Jewelry creates more emotion than any other accessory, bookmarking life’s most valuable moments. Engagement rings passed through generations or the necklace a mother gifts her daughter are just a few keyframes in the screenplay of a woman’s life. With this in mind, Jean Prounis channels her love of antiquities and her family’s lineage of creating treasured memories and objects.
Jean Prounis works with 22k gold and ethically sourced gemstones. She describes the aesthetic of her eponymous line as “meso-greco-aleppo.” These hand-wrought pieces are defined by a custom shade of buttery gold. Prounis utilizes a special alloy created with three metals: fine silver, copper and 22k gold – the same blend that defines many Greek artifacts.
While she was born in New York City and raised on Long Island, her great-grandparents grew up in Greece before immigrating to America. When they arrived in Manhattan, her great-grandfather became the co-proprietor of the Versailles Club, a mecca for famous people such as Édith Piaf and Dean Martin. The key color of her branding – sage green – was the color of the club’s dining room table cloths.
The Greco-Roman qualities of her designs are inspired by her grandfather who, although born in the United States, treasured his Greek heritage. An influential source in her life, he passed down information from his extensive library that encompassed everything from Greek art and jewelry to architecture. Exposure to every element of their heritage resulted in a celebration of that ancestry which naturally formed the foundation of Jean’s design sensibilities.
Exquisite bezel settings, repoussé, chain-making and granulation, are just a few techniques she studied while under the tutelage of influential jewelers such as Celia Bauer. A simplicity of form echos her family’s legacy. She plays with the scale of her work to create bolder, modernized versions of ancient heirlooms.
Jean Prounis states that her jewelry “takes on the life of the wearer…your skin’s oils polish the gold over the years…[and] it lives with you like a second skin.
In the beginning, Jean handcrafted nearly all of Prounis’ pieces herself. Today, she works with expert craftsmen through a detailed process infused with intense integrity and engineering to create work that endures.