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Wanting to learn about Elsa Peretti for Tiffany? Learn about the timeless and distinctive style of one of the most famous jewelry designers of all time.
A Brief History of Elsa Peretti Jewelry
Elsa Peretti (1940-2021) was one of the most successful jewelry designers ever. Taking inspiration from nature and objects from everyday life, her designs had a distinctive, sculptural quality. When describing her work she said, “The idea is to make beautiful things that people will really care about.”
The popularity of Elsa Peretti’s designs are as wearable today as when Tiffany & Co., first launched her line in the 1970s. “There is no new design, because good lines and shapes are timeless,” Peretti explained.
Signature Pieces for Tiffany & Co
While Elsa Peretti’s jewelry designs have always been coveted, two are known as her iconic signature pieces: Diamonds by the Yard, and the Bone Cuff.
Diamonds by the Yard
Elsa Peretti Diamonds by the Yard Necklace from Etsy
Peretti created Diamonds by the Yard, with bezel set, round diamonds on a delicate chain. The collection ranges from one elegant diamond pendent centered on a chain, to multiple floating diamonds suspended along the length. The number of diamonds, the type of precious metal used, and the length of the chain are all determining factors in the price point. It is popular to layer the necklaces of various lengths.
Some of the Diamonds by the Yard pendants feature a more traditional claw setting. Others are in a tear shaped, elongated bezel.
The Diamonds by the Yard collection also features bracelets to create matching sets. For earrings look for round bezel set stud earrings, and longer drop style earrings. As for rings, you’ll find singular diamonds on a tiny chain band. Floating bezel set diamonds, clasped between a top and bottom ring of precious metal, expose the skin on the finger for a stunning effect.
Eventually, the gems in Diamonds by the Yard were adapted to include colored stones for a collection called Color by the Yard. Precious gemstones available include blue sapphires, or the more exotic pink, as well as emeralds. Other stones include aquamarine, turquoise and even jade.
Pearls by the Yard, another variation still, are designed with cultured freshwater pearls.
Elsa Peretti also re-envisioned Diamond by the Yard with Diamonds by the Yard Continuous Necklaces. In these works, diamonds are set much more closely together, with only a clasp of precious metal in between.
The Bone Cuff
Elsa Peretti Bone Cuff from eBay
The Bone Cuff, designed by Peretti over 50 years ago, is a thick bracelet, crafted to fit the bones of a woman’s left or right wrist. Originally crafted in silver in the early 1970s, it was made without stones, and relied on its strong sculptural silhouette for its style.
Singer and actress, Liza Minelli became the first celebrity to sport the Bone Cuff. Later the iconic bracelet appeared on Sophia Loren, Catherine Deneuve, and Angelina Jolie.
The Split Cuff is a later, lighter version, with the center cut out.
When Elsa Peretti turned 80, Tiffany and Co., launched a special edition series of the Bone Cuff. With a copper base the collector’s item are washed in shining red, green and blue.
Elsa Peretti style has a classic and timeless look. Pieces purchased today will still be fashionable in a decade. These exquisite, well-made designs can easily become family heirlooms.