Jean Vendôme: Serving stones without betraying them

Jean Vendôme : Servir les pierres sans les trahir

A story of passion

Jean Vendôme was born in Lyon in 1930. He began his career at the age of 13 with his uncle, the jeweller Der, where he acquired real expertise over 5 years. At the same time, Jean had a passion for drawing and gemmology. At 18, he opened his first workshop in the 18th arrondissement and delivered his first orders for the Rue de la Paix. He drew all his creations with extreme precision.

One morning, Jean Cocteau came into his workshop with a gold nugget in his hand and asked him to make a piece of jewelry from it. Jean Vendôme created the cufflinks that gave birth to the "nugget" style. And so began his career!

"I entered this profession (...) using precious stones with respect for the profession and honoring crystals and raw minerals (...) to realize my dreams in objects, but not to reproduce pieces indefinitely. The multiple wears down the model!"

Nugget-style creations 

Here are 4 fascinating modern creations:

1. The Ferret ring


Deeply affected by his experience of life in India and fascinated by the various rituals he observed there, he began making his own ceramics in 1956, notably a series of totem poles. These totems would later inspire a collection of jewelry of architectural dimensions. 

He calls them "his miniature architectures with an antique allure, intended more for queens and vestals than for modern women". Jewelry that is at once contemporary and ancestral, but which remains relatively unknown.


2. The pendant ring

A sculptural ring that sits on the hand, inspired by the abstraction of the 70s, it is like a signature in space. Jean Vendôme is keen to create jewelry that can be worn in two different ways, as I like to do with the Reversible collection, here this ring can also be worn as a pendant.



3. Cache-Cache ring

One of Jean Vendôme's latest rings, composed of polished and worked materials and her favorite stone: watermelon tourmaline. Spectacular, this ring can be detached and worn as an all-gold or all-stone jewel. It runs all over the hand and dresses it up!

“I play with minerals like a painter with his palette."

4. The double volute ring


This ring features a timeless diamond line that runs in the direction of the lengthening fingers of the hand.


Here adorned with a stone


and here in a more minimalist version

In short, in his 77-year career, Jean Vendôme has tested every style and established himself as a major figure in the jewelry world. He never stopped working with yellow gold and precious and semi-precious stones, which he considered to be sculptures of nature.

“When a jewel must have a stone, it's in such and such a place, to have a little sparkle, to echo another stone."

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