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

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)

The internally flawless type IIa stone is one of the largest and rarest in existence…
The Milanese jeweler celebrated the opening with one-off jewelry pieces inspired by paintings…
The London jeweler uses baguette-cut gemstones to echo the film’s neon-lit buildings…
The store is located inside the Peninsula Hotel in the 16th arrondissement…
Photo by Matthias Hoffmann
The 13-piece collection will be on display in cities around the globe in the coming months…
Photo by Jasper Johal
Jessica McCormack’s Victorian townhouse looks like a tasteful private residence in London’s posh...
The jewelry in the new Louis Vuitton Emprise Collection feature streamlined rectangular shapes that...
Photo by Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
Made from 150-million-year-old fossilized dinosaur bone, this Monique Péan necklace (www....
Lisa Charles Watson, styling by Charles W. Bumgardner
The understated, masculine style of Shamballa Jewels’ macramé bracelets (www.shamballajewels.com)...
Photo by Bernhard Rampf
Nature’s Jewels collection by Hemmerle appears to have been foraged in the woods rather than cast...