Diamonds have long held us hypnotised, their rarity and ability to brilliantly refract light captivating us since the Dark Ages. The romance in their brilliant facets – which can only be revealed by skilled gemcutters – may have made them the natural star of engagement rings, but today’s high jewellers are brilliantly rethinking the possibilities of a diamond. By playing with intricate structures and delicate patterns, classic concepts are imbued with a boldness which bring an arresting modernity to androgynous black tie.

Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery
Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery
Pictured top, ‘Avant Le Frisson’ necklace in white gold and titanium with white diamond pavé, by Boucheron. Jacket and blouse, both by Emporio Armani‘Red Carpet’ white gold earrings with emeralds and diamonds, by Chopard. Below,‘Crescendo Double Row’ bracelet (left) in white gold with diamonds; ‘Chaîne d’Ancre’ bracelet (right) in white gold with diamonds, by Hermès. Jacket, by Celine by Hedi Slimane

Buccellati weaves a delicate pattern into a cuff bracelet studded with yellow gold honeycomb rosettes, adding textured gold beads glinting into chandelier earrings for a softer take. Van Cleef & Arpels strike a more graphic silhouette in a bracelet where black spinels and onyx make a sharp juxtaposition against pink and white diamonds, a contrast we see again in Bulgari’s Barocko earrings where deep blue tanzanites take centre stage.

In other pieces, diamonds are fluid, appearing to move and breathe with the wearer. White diamond pavé trembles on titanium threads in Boucheron’s Avant Le Frisson necklace, while De Beers knit an interlocking pattern in Mosaic, playing off the uniform silhouettes of the stones to form grid-like glittering formations. There’s a softer pattern to Pomellato’s bracelet, where white, brown and black diamonds rest on their curving rose gold web; for Hermès, who marry diamonds with white gold links, the result is coolly contemporary. §

Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery
‘Lumière’ bracelet in pink and white diamonds, black spinels and onyx, by Van Cleef & Arpels. Jacket, by Alexander McQueen 
 
Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery

Earrings in white gold set with diamonds and gold beads, and detachable pendant set with diamonds; cuff bracelet in white gold with yellow gold honeycomb rosettes, set with fancy yellow diamonds, both by Buccellati. Jacket, by Jil Sander by Lucie and Luke Meier
 

Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery

‘Barocko’ earrings in white gold with zircon metal elements, round brilliant-cut diamonds, tanzanites, step-cut diamonds and pavé-set diamonds, by Bulgari. ‘Mosaic’ necklace in white gold and diamonds, by De Beers. Jacket, by Brunello Cucinelli
 

Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery

‘Sabbia’ bracelet in rose gold with white, brown and black diamonds, by Pomellato. ‘Alta Gioielleria’ ring in white and yellow gold with imperial topaz and diamonds, by Dolce & Gabbana. Jacket and trousers, both by Peter Do
 

Diamonds become contemporary in high jewellery

‘Extremely Piaget’ earrings in white gold with diamonds, by Piaget. ‘Tie & Dior’ ring in white and yellow gold, diamonds, white cultured pearl and spessartite garnet, by Dior Joaillerie. Jacket, blouse, shorts and belt, all by Saint Laurent by Anthony Vaccarello