Jewelry is so much more than a dazzling accessory for men and women. For as far back as human history has been recorded, men and women bedecked themselves in decorative ornaments to beautify themselves. In the last few centuries, once diamonds and gemstones were discovered, jewelry became not only an ornament but also a way to condense wealth and transport value quickly and efficiently. At the turn of the twentieth century, diamonds became wildly popular as a symbol of love and eternal commitment in the form of engagement rings, although the concept of engagement rings had already been in existence for quite some time in the form of both gemstone and diamond engagement rings. Other forms of jewelry were also adopted to symbolize the love of one person to another, although the concept of giving a ring became the universal symbol that has stayed in place until today. However, in the last few decades, jewelry has yet again evolved, now to a fixture that is at once practical and beautiful but also a statement as to who the wearer is and how they like to portray their personality! Since jewelry can be bought from all manner of companies, from the ever famous Tiffany & Co. to small name local jewelry shops, jewelry has become a statement unto itself.
In fact, the brand name that a piece of diamond or gemstone jewelry is stamped with not only speaks as to the personality of the wearer, it is also an indication of the jewelry’s value. The most famous brand names cost a great deal more than those that are lesser known, and are also worth significantly more if the owner ever chose to resell their jewelry in the future. So, which companies are the most elite and luxurious jewelry companies in the world?
A model wearing the Chopard Green Carpet collection
The Swiss-based luxury watch, jewellery and accessories company was founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard. The company only uses the finest materials for its pieces and every single detail, no matter how small, is carefully considered in the item’s overall look.
A model in a Mikimoto Tahitian pearl collection
Kokichi Mikimoto is credited with the starting of the pear industry as he was the creator of the first cultured pearl and established his luxury pearl company Mikimoto. Mikimoto uses only the finest quality ocean gems: rare South Sea pearls, pink conch pearls, Titian pearls, white pearls, and other. They also only use high quality VS, G color or better diamonds, all natural colored gemstones, and the finest silk thread to string their pearls.
A model wearing the new Bulgari Italian Gardens necklace
Bulgari is an Italian luxury goods and jewelry brand that was established by Sotirios Boulgaris in 1884. What was once exclusively a jewelry company is now a company that produces and markets jewelry, watches, fragrances, accessories, and hotels. Bulgari jewelry is characterized by instantly recognizable, bold, architectural designs combining large and weighty gold links with interlocking steel. Bulgari is also famous for colored stones, especially sapphires mixed in unique formats. Genuine Bulgari watches have a unique serial number that
Jessica Chastain in the Piaget Secrets and Lights collection
Piaget was founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget in Switzerland as a manufacturer of watch movements, began selling watches in the 1900s and in the mid-1900s began selling fine jewelry as well. Their style is epitomized by Old Hollywood glamour and they are best known for the innovative watch movement and design techniques for which they have won numerous awards.
6. Graff Diamonds
Graff Diamonds is a high end jeweler and watch company based in London that was founded in 1960 by jeweler Laurence Graff. Graff is famous for having owned a string of internationally renowned and revered diamonds, and for having paid top dollar for special diamonds and gemstones at auction. They are especially celebrated for their design of jewelry with fancy color diamonds and precious gemstones.
5. Tiffany & Co.
A model wearing a Tiffany & Co. diamond necklace
Tiffany & Co. is an American jewelry and luxury goods retailer that was established in 1837 by Charles Lewis Tiffany. Over the latter half of the nineteenth century, Tiffany’s won numerous awards for their jewelry and silver techniques in Paris which helped promote its brand and increased their prestige. Tiffany’s has been lauded and valued ever since for their innovative and artistic designs, producing their annual Blue Book that showcases a catalog of beautiful
A model in a Bucellatti jewelry collection
Buccellati is an Italian watch and jewelry company that was formed by the merge of the companies of the father and son Mario Buccellati and Gianmaria Buccellati. The jewelry company is known for its adherence to Roman styles, true to its heritage, and for giving its jewelry a fabric effect and rich textures.
3. Van Cleef & Arpels
A model in a Van Cleef & Arpels collection
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French watch, jewelry, and perfume company that was established in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and his uncle Salomon Arpels. Van Cleef & Arpels’ style is categorically ethereal, almost exclusively bearing birds, flowers, and animal motifs, essentially a celebration of the beauty of nature. They are known for their intricate designs and have a patent on what they call the ‘Mysterious setting’, a setting that looks invisible and takes upwards of 300 hours per piece to prepare.
A model in the Cartier Parisian collection
Cartier is a jewelry and watch company that was founded in Paris in 1847 by Louis Francois Cartier. Cartier is best known for its jewelry and watches that feature animal designs. These caught the attention of the world’s elite and led to the appeal of this brand to royalty and celebrities. King Edward VII of England referred to Cartier as “the jeweler of kings and the king of jewelers.” They are still coveted to this day for their extraordinary designs and creative jewelry.
1. Harry Winston
The Harry Winston model in a new jewelry collection
Harry Winston was a brilliant jeweler and salesman who opened his business in 1920 in New York. His company was truly launched upon his purchase of the extensive jewelry collection of Arabella Huntington for $1.2 million in 1926, after which he redesigned her outdated jewels into his own, new designs. He owned numerous famous diamonds, including the most famous diamond in the world, the Hope diamond. He donated it to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. in 1953. The company is still revered for its quality and its designs and is many women’s first choice for the brand of their engagement ring.
These 10 iconic brands have become so well-known and desirable for good reason. They produce some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces in existence, and turn the simple rocks that nature has created into magnificent works of art. The ability to own a piece of jewelry from any of these brands is a privilege and doing so is a major statement of refinement and class.
Think we left a major brand off the list? Tell us your opinion in the comments!