PANETTA: 1945 - 1995
Benedetto Panetta emigrated to the U.S. from Italy in 1901 and opened his establishment in New York City, NY in 1945 after having had his own jewelry shop in Naples, Italy where, with his skillful hands and creative mind, perfected jewelry with the use of platinum and gold for backings. He had also been one of the chief model makers and designers at Trifari before opening his own shop. Panetta produced fantastic jewelry, designs carved into metal with heavy sterling silver, silver plating, gold plating, and white metal backings. His jewelry was prong-set, hand-set, unfoiled, and contained exquisite details ranging from high quality rhinestones, simulated stones and pearls encrusted in Art Deco styles to the designing of enamel figural designs.
Panetta jewelry has the tradition of quality and the real look of fine costume jewelry that has been the hallmark of Panetta jewelry since the founder’s beginning. Mark: "Panetta with copyright symbol". Panetta jewelry of platinum and gold has equaled and frequently exceeded the look of other jewelry makers. Therefore, it is not surprising that many of the affluent have chosen to wear Panetta designs of costume jewelry rather than the genuine jewelry. The Penetta company went out of business in 1995. All Panetta jewelry is highly collectible.
PARK LANE: 1955 - Present
The Park Lane Corporation, a jewelry company was founded by Arthur and Shirley LeVin in Chicago in 1955 and has continued to be a family owned and operated business. It is said to be the world’s leading direct sales/in-home marketing company similar to Sara Coventry and Avon in market strategy. Park Lane offers fabulous fashion jewelry for women of every age and also designs for men and children. The jewelry is said to be easy to show and sell plus those that sell it can wear it every day so the salesperson can become a walking advertisement for the jewelry items and the items are backed by an unconditional guarantee. Clothing fashions change each season and year, therefore, it is said, that the jewelry designed today is created to accompany the new styles. The jewelry lines now produced consists of goldtone and silvertone metal chains and cuff bracelets, Austrian clear and colored rhinestones and crystals, and faux pearls in necklaces, bracelets, and earrings and zirconium rings and necklaces. The company is still in business today. (See for additional information).
PAULINE RADER: 1962 - 1980’s
Pauline Rader was the daughter of a jeweler and began designing her own jewelry around 1962. Her designs were influenced by her study of and love for the jewelry of antiquity being highly imaginative and usually massive in size, that often showed mystical Greek or Italian influences. She used heavy antique gold tone, gold wash or silver tone metal for the base with pave set or bezel set, faceted simulated colored stones, simulated pearls, glass colored beads and rhinestones. Some of her designs included polished gold and white enameled finish.
Pauline Rader produced necklaces, bracelets, brooches, pendants, earrings and rings with the look of chunky MOD designs including some ancient coin replica pieces of jewelry, figurals and flowers. Mark: “PAULINE RADER” in block letters in an oval cartouche and a “circled C” for copyright.
Pauline Rader produced designs in very small quantities for a select clientele and elite boutiques, therefore, her jewelry is difficult to find and is very collectible. She ceased operations in the 1980’s.
PAULINE WARG: 1975 - Present
Pauline Warg is a metalsmith, silversmith and enamellist in Scarborough, ME, having 30 years of experience designing metal jewelry and hollowware incorporating precious and non-precious metals, gems and enamel. Her skillful work with great attention to detail produces jewelry with time honored silversmith techniques. The jewelry designs are said to be wearable, functional and sculptural objects and consist of fused or metal bead necklaces and bracelets on hand-woven metal chains, She also designs custom cabinet knobs, home hardware, enamel Ikebana and bowls.
Pauline Warg teaches metalsmithing at colleges, universities, high schools and other institution of learning the craft. From 1991 to 2001, she has managed and facilitated a metalsmith program of Future Builders in Maine and now is active in the Warg Enamel and Tool Center, a full-service tool, equipment and supply company for jewelers, metalsmiths and enamellists. The center is active in jewelry enameling, jewelry making, metalsmithing, and presents classes for all levels of participants also supplying quality products at competitive prices with excellent customer service. Her book “Making Metal Beads Techniques, Projects, Inspiration” is available in 2006. Mark: “Warg Designs, Inc. Pauline Warg (her name in script) Fine Metalsmithing”.
