As we ascend the steps of the Gallery of Mineralogy and Geology in the Jardin des Plantes, pass its grand columns and wade into a dark gallery guided only by the illumination of the specimens, we are prepared for an otherworldly experience. The Paris museum, founded in 1635 under Louise XIII, houses one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious mineralogical collections. On this occasion, displayed alongside its ancient crystals, gemstones and minerals are the exquisite pieces of Cartier’s latest jewellery collection, Les Galaxies de Cartier.
It is an apt location to present a high jewellery collection inspired by the wonders of the cosmos, and the rings, pendants and earrings, though dwarfed by the magnificent raw crystals on display, easily capture our attention. Inventive, unexpected and interactive, Les Galaxies de Cartier comprises 14 pieces to be produced in limited numbers.
More than lavish accessories, the brand describes each piece as an “out-of-this-world” experience—literally. A cuff, for instance, charts the axes of planetary alignment uniting the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn using lustrous bronze-green Tahitian pearls in “cages” made of white gold. Beneath the cuff these cages are open so you can feel the pearls rolling on your arm as you move.
Adding a playful element to the galactic suite is a ring that represents the Milky Way—its solar systems, black holes and all. The diamonds are mounted using a trembling setting—a patented Cartier technique previously used in its watches—enclosed in a hollow rock crystal dome. The discs containing the “trembling” diamonds rest upon a base of metaquartzite, a metamorphic rock with golden inclusions of pyrite that add sparkle to the piece.
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