Jewelry and Watches

From Estate Treasures to Bespoke Designs, Steven Fox Has Been Offering Singular Jewels for Nearly 40 Years

Steven Fox
Steven Fox opened his eponymous Greenwich, Connecticut, boutique in the 1980s, and he joined 1stDibs in 2012, which has enabled him and his staff to connect with clients worldwide (portrait courtesy of Steven Fox Jewelry). Top: An Elizabeth Gage Templar diamond-and-gold band ring, 2010, is flanked by a pair of blue topaz and diamond drop earrings, 2010s.

“We’ve always specialized in highly curated vintage and estate jewelry presented along with our own designs,” Steven Fox tells Introspective during an interview at his store in Greenwich, Connecticut. “The two go hand in hand. They always have.”

A native of Cleveland, Fox worked in his family’s jewelry business until his father’s early retirement, in the 1970s. He moved to New York’s Westchester County, where he had family, and took a job as a salesman in a local jewelry store. In the mid-1980s, Fox opened his eponymous boutique in Greenwich, and he and his team have been serving the local community and beyond ever since.

“Our clients have a sophisticated palate. If you think about it, we’re this wonderful bouillabaisse or stew in terms of what we are able to present to them,” he says. “And 1stDibs is an avenue for presenting these pieces to a larger audience.

“I had a really good foundation in the jewelry business,” he adds. “Our store is a romantic throwback to what once was. The element of professionalism is not lost upon us. Being able to give guidance and background on pieces is really quite important.”

The common thread uniting the selection of jewels, both old and new, is “a youthful spirit,” says Fox. “And quality. We look at every detail. Details reflect quality.”

A nine-carat unheated emerald-cut Ceylon sapphire ring by Cartier (which recently sold on 1stDibs) is just one example of the exceptional jewels Fox has on hand at any given moment. When clients shop with him on 1stDibs, physical distance is not an issue, he says: He and his staff are happy to video chat with them to establish a stronger, more personal connection while talking through the nuances of a design. On some occasions, they will hand-deliver purchases, even if this means carrying them on a plane.

Cartier Paris Chimera Vintage Yellow White Diamond Emerald Hinged Bracelet
Cartier Paris Chimera Yellow and White Diamond Hinged Bracelet, 1970s

Fox also carries outlier jewels, unusual signed pieces that tend to attract the most discerning collectors and connoisseurs, like a 1970s Cartier yellow-and-white-diamond Chimera hinged bracelet

“This bracelet is rare, imaginative and has a magical soul,” Fox says. “Designed in the nineteen-seventies, it looks like it is on fire when placed on your wrist or in your hand. In Greek and Chinese folklore, the Chimera symbolizes strength, long life, and a belief in the implausible. It’s perfectly proportioned, easy to slip on and comfortable to wear.”

Below, more from our conversation with the “Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

Do you specialize in a certain era? 

They all have my heart. Whether it’s something quite old, from Victorian times, or it’s something from the nineteen sixties or seventies, we believe that there is beauty, elegance and wearability in every time period. We currently own a couple of Fabergé pieces, for example, that were from the collection of the Czarina Alexandra. And we bought those from a very prominent Hollywood family that had owned it for generations. 

So, you don’t have an addiction, as some dealers do, to the Art Deco era, mid-century design, and so on?

I’m addicted to beauty. And chocolate. There’s an answer. But in fairness, every time period knocks our socks off. 

Steven Fox jewels
Clockwise from top left: Oscar Heyman Diamond, Ruby, Garnet and Gold Hummingbird Brooch, ca. 2000; Cartier Love Bracelet; Aldo Cipullo for Cartier Gold Sputnik Clip Earrings, 1970-1975; Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co. Diamond and Gold “Flame” Clip Earrings, ca. 2005; and Cartier Paris Sapphire Gold Bubble Bead Bracelet, 1939

And what about designers? I notice you have quite a bit of Cartier, including some Aldo Cipullo designs.

