Jean Dinh Van
Jean Dinh Van was born just outside Paris in 1927 to a French mother and Vietnamese father. He studied drawing at the École des Beaux-Arts he went to work for Cartier. There he spent many years at the bench, first training, and eventually making jewelry for Cartier clients. In the 1960s he wanted to free jewelry design from the contemporary designs that were popular and create his own. In 1965 he established his own workshop in Place Gaillon in Paris. There he collaborated with designers like Pierre Cardin. He designed famous pieces such as the ‘Two Pearl’ ring in 1967. Further collaborations were with other designs like Paco Rabanne, then De Beers, and also with Cartier! In fact pieces with both the Cartier and Dinh Van signatures are particularly collectible! In 1976 Dinh Van decided to open his own boutique at number 7, rue de la Paix. Further boutiques in New York and Geneva followed as more women discovered these new and stylish jewels. In 1984 he was selected as one of the first jewelers to exhibit at the gallery of the Parisian department store Galeries Lafayette. In 1993 a change in French law saw the reversal of the ban on importation and manufacture of 9ct gold. To protest he created a collection of pure gold jewels called Pi Chinois. Dinh Van decided to retire, selling the company (along with the rights to his name) in 1998.