Collectissim Magazine N°1 (English)

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Patrimoine Joaillier

Van Cleef & Arpels



EDITO Invitation to dream Admirable, luxurious and secret, the world of Jewelry is a world that sometimes seems inaccessible or even totally hermetic. When I had the idea of creating this magazine, I wanted above all to allow people to discover jewelry through articles and interviews in order to highlight an endangered heritage and know-how. I have always been passionate about jewelry and it seemed important to me to contribute to the preservation of this exceptional universe. It is therefore after a few months of intense work that I am proud to invite you to travel with me around the world of jewelry. I hope you will enjoy this first issue and that it will mark the beginning of a beautiful adventure ! I wish you a good reading. Sincerly, Guilhem Merolle

Collectissim Magazine n°1 - Janvier 2023 Sur une idée originale de Guilhem Merolle Couverture : Legend of Diamonds par Van Cleef & Arpels Directeur de la publication : Guilhem Merolle Les textes publiés dans ce numéro sont la propriété exclusive de Collectissim SARL au capital de 1000€ et les visuels sont la propriété exclusive des personnes citées en source.


































High Jewelry

Maison Cartier invites us to travel around the Beautés du Monde, a colorful collection combining cultural diversity and nature. These two elements are celebrated through a series of extraordinary pieces combining geometry, color and stone play and craftsmanship. Beautés du Monde is about learning to admire up close, to listen and to appreciate a lush and infinitely precious nature. Among the main pieces, the Apatura necklace underlines for example

the shimmering colors of a butterfly's wings, represented here by the play of light between two sumptuous Australian opals and sapphires. As for the Nouchali necklace, it highlights and sublimates the beauty of the colors of an aquatic flower, represented here by a captivating rubellite set in diamond petals surrounded by black lacquer. Beautés du Monde is an invitation to linger on the details offered by the nature.

Beautés du Monde by Cartier 9

High Jewelry

Immersion in the Garden of Eden to discover the collection Eden, The Garden of Wonders by Maison Bulgari which includes 140 exceptional pieces highlighted by many personalities such as Anne Hataway or Zendaya. This collection is inspired by the wonders offered by the Garden of Eden interpreted by the artistic director of the House: Lucia Silvestri mixing respect for heritage and boldness with an inimitable style. With an impressive number of jewels, each more beautiful than the last, some pieces stand out from the rest, such as the Tribute to Paris necklace made of small Eiffel Towers composed of emeralds, Bulgari's favorite stone, and diamonds. The imposing Emerald Glory necklace, which required nearly 3,000 hours of work, is a testament to the Italian House's own expertise. The 11 pear-cut emeralds are enhanced by the purity of the white diamond.

Eden, The Garden of Wonders by Bulgari 10

High Jewelry

Symbol of eternity and purity, the white diamond is honored in this new collection from Van Cleef & Arpels. The second chapter of Legend of Diamonds, this White Diamond Variations appears to be much wiser but no less enchanting. With this collection it is the know-how and the history of the Maison that are put forward. The pieces are inspired by older creations, such as this Voûtes Précieuses necklace, a nod to the history of the House.

to a necklace from the 1960s. The collection highlights the whole process of selecting diamonds behind the scenes to offer only totally white stones without inclusions. A slow and meticulous work transposed in pieces full of poetry and lightness. The Éventail de Diamants ring also echoes the delicate flared shapes often used in Van Cleef & Arpels creations.

White Diamond Variations by Van Cleef & Arpels 11


MAZARIN Mazarin is the meeting of its two founders, Keagan Ramsamy and Louise de Rothschild, a mixture of the East and the West that results in superb pieces where the material is put forward.

THE ELEPHANT FOR EMBLEM At Mazarin, it is the material that is honored. The proof is this magnificent yellow gold cuff representing an elephant embracing a synthetic diamond in its trunk.

Sculpted gold Elephant cuff embracing a synthetic diamond in its trunk.

Yellow gold Eboris ring set with a synthetic pear cut diamond

Eboris necklace in hand carved and brushed gold set with a synthetic pear cut diamond


MATHON Mathon is an overflowing imagination since 1931. At the beginning, she proposed designs to the big houses, and then she started to create very original pieces inspired by the plant and animal world.

BALADE DANS LES VERGERS The creations of Maison Mathon are inspired by nature. Thus a dragonfly is transformed into a ring just like a simple oak leaf.