Pauline Warg designs and creates one-of-a-kind and limited editions of fine objects, wearable jewelry, functional and decorative items for the home. Her pieces are varied and vast in scope with a strong sense of refinement, skill and beauty. Her works have been exhibited nationally and internationally and she is still in business in 2006.
PELL: 1941 - Present
The Pell Jewelry Company was found by 4 brothers, Joseph, Anthony, Alfred, and William Gaita in 1941. The company is located in Long Island, NY and produces a wide variety of jewelry using silver metal plating. The designs encompass paved rhinestones, simulated crystals and pearls on earrings, bracelets, necklaces, broaches, head pieces (tiaras), and Christmas trees. Pell has designed jewelry for Disney Productions and Miss America Beauty contests, and Coro. Mark: "Pell". The Pell jewelry has been sold on the QVC network. Alfred Gaita Jr. continues the business and produces only the best quality jewelry that has been designed and manufactured through the years the company has been in business.
PENNINO: 1926 - 1961
Frank Pennino founded the Pennino Jewelry Company NYC in 1926 making watch cases and fine costume jewelry using quality Austrian rhinestones and crystals and had the look of actual gemstones that were mounted in 14k gold plate or in sterling silver. It is possible that some of the Pennino jewelry was not marked. Mark: "Pennino" in script and sometimes "Pennino with a Pat. Pen. mark". The jewelry was designed with heavy plating and intricate design work. Some of the jewelry also contained bows and tassels. It was also known for using flat unfoiled rhinestones with metal framed around the stones. The company jewelry was very popular in the 1940s, is known for its fine designs and workmanship through the years, and ranks as one of the very best costume jewelry company’s of the past. The company ceased operations in 1961.
POLCINI; 1911 - 1980 (LEDO Jewelry)
Ralph Polcini, a master goldsmith, founded the Polcini Company, Mamaroneck, NY in 1911. The name of the company was changed to the Leading Jewelry Manufacturing Company in 1949 with the name of the jewelry indicated as Ledo. The company produced rhinestone jewelry mostly in the Art Deco designs resembling genuine jewelry in style, design and quality. After Ralph Polcini’s death, his son renamed the company Polcini in the 1960s. The jewelry produced was prong set, rhodium plated using clear rhinestone, simulated stones of pearl, opal, sapphire and rubies with some set in gold-tone metal. Mark: "Ledo" in script 1949, and "RIST-LETTE by Ledo" in block and script in 1953 and "Polcini with a copyright symbol". The company went out of business in 1980.
REBAJES: 1932 - 1967
Rebajes, Inc. was founded in 1932 producing copper metal jewelry. Mark: "Rebaje with a sideways 8" in script.
REGENCY: 1950s - 1970s
The Regent Jewelry Company, NYC was founded in the 1950s by a Mr. Polowitz introducing the Regency line of costume jewelry. The jewelry produced contained spectacular color hues in the high quality clear, aurora borealis and color rhinestones, faux pearls, and glass and simulated turquoise and other color stones in shapes of navettes, teardrops, cabochons, and chatons that were set in Japanned metal finish (the black-coal tar look) setting off the darker hued rhinestones. The jewelry was sold directly to department stores in New York, Chicago and other large cities. Regency made extra ordinary butterflies, novelty glass insects, bugs and flowers to name a few. Mark: "REGENCY". The company closed its doors in the 1970s.
REINAD ("Chanel" Jewelry): 1930 - Mid-1950s
Reinad Jewelry was produced by the Chanel Novelty Company NY and was founded in 1930. The costume jewelry produced was set in chromium plated metal, enameled with clear and colored rhinestones and simulated stones. The company name was later changed to the Reinad Novelty Company NY. Mark: "Chanel" in script. The company ceased operations in the mid-1950s. Note: The company was never associated with Coco Chanel.
