ABALONE 

Seashell creature of the Pacific Coast with an inner shell lining of gray/pink natural pearlized substance. Used extensively by Indian tribes of the West.

ALDO CIPULLO

1969 Aldo Cipullo joined Cartier, New York after an apprenticeship in his native Italy, and later at David Webb. His gem-set jewelry is influenced by medieval goldsmith’s work with its use of polished stones set into gold mountings. He is best known for his modern interpretations of historical artifacts such as the two piece “Love Bracelet” that had to be bolted together around the wrist with the aid of a screwdriver which was sold along with the bracelet.

ALETTO BROTHERS

The firm Aletto Brothers, located in Boca Raton, Florida, was founded by Alberto Aletto, a third generation jeweler, who learned the rudiments of his trade while working in his family’s business in Italy. He emigrated first to South America, before moving to New York in 1964. Within a few years, he opened an establishment on Forty-seventh St. In 1985, his four sons, Alfred, Franco, Robert and Albert Jr. relocated to Florida, opening a shop that has since specialized in creating caliber-set jeweler, a technique that has been popular in the 1930’s.

AMBER

A yellowish-brown fossil resin. Also found in black and varieties of brown and orange. Amber comes from ancient forests of fir trees, or mined from under the Baltic Sea. Orange color amber comes from Sicily.

AMETHYST

Return To Top Of Page

A gemstone found in shades from pale lavender to deep purple. A crystallized quartz found in Russia, Brazil, Uruguay, Ceylon and the U.S.

ARABESQUE

Following scrollwork, often in low relief, epitomized by curlicues of line.

Art DECO

(1910-1930) A stilted, stylized design which was named after the 1925 L’Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris, France. Much of the Art Deco design was a transition from the earlier Art Nouveau, and as with the nouveau epoch, was inspired by the Art of the American Indian, ancient Egyptian, and Greek and Roman architecture. The early 1920′s interest in Cubism and Dadism as a new Art form, greatly influenced the Art Deco period. The King Tut traveling exhibit, in the 1970′s, renewed the craze for Egyptian design jewelry. Additionally, the mysteries of the pyramids and a continuing revival of astrological studies, lent itself to Art Deco designs which in turn were incorporated in the Art Moderne period following 1930.

Art MODERNE

(1935-1945) It is generally accepted that the period of the 1920-s to the 1930′s is the Art Deco period. The decade of 1940-1950 is considered the "modern" period, an era in which just about any conceivable type of design — whether it be flamboyant or contrived with delicate fancy — survived. However, the Art Moderne period (1935-1945) avoided such frivolous swirls and instead streamlined into crisp geometric lines, all designs of decorative and utilitarian Art forms. "Modern" seems to be a term giving license to all creativity in any form, be it eccentric or strictly along conventional jeweler’s lines. The Art Moderne period expresses the conflict between machine and nature, which is so evident in Art Deco. But Art Moderne contains somewhat less contrived Artistry, although some pieces do appear as near absurdities.

ART NOUVEAU

A period of design between the 1890′s and 1910; the jewelry is characterized by flowing lines, unusual interpretations of nature, the use of women with long flowing hair and the utilization of unusual materials

ARTHUR KING

Return To Top Of Page

Arthur King was born in New Jersey in 1925. Although incorporating traditional jewelry materials, he managed to transform a piece of jewelry into a work of contemporary art by mounting rough gemstones in a cage-like structure. This technique became his specialty. He operated in premises on 59th Street and, later, at 619 Madison Avenue in New York. He maintained as many as eighteen branch locations but preferred not to sell out of established jeweler locations. His branches were located in such areas as Cape Cod, Havana and Miami. Following King’s death in 1995, his shop on Madison Avenue has subsequently closed.

ASSAYING

Process of determining the proportions of precious metal contained in a piece of gold or silver

AUDEMARS PIGUET

Audemars Piguet was founded in 1875 by Jules Audemars and Paul-Edouard Piguet in Le Brassus, Switzerland. Their first achievement was the creation of the Grande Complication, a pocket watch comprising three complicated mechanisms. They went on to develop the thinnest manual winding and repeating watches ever made, the first skeleton watch and the ultra-thin automatic perpetual calendar watch. Since 1992, Mrs. Jasmine Audemars descendant of the Audemars family, is Chair of the Board of Directors. The president of the company is Mr. Georges-Henri Meylan.

BAGUETTE

A narrow rectangular-cut stone most often chosen for diamonds. When associated with emeralds, it is called an emerald-cut.

BAILEY, BANKS & BIDDLE

Joseph Trowbridge Bailey and Andrew B. Kitchen opened their first store on Chestnut Street in Philadelphia on September 20, 1832, known as Bailey & Kitchen, offering silverware, jeweler and assorted other articles. In 1878, Joseph T. Bailey II, George Banks, formerly of J. E. Caldwell & Co., and Samuel Biddle formed a partnership, renaming the company, Bailey, Banks & Biddle. In 1894, the company incorporated with Bailey as president. The firm became a division of the Zale group in 1962 and currently consists of their main store in Chestnut Street in Philadelphia as well as 106 stores in 25 states.

BAKELITE

Return To Top Of Page

A trademark for a synthetic resin chemically formulated and named after Belgian chemist, L. H. Backeland (1909). This newer plastic was for molding items formerly created in the highly flammable Celluloid or in hard rubber molds. It is capable of being molded and carved.

BANGLE

Non-flexible bracelet

BAROQUE

Bold, ornate, heavy-looking ornamentation. Irregular shaped stone or pearl

BARRY KIESELSTEIN-CORD

Born in Manhattan, Barry Kieselstein-Cord attended Parsons School of Design in a combined program with New York University. His jeweler creations are classic, contemporary designs with a tactile feeling which incorporates matte gold accentuates that he pioneered. His work was first introduced at George Jensen in New York, in 1973, and now sells out of locations such as Zurich, Turin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf and Palm Beach, as well as, boutiques in Bergdorf Goodman and Neiman Marcus. He has won the COTY American Fashion Critics Award and the CFDA Award. A few of his pieces are now housed in the permanent collections of both the Louve, in Paris, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York City.

BELPERRON

Suzanne Belperron began her career designing for Jeanne Boivin from 1925-1933. She joined Bernard Herz in 1933 and became one of the pioneers of modern dress and jeweler, ranked with René Boivin, Chanel and Schiaparelli. Her style was distinctive, bold, imaginative and celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic. An intrepid traveler, Belperron voyaged to the Near East to study ancient gold work and to India to select rubies and sapphires. She was inspired by nature and ethnic sources such as the paisleys of the Orient, Mayan ornaments and African tribal designs. In 1945, she established a partnership with Herz’s son, Jean. Known as Herz-Belperron, this lasted until her retirement in 1974.The designs of Suzanne Belperron continue to be produced in Paris today and are offered exclusively by Edward J. Laudrigan at Verdura, New York.