Autumn ring in yellow and pink gold set with a topaz to look at closely to capture every detail

Frog ring in yellow gold set with a garnet, diamonds, tourmalines and sapphires

Yellow and white gold, emeralds, diamonds and garnets Oak Spring ring


Emmanuel Tarpin


EMMANUEL TARPIN THE NATURE JEWELER Young jewelry prodigy, Emmanuel Tarpin transforms his emotions into jewels. Nature and its infinite nuances inspire him and give life to creations that are both simple and exuberant. After a stint at Van Cleef & Arpels and a collaboration with De Grisogono, Emmanuel Tarpin never ceases to dazzle us with extraordinary pieces that have also seduced celebrities such as Rihanna or Mandy Moore. The world of jewelry is difficult to penetrate. However, Emmanuel Tarpin has been able to impose himself and rise to the rank of young prodigy. His work is remarkable and noticed, his creations of an incomparable finesse and lightness embody a new and liberated Jewelry ... 16

©Coral Gardeners

Emmanuel Tarpin was born in Haute Savoie. Passionate about minerals, sculpture and nature since childhood, he joined the Haute École d'Art and Design in Genève after his general studies, where he attended courses in partnership with major jewelry houses. After obtaining his diploma, he worked at Van Cleef & Arpels where he learned the main steps in the creation of a jewel.

In 2017, he created his own eponymous brand and dedicated himself to the realization of unique pieces out of the ordinary inspired by nature, one of which will be offered at auction during a sale at Christie's in New York, thus introducing his work to Jewelry lovers. In 2019, he is collaborating with Swiss jeweler De Grisogono, a rewarding experience that will allow him to develop his skills. 17

Recently, this adventurous jeweler went to Mexico to discover and learn from opal researchers by working with them in the mines. He also went to Polynesia to support the preservation of coral reefs by creating a magnificent brooch featuring a jellyfish in crystal set with diamonds, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Coral Gardeners association.

With these experiences, Emmanuel Tarpin never ceases to impress with pieces inspired by his discoveries and travels. This nature lover likes to transcribe its poetry and beauty into jewelry. Thus, a simple ear of wheat is transformed into a delicate brooch, orchids into sumptuous earrings set with tourmalines or simple acorns covered with snow awaken his creative spirit.

©Magnus Oculus


Estelle Lagarde

©Estelle Lagarde

ESTELLE LAGARDE PRECIOUS PAINTINGS Gouache in jewelry is an art little known to the general public. Indeed, to evoke the gouache is to evoke the many hours of work behind the scenes to transform a sketch, an idea into a very realistic drawing of the jewel. The gouache is an important step in the manufacturing process, beyond the simple drawing it is a real technical plan, it is in some way the link between the designer and the jeweler. From the gemmologist to the jeweler, all the actors will refer to it to give birth to the jewel. Estelle Lagarde has made this art her profession and amazes us with her creations of uncommon precision, mastering both fine jewelry and watchmaking. Having become a reference in the profession, Estelle transposes her emotions to give life to her gouaches.


Some of Estelle Lagarde's creations including two incredible watch reproductions ©All rights reserved

Passionate since childhood about everything that shines and more particularly about jewelry and watches, it didn't take long for Estelle Lagarde to find her direction. After a CAP and a BMA at the professional high school of Amblard in Valence, Estelle moved to Paris where she started her career in the creative studio of Van Cleef & Arpels as a gouacheuse. After this experience she moved to Switzerland

in order to adapt her brush to the precision of watchmaking and discovered the enamel applied to watch dials. Estelle then entered an enameling workshop where she worked on a chain, feeling a little confined, which pushed her to leave it to find her creativity and freedom. She then focuses on the realization of gouaches of watches of an extreme precision that she begins to share on social networks. 21

Her work immediately aroused a lot of interest and she began to receive requests from watch and jewelry companies. This will encourage her to launch herself in 2018 as a freelancer.

a stand dedicated to gouache, which met with great success with visitors. More recently, she was entrusted with the realization of a painting representing the watch that will be given to the 2022 Ballon d'Or and that will be exhibited during the ceremony.

Then, she decided to share her passion and talent by creating an online training course accessible to all to learn the basics of gouache while continuing to make gouaches always more precise and more noticed. Estelle Lagarde is then offered a place of choice at the Gem Geneva show with

A beautiful story for this passionate person who never stops believing in her dreams by throwing herself into her projects and who still has some surprises for us...

©Estelle Lagarde


©Van Cleef & Arpels

High Jewelry

©Van Cleef & Arpels

LEGEND OF DIAMONDS 25 MYSTERY SET JEWELS There are stories that deserve to be told and others that deserve to be brought to light. This story is above all that of an encounter between the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels and an exceptional diamond. This beautiful encounter is with the Lesotho Legend, a rough diamond of exceptional quality of 910 carats that will awaken the creative spirit of the House and give birth to the Legend of Diamonds collection and 25 pieces of High Jewelry. This encounter represents a major challenge for the Maison, which is accustomed to working with stones that have already been cut. The rough will be entrusted for a year to an Antwerp diamond dealer who will succeed in bringing to light 67 diamonds for 441.75 carats of exceptional quality. These diamonds will then inspire the designers of the House who will strive to magnify these 67 pieces through 25 jewels directly inspired by the history of Van Cleef & Arpels by highlighting the transformable pieces and the signature of the Maison : the Serti Mystérieux.


