The story behind the signet ring, one of the most important jewelry designs in history, is very fascinating. The signet ring is a design that houses a raised, flat face on a shank, or ring, and is typically engraved with an image or icon meant to signify something memorable- like someone’s initials, a family crest, coat of arms, or a meaningful symbol. But signet rings weren’t always as casual as they are by today’s standards.
From his birth in 1936 in Naples, Italy, Aldo Cipullo was born into design. His father owned and operated a costume jewelry manufacturing business in Italy, and after graduating school Aldo began an apprenticeship there where he would learn the tricks and trade of the jewelry industry. In 1959, the young, ambitious Italian designer immigrated to America to pursue larger interests in jewelry and fashion design.
It was not long before both Tiffany & Co. and David Webb hired him, but his biggest claim to fame was when he began working for Cartier in 1969. Not even a year into his employment there did he design his most famous piece, the Cartier Love Bracelet, and shortly after this piece, he created the “Juste Un Clou” collection, or the iconic Nail Collection. To add to his legacy, he is the only Cartier designer to date allowed to have his signature on his designs for the company.
“I wish to create a relationship between the earth and myself. Sometimes we do not realize what we are kicking over. I want to make the soul come out.”
Charles Loloma was an artist’s artist- he was a master with pottery, painting, print making, and of course jewelry design. Even though originally dismissed as traditional Native American art by his fellow tribesmen, he is arguably one of the most influential jewelry designers in the Native American style, and helped bring American Indian style of jewelry into the mainstream during the mid-20th century.