October 2018

Like? Share!

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 4: Boucheron

The Jeweler of Place Vendôme: How Frédéric Boucheron Got His Start

Frédéric Boucheron always knew he wanted to be a jeweler. He was born in 1830 to a family of French clothiers, and at a young age he apprenticed himself under jeweler Jules Chaise. By the age of 14, he had completed his apprenticeship and began working for Tixier-Deschamps, a famous jeweler at Palais Royal. Although Deschamps discouraged Boucheron from becoming a trader, telling him he was “not cut out to be the proprietor of a business”, Boucheron opened his own jewelry house in 1858.


The First House of Boucheron Store

Located in Galerie de Valois, at Palais Royal, an exclusive quarter for jewelers, Boucheron’s store became extremely successful. In 1867 he submitted pieces at the Paris International Exposition and won the Gold Medal. Nearly ten years later, in 1876, the French government presented Boucheron with a Legion of Honor award in acknowledgment of his unique and exquisite designs. Boucheron would continue winning awards over the course of the following fifty years.


Creating a Bigger, Brighter Business

in 1893, Boucheron expanded his business. He began by moving his store to Place Vendôme. He was the first jeweler to move to this area and chose the sunniest corner. The story goes that he chose this spot because he believed the diamonds would sparkle most beautifully in a sunny window. Whether or not this was the actual reason, the store was very popular and the area soon filled with other jewelers. The original Boucheron store still holds its place today in the Place Vendôme. In 1893, he also opened a store in Moscow. As his business grew so did his clientele, including some prestigious clients such as the Comtesse de Castiglione and Emperor Napoleon III.


Boucheron’s Success

The success of Boucheron is attributed to his unique style. He created very ornate pieces using an unusual combination of materials and intricate patterned metalwork, as well as engraved diamonds, which was a very uncommon design style at the time.  Boucheron also used nature to inspire his art, creating butterflies, dragonflies, leaves, and animals out of precious gemstones, the finest metals, and enamel. One of his pieces used a 152-carat sapphire. The stone made history as one of the biggest and clearest sapphires ever discovered.


The Legacy Goes On

Frédéric Boucheron passed away in 1902 leaving the House of Boucheron in the very capable hands of his son, Louis Boucheron. Louis continued his father’s legacy combining rare stones, such as lapis-lazuli, turquoise, amber, and jade, in his pieces. The House of Boucheron’s popularity continued to grow and in 1930 the business was able to expand into the Middle East and South America. Although Louis Boucheron passed away in 1959, the name of Boucheron continued to grow as his sons, and Frédéric’s grandsons expanded the business.

Both Frédéric and Louis created pieces for some very prestigious clients, including  the Russian Prince Felix Youssoupoff who bought, in 1878, a corsage with six detachable diamond bows. In 1921 Louis Boucheron was commissioned by Lady Greville to create a tiara. This tiara was later given to Queen Elizabeth. Prince Charles would eventually pass this tiara on to his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The legacy of Boucheron is like no other. As Henri Vever a jeweler and peer of Boucheron said, Frédéric Boucheron was making pieces that “very few of his colleagues would have dared to make at the time”. This creativity and daring took a family name and made it into a jewelry empire.

Subscribe to the Diamond Blog

Get the latest technology, grading and retail news straight from the source, straight to your inbox.


The State of the Diamond Industry in 2019: Challenges & Opportunities

Today, the diamond industry is more complex and dynamic than ever, and technology has only deepened the challenges faced by industry players at every stage of the diamond pipeline. At Sarine, our technologies scanned more than 70 million diamonds in 2018, enabling us to take a broad consideration of the changes happening now in the […]

3 Retail Technologies & Trends that are Changing the Consumer Experience

Recent years have seen a spike in the number of retail stores that are closing down. In 2017, there was a record-setting estimate of approximately 102 million square feet of retail space that went out of business. Retailers worldwide are facing significant challenges, and the main culprit is the internet. We live in a world that […]

The Sarine Diamond Journey™ Provenance Report Goes to Africa

Recently, it was announced that a leading diamond manufacturer in Africa, Schachter & Namdar, has adopted the Sarine Diamond Journey™ provenance reports for its two exclusive diamond brands – Brilliant Rose and Proudly South African. This announcement comes at a time when diamond traceability and provenance are the fastest-growing issues in the diamond industry. Today, […]

5 Diamond & Jewelry Trends for 2019

We’re already well into the year, but 2019 is shaping up to be a bold one in diamonds and jewelry. Designers are pushing the envelope with new, creative styles, and reaching back to revive retro trends. Whether it’s a new fancy diamond shape, an engagement ring worn on the pinky, or a chunky chain of […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #28

Love is in the air in this edition of SPECTRUM, Sarine’s monthly roundup of diamond industry news and trends. This week, we are celebrating Valentine’s Day with a great piece about how to choose the perfect engagement ring from Good Morning America, and a showcase of 15 gorgeous Valentine’s jewelry gifts, compiled by Business Insider. […]

The History and Future of Lab Grown Diamonds

In 2015, photographer Dillon Marsh undertook a fascinating project to demonstrate visually just how much natural diamond has been extracted from a diamond mine during its entire lifetime. In one dramatic example, a photo of the Kimberley mine in South Africa – also known as the “Big Hole” – is juxtaposed with a CGI rendered […]

The Importance of Diamond Provenance in a Data-Driven Age

In breaking the frontiers of the diamond industry, from manufacturing to retail, technology must strive to reach beyond what it can do today, to the potential of what it can achieve tomorrow. At the same time, technological development that brings true change must be in lock-step with the state of the industry at the current […]

3 Ways Artificial Intelligence Affects Your Life (That You May Not Be Aware Of)

What is “artificial intelligence”? Since the very beginnings of computerization, the concept of artificial intelligence has captured the imaginations of science fiction writers and movie makers. Today, fantasy is already reality, and artificial intelligence, or AI, is implemented in a wide range of everyday applications and devices. As the technology becomes more sophisticated, and as […]

How Technology Has Advanced the Diamond Industry: Sarine Celebrates 30 Years

This year, Sarine is launching celebrations for 30 years in the diamond technology business. When Sarine was established, in the late 1980s, technology in the diamond industry was in its very earliest stages. The kinds of technologies used today by diamond manufacturers and gem labs all over the world, such as inclusion mapping, automated rough […]

How Diamonds Are Produced

After the long natural formation process deep in the earth, the diamond is extracted from the mine in its rough, raw state, and begins on its next journey – to become a polished diamond.   From mine, to jewelry store, to the engagement ring finger of its eventual owner – every diamond undergoes a long […]