©Van Cleef & Arpels

High Jewelry

Set with the most imposing diamond of the collection, the Atours Mystérieux necklace sublimates the 79.35 carat stone presented in a ruby case in Serti Mystérieux. Inspired by the famous Collerette necklace and a necklace made for Queen Nazli of Egypt in 1938, this majestic piece majestic piece highlights the expertise and history of Van Cleef & Arpels. Majestic yet comfortable, the piece is articulated and feels light when worn. The diamond is removable and replaceable by a composition in Serti Mystérieux.

Atours Mysterious necklace set with a 79.35 ct diamond, mysterious ruby and diamond setting © Van Cleef & Arpels

Inspired by the 1950s, the Chevron Mystérieux Necklace is the most impressive piece in the collection. The sapphires and emeralds reveal three imposing pear-cut diamonds in crystalline white. The composition of emeralds, sapphires and diamonds as if evoking the trickle of water letting these three magnificent stones flow. Highlighting the expertise of Van Cleef & Arpels and its mastery of jewelry with transformations the piece is fully adjustable revealing six possibilities through detachable diamonds.

Chevron Mystérieux necklace with three detachable diamonds, set with sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. Van Cleef & Arpels


High Jewelry

The Couture Mystérieuse ring appears as a delicate ribbon of rubies in Mystery Setting that is tied around the finger. Inspired by a superb brooch from the 1930s, the ring takes the form of a ruby ribbon featuring a magnificent 18.32 carat diamond set under three claws that allow the stone to be observed from every angle. the stone from every angle. Always with an eye for detail, the ribbon is bordered by a delicate diamond-set cuff. Couture Mystérieuse Ring set with an 18.32 ct diamond, serti mystérieux ruby © Van Cleef & Arpels

The Collerette Mystérieuse necklace is also inspired by the world of couture and refers to the Col Claudine necklace created in 1983 by the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels. The necklace is composed of alternating rows of diamonds and rubies in Serti Mystérieux hemmed with pink sapphires and diamonds.

Collerette Mystérieuse necklace serti mystérieux ruby and diamonds © Van Cleef & Arpels


At the heart of this impressive piece are two diamonds: one of nearly 10 carats and another of nearly 50 carats that can be detached to adorn a ring, while a composition in Serti composition can take its place.

Jewelry Houses

FRED Fred is a creative genius since 1936 who knew how to mark his time and the people around him thanks to his joy of living and his kindness, crossing the major crises of the XXth century by constantly renewing himself. ©Fred

Jewelry Houses


FRED THE MAN BEHIND THE MODERN CREATIVE JEWELER To tell the story of the Maison Fred is above all to tell the story of a man animated by an unparalleled joie de vivre who enjoyed transposing his emotions into jewelry, giving life to extraordinary luminous creations that were ahead of their time. Amazed by the world around him, the jeweler celebrate the light and beauty offered by nature, such as pearls, of which he became a true expert. A look back at a life full of twists and turns and a wonderful success story marked by the work and audacity of the modern jeweler-creator.


Du petit Fred dans les rues de Buenos Aires au Joaillier du 6 rue Royale ©Fred

Fred Samuel was born on August 3, 1908 in sunny Buenos Aires, Argentina to parents from Alsace who had fled anti-Semitic persecution. His father, Albert Samuel, was a jeweler and this was to give rise to a vocation in his son. The young Fred entered the best college in Buenos Aires where he discovered rowing, which led him to develop a passion for the navy, a passion that would be present in all of his

life in many of his future creations. Following the German defeat in 1918, the Samuels returned to France and settled in Paris where little Fred continued his studies until he graduated. In 1925 he decided to follow in his father's footsteps and began his apprenticeship in jewelry making with the famous René Worms where he practiced recognizing precious stones and pearls. 32

Fred's creations are of impeccable quality and he launched the famous "charms", small pendants inspired by Parisian monuments that can be added to a bracelet as desired. These were very successful with foreign tourists and celebrities began to flock to this new boutique that everyone was talking about, such as the wealthy Barbara Hutton who was interested in creations adorned with cultured pearls.

Fred Samuel was inspired by the worldly Paris that surrounded him, he learned its codes and quickly made a place for himself among the gem dealers who saw in him a passionate and determined young man. In 1936, at the age of 28, he seized an opportunity and bought a store at 6 rue Royale against the advice of his colleagues but with the blessing of his former boss who pushed him to take flight. The first



The importance of pearls is paramount and Fred understood this as soon as he began his apprenticeship with the Worms. The pearl market was changing and had to make room for cultured pearls introduced by Mikimoto in Japan. Similar to fine pearls, they were much more affordable, and Fred was recognized as an expert in the field, making them one of his specialties. In 1939, World War II broke out and Fred Samuel wanted to enlist to defend France. However, his Argentinean nationality did not allow him to Yvonne Printemps épouse de Sacha Guitry était une cliente régulière de la Maison Fred ©AKG-Image

