However, it took me several minutes to even realize I was in fact looking at a remarkable collection of precious and semi-precious gemstones, not just costume jewelry. I could not imagine it was possible to see such a collection all in one place, in a small, narrow, and poorly lit gallery (the lighting of course made each stone sparkle all the more). Just the thought of the insurance required on the exhibit was mind-boggling.
Once I established the amazing pieces were all made of crazy expensive stones, I became transfixed by the remarkable high level of craftsmanship unlike I have seen in any shop window along 5th Ave. JAR, the creation of jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal based in Paris since1978, is know for its amazing use of pave settings, creating, as the Met notes, a "painterly effect", with colors blending seamlessly and delicately.
My favorite piece was this tulip, one of the most detailed, realistic and dramatic thing I have ever seen done in stones. It was so three-dimensional, and the colors so natural, it seemed as though the flower would actually wither if anyone touched it. Here is one application of the Pantone 2014 color Radiant Orchid I am totally and utterly on board with! Lets hope (for my husband's sake) I am unable to find their shop next time I am in Paris :)
Alas, photos were not allowed, and the catalog was quite the tome, not easily portable cross-country, so since I am unable to share additional photos here, I say, New Yorkers, go, go now!
Photos courtesy of the Met website.