I think the names that are most reflected here, and that people relate to, are Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Bulgari and Belperron. But generally, it’s the more esoteric pieces that interest us. I do tend to like the quiet jewelers, such as Charlton & Co., a retailer in New York that also did manufacturing; and Marcus & Co., a designer for Tiffany & Co. in the nineteenth century. And Daniel Brush. I’ve always loved Daniel Brush and recently found out that he and I come from the same hometown of Cleveland. I only learned that, sadly, when the New York Times did a wonderful obituary on him after he passed away, in 2022. 

Steven Fox Greenwich boutique
“Our clients have a sophisticated palate,” says Fox, whose Greenwich, Connecticut, boutique is pictured above. “If you think about it, we’re this wonderful bouillabaisse or stew in terms of what we are able to present to them,” he says. “And 1stDibs is an avenue for presenting these pieces to a larger audience.”

How and where are you sourcing your inventory? 

We’re primarily buying from clients and from people who are referred to us. We get calls from people saying, “I know of your store. I have something you might be interested in.” The beginning of that conversation has happened five hundred times. 

You sell quite a few original creations, most of them centering extraordinary one-of-a-kind gems. Are you partial to a particular stone?

It runs the gamut. We’re very skilled at selecting stones — that’s my passion.  When it comes to diamonds, I care about their character — the shape of them, the way they’ve been cut. We recut almost every stone. We currently have a 6.53-carat cushion-cut brilliant diamond that we were introduced to by a dealer who had bought it from a small French jeweler. We repolished it and then reset it in the manner in which it would have been set originally, almost a hundred years ago. So, you have that old fusing into the new, and it’s still very, very youthful. You’d wear it today in a heartbeat.

And who doesn’t love the “big three” [rubies, emeralds and sapphires]? It’s easy to love those stones, but I like gems that you don’t see often. Maybe it’s a cat’s-eye chrysoberyl. Maybe it’s a Paraiba tourmaline or a Tajikistan spinel. What Mother Nature offers is incredible.

Steven Fox’s Quick Picks on 1stDibs

Cartier Paris Sapphire Gold Bubble Bead Bracelet, 1939
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Cartier Paris Sapphire Gold Bubble Bead Bracelet, 1939

“A fun design that will keep your spirits uplifted. It features varying sizes of gold spheres — cleverly designed to resemble fun celebratory bubbles — with the largest topped with vivid round brilliant cut sapphires.”

6.53-Carat Cushion-Cut Platinum Diamond Ring, 2022
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6.53-Carat Cushion-Cut Platinum Diamond Ring, 2022

“Simply perfect, white as snow and clear as ice! This is a Steven Fox engagement ring design featuring a vintage 6.53-carat cushion-cut brilliant diamond (D-color and a rare type 1aB classification) and surrounded by two pristine side bullet diamonds.”

Cartier Natural Sapphire Diamond Platinum Bracelet, ca. 1925-1935
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Cartier Natural Sapphire Diamond Platinum Bracelet, ca. 1925-1935

“Reflective of the incredible glamour and high style of the Roaring Twenties, this extraordinary Cartier Art Deco platinum bracelet with its sugarloaf cabochon-cut velvety blue natural sapphires and diamonds is historical beauty at its best.”

Marcus & Co. Natural Emerald Diamond Ruby Gold Dragonfly Brooch, ca. 1900-1909
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Marcus & Co. Natural Emerald Diamond Ruby Gold Dragonfly Brooch, ca. 1900-1909

“Ephemeral and illusory, dragonflies have flown the earth for three-hundred million years and have come to symbolize the ability to overcome times of hardship; they are also the ultimate talisman for good luck. This nineteenth-century Marcus & Co. dragonfly brooch once lived in the jewelry box of the wife of Henry Osborne Havemeyer, the Domino Sugar baron. Perhaps this elegant dragonfly landed on her and brought great fortune. One never knows, but we can guarantee that its beauty and superb craftsmanship will bring its new wearer limitless awe, wonder, and joy.”

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