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Elsa Peretti

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 (1940–2021) 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.

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Elsa Peretti Sterling Silver Padova Letter Opener for Tiffany & Co
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Atlanta, GA
Elsa Peretti’s designs are as striking as the lady herself. Her unique pieces for Tiffany & Co. are an artistic combination of organic forms and sculpture. Ms. Peretti created the P...
Category

1980s Contemporary Vintage Elsa Peretti

Materials

Sterling Silver

Rare Elsa Peretti Sterling Swirl Brooch
By Elsa Peretti
Located in Riverdale, NY
Elsa Peretti rare sterling swirl brooch/pendant for Halston circa 1970s. Heavy sterling mount 2" in diameter. Beautiful quality. Excellent condtion.
Category

1970s Vintage Elsa Peretti

Materials

Sterling Silver

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Previously Available Items
Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Vintage 1975 Sterling Silver Bone Cuff Bracelet
By Elsa Peretti
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Tiffany & Co. Elsa Peretti Vintage 1975 Sterling Silver Bone Cuff -- Large bone cuff designed by Elsa Peretti for Tiffany & Co with 925 sterling silver. Cuff is signed and dated, mad...
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1970s Vintage Elsa Peretti

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Elsa Peretti Long Bone Cuff Mint in Box
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This rare large sterling silver bone cuff was designed by Elsa Peretti for Halston in 1975 and retailed by Tiffany & Co. Made specifically for the left wrist the bump in the bracelet...
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Elsa peretti for Tiffany & Company Ampurdan Belt Buckle Pendant
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
Located in Wallkill, NY
Authentic Tiffany & Co. Gorgeous Vintage 1981 Huge Elsa Peretti Curved Belt Buckle Pendant. This gorgeous and unusual belt buckle is in excellent condition. It has been beautifully c...
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Elsa Peretti for Halston Bone Cuff
By Elsa Peretti
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Iconic and extremely rare, this Elsa Peretti bone cuff was designed for Tiffany & Co. and was made from pre ban ivory in the 1970's. The name refers to the shape of the cuff, designe...
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Elsa Peretti Rare Sterling Thumbprint Buckle Original Tiffany Black Leather Belt
By Elsa Peretti
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This thumbprint design is rarely seen in jewelry from Elsa Peretti, and Tiffany & Co. has retired this belt buckle. It feels wonderful in your hand and looks elegant at your wais...
Category

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Rare Elsa Peretti for Halston Ivory Pendant
By Elsa Peretti
Located in New Hope, PA
Designed by Elsa Peretti for Halston in the mid 1970's this rare pre-ban ivory pendant was retailed by Tiffany & Co. It is suspended from a sterling silver chain marked Peretti and t...
Category

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Materials

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Elsa Peretti for Halston
By Elsa Peretti, Tiffany & Co.
Located in New Hope, PA
An Elsa Peretti for Halston sterling silver buckle and leather belt, a discontinued design retailed by Tiffany & Co. in the 1970's. The buckle was designed in several sizes and this ...
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Elsa Peretti Tiffany Large Open Heart Belt<br /> This is a classic Elsa Peretti for Tiffany Large Open Heart Belt.<br /> Sterling Silver weighs 49.5 grBellt adjusts by tying, and ...
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Tiffany & Co Elsa Peretti “Diamonds by the Yard” platinum necklace and earring set. Platinum cable chain (approximately measuring 16.5” L, including clasp) with round bezel set diamo...
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Elsa Peretti Buckle & 5 Belts
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Elsa Peretti designed this sterling silver belt buckle for Tiffany & Co. and it was made famous by Halston in the 1970's.<br /> He used her innovative designs to accessorize his cle...
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Elsa Peretti for Halston Tiffany & Co Sterling Snake Buckle and Black Suede Belt
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This mid 1970's sterling silver snake head belt buckle was designed by Elsa Peretti for Halston and retailed by Tiffany & Co. It bears her hallmark as well as two others. The snake h...
Category

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Elsa Peretti Heart
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Located in New Hope, PA
Elsa Peretti's heart is her best selling design. It is a light and modern take on the eternal symol of romance. This large sterling heart shaped belt buckle can also be worn on a cor...
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