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Over 60 years of experience has given artisan jeweler Gilbert Albert a startlingly encyclopedic knowledge of his craft. His one-of-a-kind creations are heavily inspired by the natural world, and seem to many of his devoted following to be more of a contemporary art piece than jewelry.
Albert’s flagship Manhattan store follows in the vein of this artistry. Three sprawling floors are filled with whimsical, breathtakingly intricate creations set lovingly behind gleaming glass cases. The effect is enough to make one almost feel as if they’ve stepped into a decadent gallery rather than a fine jewelry store.
While many jewelers make fastidious efforts to use their most precious stones as the central feature of a piece, the crowning glories of Albert’s collections do just the opposite. A master of bringing forth the rough-hewn beauty of natural stones in their most raw form, Albert’s pieces often feature unpolished natural elements with small precious stone accents. It’s a rarity to find a diamond or any other precious stone as a focal point in a piece, although one of his most expensive works does feature rubies and 520 glittering diamonds. However, a sleek petrified wood cross pendent with delicate gold pearl accents, or a fossilized dinosaur bone necklace, are more reflective of Albert’s nature inspired style of work.
This use of atypical materials is one of the hallmarks of Albert’s practice. From utilizing a sea urchin as a focal point to ammolite (the pearlized outside of a sea creature) and fresh water pearl, his collections offer an astonishing range of material presented in innovative and deeply thoughtful arrangements. One of our favorites is a gorgeous azurite necklace in which the stone has been cut evenly in half to create an illusion similar to a blooming flower.
Gold accents in painstakingly crafted pearl and lichen forms are also a common motif in Albert’s jewels. The precision with which each pearl dot is handset, often against a mold to ensure it forms seamlessly to the neck, is a testament to the craftsmanship and passion that informs Albert’s work.
Yet another of Albert’s innovations is his line of interchangeable rings. Surprisingly affordable, these rings are a practical investment for anyone who loves variety in their jewelry. The store offers over 100 stones that can be changed in and out of the ring depending on your preference.