REJA (First Signed DEJA): 1941 - 1953
The original company’s name was Deja Costume Jewelry, N.Y.C. founded in 1939 by Solomon Finkelstein, who in 1941, changed the name to Reja. The costume jewelry produced was of extreme high quality. The jewelry lines contained enamel on sterling silver or potmetal with colorful rhinestones, moonstones, and pave clear stones. Designs include an Africa Series, a Gardenesque Series, enamel fruits, nuts and vegetables. Mark: "Deja", "Reja", Reja Reg.", and "Reja Inc.". The company went bankrupt in 1953.
RENOIR/MATISSE: 1946 - 1964
The Renoir line of jewelry was founded in Los Angeles, CA in 1946 by Jerry Fels. The company was famous for its jewelry made from copper metal but also used sterling silver metal. Copper was a popular choice metal for metalworkers active in the Arts & Crafts designs in the 1930s - 1950s period. The company made jewelry of contemporary abstract designs that leaned towards modern art. The jewelry produced had the hand-hammered look using rhinestones as the key material. Mark: "SCEPTRON" with Sceptron Jewelry Creations in partnership used on costume jewelry since June 1944, "Renoir of California, Inc.", "Renoir" in script on brooches, lapel and scatter pins, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets since Feb. 1946, "Sauteur" since June 1958, "Sterling Sauteur Renoir with a copyright symbol".
Another company, Matisse, Ltd. was also founded in Los Angeles by Jerry Fels and his family in 1952. It manufactured copper jewelry with enamel decoration to the surface of the copper metal. Mark: "Matisse" in script, and "Ltd. Matisse", "Renoir/Matisse with a copyright symbol". Both firms ceased operations around 1964. Both company’s copper metal costume jewelry is highly collectible.
RICHELIEU: 1911 - Present
Joseph H. Meyer & Bros, Brooklyn NY was founded in 1911 producing Richelieu costume jewelry for men and women specializing in designing jewelry using simulated creamy to colored pearls, small faux pearls, and rhinestones with spacers between the stones and with goldtone metal bases. Some of the pearl necklaces produced contained beautiful ornamental pearls and rhinestones on the clasp or as an added design feature on the necklace. Mark: Traynor for Richelieu", Treza", Richelieu Satinore", Richelieu Indelle", Richelieu Pearls", "Ingeborg-Sant Angelo for Richelieu" 1967, "RCHL with a 2 letter number". The newer costume jewelry made is said to be better designed than some of the older pieces. Lisner-Richelieu Corp. is still producing jewelry and it is now marked: "Richelieu". The Richelieu costume jewelry symbolizes the beautiful simulated look of real pearls of the highest quality with stylish designs using gold plating, silver plating and platinum as the base metal. The Richelieu costume jewelry is not highly collectible today but is gaining popularity because of its outstanding distinctive designs.
JUDITH RIPKA: 1977- Present
Judith Ripka, with extraordinary eye for design, was taught by her mother to appreciate all the little things around her, and, therefore, Judith sees each piece of jewelry as an expression of the beauty in the world as shared through the eyes of her mother. She launched her career in jewelry designing in 1977 and has helped her clients to understand that fashion is about style and creating a total look far beyond the clothes and that jewelry is integral to a woman’s wardrobe and is needed to provide the finishing touch to an outfit.
The Judith Ripka Company, Inc., for over 15 years, has designed and crafted jewelry of the utmost quality and continues to produce fine official jewelry designed and manufactured by its name sake. Judith Ripka was the recipient of a prestigious award for Outstanding Jewelry Design in 1982. In March 2004, she was introduced as the Official Jewelry Designer of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Los Angeles with the sponsorship of Rock the Runway, a benefit for the City of Hope kicking off the Fall 2005 collection for fashionistas and celebrities to purchase and to support a worthy cause.
