In a couple of weeks, the glitterati of the cinema world will descend upon the Côte d’Azur for the 75th Cannes Film Festival. One of the most glamorous and star-studded events of the film calendar, the ceremony is also a chance for jewellers to show off their creations – and in the case of Chopard, the coveted Palme d’Or trophy.

The redesigned Palme d’Or sits on a rose quartz base and is adorned with 100 diamonds
The redesigned Palme d’Or sits on a rose quartz base and is adorned with 100 diamonds

Chopard has a long relationship with Cannes, as an official partner and through dressing stars such as Julia Roberts, Julianne Moore and Jessica Chastain in its jewels for the red carpet.

The festival’s prestigious award, which last year was given to Titane’s Julia Ducournau (only the second female director to win the award in Cannes’ 83-year history), has been handcrafted in the Swiss jeweller’s Haute Joaillerie ateliers in Geneva since 1998, after its artistic director and co-president Caroline Scheufele was first tasked with redesigning the prize by then festival president Pierre Viot. She created a rock crystal “cushion” in the shape of an emerald-cut diamond with a palm frond motif in a nod to the trees flanking the famous Croisette, as well as the Cannes coat of arms.

This year, to mark both the 75th anniversary of the festival and 25 years of Chopard’s partnership, Scheufele has redesigned the Palme d’Or; two of the motif’s delicate gold leaves have been accented with diamonds, one studded with 75 and the other with 25, to immortalise the double jubilee. “I was honoured and delighted to have been asked to redesign the Palme d’Or award 25 years ago,” says Scheufele. “I am a passionate film lover, so it was like a dream come true.”

Chopard artistic director Caroline Scheufele, left, with Julianne Moore at the 2019 Cannes Festival
Chopard artistic director Caroline Scheufele, left, with Julianne Moore at the 2019 Cannes Festival © Shutterstock

In lieu of the usual rock crystal cushion, the Palme will be placed on a base carved from rose quartz – a gemstone that in Greek mythology is thought to have been created by Aphrodite, the goddess of beauty and love, and was chosen by Chopard to symbolise the bond between the festival and cinema.

As well as being one of the company’s biggest events and selling opportunities, Cannes is also a platform for Chopard to underline its use of ethical gold and sustainably sourced gemstones, which it has used for all of its jewellery and watch creations since 2018. Last year, Chastain appeared on the red carpet wearing a Fairmined 18-carat white-gold necklace, set with more than 100 carats of oval rubies, and a heart-shaped ruby ring. The Palme, too, which has been crafted from Fairmined-certified ethical gold since 2014, remains the only cinema trophy to achieve this standard.

“Our partnership with the Cannes Film Festival has unfolded like a love story, growing stronger every year,” she says, “and this beautiful gemstone embodies Chopard’s love of cinema too.”

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