Around the Place Vendôme, you will find a wealth of independent stores dedicated to jewelry. Below, a suggested itinerary to explore the most interesting. So, head for the Jardin des Tuileries, then…
… turn left into Rue Saint-Honoré
At 233: Miller Bijoux
For thirty years, women have been depositing jewelry and watches they no longer want here. Today, Sarah Miller, representing the third generation, takes them in. Most pieces have top jeweler labels (Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Pomellato and Christian Dior), and date from the 1940s to the present day. All of them are systematically refurbished and sold at 50% of their initial price. Some examples of bargains: Chanel’s “Première” watch at €2,000, and the Cartier “Draperie” gold necklace at €12,000.
At 231: Lydia Courteille
Lydia Courteille originally sold hallmarked antique jewelry in this minuscule store. Today, she exclusively presents her own creations, generally one-of-a-kind pieces. Fans of minimalism need not apply: her Baroque jewelry is worthy of a cabinet of curiosities. She was one of the first to use death’s heads as a motif, and has a penchant for unusual stones like moss agate and opal. Her latest designs were inspired by her travels in China, Peru and Argentina.
At 231: Françoise Montague
Marion Stern took over this store specializing in costume jewelry forty years ago. A great admirer of pieces by Yves Saint Laurent and the Italian duo Copolla e Toppo, she makes jewelry with vintage raw materials like resin, glass beads and Swarovski crystals. Everything is made by hand in France. She also distributes Ciléa, a specialist in “Émaline” (enameled celluloid): irresistible rings, brooches and earrings featuring vegetables, exotic figures and orchids.
At 316: Mad Lords
Caroline and Serge Muller chose Yarol Poupaud as an icon for their multi-brand store. That sets the tone… It is the only one in Paris with such a wide choice for men, mainly pieces in silver, including signet rings by Jaegher, rings embellished with antique pieces, bangles inlaid with turquoises, chains, etc. As Serge Muller is a fan of the West Coast in the US, there is a strong focus on Californian designers like Mahor Cohen and Jackie Aiche.
At 278: Osprey
The owner, an Australian who has lived in France for thirty years, claims no specialties. His small shop window displays a mishmash of religious medallions, 1940s solid gold bracelets and Art Deco-style in-house designs. With prices ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand euros, you’re almost certain to find something you like.
At 177: Fabian de Montjoye
This antique jewelry dealer is impassioned and fascinating. With a diploma from the École des Chartres, he is the ultimate specialist in glyptics (the art of engraving stones in relief or intaglio) and collects ancient rings: mediaeval, embellished with micro-mosaics or English 18th century miniatures, archaeological finds, etc. Though it looks like a junk shop, the store has some genuine treasures, and is a must for all the top collectors. But you can still find affordable pieces.
… in Rue du Marché Saint-Honoré
At 1: Valérie Danenberg
Valérie Danenberg first followed in the family footsteps by setting up at the Louvre des Antiquaires. Fascinated by Art Deco, she now proposes her own designs inspired by this period. Her specialty is engagement rings with square or rectangular geometric forms,
At 2: Au Vase de Delft
This store goes back to the 1920s, i.e. to the great-grandfather of Brigitte Gy, the current owner. Until the early 2000s, she was located in Rue Cambon, where her customers included Mick Jagger, the Queen of Spain, Gabrielle Chanel and Salvador Dali. In the current premises, the choice is inversely proportional to the tiny surface area. But it is bursting with cameos, enamels. gold openwork poissarde earrings, art deco rings, carved coral and more. A must.
At 3: Garnazelle
Céline Rivet launched her brand in 2001. She has always focused mainly on joyful, colorful figurative pieces like these earrings formed by a series of colored carved stones. Her iconic piece is the “Boule d’amour” ring, with a hardstone held in long gold micro-ball claws. Now her trademark, this is the foundation of her second brand, Gaya, dedicated to lighter, more affordable jewelry, including long necklaces, small rings and charms – best piled on lavishly.
… then turn right into Rue Saint-Honoré
At 362: Dary’s
Just opposite the Hôtel Costes, you will find Dary’s, owned by Katherine Souillac (sister of Brigitte Gy, who owns Le Vase de Delft). This is one of the best-known Paris stores in the world, popular with all the celebrities … Its drawers and windows are bursting with jewelry classified by period, material, category, etc. One is devoted to gold medallions, others to signet rings, tie pins, amber jewelry, and so on.
