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Elsa Peretti

Italian, 1940-2021

In an era of social upheaval, venerable Tiffany & Co. designer Elsa Peretti reimagined diamonds as jewelry that working women bought for themselves rather than receiving it from a suitor.

By the time the Italian-born Peretti arrived in New York City, she’d already studied design in Rome, worked for a Milanese architect and taught Italian, French and skiing in Switzerland. She settled on interior design as her potential career path but then chose an altogether different route: modeling. Peretti modeled in Barcelona, Spain, and on the advice of Wilhelmina Cooper — a former model who’d by then founded Wilhelmina Modeling Agency — moved to Manhattan in 1968. When she relocated, Peretti was inspired to pick up jewelry design.

After modeling for designer Halston, the undisputed fashion king of Studio 54, Peretti became his close friend and collaborator, eventually creating jewelry and teardrop-shaped perfume bottles for him. By way of her association with Halston, Peretti took to the disco scene, flourishing in a social circle that included artist Andy Warhol and fashion designer Giorgio di Sant’Angelo.

It wasn’t long before models on di Sant’Angelo’s runway were donning two-inch sterling-silver vases, complete with a rose stem, suspended on leather thongs around their necks. The accessory was Peretti’s inaugural piece of jewelry — she designed it in 1969 after finding a flower vase at a flea market. It was hardly the only time that Peretti found motifs in nature and in organic forms. In the years that followed, her Bean pendant necklace, Starfish earrings and other sensuous accessories would draw on human emotion as well as the natural world around her. Each evocative and wholly versatile design is universally adored decades later, and each was made for a storied American jewelry house with which Peretti would be associated for nearly 50 years.

It was Halston who introduced Peretti to Tiffany & Co. She had her own boutique at Bloomingdale’s by 1972, and her partnership with the firm, which signed the venturesome and unorthodox designer to an exclusive contract in 1974, would cement her place in the lofty annals of jewelry legend. Peretti’s simple but sophisticated designs — the Teardrop collection, her minimalist Diamonds by the Yard necklace and Open Heart ring, to name a few — elevated sterling silver, previously considered unsuitable for fine jewelry, and created an enthusiastic young audience for Tiffany’s offerings. In 1977, Peretti’s designs earned the jewelry house more than $6 million. (In some years, her work has accounted for 10 percent of the company’s sales.)

In 2012, Peretti signed a 20-year, $47.3 million contract with Tiffany & Co., but she passed away in 2021, at age 80. Today, her designs are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the British Museum.

Find an exquisite collection of Elsa Peretti jewelry today on 1stDibs.

Average Sold Price
$1,587
Styles
Related Creators
Elsa Peretti Tiffany & Co. 18 Karat Yellow Gold Open Heart Vintage Ring
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Designed as a bypass-style ring terminating with a stylized sinuous heart Pierced with open center - shank wraps around finger Alternate terminal is a curved point With high polish ...
Category

1990s Elsa Peretti

Materials

Gold, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold

Exquisite Elsa Peretti Large Hoop Earrings - Tiffany & Co. 18K White Gold
By Elsa Peretti
Located in New York, NY
Step into the world of luxury with these stunning Elsa Peretti-designed Large Hoop Earrings from the iconic Tiffany & Co. collection. Each earring is meticulously crafted from lustro...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Modern Elsa Peretti

Materials

Gold, 18k Gold, White Gold, Yellow Gold

Elsa Peretti Tiffany & Co. 2000 Diamond 18 Karat Yellow Gold Open Heart Pendant
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Designed as a sinuous pierced open heart pendant With bead set round brilliant cut diamonds Weighing approximately 0.14 carat total Eye clean and bright Completed by high polish fini...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Contemporary Elsa Peretti

Materials

Diamond, Gold, 18k Gold, Yellow Gold

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Large Open Heart Gold Necklace
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Bethesda, MD
Elsa Peretti’s most celebrated icon, the open heart. This is the large 18kt gold open heart on a 32″ chain. Original designs copyrighted by Elsa Peretti. • Metal:18 Karat Yellow Gol...
Category

1990s Elsa Peretti

Materials

Gold

Elsa Peretti Tiffany & Co. Diamond Platinum Open Heart Pendant Necklace
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Philadelphia, PA
Designed as a 1.0 mm cable link chain suspending a pierced open heart pendant Sinuous with bead set round brilliant cut diamonds Weighing approximately 0.02 carat total Eye clean a...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Elsa Peretti

Materials

Diamond, Platinum

Elsa Peretti for Halston Solid Perfume Bean Pendant Necklace
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Boston, MA
Here's an extremely rare, iconic functional pendant with (still!) original solid Halston perfume from the 1980s by Elsa Peretti for Halston. Believe the solid perfume color has darkened over the years - smells wonderful!! About 18" long. This listing is for the bean necklace only. The Elsa Peretti for Halston heart...
Category

1980s Italian Modernist Vintage Elsa Peretti

  • Elsa Peretti for Halston Solid Perfume Bean Pendant Necklace
  • Elsa Peretti for Halston Solid Perfume Bean Pendant Necklace
  • Elsa Peretti for Halston Solid Perfume Bean Pendant Necklace
  • Elsa Peretti for Halston Solid Perfume Bean Pendant Necklace
Free Shipping
W 2.25 in D 0.3 in L 1.25 in
Vintage Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. Fitted Band Ring in Platinum
By Elsa Peretti
Located in London, GB
A stylish vintage Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co. fitted band ring set in platinum. The ring is composed of a solid 2-millimetre platinum band which is slightly curved in the centre ...
Category

2010s Modern Elsa Peretti

Materials

Platinum

Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Solid 18 Karat Gold 'Beans' Necklace
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Berkeley, CA
This iconic Elsa Peretti necklace is a beautiful halo around your neck. The 'beans' are solid gold and have a nice weight to them. You can wear it alone or layer with your other favo...
Category

2010s American Modernist Elsa Peretti

Materials

Gold, 18k Gold

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Elsa Peretti jewelry & watches for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a range of Elsa Peretti jewelry & watches available on 1stDibs. Each of these unique items was designed with extraordinary care, often using gold. While looking for the most stylish antique or vintage Elsa Peretti jewelry to pair with your ensemble, you’ll find that Elsa Peretti diamond jewelry & watches, from our inventory of 2, can add a particularly distinctive touch to your look. We have 13 pieces in this collection 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 20th century. If you’re looking for additional options, many customers also consider jewelry & watches by Margot De Taxco, Emilio Pucci, and Pekka Piekäinen. Prices for Elsa Peretti jewelry & watches can differ depending upon gemstone, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $425 and tops out at $12,900, while pieces like these, on average, can sell for $1,775.
Questions About Elsa Peretti
  • 1stDibs ExpertJune 30, 2023
    Elsa Peretti was a revolutionary jewelry designer and model who is known primarily for the work she did for Tiffany & Co. In an era of social upheaval, she reimagined diamonds as jewelry that working women bought for themselves rather than receiving from a suitor. She had her own boutique at Bloomingdale’s by 1972, and her partnership with the firm, which signed the venturesome and unorthodox designer to an exclusive contract in 1974, would cement her place in the lofty annals of jewelry legend. Peretti’s simple but sophisticated designs, such as the Teardrop collection and her minimalist Diamonds by the Yard necklace, helped establish a young audience for Tiffany’s offerings. Her visionary work elevated sterling silver, which was previously considered unsuitable for fine jewelry. On 1stDibs, find a collection of Tiffany & Co. pieces.

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