THE STORY OF THE COLLECTION
T H E B E R N A R D C O H E N C O L L E C T I O N N E W Y O R K™
I began my career in the jewelry industry more than 25 years ago, working with ﬁne, antique and estate jewels prior to creating this unique new Collection.
My Collection is composed of materials that I have always loved: pearls, antique cut-steel, 18 karat gold and sterling silver. Elements that ﬁt into today’s lifestyles for everyone.
Each aspect of the Collection is designed, produced, assembled and ﬁnished by hand in New York. Each of the pearls is precisely chosen for its unique and distinctive beauty, color and form. Because pearls feature such beautiful and diverse textures, surfaces and coloring, they all differ from each other, and my Collection uses these ‘mismatched’ shapes and colors as design elements.
The Collection photographs reflect these handmade designs. They are not meant to represent the actual piece you will be receiving, but rather the particular design styles. Slight variations in shape, color and size should be expected as each pearl is unique. Since all pieces are handmade, delivery is made within two to three weeks of order placement.
The pearls I use in the BernardCohenCollection are freshwater cultured baroque pearls. This type of pearl is produced from the response of the host to a tissue implant. Freshwater pearls form in various species of freshwater mussels which live in lakes, rivers, ponds and other bodies of freshwater.
Throughout history, pearls have intrigued. I have a long held passion for pearls. They have an innate style, a tactile luxurious touch, and lightness that make them a popular timeless choice.
As respected British jewelry historian Anne Cliﬀord states in Cut Steel and Berlin Iron Jewellery, “Cut-steel jewellery was ﬁrst made in England, and later in France, at a time when real jewellery was increasingly dominated by the diamond, and it imitated the shine and sparkle of diamonds… cut-steel developed a character and beauty of its own, which arose from the material itself and from the way in which it was worked.”
The jewelry that I have created using antique cut-steel studs sprang from this inspirational passage written by Anne Cliﬀord, the authority on Cut-steel and Berlin Iron.
In the 18th Century, the actual material of cut-steel is thought to have been obtained from collecting old horse-shoe nails, which were then melted down and re-reformed in small bars out of which the studs were cut. These nails were made of a particularly soft steel which could be reformed and easily cut into facets. It is assumed that in the 19th Century factories were producing studs, base-plates, catches and other small steel goods. The ﬁnal stage of production was the hand polishing which would have been done by "cottagers about the town".
Using this heritage way of making, all pieces in my Collection are also worked by hand in the drilling and setting of the studs, and the gold and silver work.