< 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

6 Ecommerce Blogs Every Jeweler Should Follow

If you are new to the online retailing scene, then getting your ecommerce jewelry business ahead can involve a lot of dedication, time, and work. Trying to figure out what is best for your ecommerce dream, searching online for the answers, or paying out excessive amounts of cash to professionals may not the ideal path […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #25

Not a month goes by without diamond industry news that involves the new trend of lab grown diamonds. In this month’s SPECTRUM, read an original take on De Beers’ move to lab grown, in an article featured on Quartzy. We’re also going big on the bling with a tweet from CNN about the world’s most […]

Which Diamond Shape Are You?

Diamonds come in all sizes – and a wide variety of shapes. Although each diamond is unique, different personality types are drawn to particular diamond shapes. In fact, the diamond shape you choose may be a strong reflection of the type of person you are. Which diamond shape is right for you? Read on to […]

Why (and How) to Use #Hashtags for Your Jewelry Business

By now, you’ve seen thousands of  #hashtags hanging around on social media. They have certainly changed their meaning from the sign we are used to seeing at the beginning of a telephone number. When used correctly, jewelry hashtags can really make a difference to the social media marketing for your diamonds and jewelry business. But […]

Why Do Diamonds Sparkle?

If there is one word that everyone associates with diamonds, it is “sparkle.” The bright, sparkling appearance of diamonds is part of what makes them such a highly sought-after prize. Diamonds have been variously described as “sparkling”, “shining” and “flashing”. A sparkling diamond can be thought of as beautiful, or “bling-y”, yet if the diamond […]

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 […]

Rough Planning and the Retail Diamond Market: A Changing Relationship

Every rough diamond contains a world of possibilities. There are many ways that a rough diamond can be cut and polished to create saleable, profitable diamonds. Over the past few decades, there has been a revolution in the way that rough diamonds are planned, due to the development of optics technologies that provide accurate internal […]

Sarine Loupe™ Launches New Diamond Imaging View Modes

A diamond is laden with emotional and economic significance, yet more than anything else, it is a visual experience. A diamond’s beauty is not just symbolic – it is very real. It is a result of the diamond’s individual 4Cs features, as well as the way it interacts with light – its ‘light performance’. It […]

SPECTRUM – Diamond Industry News #24

This edition of Spectrum diamond news and trends is a fascinating roundup that takes us deep into the debate about lab grown and mined diamonds, then 750 kilometers beneath the earth to where blue diamonds form. From there we travel into the minds of millennial consumers, with a recent study about their jewelry buying habits. […]

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 […]