Despite sky-high prices, the demand for high-end designer men’s and women’s jewelry brands only continues to grow. With billions of dollars spent in this market annually, you may be considering making your first luxury jewelry purchase or adding to your ever-growing collection. The question remains: what are the most popular designer jewelry brands?
1 TIFFANY & CO
Starting our list of the top 10 designer jewelry brands is of course: Tiffany & Co. First called Tiffany & Young, Tiffany & Co. began as a stationery and fancy goods store in New York. Today, however, it is a household name that has been in business since 1837. Awarded for its silver craftsmanship, Tiffany and Co. remains America’s leading silversmith.
The brand showcases its more extravagant and rarest pieces in its annual Blue Book collection which started in 1845. Some of their most popular and famous pieces include the Return To Tiffany, Tiffany Key, and Tiffany Soleste, and of course, their signature 6 prong engagement rings. Tiffany & Co. is famed for their little blue box, synonymous with quality, luxury, and style.
Famous Wearers: Audrey Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Reese Witherspoon
Price Range: $15,500-$15 million
Most expensive Tiffany & Co. piece sold at auction: A platinum round 3.09-carat diamond solitaire ring with VS1 clarity, sold at $60,000 in 2016
2 HARRY WINSTON
Harry Winston was founded in New York City in 1932 with Harry Winston, himself, as the founder. He has soon crowned the “King of Diamonds” and “Jeweler to the Stars” for his fine jewelry creations. One of the most notable pieces he acquired was the 45.42 carat Hope Diamond, a heart-shaped grayish-blue diamond crown centerpiece, which was passed along to King George IV of the United Kingdom. Today, it is found in Washington DC as part of the Smithsonian Institution displays.
Famous Wearers: Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Julie Andrews, Natalie Portman
Price Range: $4,000-$20 million
Most expensive Harry Winston sold at auction: The Gulf Pearl Parure, a 325-carat natural pearl, and diamond parure, sold at $4,189,165 in 2006
Founded in 1847 by Louis François Cartier, the brand earned its reputation as “The Jeweler of Kings, the King among Jewelers,” pioneering the combination of platinum and diamond. Their most notable lines include the Love collection, Juste un Clou and Panthere. These distinctive collections are widely popular with celebrities with variations available in different colors golds and with or without diamond embellishment.
Famous Wearers: Andy Warhol, Tom Cruise, Angelina Jolie, Zac Efron, Kate Middleton
Price Range: $1,000-$2.76 million
The most expensive Cartier sold at auction: A 25.6-carat Burmese Ruby called the Sunrise Ruby. It was dubbed the most expensive ruby, gemstone, and non-diamond gemstone in the world, and sold at $30,335,698 in 2015
Chopard is a Swiss brand started by Louis-Ulysse Chopard in the 1860s, originally known for creating watches and pocket watches for women. When Chopard was sold to Karl Scheufele in 1963, the band was noted for its Art-Deco-inspired timepieces and Happy Diamonds line.
The brand’s signature free-floating diamonds behind the watch glass were created in the mid-1970s. It is now the corporate partner of the Cannes Film Festival, the official timekeeper of the Grand Prix of Monaco, and the Mille Miglia. Chopard prides itself on the use of ethically sourced gold and aims to eventually use sustainable gold across all pieces that they produce.
Famous Wearers: Javier Bardem, Colin Firth
Price Range: $2,000-$16.26 million
Most expensive Chopard sold at auction: A suite of Emerald and Diamond jewels, sold at $1,171,932.51
5 VAN CLEEF & ARPELS
After their marriage in 1895, Alfred van Cleef and Estelle Arpels started a luxurious line in 1906 that still exists today. Opening their first store in Place Vendome in Paris, in the 1940s Van Cleef and Arpel opened their first US store in Palm Beach followed by New York.
Among some of the exceptional accomplishments of this Maison is their patented, innovative creation called Mystery Set. An intricate piece with a clip that takes an astonishing 300 hours or more for a skilled jeweler to create. Van Cleef and Arpels are renowned for their playful use of animals, flowers, and nature in their designs.
