final polishing, only to have the stones "unset" and the metal melted
down for another—and yet another—try in the long, arduous task of
striving for perfection of line.
a complete staff was ready—jewelers, artists, designers. They had one
order: to produce jewels alive with the radiance of the sun, as dynamic
and lasting in style as-the source of inspiration. Suddenly new vistas
were opened. Gold, oldest of all precious metals, which had been
neglected for years by jewelers and patrons alike, took on new and
greater importance because of the many exquisite designs now available
through "reflection.") Heaviness in appearance and in actual weight
were eliminated, to be replaced by graceful flowing lines accomplished
through deft modulation of the metal. Diamonds no longer were used
merely to add impressiveness. Rather the aim was to achieve the
greatest effect through the use of carefully chosen stones, thus
bringing out the true beauty of the design and, from the practical
side, to reduce the cost of labor and material to a minimum.
The problem of design, however, is not
confined to new jewelry in the larger jewelry shops of New York. It is
applied also to outmoded rings, bracelets, brooches, clips, etc.
Periodically artists, designers, and officials of Black, Starr &
Gorham, another one of New York's big houses, hold a day-long, and
sometimes a week-long, conference during which all jewelry pieces in
stock are taken up one by one for study. If it is decided that a ring
or a bracelet or an earring or any other piece is outmoded, an official order is issued to
"break it up." This means the metal setting is melted after the
diamonds have been removed. A new and more modern setting is designed
and the diamonds placed in it.
Sometimes, however, it even is necessary to recut the diamonds—even' though this may cause a loss upwards of 50