Jewelry has always been a part of mankind’s history and remains to be so in the present. In the earlier times, jewelry was meant to indicate social status, familial roots, and significance. Today, people wear jewelry for a variety of reasons. Some sport it to add zing to their fashion ensemble. Others rock a couple of bracelets and a matching necklace to express their individuality. Of course, many wear jewelry to profess their love and passion, such as engagement and wedding bands.
That said, not all jewelry pieces are made for everyone. Some of the names below may sound familiar to the average person, but only a few can afford the names featured in this list.
#10 – Chopard
Chopard is a Swiss watchmaker and jewellery maker founded in 1860 in Sonvilier by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, originally known for making ladies’ watches and pocket watches.
Aside from making luxury Swiss watches, the house of Chopard is also known for its luxurious jewelry collection. Only using the finest materials for their pieces, Chopard’s line of everyday jewelry is crafted using thick layers of 18-karat gold and precious stones of the highest grade. Not only that, Chopard is very keen on detail and precision, which add more value to their already expensive line of products.
#9 – Mikimoto
Mikimoto Kōkichi was a Japanese entrepreneur who is credited with creating the first cultured pearl and subsequently starting the cultured pearl industry with the establishment of his luxury pearl company Mikimoto.
Mikimoto’s founder, Kokichi Mikimoto, is not just known for his collection, but also for the fact that he invented and propagated the use of cultured pearls in crafting jewelry pieces. Mikimoto’s collection only selects the finest pearls which include South Sea pearls, pink conch pearls, Tahitian pearls, white pearls, and other rare specimens. On top of that, Mikimoto’s jewelry line only uses 18k gold and platinum for the metal components as well as top grade diamonds. Only the finest silk threads are used for jewelries that have pearl strings.
#8 – Bvlgari
Bulgari is an Italian jewelry and luxury goods brand that produces and markets several product lines including jewelry, watches, fragrances, accessories, and hotels. It is partially owned by Luxottica in Milan, a conglomerate.
Bvlgari is no doubt a well known brand of luxury items, from fashion to watches to jewelry. And when it comes to the latter, this Rome-based brand combines elegance and extravagance very well and without losing its penchant for traditions. Even today, Bvlagri’s collection still flaunts the house’s signature features including large gemstones for centerpieces, bold shapes, and the use of cabochon stones (a tradition that dates back to the 1960’s Italian glamour). Aside from the best gemstones, Bvlgari only uses 18-karat gold for its collection.
#7 – Piaget
Piaget is a Swiss luxury watchmaker and jeweller, founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget in the village of La Côte-aux-Fées, which belongs to the Swiss Richemont group, specialists in the luxury goods industry.
Another familiar name for the average person, Piaget initially started as a watchmaking company in the Swiss part of the Jura. As the business grew, the business soon ventured into jewelry and excelled in it, crafting luxurious items for those who can afford the price the company demands for their pieces. Today, Piaget takes pride in combining Old World concepts and their modern designs, which now feature sleek lines and bold angles. But its most famous look is the Rose, which has become Piaget’s signature design.
#6 – Graff
Graff Diamonds is a British multinational jeweller based in London. A vertically integrated company, Graff operations comprise the design, manufacture and retail distribution of jewellery and watches.
Graff is a top of the line brand that is very popular particularly among the rich and the elite. What makes Graff’s collection special is not just the craftsmanship or the quality of the gemstones and metals used to create expensive pieces. Rather, it’s the size of the stones Graff uses in its jewelry line. They are huge and Graff’s founder, Laurence Graff, likes it that way.
#5 – Tiffany & Co.
Tiffany & Co. has been the world’s premier jeweler and America’s house of design since 1837.
Even the masses know that Tiffany is a huge luxury name when it comes to jewelry, mainly because their line includes pieces that are wearable day in and day out, whatever the occasion. Their extensive collection is not only limited to women, as Tiffany also caters to men and children as well. Producing classic designs since starting its operations in 1837, Tiffany’s creations are made by expert artisans. And those categorized as ultra luxurious often take years to complete.
#4 – Buccellati
Buccellati Holding Italia is a Chinese-owned Italian jewellery and watches company formed by the merger of previous companies with existing brands Mario Buccellati and Gianmaria Buccellati, who corresponded to the names and surname of two master goldsmiths: father and son.
Buccellati celebrates its Roman roots by creating elegant jewelry items from the best Italian gold. The Rome-based jewelry company produced Roman inspired designs and incorporated them in their collection. Roman styled necklaces and bracelet cuffs are just some of their best sellers. Buccellati also takes pride in coming up with certain designs that give their jewelry a very appealing look, like brushing and mattifying metals and heavy encrustation using high quality gemstones and diamonds.
#3 – Van Cleef & Arpels
Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewelry, watch, and perfume company. It was founded in 1896 by Alfred Van Cleef and his uncle Salomon Arpels in Paris. Their pieces often feature flowers, animals, and fairies, and have been worn by style icons such as Farah Pahlavi, the Duchess of Windsor, Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor and Eva Perón.
Van Cleef & Arpels was formed when Estelle Arpels and Alfred Van Cleef decided to make their collaboration a permanent arrangement. While most of its collections show the type of elegance found in Old World items, it has other lines of items that exude its own style and class. The house presents a huge collection that fuses tradition and narrative style with technical expertise.
#2 – Cartier
Société Cartier is a French luxury goods conglomerate company which designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells jewellery and watches.
Another household name in the list, Cartier is a name that has been around for ages. Founded in 1860, Cartier has been the go to jeweller for royals who wanted to have a personalized collection. The panther is Cartier’s most recognizable design, which has been modified and re-conceptualized every now and then to appeal to the ever changing tastes of their customers. Cartier is known for its adherence to its Art-Deco history but creates several lines that celebrate the Old World elegance as well.
#1 – Harry Winston
Harry Winston was an American jeweler. He 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.
A name that resonates in the jewelry business, Harry Winston started his business in 1932 and has been on the top ever since. Using only the best gemstones and the finest metals, Harry Winston’s collection are fashioned only by the masters of jewelry craftsmanship. Not only are the items from the house of Harry Winston elegant and extravagant, they are durable as well and can easily pass the test of time.