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SET LIFE:

ON SET:the
$1.5 million
necklace

The facts, figures, and exceptional stones behind Piaget's showstopper necklace

Written By JACK SUNNUCKS


We’re not exactly shy about high price tags at VIOLET GREY. A $400 moisturizer? Sure. A serum for $600? Why not. Even $200 for the right hand soap? Our motto is, if it’s the best and it works, then it’s fair game. But $1,500,000? That’s a new one for us.

But let’s rewind. While on set with Kim Kardashian West, we got a little giddy ogling the trays of Piaget pieces that the storied Swiss watch and jewelry maison loaned for the shoot. And despite a lot of eye rolls from the security guard, we inevitably started playing the classic game of “if you take one thing home, what would it be?” Almost unanimously, VIOLET GREY staffers agreed that the most covet-worthy item in the bunch was a large—as in yuge—diamond and sapphire necklace. It managed to be both audacious and elegant at once, and the kind of jewelry that prompts a child’s sense of wonder. What impossibly glamorous occasions could you picture yourself wearing it to?

Naturally, it turned out the necklace in question—from the Extremely Piaget collection—was also the most expensive piece on set: it cost a cool $1,500,000, to be precise. But, as mentioned, we have a real stake in determining if an eye-popping price tag may be justified by craftsmanship and materials. Eager to learn more, we grilled the Geneva-based Piaget team to find out why exactly the necklace earns its seven-figure price tag. Turns out, with high jewelry, there are some pretty cut-and-dried reasons—namely, the rarity of the stones and the craftsmanship—to explain pricing. In both of these areas of expertise, Piaget’s knowledge is unparalleled.

“One of the trickiest parts of this necklace was actually matching two sapphires of that size to get the same color, the same play with light, the same feel of the stone,” says Piaget. Because the necklace is part of the Extremely Piaget collection, the house was adamant that it emphasize two things Piaget is known for: color and unusual cuts. The necklace is made from two Ceylon sapphires, the larger being cushion cut and 20.6 carats, and the pear shaped one coming in at 7.35 carats. Both stones are also unusually blue, making them even harder to match. According to Piaget: “Sapphires trend towards dark and a little inky, but with this you have a beautiful cornflower blue with that open light reflection coming from it.”

Then there’s provenance. Both of the rocks are Sri Lankan Ceylon sapphires, which means that they have a very “alive” and transparent look. Most sapphires come from Kashmir, and have a more velvet, rock-like appearance. “Piaget originated as a watchmaker, and we brought color to the world of watchmaking,” says the brand. “[The necklace] has that feeling of Old Hollywood or 1960s glamour—that was really a Piaget heydey, and we were doing our most with color then.”

Key to this piece are the Marquise cut diamonds surrounding the sapphires, or “radiating” from them in jeweler parlance. This is a Piaget thing too. “Also very special to Piaget are the shapes in this [piece], because most companies use rounds. But Marquise cut diamonds, which again have more of that vintage feel, that classic inspiration, are something that is very unique to Piaget—we love Marquise cut diamonds.” That timelessness is just as attractive as ever. Says stylist Deborah Afshani, who was responsible for creating the looks seen on Kardashian West: “The whole shoot really focused on capturing Kim and her sexy, sleek, modern beauty and style. This Piaget piece reflected that exquisitely; it is stunning.”

Obviously, part of Kim’s incredible appeal is her ability to seem both relatable and otherworldly at once—and the same could be said for the necklace. “[It’s] perfectly proportioned and striking without feeling too heavy-handed or precious. [It’s] regal and timeless while still feeling modern and cool.” If you’re intrigued and feeling flush, take note: the necklace is available for purchase. See below for contacts details.  

But who exactly does Piaget imagine as the eventual wearer of the necklace?  “This woman has a radiant personality, she wants a piece of jewelry that resembles her: elegant, generous and daring.” Sounds a lot like Kim Kardashian West.

Interested in purchasing the Extremely Piaget necklace? Please phone 323.782.9700 for more information.