Need to find the ultimate summer jewel or perhaps a memorable hostess gift for a seaside soirée? You might just find it at Seaman Schepps’ new boutique in the Big Apple.
The renowned American jeweler—which has adorned high-profile women including Blanche Knopf, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and even the Duchess of Windsor—recently opened a brand new flagship on 824 Madison Avenue. The store features an assortment of iconic pieces, from its well-known turbo shell earrings and its instantly recognizable wood and gold bracelets, as well as small gifts such as its stone flower pots.
The previous location of the New York-based jeweler, which is celebrating 118 years of design and production in the city, was closed during the pandemic after 60 years on Park Avenue and East 58th Street. The reason, not surprisingly, had to do with landlord issues, but the company was soon offered a new space at 69th and Madison. The location was fitting—the brand opened its first boutique on Madison Avenue in 1931 after spending the ’20s at 778 Sixth Avenue and later on 1066 Sixth Avenue.
Designed by Penny Drue Baird, the new 1,600-square-foot store is a refreshing airy respite from the concrete jungle. It features baby blue pastel walls, pale oak furniture and stunning jewels destined for a beachfront escape. (Fittingly, the company’s other flagships are located in Nantucket, Massachusetts and Palm Beach, Florida where it caters to well-heeled New Yorkers and New Englanders looking to escape the summer heat at sprawling waterfront estates.)
The boutique also features a vault of historic pieces that will regularly be on display, along with over 5,000 accompanying original jewelry sketches and handwritten archives of client purchases dating back to the ’70s. A spiral staircase leads down to a seated area for private client appointments where the company plans to hold jewelry talks and other events.
The store is run under the ownership of Anthony Hopenhajm, a jewelry connoisseur and New Yorker, who regularly bikes to work in a full suit and tie, even in the dead of summer. That old-school approach to sartorial dressing is something he shares in common with the brand. “It’s not about offending, it’s about having your own sense of personal style,” says Hopenhajm. “Because of the materials we work with, each one is so unique. Even if you’re buying another pair of shells [earrings] that we do, the next pair of shells is going to be different just because they’re natural materials. It’s more difficult to make jewelry that way because you have to make it by hand. All of our pieces are signed and numbered.”
Is it worth swinging by for a visit? Check out the in-boutique highlights below and decide for yourself, but we don’t think you’ll need any further persuasion.
Seaman Schepps Bodrum Bracelet
An ultra-chic, but understated example of the company’s use of color to evoke the colors of the sea is this Bodrum bracelet ($37,400) made of jadeite and rubies set within 18-karat gold.
Seaman Schepps Turbo Shell Earrings
Considered one of the most recognizable designs in the Seaman Schepps vault, the company’s Turbo Shell earrings have become the ultimate status symbol and have been worn by the likes of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. This pair, made of pearl and set with diamond bands in 18-karat white gold, are as perennially chic as they come. ($11,250)
Seaman Schepps Mousetrap Bracelet
Blanche Knopf, president of Alfred A. Knopf Inc. publishing company and wife of its founder, was known for her elegant style. She made Seaman Schepps’ Mousetrap bracelet, like this medium-sized 22-karat gold example set with diamonds ($41,950), an icon of the house. She famously wore three large-sized Mousetrap bracelets stacked on her wrist at once and was photographed in the look aboard her yacht in the ’50s. The image can be seen up-close in the boutique.
Seaman Schepps Unique Set of Jadeite and Diamond Nesting Necklaces
This simple and unique set of three jadeite and diamond necklaces set in 18-karat white gold ($36,000) popped beneath a glass vitrine at the new store and make for a striking combo when worn together but can also be worn separately. “When the material is so beautiful, you have to sort of do nothing with it,” says Hopenhajm of the jadeite stones. “So, we just basically found the beads and we just string them up and add little diamond rondelles because the material itself is so gorgeous by itself.”
Seaman Schepps Turquoise Necklace with Baroque Gray Pearl
Offering arguably even more high-impact (at a significantly more palatable price than the jadeite necklace above) is this natural graduated tumbled turquoise necklace finished with a baroque gray pearl clasp set in 18-karat white gold ($14,500).
Seaman Schepps Walnut Wood and Sapphire Silhouette Earrings
This classic design is another perennial favorite of the house, but the nuances in texture on the walnut wood combined with the canary-colored hue of the round sapphires make for an arresting match in this set ($18,950) that upstages other Silhouette earrings on offer. They come set in 18-karat yellow gold and feature 7 carats of pavé yellow sapphires.
Seaman Schepps Emerald, Aquamarine, Tourmaline and Diamond Rio Bracelet
The company’s Rio bracelets were first introduced in the ’40s in tourmalines and aquamarines, along with precious gemstones and diamonds. Set in 18-karat white gold, this Rio bracelet is a fitting continuation of the design, offering a mix of emerald, aquamarine, tourmaline and diamonds set in varying shapes for maximum impact. Naturally, this one comes with a price tag to match its brilliance, which means if you need to ask then you must request the figure from the boutique.
Seaman Schepps Coral and Baroque Pearl Bracelet
Coral has long had a presence in the Seaman Schepps house, but this sizeable coral nad baroque pearl bracelet set in 18-karat yellow gold is a unique design, in case you’re looking to one-up the competition among the well-heeled in NYC, Nantucket, Palm Beach or other jet-set locations where the brand is a regular.
Seaman Schepps Flower Pots
If you are looking for a chic (and relatively accessible) gift, the store also carries a selection of small stone flower pots ($1,500 for the large size and $1,250 for the small size) packaged in wooden lacquer boxes that make for great home accents or even table settings. They are available in rock crystal, agate and blue aventurine (pictured above right) and are displayed throughout the store on both levels.