Glimpse of Eternity: The Story of Serendipity Jewelry by Christine Chen

Having recently moved to Paris’ Place Vendôme, Serendipity Jewelry is ready to share its sentimental approach and Franco-Chinese creative style with discerning international audiences. The brand draws inspiration from chance encounters – the kind that are immortalised in Hollywood films and harmonised through love songs. As a result, founder Christine Chen creates pieces that are destined for their intended owner, as if fate was having its say over gemstone combinations and design elements. Recently, I had the pleasure of stepping inside the Serendipity showroom to experience the power of “spontaneous encounters” and take a “fleeting glimpse of eternity”.

In January 2023, certified gemmologist Christine Chen opened a showroom on Place Vendôme as a declaration that her brand – Serendipity Jewelry – is ready to step into the spotlight. By fusing her native Chinese influences with French savoir-faire, Christine has been developing her own signature style since 2017 and is now demonstrating confidence in her design DNA through a range of high jewels. I was drawn in the moment Christine told me that gemstones are her original source of inspiration for every piece. In fact, she often re-cuts gemstones to amplify their ‘lost’ beauty, such as a 60-carat pear-shaped aquamarine in her Snow Queen crown, which was reduced to 50 carats to achieve the perfect heart shape. When she’s not designing around emeralds, Paraiba tourmalines, and opals, Christine is adding new patented innovations to her collections. Continue reading below to see some highlights of a recent conversation I had with Christine and some photographs of the striking multi-dimensional pieces on display.

Serendipity Jewelry Belle Epoque High Jewellery suite, including a transformable necklace/brooch with 68 carats of pear-cut Colombian emeralds and 24 carats of diamonds, requiring nearly 1,000 hours of workmanship

"Jewelry, to me, offers a fleeting glimpse of eternity, encapsulating beauty, craftsmanship, and sentimentality within a single enduring object. It serves as a reminder that amidst the flow of time, certain treasures remain unwavering, imparting a touch of eternity to our lives,” Christine Chen, founder of Serendipity Jewelry.

Katerina Perez: What inspired you to become a jewellery artist, and how did you settle on the name ‘Serendipity’ for your brand? 

Christine Chen: For me, the concept of 'Serendipity' is not merely a word; it is a guiding principle that weaves through the tapestry of my life. As a firm believer in fate and the magic of spontaneous encounters, I discovered my lifelong passion for jewellery and the city of Paris through serendipitous events. The name of my brand was an intuitive choice, reflecting my belief that each piece of jewellery possesses its own unique expression and soul, awaiting the serendipitous moment when it finds its perfect match.

KP: What are some of the fundamental principles of your brand? 

CC: I see beyond the surface, appreciating the singular beauty of gemstones that have been nurtured by nature for millions of years. To me, these gemstones are the original source of inspiration for every creation. Each gem chosen for Serendipity Jewelry is handpicked for its exceptional quality, ensuring that it forms the foundation of the distinctive beauty and soul of each piece. Every gemstone is like a person to me, which is unique. I will only work with gemstones that touch me and that are natural stones of top colour, perfect cut, and of excellent quality. As for diamonds, I only work with D-F colour IF-VS2 GIA-certified stones. I also need to mention that we create our pieces inspired by nature, passion, and love.

A selection of coloured gemstone cocktail rings by Serendipity Jewelry, based in Paris

KP: Some of your creations use patented design techniques. Can you share some further details about your Double Me ring? 

CC: Yes, this ring is a patented creation for modern women seeking individuality and innovation in their jewellery. It not only represents a remarkable technological achievement but also showcases the diversity of expression and personality of the women who wear them. The design of the Double Me ring is reminiscent of an elegant bow. At its centre lies a gemstone of the highest quality. What makes these rings truly extraordinary is the ability to reverse each side. When flipped, the other side of the bow tie reveals an entirely new and intricate design adorned with diamonds. The patented design of these reversible rings ensures that each piece is truly one-of-a-kind, much like the modern women who choose to wear them. Each side of the ring exudes its own charm, allowing the wearer to express different facets of their personality with a simple flip.

KP: Are there any other signature pieces that really exemplify your brand?

CC: The Blooming Ginkgo emerald necklace is also one of my high jewellery masterpieces. The Ginkgo leaves, renowned for their distinctive fan-shaped appearance comprising two symmetrical parts, serve as a profound symbol in nature. This harmonious combination embodies the duality of existence, mirroring concepts such as yin and yang, life and death, and good and evil. Much like the Serendipity brand itself, which melds two distinct cultures and ways of thinking, the Ginkgo collection serves as an artistic expression of this fusion, encapsulating my understanding of the world. The emeralds used are sourced in Columbia and are characterised by their natural radiance and absence of oil treatment.

The aquamarine tiara from our winter collection - Snow Queen - also has a special place in my heart, quite literally. At its centre, there’s a magnificent heart-shaped aquamarine centre stone. The design draws inspiration from crystal formations, artfully crafted into a fragile structure adorned with diamonds, South Sea Pearls, and crystals.

Katerina Perez wears the Serendipity Jewelry Snow Queen tiara with Santa Maria-coloured aquamarines, diamonds, and South Sea pearls surrounding a large heart-shaped aquamarine

KP: I have to admit that one of my favourite Serendipity Jewelry pieces is The Secret d'Iris tourmaline necklace. Can you share more about the inspiration behind this design?

CC: It’s also one of my favourite pieces! It’s crafted from white gold and adorned with lace-like flowers and diamonds. At the heart of these blooms are exquisite pink tourmalines, lending a subtle touch of colour that enhances the necklace's elegance. To me, this collection serves as a profound symbol of light, freedom, art, and regal authority. Born during the Victorian era, lace jewellery combines the intricate artistry of lace craftsmanship with the fine delicacy of hand weaving. The hollow carving technique bestows a finishing touch of softness and allure to these creations, perfectly adapting to the curves of the body. Crafting the Iris Lace Necklace, with its cushion-cut pink tourmaline and detailed gold lacework, requires 1,800 hours of dedicated craftsmanship. It is a testament to our unwavering commitment to perfection and artistry.

KP: Finally, how would you say your work has changed over time since you founded your brand? 

CC: The collection has evolved with more signature pieces and a stronger identity in the details. For example, for the winter collection, I used a lot of crystals to create the ice feeling. As with the summer collection, I became more experienced with enamels. Each new piece is an opportunity to perfect new techniques and refine our know-how to stay as close to perfection in every respect.

Necklaces from the Serendipity Jewelry My Little One collection, inspired by the maternal love of animals

While I was exploring Serendipity’s treasures on Place Vendôme, I was told that a very important new collection will be launched in January 2024. As you can imagine, I have already added a reminder to my diary to see what the brand launches next. Interestingly, this high jewellery collection will be the ‘official’ launch of Serendipity Jewelry despite Christine Chen’s 10-year history in luxury design. Well, as they say, good things come to those who wait!

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