What Is Monet Jewelry?

monet-jewelry Credit: Ashley Van Haeften/CC-BY 2.0

Monet is a line of costume jewelry that was developed by Michael and Joseph Chernow. The brothers founded the company to offer an alternative to some of the more expensive pieces offered by Coco Chanel and Elso Schiaparelli. The key to their plan was to create a costume jewelry style that mixed the two designers' ideas.

Monet jewelry included interpretations of the Chanel designs of animals and people along with surreal impressions, as seen in the Schiaparelli collection. The brothers included rhinestone simulations of emeralds, sapphires and rubies.

Eventually, the stones were replaced with a focus on the color and shapes of the metal used. The jewelry was a huge success, but during World War II, the jewelry factory was retrofitted to produce ammunition, shell casings and other weapon materials. During this time, brass and platinum were rationed, so the brothers began creating jewelry out of sterling silver.

After the war, full production of Monet jewelry started back up with new styles, but the sterling silver jewelry continued to be a large portion of the jewelry produced. In the 1940s, the world was introduced to the single-charm bracelet. During that time, Monet saw its clover, perfume mask and lovebird charms become popular.