Fred Samuel (2ème au second rang) ©Collection Privée


to join the regular army. He opted for the Foreign Legion and was captured by the German army before managing to escape and return to Paris. The jewelry market was not really conducive to business, but Fred and the global climate was becoming charged. In 1941, he was ordered to remove the name Samuel from his store and to affix a yellow star to his storefront. Soon these obligations were no longer sufficient and the jeweler decided to save his store by

selling it (fictitiously) to one of his friends and settled with his family in the free zone until 1942 when he was arrested and taken to the Vernet camp. His wife Thérèse managed to use her connections in Paris to have him released. Tired of having to hide, he decided to join the Resistance and took part in clandestine operations until the Allied landings.

the market following these long years of crisis. However, the horizon finally seemed to be clearing and sales were starting up again... In 1962 Fred opened a second boutique at Orly airport, a risky gamble that paid off. A few years later the Force 10 bracelet inspired by Fred's passion for sailing was born, followed by boutiques in Monte Carlo and Beverly Hills. In 1977, the Maison Fred encountered the Soleil d'Or, a yellow diamond weighing nearly 105 carats, which was presented at 6 rue Royale and

In 1944 he finally returned to Paris and his store at 6 rue Royale, but had to face the profound changes of

Bracelet Force 10 ©Fred


Fred Samuel et le Soleil d'Or ©Fred

In 1999, Fred moved to Place Vendôme and strengthened its presence as a major jewelry house. Fred Samuel died in 2006 at the age of 98. His colorful life was marked by creation and upheaval, forcing him to constantly innovate to satisfy his customers who were always looking for something new.

Maxim's (restaurant) in the presence of a lot of celebrities who came to discover this incredible piece of radiant light. Following the success of the sailor's bow bracelet, Fred launched the Force 10 collection in 1978, diversifying the range. The company continued to expand and opened boutiques around the world, particularly in Asia. In 1995 Fred joined the LVMH group and became the first jewelry house to join the group. it also enters the ranking of the 10 largest jewelry brands in the world thanks to the growing number of stores.

From the radiant sun of Buenos Aires to the radiance of the Golden Sun, Fred Samuel has left his mark in the world of jewelry and the company continues today to shine and commemorate the modern creative jeweler through its creations. 36


©Bruno Moinard



©Archives Cartier

13 RUE DE LA PAIX RÉOUVERTURE D'UNE ADRESSE MYTHIQUE 13 ! Quite a number. Symbol of bad luck for some, symbol of luck for others ... As for the Maison Cartier, it has made it its lucky number, located since 1898 at 13 rue de la Paix. After two years of closure, the emblematic boutique of the Maison Cartier, temple of creation, reopens its doors and reveals a transformed place in which the DNA of the brand can be found in every place, like a true sanctuary where one can still perceive the presence of Jeanne Toussaint or Louis Cartier. This metamorphosis was born of the desire to celebrate the creation and history of the House through a design that represents all the eras without being confined to one. 39


The three teams of architects and decorators were faced with a titanic task: to completely rethink the six floors of the building, i.e. nearly 3000 m2 !

time and the evolution of styles. But what is the history of this very special place ? From the small workshop on rue de Montorgueil to the first boutique on rue Neuve des Petits Champs, via boulevard des Italiens, the Maison Cartier moved several times before Louis Cartier decided to settle in 1899 at 13 rue de la Paix. and he decided to open a design studio allowing the Maison to develop its style.

It was necessary to sublimate this place full of history that has seen crowned heads, movie stars, musicians and politicians come and go over the years. Indeed, 13 rue de la Paix is not only a simple boutique but a real emblem, a temple of creation witnessing the




©Bruno Moinard

It imposes in particular the Platinum and presents jewels of neo-classical inspiration, the famous garland style and quickly meets the success with a wealthy clientele. Later, the Santos watch was designed there, followed by the no less famous Tank watch. In 1933, Jeanne Toussaint took over the direction of the creation and designed in these walls some now iconic jewels inspired by animals, such as the panther, or colored pieces of Indian inspiration: the Tutti-Frutti jewels. Everything has been modified to emphasize the timeless spirit of Cartier, a House that is constantly renewing itself, at the cutting edge of modernity. Thus, only the mythical façade has been preserved, the different spaces have been transformed and bathed in the light offered by the large openings, the sales area has been lightened to facilitate access, the historic salons have been completely redesigned to pay tribute to the personalities who have marked the history of the jeweler and a space (the Residence) to receive privileged customers as if at home.





SERPENTI BY BULGARI 75 YEARS OF THE ITALIAN SNAKE A true icon of the Maison Bulgari, the multi-faceted snake is celebrating its 75th anniversary. A symbol of wisdom, eternity and vitality, it is a recurring theme in jewelry, particularly at Bulgari. Presented as a powerful talisman, the Italian Serpenti has taken many forms over the years. The Roman company was the first to adapt it into a watch in the 1940s. To celebrate this anniversary, an exhibition dedicated to this motif was held at the Saatchi Gallery in London in collaboration with the artist Refik Anadol, taking visitors on an immersive journey through multimedia works, the House's archives and exclusive pieces from the 1940s to the present. 39

Quelques oeuvres de Refik Anadol (cicontre) exposées à la Saatchi Gallery à Londres ©Bulgari

In the 1940s, the Maison Bulgari, charmed by this bewitching power, transposed the powerful symbol into jewelry. The first supple bracelets were born, which took the shape of the wrist and were made with tubogas rings or gold mesh. The elegance of this precious snake, finally erected, immediately met with great success.

