By Drew Taylor
From breathtaking, one-of-a-kind high jewelry pieces to chic contemporary designs perfect for day-to-day wear, this year’s Baselworld exhibition had something for everyone.
Storied London jeweler Garrard was celebrating its fascinating history—the house has been creating iconic pieces for the royal family since 1735—as well as making forward momentum, with the debut of its new head designer Sara Prentice’s first collections. In addition to some truly stunning high jewelry suites, a major standout was the new additions to the Wings collection, which turns 10 this year.
Another legendary house, Mikimoto, was marking a major anniversary—120 years of timeless cultured pearl designs. The one-of-a-kind pieces they bring to Basel, which this year included long, fluid tassel necklaces and accents of the label’s trademark carved jade, often sell immediately following the show.
I immediately fell in love with this 18K rose gold and diamond full-finger ring from Casato’s new Miss Chi collection. It’s delicate enough to wear everyday—not to mention genuinely comfortable, thanks to lightweight gold chains that bend with your finger—but still has enough sparkle to make an impact for evening.
Danish-based brand Shamballa Jewels has a global following of A-list fans that includes the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Gwyneth Paltrow. At this year’s show, the house unveiled its Pyramid bracelet, a new iteration of its addictively collectible bead bracelet with edgy spikes. As with all Shamballa’s designs, it’s completely customizable, offered in different hues of 18K gold (including rose and rhodium plated) and with or without pavé.
Marco Bicego is famous for his craftsmanship with gold—in particular, his smooth-as-satin, hand-engraved beads—and use of vibrantly colored precious gems. This amazing turquoise necklace, one of a handful of one-off designs shown this year, offers the best of both worlds—and looks ready-made for your next jaunt to Saint Tropez.
Antonini paid tribute to the Year of the Snake in style with a series of subtly serpent-inspired new pieces. Named Aurea (Latin for “gold”), the collection features beautiful hammered yellow gold as well as two statement pieces in white gold with full diamond pavé. I love the way this striking cuff wraps sensuously around the wrist.