When it comes to Italian jewelry firms I’ve never heard of, I’m all ears. Of course I adore the marquee names we’re all familiar with, but when it’s a smaller operation, with an appealingly lower profile, I’m particularly keen.
So when Officina Bernardi reached out to share their holiday collection, I was instantly intrigued.
Like many Italian jewelry entrepreneurs, brothers Carlo and Francesco Bernardi started out in the Vicenza gold district. In the late 1980s, they founded Chrysos, a tech-forward gold and silver jewelry manufacturing firm in Italy’s Veneto region still in operation today. Located in Borso del Grappa, the facility now serves simultaneously as the headquarters for the company’s designer jewelry brand, Officina Bernardi.
Though Bernardi launched in 2008, it has just begun to cultivate a solid retail tableau. In March, the firm opened its first flagship boutique in Venice. Housed in the Piazza San Marco’s centuries-old arcade, it attracts an international clientele who appreciate the traditions of Italian jewelry design but also want to take home something modern and distinctive.
For its Holiday 2017 offering, Bernardi has unveiled the Antares Collection. It’s named for one of the brightest stars in the Scorpius Constellation, making it the perfect gift for women born between October 23 and November 21. (The constellation itself is visible in the Northern Hemisphere’s night sky during the months of July and August.)
The goldwork features the Bernardi’s signature moon-cut bead with crescent-shape grooves designed to catch the light. When enlarged on a CAD screen, the bead has the look of a futuristic bullet; shrunken down and set in a piece of jewelry, the shine effect is remarkable, but not at all glitzy. Perfect for Scorpios, who tend to be secretive and mysterious rather than attention-seeking. Fittingly, midnight blue sapphires punctuate each design with a velvety, understated pop of color.
U.S. customers can currently find Bernardi in the Fred Segal concept store on Sunset Boulevard in L.A., as well as select Bloomingdale’s locations.
Triple Row Ring with blue sapphires in 18k yellow gold, $2,050
Bangle bracelet with blue sapphires in 18k yellow gold, $5,220
Statement Necklace with blue sapphires in 18k yellow gold, $2,250
Hoop earrings with blue sapphires in 18k yellow gold, $3,070 (also at top)