"I'm inspired by history," confides James Taffin de Givenchy. "I like things that have a sense of humor. I like jewelry that doesn't take itself too seriously." Nephew of the famed fashion designer, this 38-year-old New Yorker uses the abilities he inherited from a long line of artists and designers to create bold, gutsy pieces based on nature. "I love sea urchins and sea anemones," he says. "And I love color: the orange of Madeira citrines and mandarin garnets, the reds of coral and spinel, the blues of sapphires and turquoise." To prove the point: citrine and sapphire brooches ($38,500 each); coral and sapphire bracelet ($50,000); coral and diamond nautilus brooch ($64,000); coral necklace ($70,500); turquoise necklace ($35,000); turquoise and sapphire "urchin" earclips ($12,800). All are set in platinum or 18-karat gold. By appointment: 212-794-0308.