news & events

Posts Tagged Necklaces

A Flapper’s Ingenuity & Elegance

by on July 1st, 2016

Rarely does combining one generation’s design with another’s meet with success, but in the 1920s, women claimed a new right to define their own style with boldness and genuine audacity, sometimes to fantastic effect.

Pictured here, is an example of the combination of periods, assembled to produce an utterly new jewel that still respects, but re-creates a collector’s prize possession.

Subtly and almost, impossibly graduated colors and sizes of natural pearls move and suspend an equally rare and carefully grouped collection of natural-colored diamonds. Honey and cinnamon brown diamonds find company with iridescent brownish pearls descending into little cascades of pink gulf and conch pearls. Nearly invisible settings of old mine diamonds framed by perfect milgrains and piercings make up the Beaux Arts/Nouveau pendant that is the original long chain of the Edwardian aristocrat, and then the magic happens… The long chain, split at the back, becomes the suspension of the Art Deco colored diamond and black pearl dress clip attached.

Worn with tassels to the diving back or modest front of the flapper’s dress, the complement is stunning in it’s integrity. Every delicate quality of the original pendant is echoed in the perfection and artistry of the Asscher family cuts of kite and square yellow diamonds. The hints of peacock iridescence in the chosen black of the Deco pearls with now brilliant-cut diamonds perfectly paved in geometric settings joins seamlessly to fit the costume of the liberated and striking owner.

Old jewels carry far more than their gems alone. The history and lives of the time always linger, waiting to come back to life, to tell their story together with that of each owner: Worth times worth.

Art Deco Multicolored Diamond & Natural Pearl Necklace with Front & Back Pendant

Art Deco Multicolored Diamond & Natural Pearl Necklace with Front & Back Pendant

An Extraordinary Demi-Parure from the 1860s

by on April 16th, 2016

Time capsules are meant to be rare and wonderful discoveries. To find them in the same condition as when they were first worn is to be transported back (in this case, to the time of the Civil War).

This garnet ‘parure’- set of jewels- is completed by its original French velvet fitted box. There are no repairs and none needed. The gold setting and central natural pearls are rarities reserved for the extraordinary Bohemian work on display here.

1860-70 in its glory.


A Special Jewel & True Original

by on October 29th, 2011

Multicolored Sapphire & Diamond Necklace in Titanium with Matching Earrings

There is a rare breed of contemporary jewelry that, the minute it is made, one knows it will endure the vagaries of fashion and never become the victim of boredom.

This multicolored sapphire necklace is one such enduring example. Mounted in titanium, it combines quality material with superb design and craftsmanship. Built in Geneva, in one of the world’s finest workshops, it was so difficult to make the designer vowed he would never construct jewelry using these techniques again.

Titanium is one of the most difficult metals for a jeweler to craft; it is temperamental and stiff, so if mistakes are made the work must be scrapped and begun again. Gold and platinum are much more forgiving.

The audacious way that the designer has mirrored the brilliant colors of the sapphires in the titanium itself (through a painstaking scientific process that is difficult to describe and harder yet to understand) is what makes this a masterpiece.

Instead of creating a piece that could be considered gaudy or gauche, he has transformed what could have been a predictable multicolored sapphire necklace into something both elegant and utterly unique.

The Sweet Alhambra: Playful Jewelry for Mothers and Daughters

by on November 1st, 2009

Van Cleef & Arpels Sweet Alhambra Pendant & Bracelet

Young girls want to look like their moms. Girls try on mom’s makeup, put on her clothes and try on her jewelry.

It’s this wonderful rite of passage that makes the Sweet Alhambra collection, which is meant to be worn by daughters and their mothers together, so special.

Making Markets in Odds and Ends

by on October 1st, 2009

Estate Buccellati 18k Gold Geranium Leaf Necklace, $20,000

Value buying is driving our business. Just like back in the ’70s when I first started working, the price of the dollar has fallen relative to the price of gold and silver. Again, the ensuing hubbub has driven people to reassess their investments in jewelry.

Everyday I appraise, buy and melt old stuff, assess and repair secondhand jewelry and then need to sell quickly, in order to make the accounting equation balance. It’s dynamic, fun and profitable, so long as you can make a market in whatever it is you are trading.

Up to a couple of years ago, we sold primarily in Greenwich and our four other shops; now, we travel to trade shows on a monthly basis in Hong Kong, Basel, Miami, Chicago and Las Vegas. So be it; we run around like crazy to find the right market and the perfect customer for old gold coins, a few stick pins, maybe a million dollar diamond.

Every day we see something new and fabulous, something old and awful, but it always makes for an active and fun day of doing what we’ve always done (just a little faster).

An Elegant Van Cleef & Arpels Emerald & Diamond Necklace

by on October 1st, 2009

Van Cleef & Arpels Emerald & Diamond Necklace, 9.2 total carats of emeralds and 47.7 total carats of diamonds, $225,000

In the 1960′ and 70’s, jewelry became far more colorful with striking contrast and daring juxtapositions. Inspired once more by the influence of India, jewelry that was worn over the tunics of Maharajah’s became a cornerstone of Van Cleef & Arpels designs.

Although only bi-colored, this necklace illustrates stark contrast between brilliant green and the purest white with oval cluster motifs reminiscent of the magnificent sarpechs and bazubands worn by India’s aristocrats.

At this time, the House of Arpels was the world’s leading “haute joalliere” focusing on the finest stones combined with exceptional craftsmanship. This necklace is cleverly constructed to convert to a magnificent bracelet that is as chic and wearable today as when it was originally made.