The Judith Ripka Company opened its doors to a boutique concept in March 2005 in New York City with retail space of 1200 sq. ft. This luxury shop for the fashion elated style-savvy celebrities expresses the heart and soul behind Ripka’s designs with her distinctive 18k gold and diamond fine jewelry with exceptional all-time high client services. You will see her upmost quality 18k gold and platinum metal with semi-precious stones jewelry designs in some of the finest women’s magazines, in her exclusive boutiques, and on many of the most stylish and elegant women in the world. Judith has stated: “When a woman is wearing my jewelry, I want her to feel as if she is wrapped in one of life’s luxuries”. Each piece of her jewelry must compliment the clothes worn and should be a finishing touch to the outfit. Ripka’s clients are impressed with her elaborate flair for detail and her unique interpretation of color, gemstones, metal and overall designs. Mark: “Judith Ripka”.
Judith Ripka creates versatile, classic jewelry with a special, modern twist using only the finest diamonds, colored precious gemstones and unique one-of-a-kind stones found throughout the world. Her jewelry is expensive to purchase. The Judith Ripka Company has retail locations for their jewelry throughout the US including Aspen, CO., Atlanta, GA., Beverly Hills, CA., Boca Raton, FL., Chicago, IL., East Hills, NY., New York, NY., San Francisco, CA., Short Hills, NJ. Other distributors include Nieman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave., , Norstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Deutsch & Deutsch of Houston, Lewis Jewelers, Radcliffe Jewelers and J. Brown, Baltimore, MD.
Judith Ripka and her company is looking forward to domestic and international growth and is laying the foundation to envision new goals, meet potential challenges and explore future global expansion. Some of Judith Ripka’s jewelry is now being sold on QVC, in sterling silver base metal, having semi-precious and simulated gemstones, diamonds and pearls. The jewelry pieces are moderately priced on QVC.
JOAN RIVERS: 1990 to Present
ROBERT OR ORIGINAL BY ROBERT: 1942 - 1979
Robert Levey, David Jaffe, and Irving Landsman founded the Fashioncraft Jewelry Company NYC in 1942. Landsman left in 1951, and the company changed its name to Robert Originals, Inc. about 1960. The company jewelry went by the name of Robert or Original by Robert. Their designs have natural and floral motifs with the use of faux pearls, colored glass, crystal beads, and high quality imported rhinestones set on gilded filigree open wire and openwork mountings. The company’s advertisement in the 1940s indicated that the jewelry was hand crafted with fine details that possibly expert jewelers could mistake the stones for genuine precious jewels. Because of its excellent design, workmanship and materials, the jewelry sold at a high price. The firm supplied jewelry to the motion picture industry. Levey retired in 1975. Mark: "Original by Robert" 1942-1979 with a copyright symbol after 1955, "Fashioncraft", "Fashioncraft Designer Robert Levy", "Robert" (on earrings).
ROBERT GOOSSENS: ? - Present (Started with Coco
Chanel in 1953)
Robert Goossens, the son of a metal foundry worker, was born in Paris, France. In his younger years, he served an apprenticeship in jewelry making , perfecting the techniques of casting, engraving, and embossing (decorate, design, and pattern) semi-precious and simulated stones into gold and silver metals. He became a designer for Coco Chanel in 1953. In his decade of creating fine jewelry, Goossens mixed the genuine stones with the fakes, a blend of the artificial gems with the semi-precious for clients of Coco Chanel, Cristobal Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. Other famous and well known jewelry designers have requested his jewelry creating services, and, also many have imitated Goossens works.
Working with Coco Chanel, Goossens would present his projects, and she would guide his inspiration creating silver and gold plaited pins, set with emeralds including “sun lion“, “moon earth” pendants and crystal “Byzantine” crosses. It is said that Coco Chanel thought of Goossens as her “barbarian goldsmith”. Some of the jewelry pieces were inspired by paintings and artifacts in the Paris museums. Maltese, Byzantium, and the Renaissance were all important imagery in the designs that were crude and bulky, and, still today, are sold by boutiques following Goossens original designs.
