SCP hallmarked silver brooch, c. 1930, by CIRO, England

CIRO Jewelry began as a mail order company in London, England in 1917. Their ads and order forms were printed in daily newspapers. In 1920 CIRO opened its first store in Bond Street, London. In the 1920s they became especially known for their cultured pearls. Real pearls were expensive and fake pearls before the 1920s were wax or glass and not very convincing, but cultured pearls were good facsimiles of the real thing and CIRO lead the way in their popularity. Fifty years later CIRO also lead the way in popularizing zircons as realistic diamond substitutes. The company is still in business.

Chapman Brothers Ltd. jewellers (1874 – c. 1977)

Benjamin Chapman presumably learned the watchmaking and jewellery trade from his father who had established a jewellery business in Dublin, Ireland in 1814. Benjamin worked for 16 years as a jeweller in Belfast before immigrating to Canada in 1864. Ten years later he established his own business at 261 Yonge street in Toronto. 

B. Chapman’s shop offered imported clocks and jewellery from England and Germany. In January, 1890 The Trader & Canadian Jeweller reported that his store had recently installed the “new Edison incandescent electric lighting”, which “shows off their handsome goods to great advantage.” 

William James Chapman (1911 – 1999) great grandson of Benjamin, was the last owner of the family business that remained in operation until at least 1977. In 1979 the original building was given heritage status and today it houses a Tim Horton’s on the main floor.

Monet Jewellery c. 1937 – 2000

Michael and Joseph Chernow founded their New York monogramming business ‘Monocraft’ in 1927. They began by making custom decals of people’s initials to put on their cars (monogramming was a popular fad in the late 1920s.) They then expanded into making metal monograms that resembled family crests including small versions for women to monogram their purses. 

In 1934 they hired jewellery designer Edmond Mario Granville, who had trained with Cartier and would remain with the company until 1969. The first jewellery produced was a brooch style called ‘Click-Its’ that customers could personalize by clicking in their initials at the time of purchase.

In 1937 the company was renamed Monet and focussed on the production of high quality costume jewellery that emulated designs by Chanel and Schiaparelli. During the war their Providence Rhode Island factory retooled to make bullet and shell casings but also made some metal jewellery, mostly in sterling silver, as well as enamelled figural pins and war-related propaganda jewellery. They became the official Royal Air Force jewelry maker for the Bundles for Britain campaign, which raised money for civilians recovering from air raids. 

As hairstyles became shorter in the late 1940s, the demand for earrings rose. Clip-on styles became a Monet strength, as did triple plated heavy gold metal chain-link necklaces and bracelets. For the teen market the Monettes line was created with delicate necklaces and themed charm bracelets.

In 1977, Monet launched Ciani, a line of fine jewelry in 14-carat gold, sterling silver, semi-precious stones, and pave diamonds. Monet expanded their product line in the 1980s to include accessories like watches, pens, and belt buckles, and in 1988 began offering their products via mail-order. Monet acquired the license to make Yves St. Laurent costume jewelry in the U.S. in 1981 and in 1995 also acquired the license to manufacture Christian Lacroix costume jewelry. The company was bought out by Liz Clairborne in 2000 and has changed hands many times since.

Viking Craft Jewellery 1938 – c. 1970s?

Albert Horwig was born April 4, 1896 in Charleston, South Carolina. The family name was originally Hurwitz, but was changed to Horwig by his father. Albert married Rose Hoffman in 1932 and by 1938 had founded his New York based jewellery company. He registered the mark Viking Craft in November 1938, which produced primarily sterling brooches and earrings in a Nordic style originally developed by Georg Jensen in Denmark. No date is currently available for the company closing. Albert Horwig died in 1980 in Palm Beach, Florida. 

Canadian Fashion Connection – KIEN (K’Ien) Jewellery

Founded in Montreal by Naila Jaffer on February 3, 1986, K’Ien Art Concept Ltee. was listed as a wholesale distributor of jewellery. This means they didn’t manufacture the pieces, but had them made (probably in Canada) with their label.

The company didn’t survive the early 90s recession. Their last annual general meeting was held in 1991, they failed to file after 1994 and were dissolved for non-compliance by the Canadian government on March 6, 2000.

The difficult to read label that looks like KTFM is actually K’IEN.