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Mahnaz Collection Blog

Mahnaz Collection is a New York based fine vintage jewelry collection

Spotlight: Moonstones

Mahnaz Ispahani

As March takes us from late winter to early spring, we celebrate the movement of the seasons in the mysterious, luminous beauty of the moonstone.

A cabochon moonstone and 18k gold collar, Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe for Georg Jensen, Denmark, c. 1970. Signed Torun and Jensen

A cabochon moonstone and 18k gold collar, Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe for Georg Jensen, Denmark, c. 1970. Signed Torun and Jensen

According to Hindu mythology, the moonstone is made of solidified moonbeams; lovers who exchange moonstone rings will be granted eternal love; as a talisman this “traveler’s stone” offers safety on perilous journeys; and its many associations with the moon endows the moonstone with the magic of fertility and youth. Fabergé and Tiffany & Co. designed dazzling necklaces with swags of moonstones, and the British firm of Liberty used moonstones for their Arts & Crafts jewels. Among the modernists, the moonstone has been used to great and diverse effect with lasting appeal.

A ring of cabochon moonstone, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co., U.S.A., c. 1980s. Size 8 ¼” 

A ring of cabochon moonstone, diamonds, 18k gold, and platinum, Paloma Picasso for Tiffany & Co., U.S.A., c. 1980s. Size 8 ¼” 

A ring of cabochon moonstone and 18k gold, Christa Bauer, Germany, c. 1960s. Size 7 ½” 

A ring of cabochon moonstone and 18k gold, Christa Bauer, Germany, c. 1960s. Size 7 ½” 

A pair of moonstone and orange-brown colored diamond pendant earrings, Hemmerle, Germany, c. 2000s

A pair of moonstone and orange-brown colored diamond pendant earrings, Hemmerle, Germany, c. 2000s

A cocktail ring of 9 moonstone balls, 14k gold, and a sapphire set on the underside of the ring, Size 5 ½” 

A cocktail ring of 9 moonstone balls, 14k gold, and a sapphire set on the underside of the ring, Size 5 ½” 

Spotlight: Arthur King

Mahnaz Ispahani

The key feature of jewelry by master goldsmith Arthur King is its organic structure, its ode to nature that is alive and exuberant. Using the lost wax casting method, King’s jewelry expresses this modernist’s desire to reach beyond the confines of traditional jewelry design. His jewelry defines that strand of the modern movement in jewelry which preferred organic and amorphous shapes using free form textured gold settings for gemstones. 

A born New Yorker, King’s unique flagship boutique was at 619 Madison Avenue, though over time his jewelry was also sold in London (at Fortnum & Mason), Paris, Havana and Miami. He was known for his use of baroque pearls, and also colored stones such as coral, and rough-cut sapphires, emeralds, and rubies. Diamonds accented many of his pieces. King was honored by various arts and design councils, and one of his important showings was as part of the famed 1961 Goldsmiths’ Hall exhibit in London.
 
Works by this much honored American jeweler are held by the Victoria & Albert Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Goldsmith Hall and the Stockholm Museum of Modern Art, among others. They are essential to the serious collector of modernist jewelry. 

A Cabochon Coral, Diamond and Textured 18k Gold Ring, by Arthur King, c. 1970s. Size 7 1/2

A Cabochon Coral, Diamond and Textured 18k Gold Ring, by Arthur King, c. 1970s. Size 7 1/2

 A Pair of Cabochon Coral, Diamond and 18k Gold Ear Clips, by Arthur King, c. 1970s

 A Pair of Cabochon Coral, Diamond and 18k Gold Ear Clips, by Arthur King, c. 1970s

To see more Arthur King, please email us at studio@mahnazcollection.com

Toi et Moi

Mahnaz Ispahani

Three rings this month celebrate the toi et moi style. Literally translated as “you and me,” the design is characterized by two like elements that wrap, or cradle, one another. The most famous example is the sapphire and diamond toi et moi that Napoleon gave to Josephine in 1796; in our own age, an emerald and diamond toi et moi from Van Cleef & Arpels caught the country’s attention when given in 1953 by then-Senator John Kennedy to his fiancée Jacqueline Bouvier.