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A Cocktail Necklace That Demands Attention

By Nancy Hass

Photo by Mari Maeda and Yuji Oboshi. Styled by Chloe Daley2019 Tiffany Blue Book Collection cocktail necklace.

Alec Waugh, brother of the novelist Evelyn, claimed in a 1974 Esquire interview to have invented the cocktail party, though a St. Louis socialite, Clara Bell Walsh, is often credited with throwing the first pre-dinner soiree devoted exclusively to mixed drinks in 1917. Amid the giddiness of the post-World War I period, when women began to assert themselves more at social events and Prohibition made booze alluringly naughty, dimly lit get-togethers became fashionable. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the era also saw the birth of cocktail jewellery: massive gems, both precious and semiprecious, in rings and pendants, made to be brazenly visible even in low light. By the 1940s, Tiffany & Co. was known for such oversize pieces, especially with aquamarine surrounded by diamonds. The ice-blue mineral, which, like emerald, is part of the beryl family, gets its colour from traces of iron; it is among the hardest stones, resulting in larger, flawlessly clear crystal formations. This new pendant, with a 43-carat cushion-cut aquamarine dangling from a 21-inch rope of diamond rondels, is impossible to miss — glinting audaciously even in starlight or the first blush of dawn. 2019 Tiffany Blue Book Collection, price on request, (800) 518-5555.

2019 Tiffany Blue Book Collection, price on request.
Retouch/postproduction: Justin Cohen
Photo assistant: Fumi Sugino
Stylist’s assistant: Hoang Dinh