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In this city of Van Cleef, Cartier, and Boucheron, selling jewelry is serious business. The following names may not be as familiar as that trinity of giants (yet), but they do know their stuff.
At Galerie Naïla de Monbrison, design is what counts. For the past 21 years, the Egyptian-born De Monbrison has championed young talent. She was the first to exhibit Tina Chow’s jewelry and gave Taher Chemirik—whose chains are now coveted worldwide—his start. The mix can include ethnic necklaces from India ($690–$4,170), a gold and quartz ring that coils around the finger by Lebanese artist Lara Koulajian ($6,000), or gold and lacquer chain necklaces ($6,400–$14,200) by Chemirik. At 6 Rue de Bourgogne; 33-1/47-05-11-15.
A former biologist who discovered her calling about 30 years ago, Lydia Courteille is a certified gemologist and one of Paris’s foremost experts in antique jewelry. She collects important pieces and creates her own. Her shop is packed with specimens of both pursuits: An 18th-century pearl necklace sits near a contemporary purple sugilite flower ring. Prices are steep (in the five digits for most large items), but you won’t find a Lydia Courteille store anywhere else. At 231 Rue St.-Honoré; 33-1/42-61-11-71; lydiacourteille.com.
Fashion editors swear by the costume jewelry of Karry’O (née Karine Berrebi), who spent 12 years designing pieces for couture houses before setting up on her own in 2004. Her tiny shop, in St.-Germain-des-Prés, contains her own creations—mile-long golden sautoirs, huge horn cuffs—as well as costume jewelry like Catherine Noll ivory necklaces from the seventies and intricate glass necklaces made for YSL and Christian Dior in the fifties. Note: They may not be the “real thing,” but the prices, especially on signed pieces, are “on request only” and range from $500 to $2,000. At 62 Rue des St.-Pères; 33-1/45-48-94-67; karryo.com.