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Jewelry Hunting in Paris: 8 Designers to Discover Now

The charming Monsieur Paris jewelry boutique in the Marais (Photos courtesy Monsieur Paris)

One of the great joys of Paris is the art of flanerie, that great long stroll to nowhere in particular that reveals the hidden corners of the city. During such meandering, you may find yourself on a picturesque boulevard or an impossibly romantic alleyway. In one of these tucked away corners of Paris, you’ll inevitably find your way into an atelier, an artist’s workshop, with someone hard at work on a unique something-or-other, lost in concentration amongst the bustle of everyday life. They might not even notice you’ve entered and when they do you may only get the requisite “bonjour” that every shopkeeper offers as you’re left to browse in silence. Then you’ll find that one piece, whether it is a whimsical scarf, the perfect pair of sunglasses or an impossibly beautiful necklace, and you’ll know you just have to have it. When you return from your trip that piece you picked up will become a permanent part of your wardrobe and whenever you wear it people will ask where you found it. “Oh, this?” You’ll ask, feigning surprise that they’ve noticed. “I found it in this great little out-of-the-way shop in Paris.You won’t need to say anything more.

Of course, for the moment those broad boulevards and hidden alleyways that make Paris so magical are out of reach, but it doesn’t mean that you have to stop searching for those little treasures. Thanks to the expansion of e-commerce and the ever-increasing use of social media to creatively promote both large and small producers, a whole range of artisans from Paris can deliver custom-made pieces around the world to suit anyone’s taste. Jewelry is one of the most accessible products to buy online: you can view the designer’s entire catalog and work with them to design custom pieces or size them accordingly. Thanks to the magic of the internet, there is a wealth of up-and-coming craftspeople to discover as well as the classic names that make Paris the world’s greatest shopping adventure. Plus, as so many shops have been forced to close their in-person stores for the past year, online purchases are a perfect way to continue to support small business owners.

While it’s impossible to include every jewelry designer or shop in Paris, the following list should be enough to get you dreaming. It may not be quite the same, but you can still wander!

Maison Mellerio

If Paris is a jewelry lover’s paradise then Place Vendôme and rue de la Paix are an oasis in the very center. This area is home to many incredible designers and here you’ll find the jewelry designer that claims to be the oldest in the world, Mason Mellerio dits Meller or simply, Mellerio. Founded in 1613, the shop has been in residence at 9 rue de la Paix in the heart of the jewelry district since 1815 and boasts the patronage of royals including Marie de Medici, Queen Victoria and Marie Antoinette. Their online store allows you to peruse their shop, size out engagement rings and explore the “high jewelry” collection. Price tags run into the stratospheric, but it’s not hard to understand why Mellerio has stood for hundreds of years as the point of reference for fine French jewelry. Keep it on your list for the next visit to Paris and, until then, dreaming is free!

Beautiful handmade jewelry from Monsieur Paris (Photos courtesy Monsieur Paris)

Monsieur Paris

The Marais is dream spot for a stroll to discover hidden treasures, and there are few places finer to do so than Monsieur Paris, not least because the Monsieur in question is the diminutive Nadia Azoug. Her large eyes and curious gaze may bring Amelie Poulain to mind but she, and her craft, are much more than this. Inspired by her Kabyle roots from North Africa and her desire to create a range of jewelry that could stand alongside the classic houses in the Marais while still being attainable for artists like herself, Monsieur Paris is a collection that really does have something for everyone. There are playful pendants, delicate rings and bracelets and classic earrings that will easily become your everyday studs. Everything is made from ethical 18k gold and recycled silver, and the workshop, jewelers and artisans are all located within one kilometer of each other in the city.

Nathalie Lacroix

If you’ve ever dreamed of touring Paris with an expert and getting the inside scoop on the brands you wish you’d heard of, then consider Nathalie Lacroix your new best (virtual) friend. With over 25 years of experience in the luxury brand sector, Lacroix transitioned into the role of curator in 2017 and uses her considerable talents to source and promote new brands in fashion. Her roster includes a wide range of artisanal jewelry makers, many of whom work with sustainable materials and abide by ethical practices. Spend a few hours on her website or Instagram page and get to know Parisian artists such as Caraiva, Héloïse & Abélard and De la Forge, all of whom have online shops available. While in Paris, be sure to visit her boutique at 45 rue de Sèvres in the 6th arrondissement near Le Bon Marché.

Celine Daoust Boutique in Paris

Shimmering beautiful in the designs and Celine Daoust boutique in Paris (Photos courtesy Celine Daoust)

Celine Daoust

Some jewelry becomes our favorites because of the stories that they tell, and behind every piece that Celine Daoust creates there is a tale to tell. Based in her native Paris, she is known for the mix of colorful stones that she sources from Jaipur, India with various types and cuts of diamonds. Her website is not only a feast for the eyes but an education about the different forms and shades in which diamonds can appear, and her true talent is in bringing the beauty of a rough-cut stone to life. If you’re looking for something that you’ll treasure for what goes into it as much as what it looks like, look no further.

Messika

If you haven’t heard of Messika by name, you’ve very likely seen their designs adorning some of the most famous women in the world. A favorite of Beyoncé and Kate Moss, Messika began in Paris in 2005 under the tutelage of Valére Messika, whose father André is known as one of the city’s preeminent diamond merchants. Her first success came with the “Skinny” line, a series of thin, flexible designs that proved to change the way that statement pieces could be made. The flagship boutique on rue Saint-Honoré in Paris is a soothing combo of neutral tones and supremely luxurious finishes, but if you can’t get there right away the online store does a fine job of immersing you in the brand.

Florence Pavec

Some people are simply born to be artists, whatever form their expression may take, and Florence Pavec is undoubtedly one of these people. A native of Paris who studied at L’Ecole di Louvre while also studying jurisprudence, Pavec’s designs reflect the colors and contours of impressionism and expressionism using a combination of stones and metals that marry beautifully under her trained eye. Each of her pieces is unique and evokes the summery tableaux that she has so expertly appraised in her career as an art historian. You can browse and purchase directly via her Instagram page, which is itself an art lover’s dream. We may not yet be back at the Louvre, but we can always visit Florence Pavec.

4 Crosses Necklace

Delicate design from 4 Crosses in Paris (Photo courtesy 4 Crosses)

4 Crosses

Know how sometimes French women have that effortless, I-woke-up-like-this charm that manages to pull together their entire look? That mysterious alchemy is part of 4 Crosses, the handmade jewelry collection from Parisian artist Sophie Vallois Gouard. The pieces are all unique and designed by Gouard in her atelier, and each one reflects both the timeless style of women like Jackie Kennedy (one of her inspirations) along with the well-loved feeling of a piece handed down from generation to generation. 4 Crosses have the kind of pieces that get more interesting the more you look at them, which means you may well want to dedicate a day to online shopping.

Repossi

The House of Repossi is originally from Turin in Northern Italy but has called Place Vendôme in Paris home since the 1980s, where it has become one of the most iconic modern jewelry brands in the world. The earliest Repossi designs in the 1940s reflected the artistic turn towards the avant-garde, with geometric patterns and bold colors that were characteristic of the period. In the decades that have followed that ultra-sleek and perennially cool sensibility remains, updated for a new audience by Gaia Repossi, who took over as creative director to become one of the most influential people in the fashion world. Their online boutique is full of those pieces that define Paris chic, and its minimalist aesthetic will remind you of just how special the city is.

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