Diamond jewelry is an ever-growing market, and fine jewelry remains a big part of life’s biggest celebrations—engagements, weddings, coronations, graduations, job promotions, and more. Jewelry is a fitting tribute to moments we want to revisit and remember forever. Here is Westlake’s guide to diamond jewelry brands that pioneered the market today:
Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany and Co is a luxury jewelry and specialty retailer, located and headquartered in Manhattan on fifth avenue. It is known particularly for its diamond and sterling silver jewelry. Today, operated 326 stores globally. Today it is a household name, Tiffany and Co. remains America’s leading silversmith.
Originally called Tiffany & Young, Tiffany & Co. started as a stationery and fancy goods store in New York City in 1837. The name, which originally started as “Tiffany, Young, and Ellis”, was changed to Tiffany & Company in 1853 when Charles Tiffany took control and established the company’s emphasis on selling fine jewelry.
The brand showcases its more extravagant and rare pieces in its yearly Blue Book collection, a mail-order catalog that started in 1845. Some of the most famous pieces to be produced include the Return To Tiffany, Tiffany Key, and Tiffany Soleste and their signature engagement rings.
Read Westlake’s guide to diamond rings here.
Founded in 1884, Bvlgari, also spelled Bulgari, is famed for its colored gemstones and diamonds. Part of the LVMH Group, Bulgari was founded in Greece by the silversmith Sotirios Boulgaris as a single jewelry shop that has, over the years, become an international brand. The company has become a contender in the luxury market, an established brand with a growing number of stores globally.
Since its creation, it has been known for large and brightly colored pieces with chromatic effect. Bulgari as a brand also resurrected the cabochon cut, a popular antique gemstone cut.
Founded in 1847 by Louis François Cartier in Paris, this brand earned a prestigious reputation, pioneering the combination of diamond and platinum. Known for its long history of sales to royalty, it became known as “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.”
Their most notable lines include the Love collection, Juste un Clou and Panthere. These collections are popular with celebrities and variations are available in different golds and with optional diamond embellishment.
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Chopard is a Swiss brand started in the 1860s by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, originally known for its watchmaking. When Chopard was bought by Karl Scheufele in 1963, the brand was noted for its Art Deco timepieces and Happy Diamonds line. The company celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2010 with about 100 stores around the world.
The brand’s signature design of free-floating diamonds behind watch glass was created in the 1970s. Chopard uses only ethically sourced gold and aims to eventually use sustainable gold across all pieces.
This brand was founded by husband and wife David and Sybil Yurman in 1980. It has been known to create designs mimicking the American Craft Movement.
In 1982, Yurman designed his signature piece- the cable bracelet. This bracelet was a twisted helix with many inlaid gemstones on its ends, and it quickly became one of his most enduring designs. These pieces were created through an innovative and unique process Yurman created, and the cables were awarded two rare design trademarks in the U.S. The bracelet comes in sterling silver and gold, embellished with colored gems or diamonds.
Graff began in 1960 when Laurence Graff founded the company in London. The brand is famous for its large designs using ethically sourced diamonds. The brand is also widely known for buying and resetting famous or prominent diamonds. Graff has over 50 stores around the world.
Some of the most famous Graff diamonds have included a pink emerald cut diamond over 20 ct called “the Graff Pink”, and the largest emerald cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world, named “Delaire Sunrise”.
Read more on determining the authenticity of gemstones here.
Harry Winston was founded in New York City in 1932, and named after the founder. He had been called the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars” for his creations. Winston was well-known to the public and among the most famous jewelers in the world. Winston was also the first jeweler to loan diamonds to an actress for the Academy Awards. In 1943 he dressed Jennifer Jones in his signature diamonds and quickly became popular with Hollywood celebrities.
Winston donated the Hope Diamond to the Smithsonian Institution in 1958 after owning it for a decade. He also traded the Portuguese Diamond to the Smithsonian in 1963. Harry Winston Inc. has over 22 worldwide retail stores globally.
Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French luxury jewelry company. The brand was created by the Dutch diamond cutter Alfred Van Cleef and Salomon Arpels in 1896. The company’s first store opened in Place Vendome in Paris, and in the 1940s Van Cleef and Arpel opened their first US store in Palm Beach. Their pieces often feature depictions of animals and flowers and have often been worn by style icons, celebrities, and royalty.
In 1933, Van Cleef & Arpels received a French patent for a proprietary gem setting style it coined a “Mystery Setting”, a laborious technique creating a setting where the prongs are invisible.
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