BERLIN IRON

Return To Top Of Page

Cast iron jewelry worked into delicate openwork patterns, and made in Berlin during the first half of the nineteenth century

BEZEL

Gemstone setting where a strip or wall of metal encircles the gemstone

BLACK, STARR & FROST

The oldest jewelry house in America, Black, Starr & Frost was founded as Marquand & Paulding in Savannah, Georgia in 1801. In 1810, Isaac Marquand moved to New York, consolidating the company with several other firms. They were one of the few American retailers who displayed at the 1851 London Crystal Palace Exposition. In 1876, Cortlandt Starr and Aaron V. Frost joined as partners and the name changed to Black, Starr & Frost. For the 1939 New York World’s Fair, they contributed large sculptural jeweler based on the bold designs of the period.

BOUCHERON

Frédéric Boucheron opened his first jewelry salon at the Palais Royal in 1858, and soon acquired fame as an expert in precious stones, a masterful technician and a creator of beautiful jeweler. In 1893, he was the first jeweler to set up shop at the Place Vendôme where he continued to serve the social elite, and from where the firm still operates successfully today. Over the years, the Maison Boucheron opened branches in Moscow and London, and also in Japan, the Middle and Far East. Boucheron exhibited in many international expositions including the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial, the 1889 and 1900
Expositions Universelles in Paris, the 1893 World’s Colombian Exposition in Chicago and the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. Boucheron was acquired, in May 2000, by the Gucci Group (PPR), one of the world’s leading multi-brand luxury goods company.

BRILLIANT CUT

A cutting style most often used for diamonds, consisting of 58 facets, also known as "modern cut" or "full cut"

BRIOLETTE

Return To Top Of Page

An oval or pear-shaped diamond entirely faceted in triangular cuts.

BUCCELLATI

In 1903, Mario Buccellati began an apprenticeship in goldsmithing at Beltrami e Besnati in Milan and in 1909, he opened his first shop in Via Santa Margherita. In the following years, the fame of Buccellati jewels began to attract the attention of royalty all over the world. In 1925, he opened a shop in Rome, in Via dei Condotti followed in 1929 by one in Florence, in Via Tornabuoni, and it was in 1953 that a shop in New York opened. In 1965, the three sons of Mario, who were goldsmiths themselves, decided to create their own company: Federico Buccellati runs the shop in Rome and in Milan, in Via della Spiga. He continued his father’s activity by preserving all the ideas that had been instilled in him while they worked together. No matter what precious materials are employed, taste, beauty and personalization are the prime factors when a Buccellati jewel is created. Production is carried out today by 70 Italian craftsmen. Six licenses have been set up in the Tokyo and Osaka area, a new distributor has opened up in Sidney and the foreign sales network is to be extended in the near future. The tradition is maintained by Federico and now by his children Lorenzo, Rodolfo and Benedetta.

BUFF TOP CABOCHON

Style of stone cutting where the top of the gemstone is a dome (en cabochon) and the pavilion is faceted

BULGARI

The firm of Bulgari was founded by Sotirio Bulgari, who was born in 1857 in Greece and was a descendant of silversmiths. In 1879, he moved to Rome where he opened his first shop in the Via Sistina and then in 1905, he moved to the Via dei Condotti. Upon Sotirio’s death in 1932, his sons, Giorgio and Costantino took over the business. They are credited with creating the highly distinctive “Bulgari” style, inspired by Greek and Roman classicism, the Italian Renaissance, and the 19th century Roman school of goldsmiths. The 1970s marked the beginning of Bulgari’s international expansion with the opening of stores in New York (the first overseas), Paris, Geneva, and Monte Carlo, building towards the over 155 stores open today It was also in this decade that Bulgari introduced the Bulgari-Bulgari which was to become a successful watch classic. Bulgari Time was established in the early 80s in Neuchatel, Switzerland for the creation and production of all Bulgari watch lines. In 1984 the sons of Giorgio, Paulo and Nicola, became respectively Chairman and Vice-Chairman. Their nephew, Francesco Trapani, was nominated Chief Executive Officer.

CABACHON 

A stone without facets, and shaped like a dome.

CALIBRE-CUT

Return To Top Of Page

Small stones cut in usually rectangular shapes and faceted in a step cut to fit exactly into a setting or against another stone

CAMEO

Conch shell, onyx gem, coral and various gemstones, which were carved in either relief or intaglio. Cameos are also molded in synthetics such as plastic or glass. Cameos usually depict a scene or portrait, but may be symbolic. Ivory and wood can also be carved into a cameo, but natural elements cannot be molded.

CARAT

Unit of weight used for precious stones

CARNELIAN

A variety of chalcedony with a wax-like luster. An ornamental stone found mainly in Greece or in Asia. Carnelian has a translucent color which may be deep red, flesh red, or reddish-white. It takes a good polish and cut, and is ideal for seals and intaglios.

CARTIER

Cartier was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis- François Cartier. It was his three grandsons, Louis, Pierre and Jacques, who were responsible for establishing the famous worldwide empire. Louis retained responsibility for the Paris branch, moving it to the rue de la Paix in 1899. Jacques took charge of the London operation and eventually moved to the current location in New Bond Street. Pierre established the New York branch in 1909, moving in 1917 to the current location at 653 Fifth Avenue. Prominent amongst Cartier’s gifted team, were Charles Jacqueau who joined Louis Cartier in 1909 for a lifetime and Jeanne Toussaint who was appointed Director of Fine Jeweler from 1933. In the 1960s Cartier New York and Cartier Paris passed into outside hands. In 1972, a group of investors led by Joseph Kanoui bought Cartier Paris whose President became Robert Hocq, originator of the concept “Les Must de Cartier” in collaboration with Alain Dominique Perrin. In 1974, Cartier London was bought back and Cartier New York in 1976. In 1983, the “Art of Cartier Collection” was initiated by the late Eric Nussbaum. Today, Cartier is part of the Richemont group.

CASTELLANI

Return To Top Of Page

The firm of Castellani was founded by Fortunato Pio Castellani (1794-1865) circa 1816 in Rome and was continued by his two sons, Augusto (1829-1954) and Alessandro (1823- 5883). Prompted by multiple discoveries in the archaeological realm, the firm established a revival of the Etruscan style of jeweler as well as that of Byzantine, Carolingian and Renaissance. They also became world famous for their simulation of the granulation technique in gold. By 1862 the firm was represented in London and Paris, allowing their innovations to have an impact on an international level.

CHALCEDONY

An ornamental stone found in Asia Minor, primarily Greece, which has a translucent quality. It is a variety of quartz. The term chalcedony denotes a grayish or milky-colored quartz including the family of onyx, agate, cat’s eye, jasper, carnelian, and chrysoprase. All take high polish and are suitable for good intaglio work except for the cat’s eye which is polished into a cabochon-cut stone.

CHANNEL SETTING

A series of stones set close together in a straight line with the sides for the mounting gripping the outer edges of the stones.

