Bentley celebrates centenary with a thrilling jewel
From deep within the African landscape to the luxurious jewellery halls of Bahrain, the Bentley Centenary jewel wakes from a geological sleep of millions of years to a new life as a stunning diamond pendant.
Revealed at the Jewellery Arabia Show in Bahrain in its glorious gold and platinum setting, the 20.08 carat pear-shaped fancy-yellow diamond sparkles with the magic created by master cutters to reveal the beauty of the stone.
The making of the diamond pendant
The pendant’s journey starts with Bentley designer Chris Cooke, who created the original designs for the magnificent gold and platinum settings displaying the unique jewel chosen to celebrate this year’s centenary. He was inspired by the EXP 100 GT, the concept car that embodies Bentley's vision of luxury mobility during the next phase of future development.
“The collaboration between Heinz Mayer and Bentley Motors showcases the pinnacle in handcrafted quality and design,” commented Chris Cooke.
“For our centenary, we created a one of a kind jewellery piece pulling inspiration from the heart of the EXP 100 GT. The centre piece in our concept car is an elegant visualisation of the users contact point with the vehicle. With this jewellery piece we wanted to echo that.
“The design is a similar dynamic form manipulated in such a way that supports and protects the teardrop shape of the stone. Its overall purpose is to be a beautiful visual contact point between the customer and the rare stone.”
The final designs are then given to expert Master Goldsmiths at Heinz Mayer in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, for a feasibility study. The first prototypes are crafted, checked and compared to the original design files. Through this painstaking method, the collaborative arts of graphic computer design and craftsmanship develop and fuse into one.
After the design is finalised and approved, the work of expert craftsman and women is brought into play. Wing- like shapes are meticulously honed in platinum, and bent to hold a cradle of 18 karat yellow gold, encrusted with 56 natural diamonds and a laser engraved insignia, to commemorate 100 years of Bentley.
This cradle is later put to use as the holder of the prestigious pear-shaped yellow diamond of 20.08 carats. An inside plank of yellow gold follows the curve of the platinum and is welded and soldered to it, eventually becoming one fluid shape. This cocoon will hold 30 full-cut round natural diamonds to surround the precious pear in the centre.
Yards of Italian platinum chain are then brought into the workshops where specially trained chain-goldsmith experts cut the chain into more than two dozen segments, before soldering them back together with 18 karat gold mountings. The exquisitely crafted chain holding 20 white round natural brilliant cut diamonds.
Together with a platinum clasp and two Bentley wing badges, holding the inscriptions of diamond weights and clarity, as well as the serial number, the chain is finally assembled. An equally well-crafted extender is added so that this masterpiece can both be worn at two lengths of 42 cm and 45 cm.
Viewing the finished pendant
After weeks and weeks in the workshop, the team of craftsmen and designers come together to view the result of their hard work. After they have reviewed their handiwork and accepted the result, all the moulds are destroyed to ensure that the masterpiece stays forever truly unique - and can never be duplicated.
The pinnacle of craftsmanship in platinum and yellow gold, with a fancy yellow pear-shaped natural diamond of 20.08 carats in the middle, and a further 1.00 carats of round brilliant-cut natural diamonds to adorn it finally come together.
GIA certified diamond identified
Cut grade of diamond: Very Good
Purity or inclusion: VS2
Total weight 20.08 carats
Platinum & 18 karat Yellow Gold setting
106 diamonds feature on the pendant – 20 in the chain, 30 under the centre stone and 56 in the surrounding setting.
Underside of the setting features the Bentley 100 Extraordinary Years logo
The Bentley emblem, inscriptions of diamond weight, clarity and serial number are engraved on the chain’s plaque.
Visit the Bentley Jewellery website.
Read more about Bentley's Centenary and 100 years of craftsmanship and performance here.