Buccellati Platinum and Diamond Brooch, ca. 1930s. On offer at Drucker Antiques in Mount Kisco, NY.


Its centennial anniversary may be drawing ever-nearer, but Buccellati is certainly not letting the times pass them by—in fact, it’s doing quite the opposite. The Italian trailblazer in luxury and estate jewelry saw its sales nearly double between 2013 and 2015 (from 26 million Euros to 41 million), and in that period, made headlines and history alike in naming Lucrezia Buccellati its first ever female co-creative director and co-designer of the family-owned business at just 25 years old.


And though Buccellati’s ownership may have changed hands in the time since (China's Gansu Gangtai Holding Group bought a controlling 85% share in the company last year), one thing has remained the same: a assiduous commitment to craftsmanship and quality.


In an era of jewelry making where phrases like “talent drought” are being thrown around at some of the world’s biggest industry fairs, Buccellati has upheld the labor-intensive philosophy first established by founder Mario Buccellati in 1919. There are no machine-made, identically crafted pieces to be found in any of Buccellati’s 14 shops across the globe; in actuality, one would be hard pressed to find even a pair of their more established products being sold in secondhand carriers that truly matched note for note. It’s the unique, one-of-a-kind quality that can be expected from a company that relies on 200 craftsmen and goldsmiths to produce the entirety of its collection, and is a major contributing factor to Buccellati’s continued success.


18 Karat Two-Tone Gold, Emerald and Diamond Cuff by M. Buccellati, Italy. On offer atJ. S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA.
18 Karat Gold and Diamond Bracelet by Buccellati, Italy, ca.1960. On offer at J. S. Fearnley in Atlanta, GA.

 “It’s almost like buying artwork,” says Emily Waterfall of J.S. Fearnley, one of the premier dealers of Buccelatti in the U.S.


“Because everything is done by hand, they’re not producing hundreds of the same piece. There’s only a limited quantity of any Buccellati design, which allows each of them to not only retain their value but grow exponentially over time.”


Though pieces from the Buccellati collection can range from the marginally-priced into the stratospheric, there are few more universally desired than the cuff bracelets. Combining exquisite artistry with rare and beautiful gemstones, these iconic works have revived a handworked style of gold texturing dating back to ancient Rome. To the naked eye, their intricately etched finishes seem almost impossible to have been accomplished by anything other than a machine, evoking a texture more reminiscent of satin or linen than any hard metal. It’s one of the many features that contribute to Buccellati jewelry’s reputation as a must-own commodity according to Waterfall, who notes, “If I were to recommend one piece for any jewelry collection, it would be a Buccellati cuff. Hands down.”

Buccellati Star Fish Brooch. On offer at Brad Reh Fine Estate Jewelry in New Canaan, CT.


But it isn’t craftsmanship alone that has led to Buccellati’s recent boon. Under the direction of Lucrezia, the company has begun to dip its toes into new markets, targeting millennial audiences with social media-driven campaigns and a series of tantalizing ads shot by photographer Peter Lindbergh. With these and other new efforts, Buccellati has introduced (or reintroduced) the elegance of their brand to a nostalgia-driven generation wherein classical style has never been more fashionable.

Buccellati Pink Sapphire and Diamond Gold Ring. On offer at D.K. Bressler in New York City, NY.


Buccellati’s jewelry is recognized for its “very old-fashioned look, a classic look,” says Ronald Kawitzky, owner of D.K. Bressler & Company in New York City. He adds, “Buccellati has been making similar designs using similar techniques for the last 100 years or so, and it’s become kind of chic to go back into their classics, so you get a lot of younger people who appreciate the workmanship and the glamour of this retro style.”


As some of its peers continue to sacrifice the art of “savoir faire” in their response to  a perpetually growing market, Buccellati’s philosophy of craftsmanship by tradition has remained as strong as ever—a beacon of quality in an age of quantity.



Related reading:




A Dazzling History: 110 Years of Van Cleef & Arpels Jewelry


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Bejeweled Whimsy: The Genius of Jean Schlumberger


Crazy for Classical: Jewelry in The Revival Style