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Rare and Beautiful: Vicenza

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Roberto Picchiotti 18K white gold brooch with emeralds and diamonds, $270,000, Photo Credit: Up-Close Studios

By Manon Crespi

My eyes first go to the meticulously cut, precious gemstones when observing fine jewelry.  I think about which remote mine they came from and how long it took the miners to discover them. I’m drawn to the way the gemstones are set into glimmering gold and how the gold is fashioned into a fantastical design with unparalleled precision. Finally, when I’ve visually absorbed all that can be taken in, something inevitably happens. My heart experiences a flutter that quickly grows into a full-fledged burst of sheer delight. And just like pressing a repeat button, the next exquisite piece of jewelry I encounter elicits the same response.

This is how the story unfolded for me last week while visiting a wonderful town in northern Italy that’s not only known for the Teatro Olimpico and the Piazza dei Signori, but also for its contribution to the world of jewelry: Vicenza. Vicenza is home to the first jewelry museum in Italy, the Museo del Gioiello, located in the Basillica Palladian. The 4,400 sq ft museum focuses on jewelry history, design and manufacturing, and is a joint effort between the Vicenza municipality and the Fiera di Vicenza.

Fiera di Vicenza, which recently took place in early September, is one of the global jewelry market’s leading international trade fairs. Jewelry designers and manufacturers from all over the world presented their most stunning pieces. This season, some of the design inspirations showcased came from a tied bow, animals and flowers. These jewels are the work of imaginative artists and skilled craftsmen, and they are indeed delightful. Bellissimi!

View the gallery for more.