Famous Wearers: Queen Marie Jose of Italy, Margot Robbie, Cameron Diaz, Mariah Carey
Price Range: $1,500-$490,000
Most expensive Van Cleef & Arpels sold at auction: 8.24-carat Ruby and Diamond ring, sold at $4,226,500 in 2011
Graff’s origins began in England in 1960, when Laurence Graff founded the company. The brand is famous for its large diamond designs and is also widely known for buying and resetting prominent diamonds. Some of the most famous Graff diamonds have included the Graff Pink, a pink emerald cut diamond of over 20 ct, and the Delaire Sunrise, the largest emerald-cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world.
Famous Wearers: Melania Trump, LMFAO, the late Princess Diana, Princess Charlene of Monaco
Price Range: $1,350-$46.2 million
Most expensive Graff sold at auction: The Graff Pink, a rare 24.78-carat pink diamond, sold at $46 million in 2017
7 DAVID YURMAN
This line was founded by David and Sybil Yurman in 1980. It has been known to sculpt designs reminiscent of the American Craft Movement. One of the popular designs is their signature cable bracelet in sterling silver and gold, embellished with colored gems.
The brand uses bright colors and playful, structured designs. Great for everyday wear and especially for stacking bracelets, David Yurman is a popular choice for men and women of all ages.
Famous Wearers: Kate Hudson, Shakira, Brad Pitt, Jessica Simpson
Price Range: $300-$50,000
Most expensive David Yurman sold at auction: 18K Gold, Diamond, and Citrine interchangeable necklace, sold at $7,380
Buccellati is a company that designs Italian jewels in gold, silver, and platinum. The brand has grown globally and is known for its pieces that reflect Old Hollywood design that takes inspiration from animals and insects. Founded in 1919 in Milan, Italy, by the 1950s Buccellati had expanded to the US with stores in New York and Florida. Their first watch collection is launched in 2001 in Geneva.
Famous Wearers: Dwayne Wade, Sheika Mozah, Celine Dion, Ian Somerhalder
Price Range: $2,000-$50,000
Most expensive Buccellati sold at auction: Gold Buccellati bracelet, sold at $72,100
Bvlgari, also spelled Bulgari, is famed for its colored gemstones and diamonds. Since its creation in 1884, it has been a crowd favorite among clients seeking brightly colored, large pieces with chromatic effects. It’s also because of this brand that the cabochon cut, a popular gemstone cut in antique times, was reestablished.
Famous Wearers: Elizabeth Taylor, Gina Lollobrigida, Monica Vitti, Keira Knightley
Price Range: $1,000-$12 million
Most expensive Bvlgari sold at auction: 57.72-carat Bvlgari Sapphire Suitor, sold at $5,906,500 in 2011
Finishing off our list of the top 10 designer jewelry brands is Boucheron. Founded by Frédéric Boucheron in 1858 in Paris, France, his designs were influenced by Egyptian and Asian art, thus, creating unfamiliar stone combinations such as onyx and diamonds. He was also the first to merge bronze, ivory, and gold in his pieces of jewelry.
Famous Wearers: Queen Elizabeth, Duchess of Cornwall Charlotte Le Bon, Salma Hayek-Pinault
Price Range: $1,000-$285,000
Most expensive Boucheron sold at auction: Diamond, Emerald, and Enamel Brooch, sold at $55,974.57
HOW TO ESTABLISH IF YOUR DESIGNER JEWELRY IS REAL?
- Look for brand stamps or logos: Luxury brands often have their brand or name stamped somewhere on the piece.
- Find hallmarks: Common hallmarks for gold are: 18K, 14K, 10, 750, 585, and 375. For platinum: 950, PLATINUM, PLAT. For silver: 925, Silver, 800, and Sterling.
- Diamond Certificates: Authentic diamond jewelry will have a diamond certificate from a reputable diamond grading laboratory such as their brand certificate or GIA, IGI, etc.
- Have your items appraised: If you are still in doubt about your piece’s authenticity, have it professionally appraised. Be aware however that most jewelers will charge an appraisal fee.
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