Joel Arthur Rosenthal (JAR) was born in 1943 and raised in the Bronx area of New York. He studied linguistics before attending Yale University and graduating in 1966. He then moved to Paris and initially worked as a screen writer before opening a needlepoint shop. He primarily focused on color and found himself drifting into gemstones and jewelry. He went to work for Bulgari in New York but soon returned to Paris and together with his partner, Pierre Jeannet, opened his shop just off of Place Vendôme in 1977 behind a discreet black door. His workshops are based in Paris, the south of France, and Geneva. Between them they produce about 100 pieces per year with each piece taking anything from a few weeks to two and a half years to create.