Past Perfect: Picchiotti’s Legacy of Statement Necklaces

When a venerable jewelry company reaches a milestone anniversary, you can usually count on three things: champagne, the unveiling of an extraordinary one-of-a-kind design, and the publication of a collectible coffee table book.

This is how Picchiotti, the Valenza, Italy–based luxury jeweler marked the occasion of its 50th anniversary, a celebration that began in Baselworld; the festivities continued during the Couture show in Las Vegas, with the North American debut of Picchiotti: The First Fifty Years.

Picchiotti The First Fifty Years by Vivienne BeckerPicchiotti: The First Fifty Years by Vivienne Becker

Written by jewelry historian Vivienne Becker, the 248-page tome chronicles Picchiotti’s 50-year history with more than 150 color photographs of the house’s signature pieces through the decades.

“Picchiotti, today the preeminent jeweler of Valenza and a typically Italian family-run business, embodies the classical nobility of Italian jewelry, preserving its essence, dignity, and timelessness,” Becker notes in the text, “and at the same time injects this classicism with a flourish of contemporary Italian fashion flair.”

Founded in 1967 by Giuseppe Picchiotti and his sister Annamaria, the Picchiotti atelier is currently staffed by six additional family members who all believe that high jewelry should be an artful, considered mix of flora, fauna, and clean, architectural lines.

Spectacular, wildly sophisticated statement necklaces have been a constant for the brand since the 1960s—sparkling, opulently decorated divas that outshine the rest of the house’s jewels to dramatic effect.

I’ve mined the book for some stunners to showcase here, and also nabbed some archival renderings of the signature collars, chokers, and lavish cascade necklaces that continually distinguish Picchiotti designs from any other Italian jeweler. Take a look below.

Circa 1960s–1970s Neo Art Deco Collection chokerNeo Art Deco Collection choker with black enamel, square rubies, and round diamonds in 18k gold

1960s to 1970s Spiral Collection flexible chokerCirca 1960s–1970s Spiral Collection flexible choker with black onyx and diamond centerpiece in 18k gold

1980s La Colonna Romana necklace1980s La Colonna Romana necklace with square-cut rubies, baguette diamonds, and onyx in 18k yellow and white gold (also at top)

1980s Flora Collection necklace and Unique Diamonds Collection choker1980s Flora Collection necklace with white diamond leaves and a pear-shape emerald in 18k yellow gold (left); Circa 1980s Unique Diamonds Collection choker with fancy yellow and white diamonds and black diamonds in 18k gold

1990s award winning Ruby Cascade necklace

1990s Ruby Cascade necklace of cabochon rubies in 18k yellow gold and large baguette diamonds set in platinum (This piece was honored with the 1998 Annual Couture Design Award in the Colored Gemstone Category.)


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Amy Elliott

JCK Contributing Editor

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