If you’re ready to invest in quality jewelry that will last a lifetime, then these are the French luxury jewelry brands to visit for the best French jewelry you can buy. France has a long history of luxury jewelry making. Some of the world’s most sought-after high jewelry companies have been based in France since many centuries ago. People from all over the world travel to France to visit the luxury jewelry shops concentrated around the 17th-century plaza Place Vendôme to shop the French luxury jewelry boutiques in Paris.
French Luxury Jewelry Brands
Here are the best French luxury jewelry brands you must know about if you love French jewelry. These prestigious jewelers make some of the world’s most coveted jewelry pieces. Each of these brands would be excellent for shopping for your first piece of investment jewelry.
Cartier is the jewelry house most people have in mind when they think of French luxury jewelry brands. Cartier has established itself as the most coveted jeweler in the world.
Cartier was founded by Louis-François Cartier in Paris in 1847. His three grandsons worked to establish the Cartier name worldwide. Louis Cartier oversaw Parisian operations from the jeweler’s Rue de La Paix branch in 1899. Pierre Cartier set up the Cartier New York City branch in 1909. Jacques Cartier handled Cartier’s London operations.
In the 1950s, American actress turned Monegasque princess Grace Kelly’s 12-carat emerald-cut, diamond engagement ring was chosen by Prince Rainier from Cartier. Grace Kelly famously wore the Cartier ring in her last movie High Society (1956) as well as while posing for the MGM publicity photos.
The savoir-faire of this French 19th-century jeweler lives on today.
Chaumet is a luxury French jewelry brand founded by Frenchman Marie-Étienne Nitot. Nitot studied as an apprentice under Ange-Joseph Aubert, jeweler to Marie-Antoinette. He then became the official jeweler to the former French Emperor Napoleon and Empress Joséphine before founding the House of Chaumet.
Since 1780, Chaumet has created luxury tiaras, precious jewelry, and exquisite watches. It was the first business to move into the prestigious Place Vendôme in 1812, at number 15 which currently houses the Hotel Ritz. In the mid-1800s, jewelry design by the house of Chaumet echoed the period’s Romantic art, influenced by the beauty of nature. In 1907, Joseph Chaumet chose to move the jewelry house to number 12 Place Vendôme, its current location. Chaumet joined the LVMH group in 1999.
Van Cleef & Arpels
French luxury jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels was founded in 1896 by Dutchman Alfred Van Cleef, a diamond-cutter, and his father-in-law Salomon Arpels in Paris, France. In 1906, Alfred Van Cleef married Estelle Arpels, and the Van Cleef & Arpels jewelry house set up shop at Place Vendôme.
Boucheron is a luxury French jeweler originally founded by Frédéric Boucheron in 1858, in Paris, France. Boucheron opened his first jewelry store in Galerie de Valois, near the Palais-Royal of Paris, during the Second Empire of Napoleon III. Boucheron launched a formal workshop in 1866. He was awarded a Gold Medal during the Exposition Universelle of 1867, an international fair to showcase the world’s innovations. From Russian princes to Queen Elizabeth II, Boucheron has a long history of serving royal patrons from around the world.
Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded his eponymous luxury watchmaking and jewelry company in 1860 in the French-speaking region of Switzerland. This Swiss jewelry brand has become synonymous with luxury in France, and its Place Vendôme store is frequented by wealthy Parisians and travelers alike. Chopard has sponsored the Cannes Film Festival since 1998. The Trophée Chopard prize is awarded to two promising young actors and Chopard is responsible for crafting the Palme d’Or trophy, the festival’s highest award given to the best film of the year.
French girls love wearing delicate jewelry, and these historic heritage brands from France are largely responsible for setting jewelry design trends and influencing today’s younger French jewelry designers. I hope you can own a piece by one of them that you will cherish!