« A century of diamond creations » exhibition at 20, Place Vendôme, Paris, France

4 July 2022

Necklace Proust, 2002. White gold, yellow gold, white and colored diamonds. Collection du Siècle. Van Cleef & Arpels Collection

From June 17th, 2022, to January 10th, 2023, the Heritage Gallery at 20 Place Vendôme, Paris, presents the exhibition “A century of diamond creations”. Accompanied by various original archives, more than 40 jewelry pieces and works of art illustrate the creativity with which the Maison has always magnified this precious stone.


Since its foundation, diamonds have illuminated the jewelry, special orders, unique pieces and precious objects created by the Maison. This ubiquitous presence, evidenced by the numerous creations on display in the exhibition – some of which will be presented for the first time in the Heritage Gallery – first flourished during the 1920s. This decade shines a light on “White Jewelry” marked by diamond bracelets with an exceptional flexibility. The subtle motifs in these “second-skin” jewelries express Van Cleef & Arpels’ predilection for the fluidity of couture.


Among the centerpieces of the exhibition is the majestic Collaret necklace, created in 1939 for Queen Nazli of Egypt, with perfectly symmetrical lines of 355 round and 318 baguette-cut diamonds. The exhibition also highlights another remarkable piece: the Proust necklace, created in 2006, part of the High Jewelry set dubbed ‘Collection of the Century’, representing a masterclass in terms of style and mineralogy.


The jewelry and precious objects displayed in the exhibition are complemented by an anthology of records (sometimes commented by Jacques Arpels himself) and preparatory drawings, showing Van Cleef & Arpels’ ability to illuminate different types of jewelry with diamonds.


A scenography, designed in collaboration with the illustrator Jérémie Fischer, brings the exhibition to life with notes of color. Composed of collages using cut out inked papers, his illustrations poetize the patterns and play of light generated by the diamond creations.