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Jewelry Designer: David Webb

David Webb Turquoise 4
Turquoise diamond studded 18K Gold Ring by David Webb

In the late 1940s,  the doors opened to was is now known as one of America’s greatest jewelers around. Webb’s designs were creative, and ahead of his time.  His bold color usage, enamel pieces were just a few factors that set him a part.   His meticulous attention to detail and animal inspired themes, made David Webb unique and memorable.

David Webb was born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1925.  He worked at his uncle’s factory growing up, and later at the age of just 16, decided to move to New York City to pursue his dream in jewelry.  In 1945, Webb, along with his partner Nina Silberstein; opened up his first jewelry shop. David Webb made sure he sat with his Artisans and explained exactly how he wanted his jewelry to be designed, down to the last detail. David specialized in taking custom orders to give his customers exactly what they wanted.

In 1960, David became popular amongst the most stylish and jewelry design connoisseurs. He sold his designs only to selective clients. A few of his high profile clients included the Rockefellers, Andy Warhol, Princess Grace of Monaco, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Elizabeth Taylor, and the Vanderbilts. Some of his recent designs are being worn by celebrities like Jennifer Lopez, Sofia Vergara, and Gwen Stefanie to name a few.

David Webb is notorious for his nature inspired pieces. Animal cuff bracelets, interlocking dragons, crocodiles, turtles, lions were all crafted in gold.  Colored stones and semi-colored gems, were often times used to decorate the entire piece or just the eyes. His animal designs were extremely popular in the 1950s and 1960s. His inspiration for design was from all over the world. Master jeweler Peter Carl Faberge and Cellini were a huge influence on David Webb. People were taken back by the amount of detail that was added to his pieces. In the 1970s, David Webb was all about hammered gold, texture with plenty of enamel. He incorporated carved crystal, and enamel with diamonds, along with colored gems and pearls.

In 1975 David passed away from pancreatic cancer; leaving his brand behind along with beautiful, bold, intricate jewelry for generations to come. To continue his name, the Silberstein family took over and moved the business to Beverly Hills. Nina Silberstein, CEO, continues to replicate Webb’s designs and works hard to keep his brand strong.  In 2008, David Webb Jewelry celebrated their 60th anniversary. In 2009, the company filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York. A year later the company was bought for $11 million, by jewelers Mark Emanuel, Sima Ghadamin and Robert Sadian.

David Webb’s designs continue to impress jewelry lovers all over the world. His unique take on design, and the detailed fabrication of his work, certainly keeps people wanting more.

Stunning 1960s Diamond Tiffany & Co. Necklace

A stunning  1960s Platinum, diamond, vintage Tiffany & Co. necklace for the lady with style, grace and expensive taste. This classic, yet chic bib necklace is the perfect accessory to wear to a grand function.  The necklace comes together in a delicate lace like design. Made up of Marquise, round and pear shaped diamonds, including a 3.01ct internally flawless pear dropped down the center, this piece screams sheer elegance.

Tiffany & Co. jewelry has beautifully graced runways, red carpets and numerous major events around the world for many years.  Its legacy lives on through its distinct style and groundbreaking collections. For the past two centuries, Tiffany & Co. has been renowned for its rare diamonds and impeccable quality. They take pride in their legendary designers who add a unique flare to their pieces.

By sustaining its prominence as a classic designer, Tiffany & Co. is still one of the most sought after and highly recognized jewelers in the world.IMG_0003

Oscar Heyman Jewelry

 

 

Oscar Heyman was founded in 1912, and is known for its European-style craftsmanship and hand fabrication. In the early 1900s, a family of six brothers and three sisters emigrated from Latvia. It all started with three brothers, Nathan, Oscar and Harry, who had a desire to make jewelry using quality gemstones. The founding brothers trained in the rigorous conditions in Faberge workshops in 1906, where they learned their craft.  Did you know that Oscar Heyman’s is one of the first jewelers to fabricate in Platinum?  They were excited to use such a fine white metal, which only enhanced the beauty of white diamonds.

The brand is known for its ingenious designs and high quality gems.  The company is dedicated to a hands-on approach for stone selection and workmanship. The Oscar Heyman in house workshop consists of jewelers, setters, engravers, polishers and lapidaries. They take pride in alloying their own metals, cutting and polishing gemstones and engraving each with its own number, before leaving the studio. The Oscar Heyman is over a century old and with each generation, the brand brings its own element to the jewelry line each time.  Jewelers of today sit side by side with skilled employees from before and recreate Oscar Heyman’s signature designs. Many of the brands trademark pieces from different eras are still being created today. By preserving old school techniques, Oscar Heyman is considered one of the elite jewelers worldwide.

Movie stars, socialites and others from high society flocked to Oscar Heymans, for its originality and nature inspired designs. Sapphire jewelry was the company’s hallmark in the 1950s. In the 60s, the gems were bold. Colors were flamboyant and large diamond necklaces were in demand. A monumental creation was the infamous 67 pear-shaped diamonds with 69.42 carats, D color flawless diamond necklace, which was purchased by Richard Burton for his wife, Elizabeth Taylor. The stone was cut by Harry Winston and the necklace was designed by Oscar Heyman for Cartier in 1969. This grand piece was called the “Taylor-Burton necklace.” Even after Burton purchased the necklace, it was under stipulations that the diamond be displayed at the New York and Chicago showrooms for Cartier.  New York’s Cartier showroom had over 6000 visitors a day. After the divorce, Elizabeth Taylor auctioned off the necklace to Henry Lambert, a New York based Jeweler for $5 million. The money was used to build a hospital in Botswana. The current owner of the diamond is Robert Mouwad, the founder of GIA.

