Monday, June 16, 2014

Buccellati - Gifts from the Ocean

post by Christine Webb

On the evening of May 1, 2014, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History hosted an event sponsored by Buccellati, highlighting amazing pearl jewelry and honoring the Ocean Hall. The high jewelry pieces were one-of-a-kind and featured extremely rare and unique pearls.  The most important piece in the collection was the Gran Dama, a melo pearl brooch that Buccellati was very proud to share. It was an elegant black tie reception with delicious food, lovely music, and a distinguished group of over 200 guests - not to mention the astonishing Buccellati jewels.
The Gran Dama Melo Pearl Brooch - an 18k yellow, white and rose gold brooch celebrating motherhood, featuring a magnificent and exceedingly rare 24mm melo pearl from Vietnam and a drop-shaped South Sea pearl, accented with 549 colorless diamonds totaling 1.84ct and 1,259 fancy colored diamonds totaling 9.72ct. Buccellati's prize piece for the evening!
(photo by Orasa Weldon for GIA)
Examining the Gran Dama behind-the-scenes.  The rare melo pearl is produced by the Melo melo, a sea snail indigenous to southeast Asia.  The melo pearl is a natural pearl that is non-nacreous and most often round in shape. They are typically found in shades of orange, and less often yellow, gray or brown in color. This is one of the largest and finest melo pearls ever found.

Buccellati is a world renowned Italian jewelry house that is famous for its textural gold jewelry and spectacular silver pieces.  The firm utilizes different finishing techniques such as engraving, etching, and piercing to add dimension and beauty to the jewelry.  Typically they incorporate yellow and white gold along with platinum and silver in each piece.  When they feature gems, they are often large bold stones that are unusual and rare.  Many of the pieces are inspired by nature as can be seen in the pieces here, whether a cluster of grapes, or a whimsical monkey.  Buccellati jewelry is statement jewelry and is immediately recognizable due to their trademark finishing details and the mixing of different metals.
Trays of jewelry being matched up with their labels before the event.

A statement necklace of 19 South Sea baroque pearls set in 18k white and yellow gold alternating with elaborate links accented with rose cut diamonds - and the matching earrings.