… Rue Duphot
At 18: Gorky
Of Armenian origin, M. et Mme Krisyan set up shop at the Louvre des Antiquaires in 1986, moving into this little street when it closed. This charming couple are now two of the leading dealers in France. Here you will find pieces by top names like Lacloche, Van Cleef & Arpels and Schlumberger. Their specialties are above all rose-cut diamonds and transformable jewelry. Apart from a very few pieces, the selection stops at the Sixties.
… then Rue de Castiglione
At 14: Ciro
Half the windows are dedicated to Burma jewelry (see Rue de la Paix) and for good reason: Ciro belongs to the owner of the brand, Bruno Zarcate. The other half features creations by American costume jewelry star Kenneth Jay Lane. His extravagant, colorful pieces in non-precious materials are inspired by ethnic jewelry and designers like Verdura and David Webb. You will also find pieces by Iranian designer Iradj Moini, with his outsize brooches and multi-strand necklaces in enormous hard stones, sometimes mingled with shells and cameos.
At 14: Agry
If you long to have a coat of arms, this heraldry specialist family company founded in 1825 can create one for you, then featuring it in a signet ring and visiting cards.It has always produced buttons – for servants’ liveries in the past, and now for hunt staff, which explains the presence of all the hunting objects in its windows: barrettes decorated with boar’s teeth, a handsome porcelain coffee service painted with ducks, venison dishes, etc. With its original wood paneling interior, it is the only survivor of bygone times.
At 10: Maison Auclert
In a logical follow-on for this grandson of an antiques dealer, who has officiated for companies like Chanel, De Beers and Sotheby’s, Marc Auclert creates his jewelry using antique components, incorporating them into contemporary mounts. He also uses antique coins, cameos, 19th century intaglios or even elements from a Chinese box or Tamil Nadu earrings. He is also well-known for his intaglios, which he prints on gold.
At 3: H. Stern
Stern, Brazil’s best-known jeweler, became famous in the 1950s with the colored stones found in abundance in the country’s subsoil. In Rio, he occupies a seven-story building (combining a museum, workshops and store), welcoming hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. In Paris, he only has a micro-boutique, where he presents pieces imbued with a trendier feel, often made in collaboration with designers like the Campana brothers, Diane von Furstenberg and even a dance company.
… Rue du Mont-Thabor
At 38: White bird
After working for several jewelers in Place Vendôme, Stéphanie Roger opened a new-generation multi-brand store. In its highly individual setting, she presents designers little present in the French market, including foreigners like Italy’s Anaconda, Japan’s Noguchi and the Americans Cathy Waterman and Brooke Gregson. Other points worth noting are the refined and delicate designs and the (relatively) reasonable prices.
… beneath the arcades of Rue de Rivoli
At 220-222: Marc Deloche
It’s hard to encapsulate the designs of this Toulouse architect in one word. Although he offers several stone-set rings, he excels in a style pared of all superfluity, based on silver in the form of signet rings, or rings featuring heads of Greek gods or animals. Models truly tailored to men.
… close to Rue de la Paix
At 16: Burma
Burma has decked out many a famous beauty, including Arletty, Jeanne Moreau and Michèle Morgan, and even designed a stage costume for Josephine Baker. Since the Seventies, it has established itself as a pioneer by only using synthetic stones (emeralds, sapphires, zirconium oxide) grouped together under a single name: Burmalite™. The new artistic director, the owner’s daughter Alexandra Zarcate, combines them in a traditional jeweler’s style: mounted as solitaires on slim bracelets or one-off pieces like tiaras, cuff bracelets and breastplate necklaces.
At 13: Garland
The vintage jewelry selection in this store catches the eye more than the designer pieces. You may well find some intriguing surprises, like a Forties structured gold bracelet, a Fifties Van Cleef & Arpels brooch in yellow gold ornamented with turquoises and amethysts, or a very Seventies long gold mesh necklace.
… in Rue Danielle Casanova
At 26-28: Gas
Semainiers in silver-plated metal, charm bracelets, necklaces in colored micro-beads, dangling earrings with feathers, metal bangles covered with colored python skin and cotton thread, and more. No jewelry is precious; nothing takes itself seriously. This brand is loyal to its “sunny chic” style born in 1968 on the beaches of Saint-Tropez. Prices from €30 to €450 euros.
At 26: Sylvia Toledano
This designer first came to the fore with her clutch bags entirely covered in Swarovski crystals. Today she has garnered further success with her cuff bracelets and pendants in silver gilt and hardstones like malachite, labradorite, lapis lazuli, carnelian and tiger’s eye. They are all outsized, harking back to the chic hippy fashion of the Seventies, with elegant women in kaftans and long muslin dresses in Marrakesh.