CHASING

The ornamentation of metal with grooves or lines with the use of hand-chisels and hammers. Obverse (front) chasing is called intaglio; chasing from the reverse side (back) is called repousse.

CHATELAINE

A decorative clasp or a hook from which many chains are hung to accommodate various household accessories such as thimbles, scissors, keys, files, or to display jeweler’s conceits such as watches, seals, and other decorative implements. From chatelaines hung various ‘necessaries’, such as a miniature fan, glove buttoner, or a dog whistle. There were also grooming devices: an ear spoon for cleaning the ears, a sharp pick for cleaning under the nails, as well as a toothpick. Very short chatelaine chains were called chatelettes; they measured from 2" to 6" in length. An ornamental pink or brooch was attached, although the jewelry could be worn separately. The chatelette chain had a swivel at the end of the chain from which to hang a watch. The brooch was in the popular bowknot of pansy wrought in baroque fashion or an unusual twisted design. Early chatelaines were worn at the waist, but in more recent times, the clasp-type was pinned to the dress or waist, another ornament. Silver card cases, coin holders, and vanity cases comprised the chatelaines of the 1925-1940 years, when the chatelaine ring was introduced. From the tiny, short chain, came a clasp which secured a handkerchief and vanity cases equipped to hold scent pills, a little mirror, straight pins, coins, a lipstick and powder puff. The introduction of rhinestones studded plastic evening purses during the deco period ended the long-reigning chatelaine.

CHAUMET

Return To Top Of Page

Chaumet was founded in 1780 by Marie-Etienne Nitot who with his son, Francois Regnault Nitot became the official jeweler to Napoleon during the Consulate and the Empire. Among their achievements were the Consular sword, the tiara of Pius VII and the grand parures ordered by the Empresses Josephine and Marie-Louise. After the fall of Napoleon, the business continued under the direction of Jean-Baptiste Fossin and his son, Jules, both artists, who succeeded in capturing the spirit of Romanticism in jeweler just as Nitot & Fils had done for the Empire. In 1848, Jules Fossin set up a London branch in partnership with J.V. Morel who was assisted by his son, Prosper. On his return to Paris in 1854, Prosper Morel joined Jules Fossin whom he succeeded in 1868. Prosper Morel’s daughter married Joseph Chaumet in 1875. Chaumet had begun his jeweler career at the age of fifteen, working in his parents’ jeweler shop in Bordeaux. Upon moving to Paris, he was hired by his future father-in-law. By 1885, he assumed management of the firm. In 1889, Chaumet took over the company simultaneously changing the name. Under his direction, the firm won prizes at all of the international exhibitions, supplied jeweler to many of the Royal houses of Europe. In 1907, he moved the company to 12, Place Vendôme. He also opened boutiques in London, in 1905, and in New York in the 1920s. The latter closed in 1934 due to the Depression. In 1999, the firm was acquired by the luxury group LVMH.

CHRYSOBERYL

A semi-precious stone of transparent golden yellow, green yellow or brown

CHRYSOPRASE

Apple-green in color, it is actually a dyed chalcedony or agate which has a cloud-like rather than brilliant color. It is almost like "Vaseline" glass, seemingly with an oily surface. This stone was very popular during the Art Deco and Art Moderne periods, particularly when combined with marcasites and silver.

CITRINE

A pale lemon-colored gemstone of the quartz variety often mistaken for topaz.

CORAL

(genuine) Skeleton of the coral polyp which was highly popular in fashionable English Victorian circles. Most coral used in Victorian jewelry came from the Mediterranean.

DAVID WEBB

Return To Top Of Page

In 1941, at the age of 16, David Webb came to New York to learn the rudiments of jewelry design. In 1946, he and his business partner, Nina Silberstein opened David Webb Inc at a 47th Street location. By the early 1950s, they had moved to 6 West 57th Street, retailing their jewelry through Bergdorf Goodman. In 1963 the firm opened its first salon on 7 East 57th Street where it remained until 1990, when it moved to the corner of 57th St and Park Avenue. The firm is presently located at 789 Madison Avenue. They also have a branch in Beverly Hills. David Webb died in 1975 and the firm, under the direction of the Silberstein family, continues to produce jewelry from Webb’s vast collection of sketches.

DONALD CLAFLIN

Donald Claflin, an American-born jeweler designer, joined Tiffany & Co. in 1965 and three years later he was asked to design the entire Tanzanite collection, then being widely promoted by the company. Claflin’s most important commission for Tiffany & Co. came in 1970, when he designed a new Tiffany setting in which the diamond centre stone is set in the cross of two intersecting bands of precious metal. Along with Jean Schlumberger, he led the way towards a new sophisticated jeweler that other designers were quick to emulate. Following his highly successful years with Tiffany & Co., Donald Claflin became a major designer for Bulgari. His untimely death in 1979 left a serious gap in the ranks of imaginative and productive American jewelry designers.

DOUBLE CLIP

Type of brooch consisting of two halves joined together on a frame which can be detached and worn singly

DREICER

The first known information about the firm of Dreicer & Co. dates to the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition held in St. Louis. J. Dreicer & Son represented the Parisian dealer A. Eknayan. From 1910 to the mid 1920s, their jeweler was the equal of Parisian styles. The firm maintained a shop at 6o Fifth Avenue in New York with a branch located at the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago. They were the first American jewelers to introduce the latest diamond cuts from Paris. In 1923, the firm was liquidated and the following year, Carrier in New York bought Dreicer’s stock for $2.5 million. Dreicer’s collection of paintings was given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

DWT

Abbreviation for pennyweight

EBONY

Return To Top Of Page

Ebony is a black colored wood of great hardness, heavier than water and capable of taking on a fine polish. It is found primarily in Ceylon and is used in making beads and in combination with other materials such as silver and gemstones combined in Deco jewel Artifacts.

EDWARDIAN

Edwardian jewelry (1900-1915) is named after the period of King Edward VII reign. King Edward VII came to power after his mother, Queen Victoria’s death, in 1901. Known for being feminine and delicate with elements like filigree, bows, wreaths, and garland motifs which characterized the “Belle Epoque” style, which lasted 5 years past King Edward’s death

ELSA PERETTI

Born in Italy, Elsa Peretti established herself as a fashion model, and by 1969, was beginning to design her own jewelry. American designer Geourgio di Sant’Angelo used a few of her pieces in a fashion show, which were an instant success. In 1974, Peretti joined Tiffany & Co. and that same year her own collection was launched. In 1999, Peretti celebrated 25 years with Tiffany & Co. In recognition of her remarkable career, Tiffany established the Elsa Peretti Professorship in Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology She was presented with an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree from FIT.

EMERALD CUT

Rectangular shaped stone with mitered corners which is elongated and octagonal

ENAMEL

Enameling is a firing of melted glass. The powdered glass mixture is composed of feldspar, quartz, sods, borax, calcium phosphates, and kaolin. Metallic oxides produce the various desired colors. There is little transparent, see-through, colorless enameling; rather a better and more definitive term is translucent. However, the word transparent has been an accepted term for plique-a-jour enameling which permits light to pass through as in stained glass.

