Benedetto Panetta - A Name For Excellence In Vintage Costume Jewelry
Born in Naples, where he studied the art of crafting precious metals (especially platinum), Benedetto Panetta left his name in the history of vintage costume jewelry.
Young Panetta abandoned his own modest jewelry shop in Naples in 1901 to immigrate to the US. Benedetto was hired as a designer at Trifari, the biggest costume jewelry firm in America, as a result of his talent and a fortunate encounter with a fellow countryman.
In 1930, when Trifari moved from New York to Providence, he did not want to uproot his family and he chose to remain in NY. Talented as he was, he found a job at Pennino Brothers, another renowned jewelry manufacturer. He worked there for almost a decade.
In 1945, Panetta established his own company with his sons, Amadeo and Armand. He simply named the company after himself – Panetta.
Benedetto Panetta Made Exquisite Vintage Costume Jewelry
From the very beginning, he set a goal, to erase the line between precious jewelry and costume jewelry. So, the company’s slogan was "If it doesn’t look real, it’s sent back to the drawing board." And they really meant it! The jewelry the company produced though not made with expensive gemstones looked like real designer jewelry.
Panetta created costume jewelry with magnificent designs using sterling silver, silver plating, gold plating, and white metal backings. His jewelry included exquisite details and was embellished with high-quality rhinestones, simulated stones, and pearls encrusted in Art Deco styles. His distinctive creations feature jewelry with enamel pave settings and elaborate settings.
Benedetto Panetta also used a gilt metal that looked like gold as a base for black enamel and rhinestones. Some rings had geometric designs while others resembled snakes with glowing, fake-emerald eyes. The famous artisan also crafted jewelry with parallel rings of platinum-colored metal adorned with faux amethysts.
It is interesting to know that Panetta knew not only to make superb costume jewelry but also how to advertise his work. For example, he made known to his customers all the manufacturing processes behind the jewelry he produced.
Panetta organized guided tours for his clients within his own company so they could see with their own eyes how jewelry came into life. It can be said with certainty that the pieces created by Panetta are the result of exquisite craftsmanship. His excellence is obvious both in the costume jewelry imitating platinum jewels, in trend at the time as well as in those with enamels dating back to the 60s / 70s.
Panetta Vintage Costume Jewelry - Highly Collectible
Panetta used the best materials and jewelry was produced in small batches. No wonder prices for Panetta jewelry were quite high.
After Benedetto's death in 1960, his sons Amadeo and Armand continued the family business. However, the company was sold in the early 1990s to one of their best Japanese customers who closed the business in 1995.
All Panetta jewelry is collectible. Jewelry with crystals in the Art Deco style is especially sought-after by vintage costume jewelry lovers. Check our DSF Antique Jewelry online store to find the perfect piece for you!