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Ella Gafter

Even before Ella Gafter founded her namesake jewelry collection in 1982, she was a formidable presence in the jewelry industry.

As a Rome-based gem dealer, Gafter sold pearls and precious stones to retailers and jewelers but was often dissatisfied with how they made use of the rare materials she worked so hard to source. Instead of grousing, she decided to design jewels that would do them justice, focusing primarily on pearls — akoya, Tahitian and South Sea. She explains her fascination with the lustrous marine treasures simply: “Every woman looks better with pearls than without.”

Her daughter Talila Gafter, then an undergrad at Harvard, was her ally in getting the project off the ground. Together, they made the rounds to stores with Ella’s first efforts. “We had a little pouch with eight pieces and we sold everything,” Talila tells 1stDibs. After graduation, she “was involved one hundred percent” in building the company, whose pieces are handmade by master jewelers in Naples.

The designer insists that her unwavering focus is the source of her success. “There’s no compromising for me,” she says. She’s been known to replace the pearls in a single piece time after time until she’s certain she’s achieved her ideal result. “A pearl you have to respect,” she explains. “You have to put it where it wants to sit.”

Ella describes the collaboration with her daughter as a “partnership,” with each having her own domain. “I’m all fantasy; Talila is the concrete one,” she says. The company is now based in New York City, with Talila as its president while Ella is firmly at the helm of creative decisions. “I’ve never made a design suggestion to Ella,” says Talila. “Nobody does.”

That forbearance has been earned, says Talila. “I admire that Ella doesn’t take no for an answer, her tenacity, her extraordinary ambition. She believes as long as there is life, there is a lot of beauty to create. She’s a force of nature.”

Find Ella Gafter earrings, rings, necklaces and other jewelry on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$9,390
Styles
Ella Gafter South Sea Pearl Diamond Cocktail Ring
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
This South Sea pearl and diamond cocktail ring features a gem quality pearl of pinkish hues and 17.5mm diameter. The pearl is untreated. It displays a splendid nacre and its natural ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Diamond, Pearl, White Diamond, South Sea Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold

Ella Gafter South Sea Pearl and Diamond Stud Earrings
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
The South Sea pearl earrings feature two creamy-gold 14mm diameter pearls from the waters of Northwestern Australia. The design is complete with 4 diamonds (0.26 carats). All of our...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

White Diamond, Diamond, South Sea Pearl, Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold

Ella Gafter Art Déco style Fish Brooch Pin
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
This whimsical fish brooch pin features a central South Sea pearl of 16mm diameter. The body is sculpted in custom cut mother-of-pearl topped by transparent crystal. The eye is accen...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Crystal, Diamond, Onyx, Ruby, 18k Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold

Ella Gafter Two Finger Pearl Diamond Ring
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
This pearl and diamond two-finger ring features a splendid South Sea pearl of 17.8mm diameter, and an equally splendid Tahitian pearl of 17.5mm diameter. The pearls are untreated. Th...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Diamond, Pearl, White Diamond, Black Pearl, South Sea Pearl, 18k Gold, W...

Ella Gafter Ruby Diamond Drop Earrings
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
The ruby and diamond earrings feature 4 faceted heated Mozambique rubies of homogeneous brilliance for a total of 21.50 carats. The design is complete with 2.70 carats of round diamo...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

White Diamond, Ruby, Diamond, 18k Gold, White Gold

Ella Gafter Very Long White and Golden Pearl Necklace Set
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
The set consists of a 50” strand of 138 Japanese Akoya pearls of 10.5mm diameter, nestled into a 51” strand of 130 golden South Sea pearls very slightly graduated from 10.5-9mm. The...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Diamond, Pearl, Cultured Pearl, South Sea Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold, Y...

Ella Gafter Drop Shape South Sea Pearl Diamond Earrings
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
The South Sea pearl and diamond drop earrings feature two attractive drop-shape pearls of 12 x 15mm from the waters of Northwestern Australia. Their natural color and luster have not...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Diamond, Pearl, White Diamond, South Sea Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold

Ella Gafter South Sea Pearl Diamond Necklace
By Ella Gafter
Located in New York, NY
The pearl and diamond necklace consists of articulated white gold sections set with round diamonds regularly interleaved with sections of mother-of-pearl topped with crystal, lending...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Italian Artist Ella Gafter

Materials

Diamond, Pearl, White Diamond, South Sea Pearl, 18k Gold, White Gold

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Ella Gafter Sellers

Ella Gafter jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs

1stDibs offers a range of Ella Gafter jewelry and watches. These unique items were designed with extraordinary care, often using 18k gold. When you’re looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Ella Gafter jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Ella Gafter diamond jewelry & watches can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. This collection contains 4 pieces as well as a number of other designs by this jeweler. While this collection reflects work that originated over various time periods, most of these items were designed during the 21st Century and Contemporary. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by and . Prices for Ella Gafter watches and jewelry can vary depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. Price for these items starts at $21,800 and tops out at $59,000, while pieces like these can sell for $25,900 on average.

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