There are several important types of enameling:
Basse-Taille: Metal plate cut to various depths into which translucent enamel is poured, thus achieving a 3-dimensional effect. The depth of relief produces shadings from light to dark. The deeper the metal is cut, the darker the color; where shallow routing occurs, the shading is almost transparent. This routing is worked intaglio, the opposite of repousse.

Champleve: An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed and filled with enamel. Unlike cloisonne, the cells are cut rather than formed by wires (cloisons). Champleve is most commonly applied to copper or bronze. The metals are gilded on exposed and visible surfaces.

Cloisonné: Enameling in which thin wire made of silver, gold, bronze or copper is gilded, then bent to form cells (cloisons). Each cell or cloison is then filled with enamel. Each color is in a separate compartment, each compartment separated by this thin wire.

Guilloche: This technique differs in that the designs are machine-turned and etched, and then enameled … this is a much faster process. Guilloche pattern consists of interlacing curved lines. 

Limoges enamel: A colorful application of enamel which depicts a portrait or scene similar to that rendered on canvas.
Niello enameling: The lines or incisions of a design are contrasted with the color of the metal, i.e., gold, silver, etc., by applying in several layers a mixture of sulphur, lead, silver and copper. This addition appears black when filled into the engraved metallic work. Niello is a blackish enameling process, providing contrasts in highlights and darkness of the design.

Plique-a-Jour: A translucent cloisonné in which there is no metal backing for the enamel work. During firing, a metal supportive base is used until firing ceases. Then, when the piece has cooled and the enamel has hardened, the finished product no longer requires the base, so this support is removed. It is a most cautious procedure, requiring highly skilled craftsmanship and technique.

ENGRAVING

Return To Top Of Page

Cutting lines into metal which are either decorative or symbolic. Method used in monogramming a crest, cartouche or escutcheon.

FABERGE 

Peter Carl Faberge (1846-1920) is best known for the Easter eggs he began making in 1884 for the Tsar and Tsarina of Russia. After studying in several European centres, he began working for his father Gustav’s firm. Upon his father’s retirement in 1870, he took over the establishment. His international renown was secured in 1900 at the Paris Exposition. Afterwards, he began creating objects for Edward VII and other European royals. The firm’s success continued until the 1918 Revolution when Faberge escaped to Switzerland.

FACET

Small flat surface cut into gemstone, glass, or shell. Its purpose is to refract light or enhance the design.

FILIGREE

To apply thread-like wire and decorate into a lace, lattice, or cobweb work.

FOBS

The terms "fobs" and "charms" were interchangeable from mid-1850 through the 1930′s. Watch fobs or watch charms were in vogue in the 1890-s through the turn of the century and certainly on into the 1930′s when the pocket watch became more popular than ever.

FOIL

Return To Top Of Page

Silver, gold, or other color thin leaf of metal used to back imitation gemstones or faceted glass to improve their color and provide greater brilliance.

FOUQUET

Georges Fouquet (1862-1957) joined his father Alphonse Fouquet (1828-1911) in his jewelry business at 35, avenue de l’Opera in 1895. Upon his father’s retirement in 1895, he took over the direction. In 1902 he moved to 6, rue Ruyale. During the period of 1899-1901, he worked in close collaboration with the artist Alphonse Mucha. With Mucha acting as a designer, they executed many important commissions, for Sarah Bernhardt amongst others. They mainly created objects in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles favoring enameling and colored stones.

FRED

In 1936, Fred Samuel founded the jeweler firm which bears his name at 6 rue Royale in Paris, creating jeweler for such screen luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and Douglas Fairbanks. After the war, when business resumed its pre-war pace, he reestablished his foothold in the world of “haute joaillerie”, creating not only his trademark pearl jewelry, but also bold contemporary designs. The business expanded to the United States, beginning in 1977 with their first branch location in Beverly Hills, followed by Houston, and then Costa Mesa in 1995. They also have salons in Cannes, Monte Carlo and Tokyo. In 1995, the firm was purchased by the luxury group LVMH.

FRESHWATER PEARL

Pearls found in river mussels

FROMENT- MEURICE

The son of François-Désiré Froment-Meurice, Emile succeeded his father in the family business a number of years after the latter’s early death, at which point the workshop had passed into the hands of his mother. He exhibited jeweler in the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1857 and continued to work in the traditional style of the firm. His work remained resolutely neo-Renaissance and Romantic in taste until the turn-of-the-century, when he made some experimental designs in a very modified Art Nouveau style.

GALLERY

Return To Top Of Page

A strip on metal with a pattern usually refers to the sides of a ring

GARNET

A semi-precious stone found in many colors. The Bohemian type is blood red, the almandine variety ranges from deep red to deep purple, hessonite garnets are brown orange, and demantoid garnets are found in several shades of green

GERARD

Louis Gerard, formerly of Van Cleef & Arpels, founded the firm of M. Gerard in 1968 at 8 Avenue Montaigne in Paris. Within nine years, he was sighted as the largest French exporter of fine jewelry. In November 1985, he sold the company to a group of American investors but continued to operate it until his retirement when it closed its doors. In September 1988, Louis Gerard reopened the firm at 16 Avenue Montaigne, near its original location, under the name of Louis Gérard, Joaillier International. It closed its doors definitively in December 1991.

GHISO

In the 1890s, a member of the Ghiso family emigrated to Buenos Aires from his native Italy. Within a short period of time, he opened a jeweler salon. The business became the pre-eminent house of this type in Buenos Aires. At the beginning of the century, his two sons traveled to Paris where they established a branch location. One son, Oscar, coordinated all business matters as well as arranging with designers to create jeweler in the current styles which were then shipped to Buenos Aires and their other branch location in New York City. Both locations were closed sometime in the late 1930s or 1940s, but the flagship store in Buenos Aires remained open until the 1960s. Oscar Ghiso died in Buenos Aires in 1985.

GIRLDLE

The widest part of a gemstone which divides the crown from the pavilion

GREEN GOLD

Return To Top Of Page

Gold which contains a high proportion of silver

GUBELIN

Founded in 1854, Gubelin has always been a family enterprise. Located in Lucerne, Switzerland, they have created superior quality watches and clocks for more than one hundred years. Collaboration with New York jeweler Edmond Frisch led to the creation of jeweled watches and jewelry. Today, Gubelin has salons throughout Europe.

