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If you are looking to add some vintage Domonique Aurientis jewelry to your collection, you have come to the right place. Here you will learn about the history, materials, jewelry marks, collectible pieces, and where to buy.
Dominique has always made an amazing model for her own jewelry and for her philosophy of living large with wit and sophistication. She has been known to wear huge elephant-head earrings, half a dozen lapel pins, bracelets covering both arms, and gold charms dangling from a silk scarf—all at the same time, of course.
Brief History of Dominique Aurientis Jewelry
Dominique Aurientis was born in Aix-en-Provence in Southern France in 1953. She was educated at the Sorbonne University, which was esteemed then, as it is now, for being one of the finest universities in the world. She studied fashion design and, while still studying, went to work for Christian Dior. She stayed with him for four years and then made her way through the most prestigious fashion houses, including Chanel, Lanvin, and Ferragamo. She moved up to director of design for Isabel Canovas. Isabel was as famous for her jewelry as her fashions, and it was there that Dominique found she loved doing accessories more than fashions. She also liked that women who could not afford designer fashions could express their style much more economically with jewelry.
Dominique opened her first jewelry and accessories boutique in France in 1986. Every piece of jewelry was handmade and every stone custom cut. Her jewelry was adorned with colored stones, pearls, glass, and a mixture of materials such as gold-washed metals, bronze, precious woods and resins. Her designs leaned heavily toward flora and fauna. From the beginning, her jewelry garnered media attention and was sold in the most upscale department stores, such as Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue and Harrods. In the 1990s, Dominique was one of the leading haute couture jewelry designers, and her designs were worn by top models in fashion magazines around the world.
Also in the 1990s, Dominique adopted two children in Brazil and relocated to Bali. There she was inspired by the local artisans, revered for their craftsmanship and intricate designs, and created partnerships with Indian and Thai designers. She began using more traditional methods and avoiding any part of a process that would negatively affect the environment and incorporating recycled materials into her pieces.
In 2000, she returned to Paris—she wanted her children to have a French/European education—and became a consultant for high-profile Italian brands, such as Emilio Pucci. In 2008, she turned high-tech with her own website and on-line boutique. Her opulent vintage pieces can be found in brick-and-mortar boutiques around the world and on the Web.
Dominique now lives in Southern France where she creates her jewelry using both Italian and French materials.
“Dominique Aurientis” in an oval or circle with “PARIS” in between.
- Gold-washed metals
- Gold plate
- Sterling silver
- Silver-toned metals
- Swarovski crystals
- Gripoix glass*
- Hand-painted beads
* Gripoix glass was a technique revived and refined by Augustine Gripoix in the 19th century. Glass was melted and poured it into molds, making stones that were purer in color and more transparent.
Favorite Collectibles: Vintage Dominique Aurientis Jewelry
Circa 1980s. These beautiful silver-toned earrings feature a seven-petal crystal flower with teardrop crystals. They measure measure approximately 1.25 inches.
Circa 1980s. Gold-plated cross can be a brooch or a pendant. Features topaz rhinestones, topaz and smoked topaz glass cabochons (Gripoix-style). Measures 3.4 inches in diameter.
Starfish, seashells, fish and hearts fashioned from braided gold and resins that simulate bright, richly colored gems.
Circa 1980’s. Wide gold-tone mesh cuff adorned with pearls and crystals. Measurements 2.3 inches wide and 6.5 inches long.
Circa 1980s. A silver teardrop dangles from a hammered half circle base, also in silver. The clip-ons measure 1.75 inches long; .75 inches wide.
Tips for Buying Vintage Dominique Aurientis Jewelry
- There is a jewelry designer who signs his pieces “Dominique.” Do not mistake his hallmark for that of Dominique Aurientis.
- Buy one outstanding piece, say, once a year rather than load up indiscriminately and end up with a collection you do not like and would never wear and/or one that is essentially worthless. Savor the hunt!
- Do your research, learning all you can about Dominque’s jewelry and the history of her designs. Also get the background on the piece. A legitimate seller should know its history.
- Also check the background of the seller and read the customer’s reviews.
- There are antique shops, flea markets, yard sales and online shops, but you can shop at the next level by attending estate sales yourself. You don’t have to let dealers get first choice. Go to the website gsair.com to find out about estate sales in your area.
Dominique Aurientis vintage jewelry is a fun and very satisfying line to collect. The items are handmade works of art, every chain is custom designed and every stone is cut to suit the design. What’s more, each piece is infused with Dominique’s flair, her boldness and her unique creative philosophy.