Expert shopper, stylist and jewelry connoisseur Michelle Medlock Adams didn’t play with Barbie dolls growing up-she styled them. That same passion for fashion and jewelry has carried her through her life, and today, as a professional journalist she writes about that love for magazines and websites including Diamond Jewelry. In this article, she explores the art of Italian jewelry.
Italy is known around the world as a place where fashion, jewelry and luxury combine for gorgeous, artistic designs fit for the royals. In fact, Italy has been called, “a powerhouse in the European jewelry industry.” Current statistics show that Italy processes 500 tons of fine gold and 1,400 tons of silver every year for jewelry production. In addition, there are more than 10,000 companies in the jewelry industry in Italy, employing approximately 40,000 people. You might say jewelry is big, beautiful business in Italy.
Using mostly yellow gold, sterling silver and Murano glass, these talented jewelry makers have taken the art of jewelry design to another level of style and excellence. Walking down the streets of Italy, you can watch Italian artisans engrave their creations, fire their glassworks, and work with natural substances such as coral and other shells. It’s truly something to see.
Italian gold jewelry is luxury at its finest. Mostly 18 karat gold or higher, Italy’s gold creations have a buttery, warm glow that is quite distinctive. Certain sections of Italy excel in producing golden jewelry. For instance, Vicenza produces gold pieces for the medium to high-end market. There, you’ll find hollow gold and molded pieces of jewelry. In Arezzo, Tuscany, gold connoisseurs know they’ll find quality gold chains. In Valenza, artisans are known for creating gold jewelry with precious stones, which requires a greater knowledge of jewelry design and technical expertise. And, in Torre del Greco, you’ll find charming cameos that simply scream elegance and history.
While Italian jewelry has long been made with gold, sterling silver is becoming more popular with Italian jewelry designers. The artisans are finding that sterling silver works very well as a backdrop for precious stones, which is why you’ll find amazing sterling silver designs in Valenza. Plus, sterling silver designs are less expensive than golden creations, which is another benefit of working with silver.
In the lagoon of Venice, you’ll find an island named Murano that is known for its artistic glassworks and lovely pieces of glass jewelry. If you’ve ever watched a glass worker create a piece of jewelry, you’ve witnessed the beautiful baubles emerging from the fire. Truly, Italian jewelry is something to be envied and desired. Wearing a piece of jewelry from Italy is like wearing a piece of lovely art and rich history. Simply stunning…