GUCCI

In 1925, Guccio Gucci opened a small luggage and saddlery company in Florence, selling exclusive leather goods created by the best Florentine craftsman. Within a few years, the Florence shop attracted a sophisticated clientele. This overwhelming success prompted the opening of a new shop on Via Condotti in Rome. Over the course of the next thirty years, Gucci introduced scores of new products many of which became icons. In 1953 Guccio Gucci died, the same year the New York stored opened. Throughout the 60s Gucci flourished. Grace Kelly, Peter Sellars and Audrey Hepburn helped make Gucci Hollywood chic. Jackie Kennedy carried the Gucci shoulder bag now known as the “Jackie O”. Gucci expanded to the Far East in the 1970s and the 1980s saw changes in leadership as Maurizio Gucci took the helm. In 1998, Gucci was named “European Company of the Year” and in 1999 it entered into an alliance with Pinanlt-Printemps-Redoute. Gucci recently reopened its newly renovated Fifth Avenue store -the largest Gucci store in the world.

HALLMARKS

An official mark first adopted in England. The mark is incised, punched, or stamped on gold or silver to show quality and to signify purity of metal according to "sterling" or "carat" standard.

HARRY WINSTON

At the age of 24, Harry Winston opened his first business in New York City known as the Premier Diamond Company. Twelve years later, he established another company under his own name and began to manufacture jewelry. Winston was responsible for the cutting of such famous diamonds as the Star of Sierra Leone, and the Vargas. He donated three important diamonds to the Smithsonian: The Hope, the Portuguese and the Oppenheimer. By the 1950s, Winston was acknowledged as the “King of Diamonds”, owning at one time or another as many as one-third of all the famous diamonds in the world. In 1972 the company moved from 7 East Fifty First Street to its present location at 758 Fifth Avenue. With his death in 1978, Winston was succeeded by his son, Ronald, now the chairman of the company, who continues his father’s tradition of offering “Rare jewels of the World”, the firm’s motto for many years. In an effort to address an ever-expanding market for their jewelry, the firm opened a salon in Tokyo in 1989 and one on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills the following year. They also created a watch department “The Ultimate Timepiece”.

HENRY DUNAY

Return To Top Of Page

Henry Dunay was born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1935. He started in the jewelry field working for Rudolph Caccioli, a jeweler on Canal Street in New York City with whom he remained for seven years, learning the art of jeweler making and diamond setting. He opened his own company in 1956, specializing in pave-set jewelry. In 1967, he won the first of his three Diamond International Awards, and, in 1982, he was inducted into the illustrious Diamonds International Academy, the only American so honored to this date. In 1989, Dunay was invited to become a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. He is based in New York.

INLAY 

Materials such as stones, gems, woods and metals are inserted and cemented into the surface of another material and ground down to create a smooth surface

INTAGLIO

To cut a design deeply on the obverse or front side of a gem or other type material. Intaglio is the opposite of repousse work done in metals.

INVISIBLE SETTING

A channel setting using calibrated stones without any metal showing from the top

J.E. CALDWELL & CO.

James E. Caldwell worked for a short period of time on Maiden Lane, in New York City before opening a small watchmaker’s shop on Fifth and Chestnut Street in Philadelphia, sometime in the early 1830s. In 1848, the firm took on its current name, J. E. Caldwell and Company. In 1953, under the direction of Auston Homer, who had become president of Caldwell’s the previous year, the company began a branch store expansion, opening their second location in the Hotel Dupont in Wilmington, Delaware. Caldwell & Co. was purchased by Henry Birks & Sons, a Montreal-based jeweler and in August 1992, was acquired by Cadyle & Co., a family owned jeweler in Greensboro, North Carolina.

JABOT PIN

Return To Top Of Page

A jeweled tie pin popular in the 1920′s and 1930′s

JACQUES LACLOCHE

The son of Jacques, one of the four Lacloche brothers, Jacqoes Lacloche (1901—1988) did all his training at Lacloche Frères before taking the direction of the London branch which was the former Fabergé’s salon. After the closing of Lacloche Frères, he opened his first business at La Croisette in Cannes (1935) and then at no.8 place Vendôme in Paris (1938) where his fanciful and highly imaginative production of multi-colored jewels was immediately successful. After the war, Jacques Lacloche designed jeweler for a largely American clientele and some true connoisseurs like Ali Khan. The business closed in the 1960s.

JANESICH

Leopoldo Janesich opened his first shop in Trieste in 1835, offering jewelry and silverware to an international clientele. At the end of the century, he established a branch store in Paris at 19, roe de la Paix, followed by locations in Biarritz, London, Monte Carlo and Vichy. Their clients included such eminent personalities as the Archduke of Austria, King Nicholas of Montenegro and the Duke of Aosta. Janesich is well known for powder compacts and card cases in the Art Deco style. The firm remained in family hands until it closed in 1968.

JAR

Joel Arthur Rosenthal was born in New York City He studied art history at Harvard and, after college, worked in the film industry, and then with Bulgari. In 1977, he opened a shop in the Place Vendôme; his initials, JAR, the only source of identification on the façade. Mr. Rosenthal works with his partner, Pierre Jeannet, to create exquisite jewels, superbly crafted in unique settings. His work is meticulous and imaginative, incorporating stones in brilliant and unexpected combinations. His background in art history has given him the knowledge with which to assimilate the work of the past to create his own personal style. In November 1987, in celebration of his 10th anniversary in Paris, Mr. Rosenthal held an exhibition of his work at the National Academy of Design in New York City. In November 2002, a retrospective of 400 jewels was held at the Gilbert Collection, Somerset House in London.

JEAN MAHIE

In a Paris workroom in 1971, a Neiman Marcus buyer made a rare discovery: a pair of fledgling artisans working with 22-karat gold. Jean Marie Mahie, a respected French businessman, had recently traded in his successful career and joined forces with his young daughter-in-law Jacline Mazard to pursue their joint dream of becoming sculptors. With little experience and no formal training, they were thrust into the spotlight when NM agreed to launch their creations exclusively, (Jacline’s son actually christened the design duo during their premier exhibition: “Jean Mahie” was the closest the child could come to pronouncing Jean Marie.) Each piece from the Mahie workroom is actually a tiny sculpture— an individual study in gold, texture, and motion. Etruscan and pre-Colombian influences lend a primitive appeal to the jeweler- it looks as if it came from an ancient Mayan ruin. The duo perfected their designs for 20 years before adding precious stones to the collection. Jacline, now the sole creator, contends that inspiration stems from working with precious metal, not from following a sketch. Following the recent death of her partner and father-in-law Jacline found herself at a loss creatively. After she discovered some relics from antiquity an era she was passionate about as a child, she recaptured her creativity. This resulted in a new collection that incorporated 2,000 year old glass beads, scarabs, and intaglios into the signature Mahie style. Jacline credits the addition of the ancient relics with revitalizing her creative enthusiasm. October 1996 marks the 25-year union between Neiman Marcus and Jean Mahie.

JET

Return To Top Of Page

Jet is the name given most black jewelry whether it be genuine or glass. Genuine jet will retain its sparkling polish for many years. "Black glass" (also known as ‘French Jet’, even though most black glass came from Bohemia), will crack, scratch, and become dull. Genuine jet is a brown-black lignite in which the texture or grain of the original fossilized wood comprised of coal, can still be seen.