Goossens’ workshop is located in the north of Paris and today employs some fifty people. The establishment is ranked among the most productive manufacturers of jewelry in Europe with workers of diverse nationalities succeeding in competence. Goossens demands that the quality of the jewelry comes first and foremost, along with the human quality that will produce the finest French craftsmanship of his designs. His handcrafted to perfection designed pieces of jewelry using bronze, shells, pearls, clear, color and natural rock crystal and semi-precious stones of coral, quartz, amethyst etc. were used in the making of necklaces, brooches, bracelets and earrings.
Goossens has traveled extensively through the years bringing back stones, to include sapphires, amethysts, rubies, coral, and chalcedony. Rock Crystal, the clear and colorless variety of quartz, is Goossens’ favorite medium and he was the first person to set it into pieces of jewelry because it is a delicate and inexpensive stone that suits costume jewelry. Chanel, loved to blend the rich with the poor and Goossens creations were entirely in keeping with that approach. The original pieces for Mademoiselle Chanel were made of real gold and genuine stones with the imitations designed for the fashion models that were so perfect as to fool everyone and were also copied for the costume jewelry lines sold to the public.
Today, the designs he has created and treasurer are sold in his boutique on the Avenue George V. His halogen chandelier with a crystal core secured to a bronze olive tree branches, his gilt “coral” cutlery, his Barbaric jewelry made of bronze and lapis lazuli and the crosses that have adorned many great names of couture were all designed and manufactured more than twenty years ago for Coco Chanel and bears her name.
In November of 2000, Goossens was auctioning off, at Christie’s East, some of his collection including the famous Byzantine-inspired designs he did for Coco Chanel. Three items that appeared in the auction were: (1)two vermeil and molten glass cuff bracelets, 1964, with estimated value of $5,000 to $7,000 each, (2) a vermeil and rock crystal collar, 1967, with estimated value of $15,000 to $18,000, (3) a gold and rock crystal cross pendant, 1962, with estimated value of $8,000 to $12,000. Those jewelry pieces that were not sold at Christie’s are now listed on the internet: pieceunique.com with prices ranging from $135 to $1800 today, in 2005. While Coco Chanel possessed some fine real jewelry, she preferred many of the fake pieces.
Goossens has launched a jewelry line for the U.S. that was inspired by his earlier work and these jewelry creations are being sold on the Internet: vivre.com with pieces made to order, shipped from Paris, France requiring a 2 week waiting period with prices ranging from $150 to $3,575.
Andrew Gn, a leading fashion designer, while in Houston, indicated that he accents his designs with jewelry from Robert Goossens, a noted French costume jeweler who worked with Yves Saint Laurent, Cristobal Balenciaga, Christian Dior and Coco Chanel. He is using a jewel belt featuring two peacocks, $1400, that adds an elegant touch to one of his fashion designs. The Robert Goossens name has, at least for the past twenty years, stood for a certain French excellence in the designing of fine and costume jewelry. Just recently, the Robert Goossens couture workshop in Paris, France was acquired by the Coco Chanel Company, who today, is still producing costume jewelry.
ROBERT LEE MORRIS JEWELRY: 1962 - Present
Robert Lee Morris, a jewelry designer, was born in Nurnberg, Germany in 1947 where, at the time, his U.S. Air Force father was stationed. He graduated from Beloit College, Wisconsin in 1965 in sculpturing and film making, and was #1 artist in his graduating class. Morris taught himself the rudiments of jewelry making. Since 1976, Robert Lee Morris has been a leading name in fashion and art jewelry and that year, was on the cover of the Vogue magazine. He opened his own gallery ARTWEAR, a Mecca for talent in the jewelry-as-art field in 1977.