The client list of Van Cleef & Arpels in the early twentieth century reads like a who’s who list of the wealthiest men and most beautiful women of the period. Her Imperial Majesty Farah Pahlavi, Princess Grace of Monaco and Lady Granard all favored fine jewelry by this venerated designer.

The style and quality of this necklace would fit in any of the world’s great jewelry collections and its style will endure for generations to come.

Reinventing Old-Fashioned Jewelry

by on August 1st, 2009

Betteridge Summer Necklaces: $19,000 in tumbled translucent rose quartz beads with South Sea and Kieshi pearls; $6,500 in various shades of colored tumbled tourmaline beads with baroque South Sea pearls and faceted rock crystal accents

People who know how much I love pearls will ask me ‘What do I do with the pearls I don’t wear anymore?” It’s easy, I tell them – recreate them!

I like to work with an outdated two-strand pearl necklace and twist it with lots of strands of Chinese pearls to make a chunky torsade. If you take all the extra pearls you have and string them at random in an endless rope, you can create a sophisticated necklace to layer with chains. By adding some semi-precious stone beads in colors you love, or even exotic woods, it creates a more Bohemian look. Rock crystal beads can create a necklace to be envied and by adding shells, corals or turquoise you can have a Gauginesque image of a tropical paradise.

Style icons, such as Babe Paley and Millicent Rogers, were masters when it came to creating and recreating their jewelry. They would refashion languishing pearls and colored stones or wear less obvious jewelry combinations together, such as three huge cuff bracelets on one arm or a collection of pins on one shoulder (or on the back!).

Style is about confidence: by creating exactly the look you want, what you wear becomes an extension of your personality. With a basic idea of the sort of look you want to create and a touch of Betteridge imagination, the possibilities are endless.

Investments that Pay Emotional Dividends

by on July 1st, 2009

Estate Moonstone, Sapphire & Diamond Necklace, Platinum, $13,500

Will Rogers famously quipped that he cared more about the return of capital than the return on capital, and that country wisdom will always ring true.

Returns on investment take many forms, just as any art or even car collector can tell you: gazing wistfully at a great painting or simply listening to an old American V8 fire up, never fails to pay the aficionado back.

Jewelry given to a loved one on a special occasion will always evoke the feeling of the moment and keep paying dividends to both the buyer and the recipient.

What stock or bond can return as much?

A Stunning Sapphire and Diamond Fringe Necklace by Harry Winston

by on July 1st, 2009

Harry Winston Diamond & Sapphire Necklace, 41.93 total carats of sapphires and 74.58 total carats of diamonds ($450,000)

Harry Winston Diamond & Sapphire Necklace, 41.93 total carats of sapphires and 74.58 total carats of diamonds ($450,000)

Legend has it that when Harry Winston was just twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat emerald in a pawnshop, bought it for twenty-five cents and sold it two days later for eight hundred dollars. For Winston, it is just the first tale in a storied career of one of the truly great American jewelry designers.

At the age of twenty-four, Winston opened his first business in New York City known as the Premier Diamond Company. Twelve years later, he founded the company that bears his namesake and began to manufacture his own jewelry designs.

By 1950, Winston was acknowledged as the uncontested “King of Diamonds”, owning, at one time or another, as many as one-third of all the famous diamonds in the world, including the Idol’s Eye, the Crown of Charlemagne and the Briolette of India. In addition, Winston was responsible for the cutting of numerous famous diamonds, including the Jonker, the Taylor-Burton, the Star of Sierra Leone and the Vargas, and he donated three important diamonds to the Smithsonian: the Hope, the Portuguese and the Oppenheimer.

In 1978, Winston passed away, but his legacy lives on in the enduring power of his vintage jewelry. There is a glamour and excitement to his designs and lifestyle, which combined to make him the most famous jeweler in the world.

Terry Betteridge recalls riding Winston’s famous triangular elevator to his Fifth Avenue office in New York City with his Dad, “When I visited Winston in Manhattan, it was like visiting the Wizard of Oz. He was more than just a talented jewelry designer; Winston was an entertainer who found a way to make his diamonds and company seem magical.”

A trademark of Winston’s jewelry style is light open platinum settings that give the appearance of diamonds floating on air. This technique is seen in this magnificent sapphire fringe necklace, in which a series of perfectly matched natural sapphires are suspended from light flexible articulated lines of platinum-set colorless diamonds. This creates powerful yet distinctly feminine jewelry.

Stunning and Surprising Pearls

by on May 1st, 2009

South Sea Tahitian Pearl & Pavé Diamond Ball Necklace, $90,000

Pearls are not just for your mother anymore. Up and coming artists are combining pearls with exotic materials including tropical woods, semi-precious stones, and fine gemstones.

On the left, you can see a fine example of the latter: a diamond pavé ball and grey Tahitian pearl necklace, designed by Betteridge and built in Greenwich.

Updated pearl combinations can fit your style and complement your complexion in exciting new ways. Great ropes of chunky South Sea pearls in a variety of colors can add vibrancy and vitality to your gait. Rose-hued, creamy white pearls add a dewy, romantic glow to your skin. Finally, when you mix your original pearls with less expensive Chinese fresh water pearls, you refresh your look and your attitude.

No jewel is more feminine or mysterious than the pearl. Treasured in the collections of the Medici’s, Romanov’s and Gould’s, the pearl adds a timeless sense of style. It carries the legacy of the special relationship between women and pearls throughout the centuries.