2019 signifies 100 years for the Buccellati brand, a legacy of fine jewelry and a leader in Italian design. The brand’s unparalleled distinction of a century in business stems from decades of original technique, pieces crafted by hand since its inception, and the same, if not higher standards that they continue to uphold to this day.
It all began with Mario Buccellati, who opened the first Buccellati store in 1919 and laid the groundwork for what has evolved into a centennial filled with gold-threaded, hand-cut colored-gemstone jewels that have continued to distinguish themselves apart from the rest.
“Proud. That’s the main feeling I have,” says Maria Cristina Buccellati, third generation and the brand’s Global Communications and Marketing Director. As one of many family members to uphold key roles within the company, she explains how the family works together seamlessly, utilizing their many talents to preserve and maintain the highest standards of quality and the unmistakable Buccellati style for the last four generations. “We all have different strengths and do very different roles so it’s easy to work together. We support each other.” And when referencing the brand she says, “Everything is done as it was over 30 years ago. It’s all handmade. From the engraving and lace-work to our signature honeycomb and gemstone laying technique. When you see a Buccellati piece, you know it’s ours. We keep to our own style rather than following trends.”
As she continues to speak about the pride the family feels to reach such a pinnacle moment for the brand, it makes sense why she aligns this year with some of the other landmark moments that have occurred for them in the last century. Amazing achievements like the first store opening in the United States in 1951 (the first of two Italian brands to ever have a brick and mortar in the states), their flagship store opening in Place Vendome in 1979 and their exhibition, Buccellati: Art in Gold, Silver and Gems at the Smithsonian Museum in 2000.
The festivities kicked off earlier this year, starting with a new flagship store opening on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris. It was here during couture last month that they showcased one of the most exciting new launches of the Buccellati brand, the Buccellati diamond. This 57-facet brilliant stone was created in collaboration with the Taché family, based on an illustration from Andrea Buccellati in order to honor the anniversary. Appearing as a flower and taking over a year to come to fruition, each facet is mirrored and matches a specific ratio in order to optimize the amount of light it reflects. And while it’s currently featured in 15 pieces including the truly stunning Vega pendant earrings, the Sterlizia cuff bracelet and Aura ring, it will continue to be used in special pieces in the future. The collection will even go on tour which began in Paris and will find itself in cities like Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and New York City in October.
One of the final creations to commemorate the anniversary is the Vintage Collection. Hand-selected pieces from throughout the brand’s history are being collected from around the world to be displayed in their stores worldwide. “The vintage collection was born because everyone was asking us for vintage pieces,” says Cristina. “We’ve been restoring pieces to get them back to as close to their original state as possible, even creating new packaging dedicated to the collection. They come from all over; antique shops, old customers, auction houses. People have come in and donated pieces that even I’ve never seen before that date back to my grandfather’s work.“
The most beautiful part about this particular collection is that they will continue to grow it far into the future. While many will be kept for the brand in order to create a museum, some pieces they will resell and others will go to Sotheby’s for auction, a portion will be shared with consumers, dispersing them to their many stores around the globe. And while we’ll all get to enjoy it one way or another, whether it be simply to view, or, for a few, (and very fortunate), to own, one thing is for certain, we’ll all be able to recognize that it’s Buccellati.