Morris is considered one of America’s most influential jewelry and accessories designers. It is said that his career in jewelry design continues to unfold and blossom with his collections featuring clean, fresh, romantic sterling silver, in shapes drawn from original design elements. His already legendary, sensuous designs have draw their inspiration from nature, myths and fantasy and are described as being created originally through his intelligence and learning taking his inspiration from the living, the spiritual and the material and incorporating it into the silver and gold metal jewelry designs he creates. Morris molds each prototype himself out of wax or metal. He creates designs in rings, necklaces, bracelets, earrings and pendants of sterling silver, 14k yellow gold, brass, and copper with a brightly polish finish using gemstones and stones including cornelian, lapis lazuli, turquoise, jasper, coral, onyx, mother-of-pearl, white diamond, moonstone, and gemstone beads, clear crystals and rhinestones, and also some tree wood. His jewelry makes a bold and beautiful statement.
Morris’ jewelry designs made with solid 18k gold have been sold at Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Ave. The Robert Lee Morris Gallery, the very first “designer store“ of its kind, is his manufacturing site, located at 409 W. Broadway, New York City, NY. Stores carrying his jewelry designs are found throughout the U.S., in Canada, England, Hong Kong, and Switzerland. Other jewelry designs are sold on his internet site: Robert Lee Morris, Robert Lee Morris, The Gallery, and Pearlmans Jewelers. All jewelry he designs are created by Robert Lee Morris himself and include archival and one-of-a-kind pieces as well as the complete current line of jewelry. Some of his marks on jewelry are: “Robert Lee Morris“ in script and “Sterling Silver” or “925” or “14k”or “18k” or RLM 925“, “RLM750“, “RLM 14k“. Some of his jewelry pieces are hand signed (etched in the metal) “by Robert Lee Morris in script, 18k or 14k or Sterling Silver and a C in a circle for copyright and dated”.
For QVC on the internet and the QVC TV Network, Morris has and is designing the RLM Studio jewelry pieces using Sterling Silver, 14k gold, copper and brass metal. Mark: “RLM Studio, 925 and place of origin”, RLM Studio, 14k and place of origin“. Robert Lee Morris has said: “My work is a mirror of my soul, a reflection of who I am, so when a person wears one of my pieces, they have became very intimate close to me.” Morris, over the decades, has worked with numerous prominent clothing designers, Donna Karan for one, whom today he is still a partner producing clothing and accessories.
ROUSSELET: 1920s - Unknown
Louis Rousselet, a French beadmaker and jewelry designer of Paris, France
founded the Rousselet Company designing beads and jewelry using unusual
ceramic and Galalith beads of the 1920s and producing charming floral
necklaces made of artificial looking and colored pearls including seed pearls,
and glass colored beads and clear and colored rhinestones. He was classified
as one of the outstanding beadmakers of the twentieth century. In the 1920s,
he employed 800 people producing beads (beads of Galalith (casein - a
phosphoprotein that is one of the chief eonstituents of milk and the basis of
cheese used in plastics, glass etc.), and some other types including glass
beads for important people in and around Paris. The outstanding product of the
company was glass beads. The beads made had what was called lamp wounds and
were often given baroque shapes to emphasize their individuality. The beads
and jewelry designs graced models, actresses and singers as well as
fashionable French ladies and he also designed jewelry for Music Hall stars
Josephine Baker and Mistingette. The beads, rhinestones and pearls, used in
the jewelry of goldtone and silvertone filigree metal base, were prong set and
wired together. Rousselet’s daughter Denise assisted in designing the costume
jewelry starting in the 1960s. Rousselet died in 1980. Mark: " Depose Made in
France", "Louis ROUSSELET MODELE DEPOSE MADE IN FRANCE", "PERLE DE SEVGNE MADE
IN FRANCE", Paper label "LR", "Louis Rousselet" Some
pieces were also marked "FRANCE" OR "MADE IN FRANCE". The jewelry is highly
sought after today.
Vintage Costume Jewelry Makers And Designers