From beautiful vintage jewelry to the exquisite pieces of their Liz Claiborne Collection, Monet jewelry has manufactured high quality costume jewelry for more than eight decades.
The Monet Company: an Overview
When Michael and Jay Chernow began their company in Providence, Rhode Island, they had no idea they would become one of the most popular and enduring costume jewelry manufacturers of the century. Forming their business in 1927, the brothers called it the Monocraft Products Company. They began manufacturing gold toned metal monogram plaques in beautiful art deco designs for women's handbags and purses.
After being in business for two years, the brothers expanded to include costume jewelry pieces. Using the same gold-plating techniques they used on the monograms, they created beautiful jewelry designs. Many of their early works were gold-plated monogram brooches, signed Monocraft. In 1937, the Chernow brothers changed the company's name and began marketing the jewelry under the name Monet.
Over the years the Monet Company has been sold several times. Throughout the changes they have always produced affordable and fashionable costume jewelry.
- Monet was purchased by General Mills in 1968
- It became a subsidiary of Crystal Brands Jewelry Groups from 1989 -1994
- Chase Capital Partners, Lattice Holding - a division of the Monet Group and includes the jewelry names Marvella and Trafari - 1994 - 2000
- The company was purchased in July 2000, by Liz Claiborne and relocated to Puerto Rico. The Monet jewelry group includes the names Monet, Marvella, Ciani and Trafari.
The Monet Company always wanted to add a special touch to their jewelry creations. They were the first costume jewelry design house to add their company mark to every jewelry piece they manufactured. The following are some of the marks used by the company:
- 1927-1937: Monocraft
- 1937 and after: Monet
- Monet Jewelers
- Monet Sterling
- Monet (jewelers tag)
- Monet with copyright symbol used after 1955
To view Monet marks visit Illusion Jewels.
The Jewelry Styles of Monet Through the Decades
Through the years Monet designers stayed abreast of the times changing their styles and designs to keep their jewelry stylish and in fashion. In addition they were responsible for many leading developments in the jewelry field including the barrel clutch for women with pierced ears and the friction ear clip, a very comfortable option for women with non pierced ears.
In the early years of Monocraft, much of the first jewelry produced was similar to the monogrammed plaques. Other style included delicate hand painted pieces.
Monet jewelry of the 1940s was found in almost every department store of the times. The jewelry designed with classic simplistic beauty was often embellished with sparkling Austrian crystals or rhinestones. Many of the pieces showed a military influence.
As the times changed so did the fashion trends. In the 1950s the jewelry made by Monet reflected the changing times in their designs. Among their many popular designs were figural pieces such as poodle dog pins, bow pins, charms and charm bracelets.
In the 1960s Monet once again changed their styles to complement the fashion trends of the public. Hoop earrings, big pendant necklaces and bangles were all the rage of the times. Here is a 1960's 3-piece set consisting of a bib necklace and clip earrings. The big and bold necklace has three strands of satin finished and ½ inch goldtone filigree beads.
With the increased popularity of pierced earrings during the 1970s, Monet's designs focused more on pierced earring styles.
1980s and 1990s
In addition to creating their own designs during the 1980s, Monet also produced jewelry for Yves Saint Laurent and Christian Dior. An exquisite example of the Monet Art Deco style is found on the Annie Sherman Vintage Jewelry website. The elegant black enamel brooch with spectacular crystal rhinestone accents is circa 1985.
2000 and Beyond
The new jewelry lines by Monet are stunning, luxurious and sophisticated accessories. The Liz Claiborne line of Monet features elegant pieces set with spectacular stones such as green opal, coral and colored crystals. The following are several of the Monet collections:
- Jewels of the Nile
- Jewel Box
- Almodine Metal
- Things of Beauty
- Color Awakening
- Twilight Dreams
- Emerald City
- Magical Moments
Where to Find Monet Jewelry Online
Both vintage and contemporary jewelry by Monet is available online.
Vintage Jewelry by Monet
Vintage jewelry pieces by Monet are found both on and off line at antique stores and auctions including:
The wide array of vintage styles and new designs of Monet jewelry provides a wonderful selection of elegant and affordable jewelry to complement each outfit in your wardrobe.