By Ashley Davis
This bracelet is from Tiffany & Co.’s 2016 Masterpieces high jewelry collection.
This bracelet is from Tiffany & Co.’s 2016 Masterpieces high jewelry collection.

New York--Tiffany & Co. might be taking a modern approach in courting a millennial consumer in hopes of turning around sales, but its annual Masterpieces high jewelry collection focuses on what Tiffany knows best: heritage and craftsmanship.

Masterpieces encompasses two distinct stories.

The first, Prism, is an ode to Louis Comfort Tiffany, the famed Art Nouveau interior designer who was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany and became Tiffany & Co.’s first design director in 1902.

He was particularly renowned for his stained glass work and the vitreous enamel technique that he employed in his jewelry and art object creations, called “plique-à-jour” or “letting in daylight,” which produces an effect similar to that of stained glass.

Louis Comfort Tiffany’s penchant for expressing color and light was the inspiration for the prism collection.

Prism centers on a spherical motif, which, like its namesake, is comprised of many smaller spheres, represented by round diamonds and gemstones. A series of rings sees a large, round, bezel-set center stone surrounded by a milieu of smaller, bezel-set stones that are conjoined in the shape of an orb, conjuring the idea of infinite repetition.

Larger pieces from Prism include an Asscher-cut emerald over 18 carats, set as a necklace in platinum with an array of round and fancy-cut diamonds. The piece took 260 hours to complete and has been dubbed “Verdant Dreams.”

Ribbons is Masterpieces’ second story. It features rows of diamonds and pearls draped over each other for a maximalist, Art Deco effect.

Particularly stunning is the “Rhapsody of Light” necklace, which features three rows of interwoven diamonds at collar-length and four rows of longer multi-hued South Sea black pearls mixed with pavé diamond beads.

If Zelda Fitzgerald had been a piece of jewelry, she might very well have been this “Rhapsody of Light.”

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