The night sky and its many wonders have long captured the imaginations of jewelers throughout history, and this obsession with constellations, the 12 zodiac signs, and the order of our universe continues strong today. Some of the earliest examples of jewelry from the ancient Mediterranean region from 3,000 to 400 B.C. were decorated with stars and assigned spiritual meanings. Here’s how today’s powerhouses are riffing anew on this long-standing tradition.
David Webb introduces its new Zodiac collection, its first launch since the Motif collection in 2017. These unisex two-sided pendants derive their inspiration from two series of archival zodiac designs from the late 1960s, which were collected by Frank Sinatra, Estée Lauder, and Diana Vreeland. These new iterations showcase the astrological sign on one side and its symbol on the other and shine in what feels like an ancient piece of hammered 18-karat gold, available with or without diamonds.
Duke Fulco di Verdura, the genius behind the iconic Verdura, sailed for New York, leaving behind his previous career designing Byzantine-inspired jewelry for Coco Chanel. Once settled in New York in the fall of 1935, Verdura visited and became fascinated by the newly opened Hayden Planetarium at the American Museum of Natural History. The fascination with the wonders of the universe would continue to inspire Verdura throughout his career and make appearances in his work.
The brand is now paying homage to its heritage with hand-engraved zodiac pendant necklaces that draw their aesthetic from cigarette cases, brooches, and pendants designed by Verdura himself in the 1930s and a set of postcards he purchased while visiting the American Museum of Natural History.
Temple St. Clair, the designer known for her rock crystal amulets and stunning goldwork, has partnered with an astrophysicist at the University of Bologna to dream up the new Sundial bracelet that allows the wearer to tell time. Drawings of the sun, moon, and constellations (which can be customized to the wearer’s own birth sign) decorate the cuff, while a small hole allows the sunlight through. This limited-edition design is constructed in Italy by a master craftsman and is a true collector’s piece. As a bonus, a portion of proceeds of any sale this month will directly benefit Big Life, an organization working to protect wildlife in East Africa.