What Is Monet Jewelry?

By Cicely A. Richard

Monet Jewelry is a line of vintage costume accessories, such as necklaces, brooches and earrings. These pieces, used to give an outfit a classic, formal look, are made primarily of precious metals like silver and gold, and handcrafted for originality. Although Monet Jewelry is commonly worn for special occasions, some of its more toned-down pieces can be worn with everyday clothing.

Monocraft Products Company

Authentic Monet Jewelry was made by Monocraft Products Company, a Providence, Rhode Island company founded in 1927. At first, this company created handbags with gold-plated appliqués and monograms. The metalwork used on their handbags distinguished them from other companies because they used intricate designs on their products.

Monet, 1929

In 1929, the Monocraft Products Company, under the name Monet, began creating costume jewelry, necklaces, bracelets, broaches, earrings, and ornamental clips. However, they did not market their jewelry pieces as Monet until 1937. They represented technological advances in jewelry making, especially in earrings: At the time, Monet was the only company making earring clips for both pierced and non-pierced ears and barrel clasps for pierced earrings. This technology, as well as their use of gold and silver plating and sterling silver, set them apart from other jewelry makers of the time.

Designs

Genuine Monet Jewelry of the 1930s and 1940s was designed using straight edges and open metalwork. The straight edges appear smoother than other jewelry makers of that time. The open metalwork designs of their gold and silver plated jewelry differentiated them from other designers at the time, as well.

Monet Trademark

Before 1955, Monet Jewelry was characterized by their use of precious metals and their unique designs. However, in 1955, it became easier for people who wanted genuine, vintage jewelry from this manufacturer to differentiate them from imitators of their designs. In that year, genuine jewelry carried the Monet Trademark.

Modern Monet Jewelry

The history of Monet Jewelry, which began in 1927, has managed to maintain their unique designs and change with the times. However, people who want genuine Monet pieces should know the various companies who have had the rights to create these trademark designs. From 1969 to 1989, General Mills acquired Monocraft Products Company, the company that held rights to Monet the longest. From 1989 to 1994, the jewelry was sold through Crystal Brands Jewelry Group, and from 1994 to 2000, Chase Capital Partners, Lattice Holding. Presently, Liz Claiborne, Inc. produces Monet Jewelry, a right they've held since 2000.