Jubilee or Twentieth-Century Cut

The short-lived Jubilee Cut was created in the United States in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1875. The cut didn’t appear until the beginning of the twentieth century. The Jubilee is a brilliant cut diamond that is faceted similar to the round in many regards but in a square shape.

KUTCHINSKY

The firm Kutchinsky, located today at 73 Brampton Road, began manufacturing fine jeweler in East London in 1893. Founded by Hirsch Kutchinsky and his son Morris, it was later handed over to Morris’ sons, Joseph and Solomon, in 1930. After the war, they opened a new workshop. Its great success led them to open the boutique in Knightsbridge specializing in gold work and diamond jeweler. The firm was bought by the Moussaieffs in 1991.

LACLOCHE

Lacloche Frères was founded in Madrid in 1875 by four brothers, Fernand, Joles, Leopold and Jacques. Subsequently, they opened branches in San Sebastian, Biarritz and at 15, rue de la Paix in Paris before taking over Fabergè’s London salon in 1920. They were a highly successful jewelry firm, featuring jewelry at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Dècoratifs in Paris. During the 1920s and 30s they were known for their jeweler and objects d’art, decorated with enamels and carved gemstones.

LALAOUNIS

Ilias Lalaounis, descendant of a family of Greek goldsmiths, became director of the family firm, E. Zolotas, in Athens in 1940. In 1957, he organized a jeweler pavilion at the Thessaloniki International Fair in cooperation with the Goldsmith’s Association of Athens, contributing designs based on ancient jeweler. He became internationally prominent after the Greek tycoon, Aristotle Onassis, purchased wedding gifts for his future wife, Jacqoeline Bouvier Kennedy, from his salon. In the late 1960s and 70s the firm expanded outside of Greece to Geneva, Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and Zurich. Lalaounis’ four daughters are associated with the firm, each contributing their expertise to particular areas of the company. The family inaugurated a museum containing over 4,000 of their creations at the foot of the Acropolis in 1994.

LALIQUE

Return To Top Of Page

At the turn of the century René Lalique (1860-1945) broke with traditional jewelry conventions, creating jewelry not only to enhance the appearance of the wearer, but also as a genuine art form. His use of exotic and often fragile materials such as glass, horn and rock crystal was revolutionary. Nature was the predominant theme of this “Art Nouveau”. Lalique often created objects depicting the female figure with dragonfly wings. He produced bracelets, necklaces, pendants and combs with subjects from nature such as dragonflies, peacocks, insects or snakes. In 1910, somewhat disenchanted with the jeweler business, Laliqne bought a glassworks at Combs-la-Ville. Henceforth, he dedicated most of his time to creating superb objects in glass.

LAPIS LAZULI

Deep blue gemstone, sometimes containing gold-colored specks of iron pyrites. Horn, stone, or jasper are all sometimes artificially colored to look like genuine Lapis.

LAVALIERE

A chain from which an ornament or gemstone hangs in the center

LOCKET

A jewel which opens on a hinge

MABE PEARL 

A cultured blister pearl

MARCUS & CO.

Return To Top Of Page

Hermann Marcus was born in Germany in 1828. After several stints of working at Tiffany’s, he joined his son William’s business in 1884. In 1892, the firm was given the name Marcus & Co. They were one of the first American firms to produce Art Nouveau jewelry. Initially located at 857 Broadway and later on Fifth Avenue, they eventually opened branches in London, Paris, Palm Beach and Bombay. In 1962, they merged with Black, Starr & Frost. The new firm was subsequently purchased by Kay Jewelers and then, Sterling, Inc.

MARINA B.

The granddaughter of Sotirio Boulgaris — the founder of Bulgari — Marina learnt her craft in the workshop of her father Costantino. In 1979 she opened the first Marina B boutique to glowing reviews, and has since left her own distinctive mark on jewelry design. Exquisitely made, the collection combines extravagant gems with playful uses of color, modern styling and innovative features. Many pieces feature a unique stone cut, the “Marina B cut”, falling halfway between a triangle and heart, named after its creator. Marina B boutiques are located in Geneva, Milan, Jeddah, Osaka, Riyadh and Tokyo.

MARIO BUCCELLATI

The firm Mario Buccellati, located at 4 via Montenapoleone, is currently run by one of the founder’s sons, Lorenzo Buccellati, with the assistance of his wife Claudia. Their objects can be identified by their distinct “texture-engraved” style and the hallmark “15 MI”, one of the oldest in Milan. The company was founded by its namesake, the descendant of a renowned family of jewelers which began with a certain Contardo Buccellati in the 18th Century. Mario began his career in 1903 as an apprentice to the goldsmiths Beltrami e Besnati located at the Largo Santa Margherita in the centre of Milan. He eventually took over the business in 1919. In the following years, he opened boutiques in Rome (1925), Florence (1929) and New York (1953). He created jewels for such notables as the Popes Pius XI and XII, as well as the royal families of Italy, Spain and Egypt. Today, in addition to Milan, Mario Buccellati still has boutiques in the via Tornabuoni of Florence and the via dei Condotti of Rome.

MARQUISE CUT

A stone cut in an oval with pointed ends or a boat-shaped stone

MAUBOUSSIN

In 1827, a Mr. Roeher and his cousin, Baptiste Noory, established a jewelry shop in Paris which, by 1850, had been taken over by Noury. His nephew Georges Mauboussin, joined the firm, assuming control in 1896.The House of Mauboussin contributed exhibits to all major international exhibitions in the first half of the 20th century including Milan in 1923 and 1924; New York, 1924 and 1939; Strasbourg, 1924; and Paris 1925, 1935 and 1937. They were awarded the Grand Prix at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Dècoratifs in Paris and, for his contributions to the world of joaillerie, Georges Mauboussin was given the “Legion d’Honneur”. The firm opened branches in London and Buenos Aires which have subsequently closed. In October 1929, they opened an office in New York. Due to difficult times, they sold their stock to the jeweler Trabert & Hoeffer along with the right to use their name. All jewelry retailed under this contract was signed “Trabert & Hoeffer Inc. — Mauboussin. This relationship lasted until the 1950s.The firm is currently located at 20, Place Vendôme. In 2002, Dominique Frèmont, a Swiss businessman, acquired a majority of the firm with Patrick Mauboussin remaining involved in the creation of the jewelry.

MELLERIO DITS MELLER

Return To Top Of Page

The Mellerio family traces its beginnings in jeweler and goldsmithing to early in the 16th century in the Lombardy region of Italy. Some of its members moved to Paris in 1515, where they prospered and became royal jewelers for Louis XIII in 1635, and were given the privilege of using Meller as their name. The revolutions of 1789 and 1848 interrupted their business temporarily, the latter resulting in an opportunity to open a jewelry business in Madrid where they became jewelers to Queen Isabel II. Re-established in Paris, they participated in many international expositions including London in 1862, Paris in 1867, 1878 and 1900, and Vienna in 1873. The twentieth century saw the firm exhibiting in the 1925 Expositions des Arts Dècoratifs in Paris and the 1939 World’s Fair in New York. They are currently located at 9 rue de la Paix in Paris.

