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Best of the Best 2012: Jewelry: Vintage: Fred Leighton

Jill Newman

When Greg Kwiat took over as CEO of the storied vintage jeweler Fred Leighton two and a half years ago, he knew that keeping up the inventory of rare collectible jewelry would be a challenge. "It just gets harder and harder to find beautiful, great designs," he says. But Kwiat has persevered, and under his leadership the store has amassed an exceptionally curated collection, from signed Cartier and Suzanne Belperron pieces to beautifully executed unsigned designs like this 1940s 67-carat amethyst-and-diamond ring ($12,500). "It’s a beautifully bold, powerful cocktail ring that is as much a statement today about style and confidence as it was when it was first created," Kwiat says. (212.288.1872)

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Photo by Agence Pustetto