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The Family Jewels

Jill Newman

Fifth-generation Roman jeweler Alberto Petochi created his first collection around his family’s heirlooms: three rare Roman coins. The New York–based entrepreneur had the three coins re-created by Roman jewelers in a range of stylish silver and gold jewelry that has been unveiled for spring. The 1884 Collection, named for the year Petochi’s family started in the jewelry business, offers more than jewelry. With each purchase, customers are encouraged to register their wish on the company’s website, and in turn, Petochi will have a coin thrown into Rome’s famous Trevi fountain, where visitors have been tossing coins for decades to encourage good fortune and a return to Rome.

Coins have been a familiar jewelry symbol for centuries, and Petochi is showing his two-sided coins in a range of designs, from coins on colored leather cords ($180) to more elaborate pieces adorned with gemstone accents or on a black diamond and gold chain ($16,000). Beyond the fashionable designs, each coin tells the story of an important Roman leader. One coin features the image of Alexander the Great, but all three are especially meaningful to Petochi because they have been his family for decades. The coins are being made by local Roman jewelers whose families have worked with Petochi’s for generations. (www.1884collection.com)

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