A Heritage in Bloom: A Symbol of Craftsmanship and Unparalleled Beauty
A Heritage in Bloom necklace // Chow Tai Fook
A Heritage in Bloom is more than just a piece of jewelry; it is a masterpiece that signifies exceptional artistry, tradition, and an opulent display of one of nature's rarest gems. Created by the renowned jewelry designer Wallace Chan, this necklace represents the pinnacle of innovation and sophistication in jewelry design.
Introduction to Wallace Chan
Wallace Chan, a contemporary artist and jewelry designer, is famous for his intricate craftsmanship and innovative designs that push the boundaries of conventional jewelry-making. His works have been exhibited across the world, each piece reflecting his commitment to merging traditional Chinese culture with avant-garde techniques.
The Birth of a Masterpiece
A Heritage in Bloom necklace centerpieces // Chow Tai Fook
A Heritage in Bloom necklace centerpiece // Chow Tai Fook
In September 2015, A Heritage in Bloom was unveiled, earning the distinction of being the world's most expensive diamond necklace. Chan was asked to create the necklace in 2014 by Dr Cheng Kar-Shun, Chairman of Hong Kong-based jewelry retailer Chow Tai Fook, who bought the famous Cullinan Heritage diamond in 2010 for $35.3 million when originally brought to market. Among Chan's most exquisite creations, the Heritage in Bloom necklace's design is richly inspired by Chinese culture, featuring symbolic elements such as butterflies and bats. Its inception tells a compelling story. The necklace's centerpiece is a 104.88-carat colorless and internally flawless diamond, cut from a 507.55-carat type IIA rough diamond, meaning that the diamond exceptionally rare and free of impurities. This stone, one of the largest and purest ever found in South Africa's Cullinan Mine, was named "Cullinan Heritage." It underwent 11 months of analysis before the intricate cutting process began.
Cullinan Heritage Diamond cut diamond selection // Chow Tai Fook
The necklace doesn't only boast the remarkable 104.88-carat diamond centerpiece valued at $35 million, it has 23 more D-color flawless diamonds, from the 0.23 ct to the second largest of the family, a 20.02 cts stone, all cut from the same original rough stone. Furthermore, it is also encrusted with an astonishing 11,551 diamonds that collectively weigh 383.40 carats, The design also incorporates faceted jadeite, mutton fat white jade, green jadeite beads, and pink diamonds.
A Heritage in Bloom necklace butterflies // Chow Tai Fook
A Heritage in Bloom necklace configurations // Chow Tai Fook
The necklace is designed with two layers that encircle the neck, each intricately adorned with diamonds in various cuts. In the center of each layer sits a prominent round cut diamond. The necklace's largest stone, the 104.88-carat round brilliant diamond, is featured in the bottom layer. Dangling from the lower section of the necklace are several eye-catching elements: a large marquise cut diamond, two butterflies encrusted with diamonds symbolizing good luck, and a collection of smaller white diamonds that add balance to the design. Wrapping around the back of the neck, two diamond-encrusted bats are incorporated, also signifying good luck.
Metals and Craftsmanship
Wallace Chan used titanium for the creation of this stunning piece. Titanium is an extremely durable and lightweight metal, known for its corrosion resistance. The choice of titanium allowed Chan to design a necklace with intricate details without compromising its structural integrity.
The process of creating the Heritage in Bloom involved 47,000 hours of work over a period of almost two years. Every single gemstone was meticulously positioned to reflect light in a harmonious and unified way, resulting in an iridescent bloom that radiates luxury and elegance.
The Cullinan Heritage Diamond // Chow Tai Fook
The diamonds in the Heritage in Bloom necklace exhibit a purity and beauty that's rare in the world of gemstones. The Cullinan Mine, where the Cullinan Heritage was found, is renowned for producing some of the most coveted diamonds on the planet. These diamonds are known for their breathtaking clarity and size, and the stones selected for this piece are no exception.
The jadeite used in the necklace is also of exceptional quality, adding to the unique character of the necklace. Jadeite's geological formation process takes millions of years, and its rich green hue symbolizes vitality and purity in Chinese culture.
The necklace weighs a significant 120 grams, with the titanium elements lending lightness to a piece that carries substantial gemstone weight. Its design enables it to be worn in 27 different configurations, each providing a distinct look, thereby showcasing the designer's genius in creating a versatile piece of art.
Value and Ownership
The Heritage in Bloom necklace is not just an exquisite piece of jewelry; it represents cultural heritage, innovation, and supreme craftsmanship. Although its price has not been disclosed, the necklace's rare and unique composition ranks it among the most valuable pieces of jewelry ever crafted. Estimated to be worth $200 million, the necklace remains in the possession of Chow Tai Fook, who have expressed no intention of selling this extraordinary piece.
Wallace Chan's Heritage in Bloom is a timeless creation, where artistry and nature converge in a magnificent dance of light and form. Emphasizing its carat size, metals, geological details, weight, and immeasurable value, the necklace stands as a testament to human creativity and the everlasting allure of Earth's hidden treasures. In the world of fine jewelry, it is a bloom that will never wither, retaining its glory for generations to come.