Oscar Heyman continues to make exquisite jewelry by applying techniques used for the past three generations. Every piece meets the highest standards in cut and quality of the stones. The company takes great pride in their classic designs, but isn’t afraid to mix it up with a modern touch.  By doing this, they create pieces that appeal to women of all ages.

What is Diamond & Estate Trust?

Diamond & Estate Trust was created with a simple vision, to intelligently source the most prestigious vintage jewelry and gems and deliver them to our discerning clients with an attention to value. Founder Anup Jogani has spent many years honing his trade under the tutelage of master jewelers and diamond cutters while hunting through antique shows, auctions, estates, banks, pawn shops, trusts, and private collections looking for rare hidden treasures.

Based in the jewelry district in the heart of Los Angeles, our company focuses its efforts on bringing expertly-crafted antique and modern jewels to our clients who desire fine, everlasting pieces. We concentrate on the upper echelon of the market, using our expertise to maintain the highest standards of workmanship the world has to offer. Since our company is known for extremely fine antique piece and gems, our suppliers only bring us the best of the best.

Diamond & Estate Trust can offer you such treasures as unheated Burmese rubies, Kashmir sapphires, or glowing Golconda diamonds. Timeless pieces meticulously crafted in France in the early 1920’s or mid century statement jewelry from around the world can be acquired through Anup Jogani and the knowledgeable staff at Diamond & Estate Trust.

At Diamond & Estate Trust, we buy the finest jewelry, diamonds, and gems in the world. We are interested in purchasing very well made vintage engagement rings, important diamonds and gemstones between 3 – 100+ carats in size and exquisitely made period pieces, especially with an important maker’s mark and/or a famous signature. We are the de-facto home for one of a kind treasures up to and exceeding a million dollars in value. Show us your greatest treasures and we will realize its full potential, doing so professionally and discreetly.

Diamond & Estate Trust is located in the heart of the jewelry district in downtown Los Angeles. We have a history of working with clientele throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. We can work with you over the phone, email or chat.

Paul Flato: ” Jeweler to the stars”

He was known as the “Jeweler to the stars” and was one of the first well-known designers to grace the silver screen. Paul Flato was born in the 1900s in Shiner, Texas. At the young age of 10, Flato developed an interest in jewelry by watching nomadic Gypsies make silver-wire items to sell.  After attending the University of Texas in the Twenties; he planned on attending Medical school in New York.  Due to his father’s financial issues, Flato put his dream about making it in medicine to rest, and started to sell watches instead.  As time passed, Paul Flato made the best out of his situation in New York by embracing his God given talents, and eventually applying them to jewelry.

After moving to New York City, he opened his first jewelry shop on East 57th street in Manhattan.   In 1937, he unveiled his second store in Beverly Hills, California.  The store was across from the hot spot, Trocadero nightclub, which increased his celebrity clientele.  His enigmatic work was being noticed by affluent societies. He was referred to as the “jeweler to the stars,” throughout the 1920s and 1940s, due to his fine pieces and hand crafted, whimsical jewelry designs.  Paul Flato was one of the first celebrity jewelry designers of his time. Jewelry wasn’t the only reason he was popular amongst the stars; Flato was featured in a film as a jeweler in the 1940’s movie, “Hired Wife,” starring Rosalind Russell and Virginia Bruce.  Besides being in a film himself, his creations were seen in numerous Hollywood productions in the 1930s, such as; ”That Uncertain Feeling,” starring Merle Oberon, and “Blood and Sand,” with Rita Hayworth. To this day, Paul Flato is recognized for his witty, flamboyant, Art deco jewelry style, which still brings in thousands of dollars at auctions.

Over the years, Paul Flato had employed several future well-known designers; George W. Headley and Fulco di Verdura; both who collaborated with Flato between the 1920s and 1960s. Flato was said to be Harry Winston’s biggest client back when Winston was only a wholesale dealer.  It is said that Flato’s inspiration derived from a little bit of everything. He even looked at the common chair for inspiration.  It is reported he was inspired by a rush-bottomed chair after seeing it in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and created a compact for Elizabeth Arden from it.

Plato was known for using a lot of platinum and diamonds along with flower shapes in his jewelry. An apple blossom necklace was made for Lily Pons, a famous Opera singer. The necklace entailed diamond blossoms, cascading on both sides with a rose wrapped around the wrist on a baguette cut diamond stem, along with rose bud cut diamonds. Another one of his popular pieces is the diamond “corset” bracelet.  This was based off of Mae West’s undergarment.  Flato also designed a compact for Gloria Vanderbilt, which was studded with gold and enamel angels. Another piece was a pair of little gold feet, which was created for Irene Castle. It was all gold with rubies set in as toe nails.

Life wasn’t always rainbows and butterflies for Paul Flato.  He was convicted of fraud for obtaining and disposing of jewels from his colleagues. In the late 1940s, Flato plead guilty and served 16 years in a federal prison for taking jewels on consignment from fellow jewelers and pawning them off.  He lived there for almost eight years after serving time and fighting extradition on further charges of grand larceny and forgery involving more than $60,000 in gems that had been entrusted to him by dealers.

In 1953, Paul Flato returned to the United States for a brief time. He head back to Mexico in 1970, where he opened up a jewelry shop in Mexico City. After spending 20 years in Mexico City, he returned to his home state, Texas.  Paul Flato died at the age of 98 on July 17, in a nursing home in Fort Worth.  Leaving behind three daughters; Catharine Dennis, Barbara McCluer, Susan Flato, including a grandson; along with six great grandchildren.

”He was the first of the major American jewelers to do highly imaginative work on a par with European jewelers.” –Penny Proddow, a jewelry historian and co-author of “A Century of Spectacular Jewelry” (1996). ”He would take his ideas to his four designers — they were his hands — and they would go on from there to his workshop.”