Founded in 1884 in Rome by Sotirio Bulgari, a goldsmith of Greek origin, the Maison Bulgari has established itself over the years as an emblem of Italian excellence and fine jewelry through numerous creations born of unparalleled expertise, such as the Serpenti collection. An emblem of seduction and rebirth, the symbol of the snake has been linked to the history of humanity for centuries.


in a post-war world by presenting ever more sophisticated versions. It was not until the end of the 1950s that totally realistic and extremely precise bracelets appeared. The body of the snake is then composed of links worked by hand and fixed together independently, the work is crossed by a gold spring ensuring the flexibility of the jewel. The result is pieces offering multiple combinations of colors and materials, the scales are decorated with enamel

and diamonds. These are now highly sought-after pieces, like a 1965 bracelet sold by Christie's in 2014 for more than a million dollars. Today Maison Bulgari offers a Serpenti collection declined in rings or bracelets in relatively more accessible prices while still offering creations in high jewelry.



Icone Joaillière


Icone Joaillière

©Van Cleef & Arpels

COLLECTION ALHAMBRA BY VAN CLEEF & ARPELS A true icon of jewelry and now a signature of the Maison Van Cleef & Arpels, the Alhambra collection has never ceased to be renewed over the years and today it is available in a wide range of materials and colors... The clover motif appeared as early as the 1920s, as evidenced by the company's archives. However, the first real Alhambra necklace appeared in 1968. Inspired by the four-leaf clover, a symbol of good luck, more than a talisman, it is a real good luck charm for everyday life. It is composed of 20 crumpled yellow gold motifs delicately bordered with gold pearls. The Alhambra necklace was immediately a huge success and many personalities wear the precious lucky charm like Romy Schneider, Françoise Hardy or even Princess Grace of Monaco. 44

Romy Schneider, Françoise Hardy et la princesse Grace de Monaco portant des sautoirs Alhambra ©Tous droits réservés

In 1971 Van Cleef & Arpels decided to add color to its four-leaf clovers. Thus, the patterns are set with hard stones such as malachite or lapis lazuli. The Alhambra collection was then made into bracelets and watches in 1998, and the catalog of available materials continued to expand with carnelian, chalcedony, mother-of-pearl and onyx. In half a century, the collection has been greatly enriched and has become a true ambassador for the know-how of the Van Cleef & Arpels craftsmen. 45


GEM GENÈVE UN RENDEZ-VOUS DEVENU IMMANQUABLE The Gem Geneve show is a show dedicated to jewelry organized by two recognized experts of the sector: Ronny Totah and Thomas Faerber, two long-time friends that I had the chance to meet and interview during the last edition in order to know a little more about the origins of this show. Gem Geneva is a paradise for jewelry lovers, the aisles are full of exceptional pieces, Art Nouveau pieces signed Lalique, sumptuous stones through contemporary creations high in color, everything is done to make the visitor dream whether he is there for business or as a simple amateur. A show dedicated to jewelry, there are already several! Indeed, there are a good number of them but Gem Geneva is much more than a show ...


Visite Having already participated in numerous trade shows, the two founders of GemGenève, Ronny Totah (Horovitz & Totah) and Thomas Faerber (The Faerber Collection), two well-known antique jewelry dealers, decided to create a trade show by taking all the mistakes they have encountered elsewhere. Thus, everything is done to make the exhibitors feel at home and to welcome their customers and visitors in the best conditions.

Gem Genève is also open to the general public, and everything is done to ensure that visitors have a pleasant time. Thus, it is possible to stroll through the aisles of the show, admire the showcases, discover unique pieces such as Art Nouveau jewelry signed Lalique, Vever or Fouquet, ask questions to exhibitors, visit exhibitions, join a conference and even participate in workshops !

Même les plus jeunes y trouvent leur compte ©Gem Genève



Et les plus âgés aussi ©Gem Genève

For this edition of November 2022, more than 170 renowned exhibitors from 19 countries participated in the show. Everything is done by the organizers to ensure that each sector is represented, so we find traders of diamonds, colored stones, dealers of antique jewelry, signed jewelry, affordable pieces, exceptional pieces and so on.

Vivienne Becker which allows young jewelers to showcase their creations through a dedicated space. The show created by Ronny Totah and Thomas Faerber has become a reference over the years, gathering more and more participants and more and more visitors. It is now part of the small list of unmissable events for jewelry lovers, whether they are buyers, dealers or simple enthusiasts.

