BY VIVIENNE BECKER
This monumental edition, presents more than one hundred rare pieces of Reza’s creations, and a history of the famed gem house in archival documents and vintage photography.
Alexandre Reza is a Paris-based jeweler known for his diverse and rare collection of precious gems. He is lauded as the greatest gem collector of modern times.
Alexandre Reza was born in 1922 in Moscow, of ancient Samarkand heritage. The son of a jeweler, Alexandre moved to France with his family when he was a child. He set out on his own at the age of 18, the same time as the onset of World War II.
After the war, Alexandre Reza began his career as a diamond expert, traveling extensively to source each stone, which served as the key design inspiration for his work. Early on, he supplied gems to jewelry brands such as Boucheron, Bulgari, Cartier, Chaumet, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef & Arpels.
“probably the top jeweller in the world for the rich, famous and royalty.” The Mirror
After more than three decades of acquiring and selectively selling fine diamonds, Alexandre Reza founded his eponymous jewelry house in 1981 on the Place Vendome in Paris. He also established retail presence in Geneva, Cannes and Monaco to offer Haute Joaillerie: suites of necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings, and objet de art made from rare diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.
Alexandre Reza’s creations are known for their opulence, splendor, extravagance, and extraordinary craftsmanship.
In the same year, on the day of her death, Princess Diana was wearing a “fabulous, diamond-studded ring crafted by Alexandre Reza,” given to her by her companion, Dodi Fayed, eldest son of Harrods owner Mohamed al-Fayed.
“movement, lightness, composition, and harmony are the key words of his designs.” Sotheby’s
For the past five decades, the gemologist has been one of world’s most exclusive jewelers, a master artisan and exporter based in Place Vendôme, the heart of fashion and luxury.
A creator by instinct, Reza takes history as inspiration rather than for reproduction. His handcrafted pieces mix ages and eras to create something special—a “harmonization of contradictory forces,” according to historian Arlette Seta.
Alexandre Reza’s work has also been featured in books such as Alexandre Reza: Dreams of Yesterday, Realities of Today (1985) and Alexandre Reza: Stones of Light (1991).
About the Author
Vivienne Becker is a jewelry historian, journalist, and author of books on antique and 20th-century jewelry design, including Art Nouveau Jewelry and Fabulous Costume Jewelry. She collaborated with former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on the best-selling book Read My Pins: Stories from a Diplomat’s Jewel Box (2009). She is a contributing editor for How to Spend It, the Financial Times’s luxury magazine, writes for Saturday Telegraph magazine, and lectures regularly.