MILLEFIORI

Glass ornamentation made from canes of colored glass that are layered, and sliced to form patterns, flowers or mosaic effects

MILLEGRAIN

A decorating style creating a fine bead like effect around the edge of a metal collet; popular in the Edwardian and Belle Époque periods

MOONSTONE

A translucent gemstone with a pearly or opaline luster.

MOSAIC

Creating a motif or design parquetry with minute pieces of colored glass or stone which have been set into plaster. Individual portions of the design are sectioned by metal, similar to the form used in cloisonné enameling. This type of Venetian jewelry work is also called peitra dura, and was utilized for such designs as foliage, leaves, flowers, pebbles, etc. In pietra dura, the mosaic design is usually set in dull jet or black marble.

MOTHER-OF-PEARL

Return To Top Of Page

 Differs from abalone in color in that Mother-of-Pearl is the iridescent inner-shell layer of a pearly oyster.

NAVETTE CUT

A gemstone shaped like a boat or oval with pointed ends

OPAL

A semi-precious stone with a rainbow-like iridescence which are categorized as three types: opalescent precious opals, yellow-red fire opals and the common opal

OSCAR HEYMAN & BROTHERS

After an apprenticeship with their uncle, a supplier of objects to Faberge, Oscar and Nathan Heyman emigrated from Russia to New York in 1906, followed by their brother, Harry, a year later. By 1912, the three brothers opened their own business at 49 Maiden Lane, supplying the latest platinum jeweler to prestigious retailers. Within a short period of time, they were joined by their three younger brothers, George, Louis and William. Oscar Heyman & Brothers is a self-contained jewelry manufacturer. They have moved four times since their inception, relocating in 1969 to their current address on Madison Avenue. The firm maintains regional sales offices in Dallas, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta and Tokyo. The Heyman family continues to manage the business.

OSTIER

The firm Ostier originated in Austria where for two generations they were jewelers creating fashionable jewels for the European elite, in 1938, following the Anschluss, Oliver Ostier emigrated to America and founded the firm of Ostier Inc. with his wife Marianne.
In a short time they became one of New York’s leading jewelers, and Marianne Ostier created classical images of modern designed jewelry. She won numerous awards including the Diamond USA Award and the Diamond international Award. In 1966, at the Finch College Museum of Art, she represented the United States in an exhibition that featured the worlds leading jewelry designers from ten countries, other artists included Georges Braque and Salvador Dali.

PALLADIUM

Return To Top Of Page

A white precious metal belonging to the platinum group, it weighs a little more than half as much as platinum and sells for half the price

PALOMA PICASSO

Paloma Picasso is the daughter of the most celebrated artist of the twentieth century, Pablo Picasso. After she completed formal training in jewelry design at the University of Paris at Nanterre at the age of 20, Yves St. Laurent presented a collection of her costume jewelry. In 1972, she began designing gold jewelry for Zolotas, but her father’s death the following year curtailed her association with this firm. She resumed her jewelry career at Tiffany & Co. in 1980 with their introduction of approximately 40 pieces of her jewelry Her designs are characterized by the use of highly polished surfaces and unexpected color contrasts. In 1985,Tiffany’s introduced her line of sterling silver jewelry in figurations of recognizable symbols such as “Love and Kisses”.

PARURE

Matching jewelry containing three or more pieces such as a necklace, choker, brooch, earrings, bracelet, and ring. Demi-parure consists of only two or three matching sets.

PASTE

A superior glass containing oxide of lead used for jewelry to imitate gems and gemstones. Much paste is actually a composition of pounded rock crystal melted with alkaline salts and colored with metallic oxides. Some paste stones are set with bright foil, a think leaf of metal placed in back of a glass stone to heighten its brilliance. The finest quality paste, however, requires no foil or backing and is usually claw-set or bezel mounted as if it were the genuine article. Inferior paste may be backed with mercury or quicksilver and applied by machine rather than the more expensive handwork which requires each paste stone to be individually mounted.

PAUL FLATO

Paul Plato was born in 1900 in Flatonia, Texas. In the late 1920’s, he opened his own shop at East Fifty-Seventh Street in New York City several years before Tiffany & Co. relocated to their current address just across the street. His design-oriented style, often bordering on the humorous, reached its peak in the 1930s. Adolph Kleary, George Headley and Fulco di Verdura were among his designers. In 1937, Flato opened a branch in Beverly Hills, at 8657 Sunset Boulevard. This branch remained open for only two years, frequented by such luminaries as Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, Merle Oberon and Marlene Dietrich. In 1970 Flato left America, establishing a shop in Mexico City in the fashionable Zona Rosa district. He spent his last years in Dallas, Texas, where he passed away in July 1999.

PAVE’ SET

Return To Top Of Page

Stones placed so closely together that almost no metal shows between them.

PEARLS

Pearls are the natural formation of a secretion called nacre. This nacre lies within an oyster and is caused by some irritating substance such as a grain of sand. When the pearls are naturally formed, they are called Oriental pearls. Cultured pearls are made by nature with the help of man. Fresh-water pearls are called "river pearls".

PLATINUM

A non-corrosive silver white metal, which is heavy and has a high tensile strength

PLIQUE-A-JOUR

A translucent cloisonné in which there is no metal backing for the enamel work. During firing, a metal supportive base is used until firing ceases. Then when the piece has cooled and the enamel has hardened, the finished product no longer requires this base so the support is removed.

RAYMOND YARD 

After working at Marcus & Co. Raymond C. Yard opened his own salon at 522 Fifth Avenue in 1922, serving many prominent families in New York. Since then, the firm has moved five times, always remaining on Fifth Avenue. In 1958, when Yard died the firm was taken over by his associates, Robert Gibson, Donald Bartow and Glen McQuaker. Upon the retirement of Bartow and McQuaker, Gibson assumed leadership of the company. In 1985, his son Robert M. Gibson became associated with the firm, later to become president upon his father’s retirement.

RENÉ BOIVIN

Return To Top Of Page

Rene Boivin was born in February 1864 in Paris. An excellent designer and engraver, he began a career in the jewelry field at a young age. During the 1890s he purchased several workshops and established himself at rue St. Anastase. In 1893, he relocated to rue de Turbigo and married Jeanne Poiret, sister of the famous couturier and the first woman jeweler of the 20th century. They worked together to create some of the most bold and daring fashions of the early 1900s. After Boivin’s death in 1917, Jeanne decided to assume control of the firm and established herself in the avenue de l’Opera with Juliette Moutard and her daughter, Germaine Boivin. The three worked together for forty years, joined from 1921-1932 by Suzanne Belperron. They created such signature pieces as the Starfish (1936). Their jewels, inspired by animals and nature, became well known. Upon Jeanne Boivin’s death in 1959, the house was taken over by Louis Girard. In April 1991, the company became part of Asprey Group. The main office and boutique are located on Avenue Montaigue.

