The First Diamond Engraver, Frédéric Boucheron
Frédéric Boucheron was born in 1830 in France and was the first jeweler to engrave diamonds. When he was only a couple of years old, he knew that he wanted to be a part of the jewelry industry. He left formal school in order to pursue his dream and receive training. And by the time he was only fourteen years old, he has officially completed his apprenticeship. He worked under jeweler, Jules Chase, and this was the beginning of his successful career. The work he completed as an apprentice got him a job with Tixier-Deschamps. At the time, Tixier- Deschamps was one of the most popular and famous jeweler at the Palais Royal.
In 1885, he started his own company and became an instant success. In the beginning, some of his jewelry pieces were over the top and drew inspiration from everyday items. Some of the pieces that he loved to create during this time include garlands, roses, knots, arrows, and much more. Later on in his career, he loved to experiment with different jewels and designs. He loved diamonds, but he loved them even more when he paired them with other jewels such as emeralds. Combining jewels was not popular at all during this time, and people loved the fact that he wasn’t afraid to try something new.
Boucheron revolutionized the jewelry industry in Paris when he decided to open up a store in the Place Vendome. This was a high end part of Paris that constantly had famous faces walking through the area. His design aesthetic also started to evolve during this time. Frédéric strayed away from the over the top styles, and moved closer towards symbolism. His jewelry started to be inspired by nature, including butterflies, snakes, and much more.
There are endless amounts of celebrities, socialites, and royals that Boucheron designed jewelry for. One of the most famous pieces that he created was for Empress Alexandria. The Tsar Nicolas II requested that he make his fiancé a tiara for their wedding. Boucheron followed his orders and made an awe-inspiring tiara, which included diamonds and pearls. Hortense Schneider and Sarah Bernhardt were some of the famous Hollywood stars that also wore his jewelry. When he participated in the Universal Exhibition, he was recognized with multiple awards for his work. The fact that he beat out other world-wide jewelers in these events for rewards shows how talented he truly was.
After he passed away, his son took over the company. His name was Louis and he believed that using high quality jewels was extremely important. Like his father, he is credited for revolutionizing the jewelry industry. Louis is believed to be the founder of Art Deco jewelry and creator of the wrist watch. He was also similar to his father because he loved to experiment with jewels and how they are cut. Louis earned himself the “jeweler of a thousand and one nights” because of his high end customers from the Middle East, which included the Shah of Iran. Other famous faces that wore his jewelry include Hollywood stars such as Gloria Swanson and Mary Pickford.
Louis loved to incorporate symbols and flowers, especially after World War II. He worked hard to create pieces that would correlate with Christian Dior’s “new look” for women. Louis also started to use tinted colored gold during this time. This was a rebirth for the precious metal because no one had ever seen it come in multiple shades before.
When he inherited the company, Louis also decided that they would venture out into new industries. The new items that he would experiment with included cigarette holders, decorated purses, compacts, belts, and much more. In 1988, the brand introduced a fragrance that was named after the brand. The perfume was a big hit, and inspired the brand to create more. Some of the other famous fragrances that you can buy from Boucheron include Jaipur, Trouble, Initial, and much more.