< BACK TO THE DIAMOND BLOG MAIN PAGE
03
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.


MORE FROM THE DIAMOND BLOG

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 6: Chopard

Once Upon a Time in Switzerland… Our tale begins in the village of Sonvilier, Switzerland where we find Louis-Ulysse Chopard, the second son of Félicien and Henriette Chopard. Félicien was a farmer but he encouraged his sons to enter the watchmaking trade. Louis Chopard had a talent for the craft and quickly built a reputation […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 5: Graff

Born to be a Jeweler: The Meteoric Rise of Laurence Graff When 15-year-old Laurence Graff began his first apprenticeship in a jewelry manufacturing warehouse in London, he never dreamed he’d be honored with the Order of the British Empire (OBE) by Queen Elizabeth in 2013. In fact, after three months working in the warehouse and […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 3: Faberge

The Man Who Created The Egg In 1885,   Tsar Alexander III commissioned Faberge to create an Easter egg as a gift for his wife, Empress Maria Fedorovna. With this simple gift, the Faberge Imperial Egg Collection was born. The first egg was called the Hen Egg. Inside a white enameled shell rested a solid gold […]

World Famous Jewelers Series Part 2: Tiffany & Co

The name Tiffany & Co. evokes thoughts of little blue boxes, glass lamp shades, and for those who know, the Super Bowl’s Vince Lombardi Trophy. The store is famous for its Tiffany setting engagement rings, chain bracelets with an engraved heart charm, and delicate pendant necklaces. Where did this legacy start? Who is the man […]

World Famous Jewelers: The Names Behind the Designs.

Part One: Harry Winston Tiffany & Co., Cartier, Harry Winston – all famous jewelers and household names. We see their designs on the red carpet, along with Boucheron, Fabergé, Piaget, and many more. These companies are more than just brand names; they were the passion and brainchild of people who loved high quality, stylish jewelry, […]

Advanced 3D Modeling: A New Edge in Rough Planning

The first step in automated planning of rough diamonds is accurate 3D modelling of the rough diamond surface. Rough diamonds have a complex texture that includes convex and concave surfaces, and are difficult to model accurately. Current technologies for modeling the rough diamond surface are limited in terms of accuracy. They do not necessarily pick […]

Rough diamond planning

Cloud Planning: Make Your Rough Planning Up to 10 Times Faster

Planning rough diamonds with Advisor™ software is a complex process that uses loads of computer processing power. Today, with Galaxy™ inclusion mapping technology, the number of rough polishing plans created by Advisor is essentially infinite. With various advanced options to choose from, such as triple planning, Best Value™, CAP and more, the rough planning software […]

Tension Viewer: Reducing the Risks of Rough Diamond Sawing

In addition to all types of inclusions and flaws, rough diamonds have internal tension or stress that occurs naturally as part of their structure. Developed over millions of years during the diamond’s unique formation process, the level and location of tension within a rough diamond varies from stone to stone. When cutting a rough diamond […]

New Software Release: Sarine Advisor™ 7.0 Rough Planning

Advisor™ rough planning software is used by manufacturers worldwide to effectively plan polished diamonds and maximize the achievable yield. Sarine recently released the latest version of the industry-leading software, Advisor 7.0. The release is packed with dozens of new, advanced features, the result of user feedback received from diamond planners working with Advisor all over […]

Advisor 6.0 New Feature: Scoop Planning

Advisor™ is Sarine’s flagship rough planning software product, and the most widely used program of its type. Since its initial development and launch in 1995, the Advisor program, together with the Galaxy™ inclusion mapping system, has become a staple software for diamond manufacturers worldwide. We’re launching the first product post of the Diamond Tech blog […]