakes, ponds and oceans”. It defies all conventional expectations of gemstone jewellery, playing with its precious gemstones in a free-spirited manner that gives the collection a strong contemporary feel.

An organic platinum bracelet mimics the ebb and flow of rivers as they rush into the sea, mixing different diamonds (round brilliant, pear-shaped, emerald-cut, oval, marquise, square and trilliant) in a freeform style that’s playful, yet luxurious.

A sparkling trio of starfish in a cuff of diamonds, sapphires and tsavorites appear entwined in an underwater tango, their sinuous, outstretched arms waving gently in the current. A mind-bogglingly intricate bib necklace in platinum composed of over 3,000 round brilliant diamonds totalling over 200 carats drapes gently over the wearer’s decolletage, suggesting a softly shimmering sheath of stars rather than unyielding armour. An unexpected benefit of this design approach is comfort, not a word usually associated with high jewellery. Amfitheatrof says she’s made it a priority in her designs. “The woman of today has so many things to think about. The last thing you need to worry about is being uncomfortable.”

Blue Book collectors also anticipate it for its spectacular diamonds, which often involve sacrificing carat weight in pursuit of uncompromisingly flawless cuts. Cases in point include a breathtaking necklace with the centerpiece of a 40.22-carat, D colour, internally flawless emerald-cut diamond, and a ring with an 8.25-carat, D colour, internally flawless oval diamond.

Not to be overlooked is the superlative selection of fancy coloured diamonds. Noteworthy stones and jewellery pieces that caught our eye include orange diamonds whose multilayered hues change with the light, a ring set with a highly collectible Kashmiri unheated sapphire and an exceptionally rare pure pink diamond that Melvyn Kirtley, chief gemologist describes as possessing the colour of “bright spring light and cherry blossoms”.

The next Blue Book will likely see the collection head onto dry land. Its organic, playful spirit will however remain a constant, as Amfitheatrof shares. “I love the idea of creating patterns with diamonds. It’s something we started last year and something that we want to continue to do. I’ve got the next 10 years mapped out.”


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