Golden palm branch

Golden palm branch. 1957 year
Golden palm branch. 1957 year

Jewelry story. Golden palm branch.

Yesterday, May 17, the opening ceremony of the 70th International Cannes Film Festival took place. The Palme d’Or (Golden palm branch) – the main award of this event over the past 20 years, has been created by Chopard. Especially for the anniversary, jewelers have updated the statuette, decorating it with placers of diamonds.

In detail

Each piece of the award is handcrafted by seven craftsmen and they work on it for a total of 40 hours. The branch itself is cast from 18-carat gold, inlaid with diamonds and only after that is fixed on an emerald-cut rock crystal. Before processing, each natural mineral used is said to weigh up to 3 kg.


The first International Cannes Film Festival took place in 1947, but the Palme d’Or began to be presented only in 1955. Before that, the most honorable award was called “Grand Prix”. Every year, contemporary artists presented a new version of it.

The idea to create the award in the form of a leaf of a palm tree belongs to Robert Favre le Bre (at that time the executive director of the international film festival). This symbol can be seen on the coat of arms of the city of Cannes. In 1954, the organizers of the film festival announced a competition for a design award among the most famous jewelers of the time.

The version of the jeweler-designer Lucien Lazon was recognized as the best. It was a palm branch mounted on a terracotta stand by the sculptor Sebastien. The first winner of the new prize was director Delbert Mann for the film Marty. For the period from 1964 to 1974, the jury returned to the presentation of the “Grand Prix”.
In the early 1980s, the rounded base gradually takes on the shape of a pyramid. In 1992, Thierry de Burkeny gave the prize a new look: he used a rock crystal pyramid as the base. Moreover, the artist processed the mineral with his own hand.

In 1997, the art director of the House of Chopard, Caroline Schefele, creates a new sketch for the Palme d’Or. The base of the natural transparent mineral becomes square. The leaves on the branches of 18-karat gold take on a slightly more rounded shape – they seem to have frozen in the wind. It seems that the branch is floating in the air. It is this variation of the Chopard award that has been presented for the past 20 years.

In 2001, the jewelry house established its own annual award in the field of motion pictures – Trophée Chopard. A gold statuette in the form of intertwined cinematic films presented to young talented actors during the Cannes Film Festival.