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9 Iconic American Jewelers Coveted by Celebrities

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Dating back over 200 years, the American jewelry tradition is nearly as old as America itself. From crown jewels and class rings to some of the world’s rarest and largest diamonds, these 9 brands have built the legacy of American jewelry, passing their experience from generation to generation. Earning the following of celebrities and the public alike, these iconic American jewelers are what dreams are made of. 

Le Vian

american-jewellers-Le Vian

Origins: 15th century Persia

Based in: New York City

Highlight: Historical treasures

The history of the family-owned brand Le Vian dates back to 15th century Persia, where the family was a purveyor of fine jewelry. In 1746, Nadir Shah, one of Persia’s best-known rulers, selected Le Vian to safeguard his jewelry collection. This included the Kooh-i-Noor, the world’s most famous diamond, that would later become the center stone of Queen Elizabeth’s crown. 

Over the centuries, the jeweler created many world-renowned historical pieces—from the stunning South Sea Pearl Necklace to the exquisite ruby Lobster pin released in 1981. Le Vian has revived the 18th-century French art of “invisible settings,” which allows the diamonds and stones to be placed beside each other without displaying the metal on which they’re placed. The brand is also known for its richly-hued ‘Chocolate Diamond’ line, which highlights the unique beauty of brown diamonds. From Beyoncé to Jennifer Lopez, Le Vian attracts a red-carpet celebrity following for its exceptionally made creations. 

Black Star Frost

american-jewellers-Black Star Frost

Origins: 1810

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  Industry trailblazer

As the oldest continuously operating jewelry brand in the U.S., Black Starr & Frost has been an icon since 1810—the first to serve the American elite before other jewelry brands were conceived. The company’s story began with young apprentice Isaac Marquand, who co-founded a store in New York City. 

Gaining the trust of high-profile clients, the company rolled through a series of industry firsts over the decades—from designing the Gillmore Medal to building the first fireproof building with a safe deposit vault. Among its distinguished clientele were Hollywood royalty Peggy Hopkins Joyce, who acquired the world’s largest blue diamond, and financier and philanthropist “Diamond Jim” Brady. Today, the brand boasts 33 locations, aiming to deliver the next generation of exceptional jewels. 

Oscar Heyman

american-jewellers-Oscar Heyman

Origins: 1912

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  The Jeweler’s Jeweler

Oscar Heyman is known in the industry as “The Jewelers’ Jeweler,” a title the company earned at the World’s Fair in 1939 when it created jewelry for four of the five House of Jewels retailer exhibits. The brand was founded by immigrant brothers Oscar and Nathan Heyman, who arrived from Eastern Europe with experience in working with platinum. 

In 1909, Oscar was the first non-French jeweler to be employed by Pierre Cartier, and in 1912, their company, Oscar Heyman & Brothers, was established in New York City. The brand is behind numerous pieces that have left a mark on the jewelry world—from its signature Pansy Brooch to the gemstone-crusted medallions worn by the Apollo 16 crew on their moon voyage. Celebrating its 110th anniversary this year, the jewelry brand is prized today for its expertise in colored gemstones and its old-world approach to manufacturing that pays careful attention to detail.

Harry Winston

american-jewellers-Harry Winston

Origins: 1932

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:   Jeweler to the Stars

Harry Winston’s eponymous founder was known as “King of Diamonds”and it’s easy to see why. Opening the doors to his New York boutique in 1932, Winston’s reputation for impeccable gems secured the business of the top tiers of the city’s diamond trade. Over the years, the jeweler’s impressive collection included some of the world’s best-known gems

Among them were the 726-carat Jonker Diamond; the Stotesbury, a 34.40-carat Colombian emerald; the Hope Diamond; and the Winston Pink Legacy Diamond. In 1943, Winston became the first jeweler to loan out diamonds to actresses for the Academy Awards. Half a century later in 1999, the company’s star-studded status reached a new level when Gwyneth Paltrow accepted the Best Actress award wearing a Harry Winston Princess Diamond Necklace—an iconic moment that earned Winston the title “Jeweler to the Stars.”

