Jewelry design geeks and luxury enthusiasts alike are probably already familiar with the cult jewelry designer JAR, née Joel Arthur Rosenthal, whose exclusive atelier in Paris produces only 70-80 individually crafted pieces a year, usually designed with a particular client in mind. To a passing eye, the jewelry may appear fusty and old fashioned, but to any trained jeweler, and the eye of a connoisseur, there is a breathtaking sense of unbelievable craftsmanship and creative ingenuity within the medium. As one of my jewelry professors said, "they look like they've been made by fairies," and JAR has been called the Fabergé of our time. Rarely do you see many fine jewelry designers experimenting with such incredibly precious jewels as a costume designer might. JAR is one of a handful of jewelers who will irreverently flip a diamond upside down and set it with the pointy side up.
Typical of his notorious inaccessibility, JAR is almost impossible to find information on, and naturally a google search of the broad sounding "JAR jewelry" will turn up a confusing assortment of unrelated junk (hence all of the crappy images, which really don't do justice to the work). Without visiting his store, his book is the only place to really view the breadth and splendor of his work, which is probably why it has become so sought after amongst designers and collectors. I once got a chance to look through the out-of-print JAR Paris coffee table book, that one of my classmates managed to get ahold of for around $800, a complete bargain considering that they currently sell anywhere from $2,500-$3,500. Even if JAR's style is very different from mine, one day I hope to save up enough money to purchase this book, featuring the work of one of the greatest jewelry designers alive.
One of Rosenthal's thread rings, formed of platinum "threads" set with pave diamonds that wrap around a 10.12 carat mine-cut diamond. The ring, estimated at $250,000-$350,000 is from a selection of jewelry that Ellen Barkin auctioned off at Christies in 2006.
A pair of floral broaches set with diamonds, sapphires, tourmaline, citrine, and garnet.