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April 26, 2018updated May 22, 2020

Beaded Beauties in High Jewelry

By Kristen Shirley

This story originally appeared in the March/April 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.

There’s something sensual about draping oneself in beads of precious gems, which is perhaps why beaded jewelry is having a resurgence in recent collections. From high-jewelry line Chaumet Est une Fête comes a stunning suite: Aria Passionata. Drawing on the famous Teatro alla Scala in Milan, whose stage and boxes are draped in sumptuous red fabric with gold accents, the necklace’s trailing beads evoke curtains closed just before the opera begins. A mix of garnets, rubies and tourmalines with black onyx and pink-gold beads brings depth and passion to the pieces. At Coomi, the Sagrada collection juxtaposes beads, gemstones, diamonds and recycled gold to celebrate diversity. The line’s black onyx and diamond necklace is a prime example of the brand’s unique vision. It wouldn’t be a bead story without Shamballa Jewels, known for its infinitely customizable bracelets and necklaces that allow you to pick each bead, whether it’s a faceted diamond, pavé bead, precious metal or semiprecious gem. Placing the focus squarely on color are Bayco and Roberto Coin. Bayco’s tassel earrings feature dozens of natural, unheated sapphire beads cascading from diamonds and cabochon sapphires. Roberto Coin’s twisted necklace comprises a staggering 890 carats of emerald beads accentuated by diamonds at the end of each strand.

Roberto Coin Haute Couture necklace in 18K white gold with 890 carats emerald beads and 1.85 carats diamonds, $79,500, available by special order, +1 212 486 4545,

Bayco earrings in platinum with 154.59 carats natural unheated sapphire beads, 9.83 carats cabochon-cut sapphires and .7 carats diamonds, $150,000, available by appointment at Bayco in New York, contact Marco Hadjibay, +1 800 376 7200,

Coomi Sagrada necklace in 20K yellow gold with 592.42 carats black onyx beads and 2.61 carats diamonds, $19,500, available at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, +1 212 753 4000,

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Chaumet Chaumet Est une Fête necklace in 18K pink gold and lacquer with 41.49 carats rhodolite garnets, 14.29 carats cabochon-cut rubies, baguette-cut rubies, onyx beads and diamonds, price on request, available by appointment at Chaumet in Paris, +33 144 772 626,

Shamballa Jewels choker in 18K yellow gold with 26 carats Cape Amethyst beads, 22.26 carats faceted brown diamond beads, 10.95 carats brown diamond pavé beads, yellow Akoya pearls, 18K yellow gold beads with .43 carats diamonds, $116,212, available at Shamballa in New York, +1 212 925 2108,

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