Gem Geneva is also a space of expression with the "designer vivarium" founded by the historian



Alfred Lang-Willar, Albert Londres et Suzanne Lang-Willar ©Tous droits réservés

THE LANG-WILLAR JEWELS TALE OF AN INCREDIBLE STORY Lyon, 1934, a jeweler receives in his store a mysterious character who presents him with jewels to be appraised with the aim of buying them. The owner of the jewels, an Italian named Fausto Alary, doesn't really have the right profile... Indeed, the jewels placed on the desk are of an exceptional quality, the jeweler examines more closely the first piece, the result is formal, it is a solitaire set with a remarkable diamond weighing 9 carats, the second a ring set with an impressive emerald. He estimates the two pieces for nearly 300,000 francs (about 200,000 euros today). However, one element caught his eye and confirmed his suspicions. The two rings are signed Van Cleef & Arpels ... 54


Lyon - Place des Jacobins ©Tous droits réservés

As soon as the mysterious Fausto Alary left, the jeweler contacted Van Cleef & Arpels to find out the origin of these two rings. Thanks to the House's archives, the jewels were immediately identified: they belonged to Alfred and Suzanne Lang-Willar. But how did this person end up in possession of these two pieces ? The jeweler contacts the authorities who take charge of the case...

Who are the Lang-Willar ? Alfred Lang-Willar was born on January 20, 1875 in Basel, Switzerland. He was the nephew of Leopold-Louis Dreyfus, founder of the LouisDreyfus Group. At the age of 25, he became his uncle's assistant and became manager of the group's main trading post in Buenos Aires.



Léopold Louis-Dreyfus ©Tous droits réservés

will earn him the Legion of Honor. In 1915 he married Suzanne Picard, daughter of a Swiss watchmaker. Back in Paris, he ceased his activities within the group and became a personality of the Tout-Paris, frequenting literary circles and the racecourses between Longchamp and Deauville. However, the crash of 1929 forced him to resume his position in the group and he left for China with his wife to develop the soybean market.

Albert Londres ©Tous droits réservés

An unexpected meeting ... In Shanghai, the Lang-Willar couple met an old acquaintance, the famous journalist Albert Londres. However, following the bombings, the Lang-Willars were captured and sentenced to death but managed to escape and board the Georges Philippar where they met up with Albert Londres who was also returning to France. 56


Le Georges Philippar ©Tous droits réservés

Off the coast of Aden, the boat caught fire and Albert Londres, who was trying to save his report, died like 54 other passengers, but the LangWillars escaped death a second time by jumping into the water.

A tragic accident ...

Marcel Goulette (à gauche) ©Tous droits réservés

Rescued from the shipwreck, the couple has only one desire: to find their children and finally return to Paris. They chartered a plane piloted by Marcel Goulette, an aviation ace. Unfortunately, during the flight the plane encountered unfavorable weather conditions and crashed into the Ernici Mountains near the Italian village of Veroli. The occupants were killed instantly. 57


Stèle commémorative ©Tous droits réservés

The rescue team took several days to reach the site of the accident because of the weather and the steep paths. The tragic news remained on the front page of the French newspapers for weeks and gradually became a distant memory...

Reappearance of Suzanne Lang-Willar's jewelry ... Following this strange visit, the jeweler from Lyon contacted the authorities who partially solved the investigation. When the rescue team arrived at the crash site, a rescuer immediately noticed the two rings and hid them. He had them appraised in Italy and the jeweler judged them to be of no value. They were then entrusted to Fausto Alary who decided to show them to a jeweler in Lyon who immediately suspected the fraudulent origin of the two pieces... Sources : Wikipédia et l'excellent blog de Jean Jacques Richard.


Inside ...

©L'Ecole des Arts Joailliers

L'ÉCOLE DES ARTS JOAILLIERS AVEC LE SOUTIEN DE VAN CLEEF & ARPELS Located in a magnificent mansion on Place Vendôme, next to the great jewelry houses, the École des Arts Joailliers has been seeking to promote jewelry culture for the past 10 years. Founded in 2012 on the initiative of the House of Van Cleef & Arpels, the Ecole des Arts Joailliers is part of a process of transmitting jewelry heritage and savoir-faire, both of which are currently under threat. As we already know, the luxury sector is in search of the hands needed to preserve this priceless heritage...


Inside ... Students are welcomed in the reception room with refreshments and small cakes to allow them to exchange with other participants and teachers for a course in a relaxed atmosphere.

The Ecole des Arts Joailliers was created with the aim of promoting the jewelry professions by introducing them to the general public through practical courses given by professionals in the sector chosen for their ability to pass on their knowledge. Thus, about 50 practical and theoretical courses are given within the school. From the introductory workshop on setting to the course on the history of jewelry through the ages, the choice is vast and allows a concrete approach to the world of jewels.

The School also has a library containing countless reference books on jewelry. Consultation is free of charge for members who wish to learn more about a specific subject


Inside ...

