What better way to celebrate a special occasion or leave a lasting impression than with a relevant and modern piece of jewelry? For women and men alike, luxury jewels are the haute couture of artistic creation.
Before I begin introducing you to a virtual pantheon of contemporary masters, I must begin with a shout out to Suzanne Belperron, the pioneer of the new aesthetics in luxury jewelry. Suzanne began her prestigious career as a lapidarist and goldsmith in Paris in 1919. She worked continuously, without stopping, until her passing in 1983. Suzanne Belperron is the cognoscenti of luxury jewelry style.
us since prehistoric times, but the elegant and audacious designs of Suzanne Belperron stand apart. She began her career by creating traditional Art Deco pieces, but quickly became tired of the repetitive geometric designs. She began to explore organic shapes, and her talent was recognized by a Parisian stone dealer. He began supplying Belperron with precious and semi-precious stones that she would carve into organic shapes to use as wings, petals, fruit and leaves. She was inspired by many cultures—especially African, Celtic and Mayan—and became the go-to artist for jewelry for such notables as the Duchess of Windsor and Elsa Schiaparelli. With vintage luxury jewelry in style, you might be able catch a Christie’s or Sotheby’s jewelry auction and bid on one of her treasures. A top auction house is essential for authenticity. Suzanne Belperron never signed any of her work, saying, “My style
is my signature.”
The doyen of fashion, Diane Von Furstenberg, has proclaimed the reclusive Joel Arthur Rosenthal, better known as JAR, the “Faberge of our time.” JAR’s shop is in Paris. It has no display window, he doesn’t advertise, and he opens his doors to only a select few. Playing hard to get is a very adept form of marketing, and that’s just fine with his clients, Mary Pinault, Barbara Walters, Elle Macpherson, Princess Firyal of Jordan and the late Elizabeth Taylor,
to name a few.
Joel Arthur Rosenthal was born in
the Bronx and was a salesman at Bulgari for a time. That all changed when he moved to Paris and met his partner, Pierre Jeannet. Pierre Jeannet was wealthy enough to back JAR as he began his luxury jewelry empire. JAR developed a unique form of Fousedon Pave, a technique of setting small stones so close together they literally formed a pavement of jewels. JAR used a dark metal alloy to highlight the stones and set them apart. He is celebrated for using his pave technique in conjunction with large gems, as well as for creating bridal collections.