October 6, 2022

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A Costume Jewelry Brand That Honors Its Fine Jewelry Start

4 min read

Queens do it. Initial females do it. Even Madeleine Albright and Elizabeth Taylor did it: Don Ciner jewels.

And for fantastic explanation: Ciner would make what the jewellery historian Melinda L. Lewis known as “the equivalent of the crown jewels” of costume jewellery — pieces manufactured with semiprecious stones, simulated gems, crystal and silver or other metals, generally plated with gold or rhodium.

Just one hundred 30 decades just after its founding as a wonderful jewelry manufacturer, Ciner states it is the only costume jewelry maker in The usa that however fabricates every piece by hand from start off to complete, frequently utilizing the authentic products produced by Emanuel Ciner, its founder.

A staff of 15 — at present all women — makes additional than 1,000 pieces just about every month in the New York Town offices of Ciner (pronounced SIGH-ner), supervised by Pat Ciner Hill, Emanuel Ciner’s granddaughter, who operates the organization with the help of her daughter, Jean.

Ms. Ciner Hill claimed the firm maintains the high-quality stone-location, enameling and modeling strategies formulated by her grandfather, no matter whether it is building professional jewels or the one-of-a-form, bespoke costume pieces that have attained Ciner a lot of its acclaim.

In reality, the firm stays so business in its motivation to custom that Kris Ciulla, the vice president of product sales and design, says she recoils when customers present to present a personal computer-aided layout for use on a tailor made piece. “We do the job with models,” she mentioned. “No 3-D imagery.”

Many of those people versions, which the enterprise describes as miniature sculptures, are the basis for what Ms. Ciulla named “Frankensteining”: using information of previous Ciner layouts in a new piece.

For instance, when Danielle Blanco, the company’s inventive director, found a fowl cage allure in the archives, she included it into a pair of 18-karat gold plated earrings ($595), every single a single that includes a bird atop a cage draped in bouquets and a cascade of rhinestones. In an additional case in point, crystal and jet rhinestone beads tailored from a pair of 1980s earrings adorn a glass pearl necklace 1st built all over 2010 ($625).

The first products are section of the Ciner legacy, which started in 1888 when Emanuel Ciner, then 24, apprenticed with a fantastic jeweler in New York Metropolis. He confirmed such expertise that the jeweler insisted Mr. Ciner marry his daughter, “but he wished nothing at all to do with it,” Ms. Ciulla explained.

Instead, Mr. Ciner set up his possess organization in 1892, with his sons, Charles and Irwin, signing up for in the mid-1920s. (Irwin Ciner was Ms. Ciner Hill’s father.)

But when the good jewelry business collapsed throughout the Terrific Despair, Mr. Ciner alternatively started producing costume gems, swapping increased-end resources for foundation metals, silver, semiprecious stones and faux gems though retaining the top-quality artistry of fantastic jewellery, such as individual casts, prong configurations and chains assembled connection by backlink.

His work gained acclaim amid the rich, who often desired so-identified as journey jewelry — pieces that would search as great as the true thing, but would pose considerably less economic hazard if dropped or stolen on a journey, Ms. Ciner Hill reported in a latest video job interview. In excess of the next numerous a long time, the Ciners perfected the use of tin and other white metal alloys, as properly as patented the mould-generating and casting procedures the firm nevertheless utilizes.

The archives have been essential to Ciner’s stamina, Ms. Lewis, the jewellery historian, said: “All their designs are current, however they embody models from the past, so every little thing is new and new, but has elements that are nostalgic and historic.”

But Ms. Ciner Hill and her employees attribute the company’s longevity to a additional own Ciner attribute. Like the company’s founder, who turned to munitions output to keep Ciner likely during Globe War II, “we pivot in the moment,” Ms. Blanco said. “If we just cannot do that, we’ll do this. If we just cannot come across it below, we’ll appear someplace else.” It is this combination of innovation and tradition, maybe, that describes the assortment of Ciner admirers in excess of the years, from Queen Sofia of Spain and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to the designer Carolyne Roehm and “The Actual Housewives of Miami” star Ana Quincoces.

To commemorate its anniversary, the corporation has produced an earring, necklace, and bracelet that includes its signature tiger head, initially made in the 1980s, encrusted with white Austrian crystals accented with black enamel and blue Bohemian glass cabochons, and set in hefty 18-karat gold plate.

The collection, which debuted on line and at boutiques all-around the planet previously this month, celebrates what Ms. Ciner Hill identified as the essence of the Ciner manufacturer. “Our potential is tied to our previous simply because our previous is made up of the archives and the high-quality and integrity of our products,” she mentioned. “After 130 a long time, the previous have to be an integral component of the potential.”