©L'école des arts joailliers

or to deepen a course. The School also offers beautiful exhibitions around jewelry, accessible to all free of charge by simple reservation. It has a beautiful dedicated space that allows the exhibited pieces to be highlighted and the room to be shaped according to the exhibitions. At the moment, the School is offering a magnificent exhibition on Chinese jewelry, a way to learn more about 3000 years of Chinese ornaments (find more information on their website). The School has been travelling to Dubai, Hong-Kong, New-York

and more recently to Lyon, where it has offered, in partnership with Van Cleef & Arpels, a discovery of the world of jewelry with the aim of creating vocations for young and old in a sector in search of new hands. The School is therefore an enriching experience during which time stands still and only the sound of files and the voices of the professors resound during a visit or a class. It is a beautiful initiative that allows people to dream and discover the wonderful world of jewelry.



JOURNEY TO THE LAND OF GEMS WITH BENOIT CHARBONNEAU The profession of gemmologist presents some disparities. Indeed, it is possible to distinguish between laboratory gemmologists and field gemmologists. The latter are the rarest, there are a few around the world and Benoit Charbonneau is one of them. He travels the world in search of the most beautiful stones, in search of the beautiful and the exceptional.


Procédé traditionnel de traitement thermique de la pierre ©Gem Sélection

Benoit Charbonneau Passionate since childhood, Benoit Charbonneau is a jeweler by training, after a CAP precious metals option Jewelry, a patent of the trades of art and a complementary mention in crimping he leaves to work in Saint Barthelemy in the French West Indies. It is on this occasion that he will be offered a training at the GIA in New York, a real revelation for him ...


Gemology Could you tell us about your work ? After my training at the GIA, I created my own gemstone trading company: Gem Sélection. I work mainly on order for the great Houses of the Place Vendôme but also for classic jewelers. I have a stock of nearly 200 stones, all very beautiful, I work only with well-cut stones without inclusions visible to the naked eye and without windows. How are your stones selected ?

Benoit Charbonneau ©Tous droits réservés

It is above all a question of "feeling", the stone must speak to me, it must be well cut, without inclusions visible to the naked eye and not too saturated in color. I also have the advantage of knowing the jeweler's trade, so I am able to quickly make up my mind about a client's request. How does one become a gemologist ?

What makes Benoit special is his quest for perfection, a quest for exceptional stones with almost no inclusions in remote places and in countries where no gemologist goes such as Pakistan very recently. A man passionate about his profession and with a keen eye that I had the pleasure of interviewing in Paris during his very rare returns to France.

There are two major internationally recognized schools: the GIA (Gemmological Institute of America), whose flagship school is in Carlsbad, California, and the GEM-A (Gemmological Association of Great Britain), which is located in England. Closer to home, there is the ING (Institut National de Gemmologie), which has been in existence for a very long time and trains students with the European FEEG diploma. 68

Gemology You talk about investment stones. Could you tell us more about them ? I have recently started working on investment stones following the request of private clients, particularly from Saudi Arabia, India and Qatar, who wanted to diversify their savings. This type of investment offers very different returns from traditional passbook savings accounts, since they are between 10 and 20% per year and are only taxed on resale. I rarely propose to invest in diamonds except for exceptional stones such as colored diamonds. I prefer to work with colored stones. A travel anecdote to share ? I have many anecdotes about my travels but I particularly remember when I was bitten by a rabid dog in Sri Lanka which required hospitalization and many injections. I also almost stepped on a black mamba on the terrace of my hotel. A funny anecdote: when I travel I never disclose the places I stay in. However I posted a picture on the networks and I realized afterwards that my hotel was unfortunately recognizable, the result of the races, a line of 200 meters in front of the establishment with people wanting to sell me stones ...

©Gem Sélection



©Gem Sélection

A particularly striking stone for you ? Without question a 12.08 carat Lagoon Tourmaline without any inclusion ... When I bought this stone there was a tiny inclusion in the bottom of the cylinder head I entrusted it to an excellent lapidary in Bangkok and the inclusion disappeared with a minimal loss of 0.80 carat. I sold the stone in three days ... Traveling with Benoit Charbonneau In addition to his trading activity, Benoit Charbonneau organizes Gemology tours in three countries: India, Sri Lanka and Thailand. He takes small groups of 6 people maximum to the mines and markets for 5 to 10 days, which creates strong relationships between the participants. If you want to know more about the destinations or the organization of these trips you can visit his website : Discovery Gems.


HERISTORIA HISTORY MAKERS I discovered a mysterious website called Heristoria. At first glance, it looked like a new online store for vintage pieces, but on closer inspection the project seems more extensive and shows the willingness of the big houses to highlight their heritage through historical pieces offered for sale on the platform.

Gérosine Henriot, Nicolas Forge et Laurence Mayer ©Heristoria

Journey through time Heristoria is the story of a meeting between Gérosine Henriot, Nicolas Forge and Laurence Mayer. Lovers of objects from the past, they wanted to offer for sale objects representative of the history of the brands of the LVMH group. Thus, nearly 30 iconic pieces signed Fred, Bulgari or Kenzo are offered on the site in an effort to highlight the heritage of these iconic houses ...