REPOUSSE’

Decorating metal by pushing out from behind or from the reverse side, in order to create a design in relief. Repousse’ is work in metal. Working from the front is called intaglio, which can be achieved in metal and/or gem. However, neither process can be done in glass or plastics, which must be molded.

RIVIERE

Choker type necklace that is a continuous line of gemstones usually of graduated or equal size stones

rose cut

Various forms of the rose cut diamond have been around since the mid 16th century derived from older cuts. Basic rose cuts have a flat base and crown composed of triangular facets which rise to form a point. These cuts are rare and usually only seen in antique jewelry. There is a growing demand for rose cuts for the purpose of repairing or reproducing antique pieces.

ROUNDELS

Tiny round beads often used as spacers or separators.

RUSER

Return To Top Of Page

William Ruser gained his jewelry experience while working for Trabert & Hoeffer, Inc.- Mauboussin in their Atlantic City shop. From there, he was transferred to the Los Angeles branch as manager. After serving in the armed forces during World War II, he and his wife, Pauline, opened Ruser on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, in 1947. He is most noted for his sculptural gold jewelry with pave-set diamonds, precious and semi—precious gemstones as well as his nature-inspired jewelry featuring birds, butterflies, fish, flowers and swans. Hollywood stars regularly visited his salon.

SAUTOIR

An extremely long neck chain, which falls below the waistline and terminates with a tassel or pendant. Popular in the early 20th century

SCARABUS

(SCARAB) Form of a beetle, the Egyptian symbol of longevity. Many Deco designs were inspired by this form, especially after the opening of King Tut’s tomb in 1922.

SCHLUMBERGER

Jean Schlumberger was born in 1907 in Mulbouse, in the German—controlled Alsace, into a family of textile industrialists. Preferring art to textiles, his first jewelry creations were china flowers mounted as clips which he gave to his friends. After sewing in the Army and then the Free French Forces, he set up workshops with his business partner, Nicolas Bongard, in New York and Paris. In 1956, Walter Hoving, the new chairman of Tiffany & Co., brought Schlumberger into the firm. He also invited him to start his creations with his name, the first designer to be given this privilege. In 1969, the Wildenstein Gallery in New York held an exhibition of his jewelry and objets d’art. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has on permanent exhibit a selection of his jewels and fantasy objects on loan from Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon. Jean Schlumberger died in 1987, and his creations continue to be offered by Tiffany & Co.

SEAMAN SCHEPPS

Seaman Schepps opened his first jewelry salon in Los Angeles in 1904 and, in 1914, in San Francisco. In 1921, he relocated to Sixth Avenue in New York City, but he was forced to close this salon after the stock market crash in 1929. After reassessing current jewelry trends, he opened an exclusive shop on Madison Avenue in 1934, offering only unique and original designs. His jewelry is characterized by the utilization of precious and semi—precious stones together with man—made materials to create an interesting color palette. In 1956, Seaman Schepps relocated to 485 Park Avenue where his jewelry continues to be offered to a discriminating clientele even though Schepps passed away in 1972.

STERLE

Return To Top Of Page

Pierre Sterle was born in 1905 into a family of financers. After his father’s death during World War I, he was placed under the guardianship of his uncle, a jeweler, who taught him the rudiments of the trade. In 1934, he established his own business in the rue Sainte-Anne in Paris. From 1934-39, he created jewelry for other houses such as Boucheron, Chaumet, and Ostertag. The firm remained open until 1976 when Chaumet bought the stock and also hired Pierre Sterlé as an artistic advisor.

TIFFANY & CO.

On September 21, 1837, Charles Lewis Tiffany and John P. Young opened a stationery and fancy goods store known as Tiffany &Young at 259 Broadway in New York City. Within ten years, jewelry and silver items were added to their stock. By 1853, Mr. Tiffany had assumed complete ownership of the business and the name was changed to Tiffany & Co. During the 19th century, designers such as Edward C Moore and G. Paulding Farnham, as well as renowned gemologist George Frederick Kunz, propelled Tiffany & Co. to the forefront of the international jewelry world. Beginning in 1907, the firm manufactured and sold the jewelry designs of Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the founder. Upon taking over the management of Tiffany & Co. In 1955, Walter Hoving invited several talented designers to join the firm. Among them were Jean Schlumberger and Donald Claflin. In 1974, they added Elsa Peretti as an exclusive designer, followed by Paloma Picasso in 1980. In 1979, Avon Products purchased Tiffany & Co. After the management-led buyout of Tiffany in 1984, headed by current chairman William R. Chancy and a successful public offering of stock in May, 1987, the company has successfully expanded into key domestic and international markets. Today they comprise more than too locations.

TORSADE

Twisted strands of pearls ending in a clasp

TRAPEZE CUT

A gemstone cut into an equilateral triangle with a flat top

TUTTI FRUTTI

Jewelry set with multi colored gems carved in shapes of leaves, flowers and berries and often in a basket design.

VAN CLEEF & ARPELS 

Return To Top Of Page

Founded in 1906 by Alfred Van Cleef and his brothers-in-law Charles and Julien Arpels on the PlaceVendome in Paris, Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the world’s most exquisite jewelers. The immediate success of the House prompted the founders to expand to important seaside resorts in France and well as abroad. New York City became the first location in the United States for Van Cleef & Arpels in 1939 and the House has since opened boutiques in five more U.S. cities. Van Cleef & Arpels is renowned for its innovative designs and techniques such as the Mysterious Setting, in which the prongs are hidden underneath a gemstone. The designs include only the highest quality gemstones and pieces are often interchangeable — brooches can become pendants or hair clips, earrings have detachable drops and bracelets can be linked together to create necklaces. Van Cleef & Arpels is currently part of the Richemont Group.

VERDURA

Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura, moved from his native Palernao to Paris in 1926, where he began working with Coco Chanel, initially as a textile designer, and eventually as head jewelry designer. After relocating to the United States in 1937, he took a position as designer at Paul Flato’s jewelry establishment, first in New York, then in California. He remained with Flato for two years before opening his own salon in September, 1939 at 712 Fifth Avenue and a second, in Paris on rue Boissy d’Anglas in 1947. His jewelry featured gold mountings with precious and semi-precious stones, a bold undertaking at the time when platinum was the most popular metal. In 1972, Verdura sold the business so his associate, Joseph G. Alfano, and retired to London, living there until his death in 1978. In 1985, Edward J. Landrigan purchased Verdura, Inc. and established a salon at 745 Fifth Avenue, where he continues to produce fine jewels from Verdura’s original drawings in a manner consistent with the Duke’s traditions.

The text of this website is available for modification and reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 3.0 Unported License and the GNU Free Documentation License (unversioned, with no invariant sections, front-cover texts, or back-cover texts).