A Shopping Trip Back in Time: Visiting Vintage Jewelers in Providence

Antique jewelry is a coveted find for many fashion enthusiasts. From elegant vintage lockets to eye-catching statement pieces, owning a piece of jewelry with a rich history is an alluring experience.

Providence, Rhode Island, was once home to some of the most magnificent vintage jewelry collections from crafty artisans such as Monet, Coro, and Trifari. However, due to the outsourcing of manufacturing to China, these iconic brands are no longer in business in Providence, and none of them produce jewelry anymore.

Despite their absence, the legacy of these legendary vintage jewelers lives on in their timeless creations that continue to captivate admirers and collectors alike. If you appreciate history and admire beautiful jewelry pieces, learning about the stories behind these iconic brands will surely spark your interest.

Plus, if you’re lucky, you may just find a piece of vintage jewelry from one of these iconic brands on your next shopping trip. Whether it’s an heirloom, a collectible, or even something to wear yourself, having a piece of history will surely be cherished for years to come. 

Join us on an exciting journey as we explore the birthplace of their craftsmanship and creativity and trace their impact on the fashion world, celebrating the rich history of vintage jewelry in Providence.


The Legacy of Monet, Coro, & Trifari: A Closer Look at Their Collections

Monet: Elegance and Timelessness

In the year of 1919, brothers Michael and Joseph Chernow from Providence, Rhode Island, opened their own business that would soon become a renowned brand: Monet. At first called Monocraft Products Company, this enterprise originally specialized in manufacturing metal products decorated with monograms, like handbag appliqués or vanity accessories.

By 1929, thanks to Edmond Mario Granville’s guidance and vision for expansion, the company had broadened its horizons into producing costume jewelry.

During the 1930s, Monet revolutionized their jewelry by introducing rhinestones into its beloved designs. Rhinestone jewelry was especially popular due to its budget-friendly price tag and dazzling aesthetic that replicated the radiance of diamonds. Monet’s use of rhinestones set the brand apart, as they combined quality craftsmanship with the glitz and glamor of these sparkling stones.

At Grandma’s Jewelry, you’ll find an array of vintage Monet pieces that exude timeless sophistication and precision. One such piece is the Gold Signed Bangle Bracelet Monet Vintage 1970 Estate, which encapsulates all the meticulous craftsmanship and design that makes every Monet jewelry item so special.

Vintage rhinestone costume jewelry from Monet is also available, and these pieces are no less exquisite than their gold counterparts. The Monet Sparkle Mother of Pearl Butterfly Brooch Pin Rhinestones is a perfect example of the brand’s dedication to beauty and quality. With its intricate details and captivating rhinestone accents, this brooch is a true work of art.


Coro: The Art of Intricacy

Coro was established in 1901 by Emanuel Cohn and Carl Rosenberger, two young entrepreneurs who started their business in a small Rhode Island workshop. Originally, Coro manufactured pins and other decorative items, but later went on to expand their product line to include elegant jewelry commodities.

By the 1950s, numerous exceptional brand names existed that produced stunning costume jewelry, including Trifari, Monet, and many more. However, among all these brands, Coro was perhaps the most well-known to the general public, with many people having Coro jewelry in their personal collections. 

During the 20th century, Coro had more brands than any other company in the US market. 

The name “Coro” was derived from the first two letters of each founder’s last name. The company made sure to use quality materials and craftsmanship for every piece of jewelry, ensuring that each item had a high degree of finesse and detailed design.

Similar to Monet, vintage Coro jewelry pieces are available at Grandma’s Jewelry. The Vintage Brooch Coro Signed Gold Heart and Bow w Green Rhinestone is a true testament to the Coro brand’s skill in creating elaborate and eye-catching jewelry pieces.

Trifari: Classic Meets Modern

Trifari is a well-known jewelry brand that has been around for nearly a century. It was founded in 1918 by Gustavo Trifari, an Italian immigrant who had previously worked for other jewelry companies in New York City.

Initially, Trifari produced high-quality costume jewelry that was designed to mimic the look of fine jewelry. The company’s early designs were often inspired by Art Deco and Art Nouveau styles, and they were known for their use of high-quality materials and expert craftsmanship. Trifari’s jewelry was crafted with an emphasis on opulence and glamor, employing only the most excellent rhinestones, faux pearls, silver plating, and gold accents.

In the 1930s, Trifari began collaborating with some of the leading fashion designers of the time, such as Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli. These collaborations led to some of Trifari’s most iconic designs, including the “fruit salad” pieces, which featured colorful clusters of fruit-shaped stones and were very popular during the 1940s.

Trifari became one of the most successful costume jewelry manufacturers of the 20th century, and its jewelry was worn by many famous women, including First Lady Mamie Eisenhower and actress Marilyn Monroe.

In 1975, Trifari was sold to the jewelry company, Hallmark, but the Trifari name is still used today for some costume jewelry lines.

Grandma’s jewelry also stocks a selection of vintage Trifari pieces, such as the VTG Crown Trifari Alfred Phillippee Designs Rhinestone Brooch Bow Leaf Gold. Always in high demand due to its classic beauty, this particular vintage brooch is surely one of Trifari’s most sought-after pieces.

In addition, the Designer Signed Earrings Pierced Trifari Black w/ Rhinestones Estate is a wonderful example of Trifari’s expertise in crafting timeless items that combine modern and classic elements. These earrings feature a bold and sophisticated look, perfect for any occasion.


In conclusion, visiting vintage jewelers in Providence is a unique and exciting way to delve into the history and legacy of some of the most iconic jewelry brands of the 20th century. Monet, Coro, and Trifari are just a few of the brands that have made significant contributions to the fashion world. As a result, their vintage pieces remain highly coveted by collectors and fashion enthusiasts alike.

By exploring their collections, we can gain a greater appreciation for the skill and craftsmanship that went into creating these beautiful pieces, and the enduring impact they have had on fashion and design.

Until your next visit to Provence, why not check out Grandma’s Jewelry for some of these timeless vintage pieces? We have a wide selection of jewelry from top brands such as Monet, Coro, and Trifari—guaranteed to make you shine!

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