Bracelet Bulgari ©Heristoria



More than a simple online sales platform, Heristoria offers buyers a unique experience. Indeed, the objects are proposed through original scenographies and tell a story. In addition, the site offers the buyer a meeting with the teams of each House, a great idea that allows to highlight the object and to immerse the buyer in the LVMH universe through the ages. The objects are found at auctions and private purchases and are restored if necessary to be offered in perfect condition. All the LVMH domains are represented, we find on Heristoria jewels, perfumes, wines or even watches proposed at all prices. Heristoria, a beautiful approach that we will have the pleasure to see evolving in the future.



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MAISON VEVER BETWEEN FAIRIES AND LUXURIANT NATURE, WALK IN THE ENCHANTED WORLD OF MAISON VEVER ... Anchored in a magical and enchanting world, Maison Vever has risen from its ashes and offers us a true invitation to dream. At the age of 16, Camille Vever was given a jewel with her name on the case and realized that she had to relaunch the family business. In 2021, with the support of her brother Damien, she decided to wake up this sleeping beauty... Wishing to provide it with a responsible model adapted to the 21st century, she decided to use synthetic diamonds in her creations and to make Maison Vever the first company with a mission in the luxury sector.


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Vever is the search for a more beautiful, more ethical world. Inventing the art jewel, a work of art in itself for itself... ©Vever

The creation of the company was established in 1821 when Pierre-Paul Vever, a goldsmith by training, registered his hallmark at the municipal office of the city of Metz. However, it is with his son Ernest that the adventure will really start... Trained as a young man in jewelry, he took over from his father and continued to perfect his skills in the most renowned workshops of the time. The Vever family moved to Paris and set up shop at 19 rue de la Paix and in 1884 Paul and Henri Vever took over the reins of the workshop and gave the Vever House its real brilliance during the Art Nouveau period with exceptional pieces such as the "Sylvia" pendant... Sylvia ©Mad Paris


Zoom on ... Without freeing themselves from the past, Vever's creations are inspired by the Art Nouveau register : women, fauna and flora. Thus, mysterious goddesses and nymphs emerge from a liberated and soothing nature. They embody the rain or fire, thus underlining their power and majesty. Each Vever piece appears as a small work of art with a plique-à-jour enameling work as an additional wink to the Art Nouveau realized by the talented Sandrine Tessier. Powerful and liberated, Nature according to Vever appears as the pillar of this mystical world. The Ginkgo ring, a symbol of eternity, in gold set with a one-carat synthetic diamond, highlights this luxuriant nature.

Sautoir Impératrice ©Vever

For its creations, the House has chosen laboratory diamonds for a certified "conflict-free" origin as well as recycled gold. This approach is highlighted by the fact that it has become the first company with a mission in the luxury sector. Bague Ginkgo ©Vever




Because we can say "I love you" with jewelry here is a selection of original and more classic new pieces for all budgets.

Bague Elixir en or jaune et diamants de laboratoire Vever : 1790€

Bague Eboris en or jaune et diamant de laboratoire Mazarin : 3990€

Bague Ginkgo en argent et perle Akoya Vever : 750€



Bracelet Memory Charm en or jaune Mazarin : 660€

Bracelet Alhambra or et onyx Van Cleef & Arpels : 4500€

Bague juste un clou PM en or jaune Cartier : 1330€

Bague Force 10 petit modèle or blanc et diamants Fred : 1650€



Bague Serpenti Viper en or jaune Bulgari : 1400€

Bague Jeux de Liens en or rose et diamants Chaumet : 1310€

Bracelet Force 10 MM en or blanc Fred : 2440€

Pendentif Jeux de Liens PM or rose et malachite Chaumet : 2310€




Because we can say "I love you" with jewelry, here is a selection of antique pieces, witnesses of time, for all budgets.

Bague "bombée" or et platine et diamants vers 1920 Gerphagnon : 2300€

Bague Tank or rose et diamants vers 1940 Gerphagnon : 1200€

Bracelet Napoléon III roses de diamants (vers 1860) Gerphagnon : 2200€



Bague Art Deco (vers 1920) rubis et diamants Macklowe Gallery : 7500$

Bague opales et diamants vers 1910 Macklowe Gallery : 3250$

Bague opale deux ors et diamants fin XIXe Gerphagnon : 3800€

Bracelet perles fines et roses de diamants Napoléon III (vers 1860) Gerphagnon : 3400€ 86


Clips d'oreilles diamants Art Déco Bentley & Skinner : 4950£

Broche Art Nouveau (vers 1900) par Masriera Bentley & Skinner : 8750£

Bague Belle Époque rubis et diamants Bentley & Skinner : 5750€

Bague godrons en or rose et diamants vers 1960 Gerphagnon : 960€ 87