Raymond Yard

american-jewellers-Raymond Yard

Origins: 1922

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  Art Deco design

Considered one of the greatest Art Deco jewelers, Raymond Yard began his career at the age of thirteen as a door boy at Marcus & Co., one of the country’s most prestigious jewelry houses. Working his way up as a successful salesman, he learned all aspects of the jewelry trade before opening his own firm in 1922. With Yard’s distinctive jewelry designs, which elevated Art Deco style to a new level, the brand grew to astonishing success.  Prominent families, as well as celebrities including Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks, counted among regular customers. The Yard tradition continues today under the leadership of Raymond Yard’s son Bob Gibson who is blending historical designs with contemporary style. 

Seaman Schepps

american-jewellers-Seaman Schepps

Origins: 1904

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  America’s Court Jeweler

Seaman Schepps started from humble beginnings in the tenements of the Lower East Side. After losing his first shop in the crash of 1929, Schepps worked to relaunch his jewelry business, developing exclusive designs that boldly mixed colors, shapes, and textures. In 1934, he opened a new boutique on Madison Avenue, quickly becoming known as the most innovative jeweler of his time. 

By the 1940s, Schepps’ signature style echoed the era’s sense of opulent extravagance, with bold, chunky pieces that blended precious metals and gems with organic and man-made materials. One notable example were earrings made from a former seashell necklace. Schepps complemented the Indian Ocean shells with cabochon turquoise and coral, creating one of the most popular jewelry trends of the twentieth century. His unique works won over the likes of President Franklin Roosevelt, the Duchess of Windsor, and some of the country’s most influential families, earning him the title of “America’s Court Jeweler.” Today, Schepps’s legacy carries on with the brand preserving his signature style.



Origins: 1939

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  Byzantine roots

Born into an aristocratic family in Sicily, Duke Fulco di Verdura got his start in the jewelry world by working first with Coco Chanel in Paris and later with “Jeweler to the Stars” Paul Flato in the United States. His visionary “Byzantine” designs redefined the status quo, leading to celebrated pieces like Coco Chanel’s iconic Maltese Cross cuffs and the jewel-encrusted cigarette case created for Cole Porter in the 1930s. 

Gaining more high-profile clients, from Greta Garbo to Marlene Dietrich, Verdura opened his Fifth Avenue storefront in 1939, rising to the top among New York’s fashionable society members. The company was purchased in 1985 by Sotheby’s, keeping Verdura’s timeless designs alive for a new generation. 

David Webb

american-jewellers-David Webb
©David Webb ©Vogue

Origins: 1948

Based in: New York City 

Highlight:  Ancient Inspirations

For over 70 years, David Webb has been known as America’s quintessential jeweler. His distinctive, modern style—from carved enameled animal bracelets to stunning rock crystal pieces—has secured his reputation as one of the country’s most distinguished masters. Beginning his training in jewelry manufacturing for his uncle, Webb opened his New York store in 1948 at the age of 23. He studied art history and antiques, fusing ancient Chinese, Greek, African, and other origins with his own modernist aesthetic. The resulting pieces were architectural forms evoking Mayan pyramids and geometric Chinese symbols. In 1957, Webb created his first animal bracelet, which would become a must-have among Hollywood stars. Today, Webb pieces continue to be a celebrity favorite with their understated style and antique twist.

Harry Kotlar

american-jewellers-Harry Kotlar

Origins: 1948

Based in: Los Angeles

Highlight:  Signature cushion cut

Harry Kotlar’s legacy began in 1948 when he started reselling diamonds sent by his brother-in-law from a small diamond cutting factory in Israel. As demand for his services grew, so did the size of the diamonds he offered, driven by his clients’ desire for larger and larger stones. 

By the 1970s, the Kotlars were supplying diamond dealers and major jewelry manufacturers with stones up to 8 carats, many of which ended up in the collections of the rich and famous. Later, Harry designed one of his own jewelry pieces, a platinum necklace with a total carat weight of 100.80. In 2003, he created the Kotlar Cushion. The special 61-facet cushion cut diamond was modelled after a style worn by 19th-century royalty. Today, Harry Kotlar continues to be known for his red-carpet celebrity appearances. From Celine Dion to Lady Gaga, stars continue to covet his distinct designs and iconic jewelry pieces. 


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