Chanel Jewellery and the Number 5
Coco Chanel's favourite number was believed to be 5, and just as with her favourite flower, the camellia, and her star sign, Leo, it has long been used as inspiration for Chanel's jewellery designs.
It began of course with the naming of her first perfume - Chanel No 5. This was introduced in 1921, and the parfumier Ernest Beaux was commissioned to produce a number of samples, with Coco herself making the final decision.
She chose sample No 5 and it is said that this was partly influenced by her belief that 5 was a magical number. So No 5 was the chosen name for this famous perfume.
In 1987 the launch of Chanel's No 5 Eau de Parfum (previously only parfum had been available) was celebrated on the Chanel catwalk by the number 5 being featured on a range of accessories - huge dangle earrings, pendant necklaces, chain belts. This was the first use of the number 5 in Chanel's jewellery and while it has regularly featured in more modern pieces they can never match the verve and style of these earliest pieces. As they were runway pieces and thus produced in smaller numbers they are very rare. This makes these fantastic pieces incredibly collectable.
Perhaps the most recognisable of these pieces are the fun earrings with large CC dangles, in crystal or metal.
This is what two of the styles looked like on the catwalk in 1987:
The featured necklace incorporated not only the number 5 but also the CC logo and a huge pearl dangle. Classic!
The belt from the collection was a leather weave goldtone chain with a square logo charm in goldtone with 5 picked out in black.
So if you are very fortunate you may come across one of these rare pieces and you will know a little of its history. If you are really, really fortunate you may even get to own your own piece of Chanel history!