By Michelle Graff
The design of the ancient Roman amphitheater inspired Giuseppe Picchiotti when he was designing this round and baguette diamond ring featuring an unheated, untreated 8.05-carat Mozambican ruby center stone.
Basel, Switzerland--Jewelry company Giuseppe Picchiotti, started in the late 1960s, is marking its 50th anniversary this year with a retrospective of its most important pieces and a new book.

Jewelry historian and author Vivienne Becker penned “Picchiotti: The First Fifty Years” with Susan Jacques, president and CEO of the Gemological Institute of America, providing the forward.

On Saturday night in Basel, Picchiotti held a dinner and champagne toast for retailers and press to celebrate its milestone and the new 248-page book.

20170329 Picchiotti bookThe cover of the book marking Picchiotti’s 50th anniversary features L’Anifiteatro, the ruby and diamond ring created to mark the milestone.
Between the many courses, Becker, who also does the “How to Spend It” feature for The Financial Times, spoke about her experience in penning “The First Fifty Years” and in getting to know the family behind the jewelry brand that Giuseppe Picchiotti started in 1967.

Becker traveled to Valencia, Italy last May to meet the Picchiottis and research her book after being introduced to the brand by Joe Padulo.  

“They plied me with a lot of good food and even better wine,” Becker joked about her trip to meet the Picchiotti family.

“I had a great time also looking through the design archives, which is something that I absolutely adore to do. I was able to trace the evolution of design since 1967 right through to today. It was really fascinating for me to chart that evolution and to see the innovation that Picchiotti was able to bring to our rather reserved industry in the 1960s, ‘70s and ‘80s.”

In honor of its anniversary, Picchiotti also created one new piece marking the year 2017--the L’Anifiteatro ruby ring, which Becker described as “magnificent”--and assembled a retrospective of four pieces of work from over the decades.

20170329 Colonnade necklaceThe Colonna Romana necklace features square-cut rubies set in yellow gold, baguette diamonds set in white gold and onyx.
The retrospective includes the Colonna Romana ruby and diamond necklace (pictured above) from the 1980s.

The L’Anifiteatro, meanwhile, is set with baguette-cut and round diamonds and centered by an unheated, untreated 8.05-carat Mozambican ruby.

Architecture of Ancient Rome informed the design of both of these pieces.

The necklace was inspired by Roman columns while baguette diamonds of the L’Anifiteatro were set to resemble the stands of an ancient Roman amphitheater surrounding the stage, which is represented by the ruby.

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