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September 18, 2018updated May 22, 2020

Wild Kingdom: Animal-Inspired Jewelry

By Elite Traveler

This story originally appeared in the September/October 2018 issue of Elite Traveler.

Animal-inspired jewels take you on a journey across Africa’s rolling savannas, into the South African bush or to the wilderness in Australia. Rich yellow gold, detailed enamel and lacquer, and a host of earth-toned gemstones create lifelike, miniature pieces of art celebrating the diversity of wildlife. Van Cleef & Arpels even dedicated an entire high-jewelry collection to Noah’s Arc, called L’Arche de Noé, featuring charming pairs of both real and mythical animals rendered in exquisite detail.

Lydia Courteille Sahara snake necklace in 18K yellow gold with 31.95 carats hessonite, 14 carats opal, 13.43 carats sapphire, 10.3 carats citrine and 1.6 carats topazolite, $102,000, Lydia Courteille in Paris, +33 142 611 171,

Boucheron Leopard ring in 18K pink gold with 9-carat green tourmaline, 3.13 carats champagne diamonds, .88 carats white diamonds, .16 carats emeralds and black lacquer, $76,300, Bergdorf Goodman in New York, +1 212 872 2632,

David Webb Zebra bracelet in 18K yellow gold and platinum with 3.04 carats diamonds, .86 carats rubies and black and white enamel, $69,500, David Webb in New York, +1 212 421 3030,

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Roberto Coin Animalier Giraffe ring in 18K yellow gold with .03 carats diamonds and brown enamel, $5,000, by special order, +1 212 486 4545,

Van Cleef & Arpels Kangourous clips in 18K yellow gold with 14.56 carats diamonds and .09 carats black spinels, price on request, by appointment at Van Cleef & Arpels, +1 877 826 2533,

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