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diamond jewelry

The 55.55 carat diamond, which will serve as the centerpiece of the necklace marking the 100-year anniversary of the release Chanel No. 5 perfume.



It is very fitting that possibly the world’s most iconic perfume brand would use the world’s most iconic gemstone, the diamond, to celebrate its centenary. It also draws a stark a contrast about the way in which these two diametrically different luxury products are marketed.

To commemorate the concocting of Chanel No.5 perfume in 1921 by Ernest Beaux and Coco Chanel, the French luxury house has announced that it is unveiling a necklace highlighted by a diamond weighing exactly 55.55 carats. Emerald cut, the octogonal diamond pays homage to the scent’s signature bottle.

“For Chanel, the design and production of this necklace represents a decisive and major step in the history of fine jewelry,” said Frédéric Grangié, Chanel watches and jewelry president. “By joining our Patrimoine at 18 Place Vendôme rather than being sold, this necklace will forever bear witness to this chapter in the history of Chanel fine jewelry,”

“It will constitute, for our clients and our press, an eternal and visible symbol of the unfailing links that unite Place Vendôme and the No.5 perfume,” he added.

“Gabrielle Chanel approached these two universes with the same visionary values, focusing on audacity and the quest for excellence. I wanted to rediscover that creative gesture with this collection,” said Patrice Leguéreau, director of the jewelry creation studio at Chanel.

The D flawless diamond that is the centerpiece of the necklace is surrounded by 104 round diamonds and 42 baguette diamonds, recreating the profile of the perfume bottle stopper and the bottle’s shape, with a cascade of pear-sharped diamonds of varying sizes below.

For the occasion Chanel built a collection of 123 pieces around the necklace, all of which are inspired by the perfume.


The House of Chanel was founded in 1909, when Gabrielle Chanel, who was better known as Coco, opened a millinery shop on  the ground floor of the Parisian flat of the socialite textile businessman, of whom she was his mistress. Within several year her sense of style and personal charisma catapulted the firm into a fashion giant.

In 1921, to complement a collection, Coco Chanel commissioned a scent especially for La Maison Chanel. Created by Ernest Beaux, a renowned perfumer, bottle of No. 5 de Chanel were given as a gift to regular clients. But the popularity of the perfume prompted the company to offer it for retail sale in 1922.

At the time the Chanel only sold fashion jewelry as an accessory to its clothes. But in 1932, it released a fine jewelry collection, called the Bijoux de Diamants. Even then, it was not until 1993 when the brand opened a fine jewelry and watch boutique in Paris’s Palace Vendome.

To commemorate the jewelry outlet’s opening, Chanel released the original Bijoux de Diamants designs alongside their newest collections.

Coco Chanel, the founder of the iconic French brand.

Maison Chanel at 18 Place Vendôme in Paris.


That fact that Chanel was prepared to invest in a 5.55 carat D-colored diamond to essentially market its perfume brand was most revealing.

Jewelry is a chronically under-branded product category, whereas perfume the sector is dominated by brand names, many of them having originated in other luxury product sectors, such was the case with Chanel.

In the absence of well-established brands, profit margins in the jewelry business are frequently low, with the bulk of the cost of the product vested in the valuable materials from which it constructed, like diamonds, gold, platinum and colored gemstones.

For perfumes the profit margins are often well over 90 percent. The least expensive element in the product is the liquid itself, which typically will account for between 1 percent and 3 percent of the total cost. The bottle and packaging will often be worth up six times as much, and almost all the remaining overhead costs are invested in marketing the brand.

Using a 55.55-carat diamond to promote the perfume would seem to make sense, or should be say – scents.