Verdura: 70 Years Young

Fine Jewelry: Always enigmatic and adventurous in its creations, Verdura is celebrating 70 years of impeccable and daring design this year in London.

Fulco Santostefano della Cerda, Duke of Verdura, was accustomed to lavish surroundings and extravagant locales and this is no surprise seeing the nature of his design. Nothing was too bold, no gem too bright, and no design too dangerous.

Verdura has seen decades of success, dangling from the wrists and necks of socialite royalty. How do you start a company in 1939 and see such staggering popularity? Well, getting your start with Coco Chanel helps.

She first hired him as a textile designer, but it didn't take long for their compatibility and shared vision to flourish, and soon Chanel had promoted Fulco to head designer. He was then in charge of the niche that would eventually send him to worldwide stardom. Creating her private and boutique jewelry collections lead to the birth of the Maltese Cross, Verdura's signature motif.

From there, Fulco's own shop could only go up; and it did. Catching the eyes of the 1940's elite such as Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn certainly helped things, and today, vintage Verdura designs are incredibly difficult to come by: once they're found, they're rarely let go.

Verdura's unique style didn't stop in the collections but continues right through to the business end of things. Few are lucky enough to own such impressive pieces, but what about having a Verdura piece made specifically for you? Custom-made jewelry is truly for those looking for something available nowhere else. By appointment only, Verdura offers the chance to choose from thousands of original sketches or the option of reviving old favorites, and even creating brand new pieces from loose stones.

Opening to the public in October, the London exhibit commemorates 70 years of excellence and vision. Verdura's prized pieces including Coco Chanel's Maltese Cross cuff bracelets and the iconic "Rapt Heart," a commissioned piece for Tyrone Power, are on display (some, even, for purchase).

With only 70 years behind them, Verdura has been a constant testimony to high-design concepts and an unflinching dedication to beauty, which are things that will always be valued. Some things never get old.

For LxM Kate Prihoda


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