Stone Paris Fine Jewellery-Interview with Marie Poniatowski

French designers have long created the most stylistically elegant and innovative brands. This outstanding reputation has been originated by the 17th-century French monarch Louis XIV and his shrewd minister of finance, Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The Sun King had an eye for fashion and, with the help of Colbert, as the latter famously indicated: “fashions were to France what the mines of Peru were to Spain;  Louis XIV established France as the leading luxury and chic fashion capital of the world.

The French way of luxury attire, accessories, and living has evolved from the elaborate fashion of the 17th-century to cool and effortlessly elegant style. Defined by “I woke up like this” attitude, the French design allows the individual to shine with a hint of playfulness. The Stone Paris fine jewelry has this quality ingrained in its DNA. Founded by Marie Poniatowski, a Parisian from a high nobility family whose origins go back to the 15th century admiringly creates sensual and modern jewelry adorned with romanticism.

Marie Poniatowski - Stone Paris Jewellery
Marie Poniatowski – Stone Paris Jewellery

Her collection is for the brave who is not afraid of the stigma of being emotionally tender, but the one that graciously asserts, ” I am the beloved who chooses to abide or break the rules. The wearer is attentive to detail, gentle in nature, and connoisseur of timeless elegance. As for the androgynous pieces of Stone Paris’s fine jewelry, a touch of royal rebellion that screams rocker-chic will transform your style delicately.

 

Romeo et Juliette montage chaine - Stone Paris Jewellery
Romeo et Juliette montage chaine – Stone Paris Jewellery

Interview with Marie Poniatowski:

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

MP: I’m an entrepreneur; I design fine jewelry for Stone Paris, the brand I founded 14 years ago. I live in Paris with my husband and daughter. I’m very straightforward, so I always tell it like it is! Moreover, while I create luxurious accessories, I’m very casual, and my favorite thing is to be with my family and friends in my country house outside of the city.

Décor boutique Stone Paris Jewellery
Décor boutique Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What set you on this path of designing jewelry- 

MP: I used to work in the movie industry, but when I had my daughter, I wanted to make a career change to have a more “conventional” schedule. Entirely by chance, after a trip to New York City, I realized there were no fine jewelry designers in France apart from Place Vendôme… So in 2004, I decided to create an accessible, yet precious jewelry line that a woman could afford to buy herself and wear every day.

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in your brand 

MP: Be yourself and be comfortable in your skin. That’s why I try to design pieces for everyday wear, the thinnest and lightest possible, so you don’t even feel them.

Yasmine bagues - Stone Paris Jewellery
Yasmine bagues – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What does elegant design mean to you

MP: I think elegance is very subjective, fortunately not everyone has the same taste! However, to me, it is about sobriety and subtlety. I will not be the most elegant wearing heels and a gown because I won’t be comfortable. I would feel more elegant with a white shirt and a pair of jeans. Maybe it’s because I’m French… Less is more!

Cry Me A River Collier Or rose et diamants - Stone Paris Jewellery
Cry Me A River Collier Or rose et diamants – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What does luxury mean to you

MP: In my opinion, Luxury has nothing to do with materialistic things. It’s being able to do something I love for a living, enjoying going to the office every day, working with an amazing team, it’s priceless…

Stone Paris Jewellery
Blood Diamonds – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What is the favorite aspect of your business

MP: My favorite part is the design, especially after sending out the drawings when we receive the first sample and I get to see my creation take shape. Sometimes it surpasses my expectations; sometimes it’s disappointing, so I have to rethink the whole thing, anyway it’s always exhilarating.

Stone Paris Jewellery
Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business

MP: The hardest is probably the administrative part, just because I don’t really like numbers and paperwork, so I have to be twice as serious about it.

Jupilings: What kind of creative patterns, routines, or rituals do you have

MP: My only ritual is to gather the whole team for a big brainstorm before starting a new collection. I like having their feedback on the previous one, and their feeling of what customers want, or what they think the brand is lacking. I work very closely with my team, and I like taking the time to discuss it with them, it’s good to make some distance to look at the big picture.

Stone Paris Jewellery
Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: The best piece of advice you’ve been given

MP: It’s not really advice, but how my parents taught me to be humble, respectful and hard-working, that’s what I try to pass on to my daughter.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures

MP: Social media… It’s vital for a brand now, but it’s challenging for me because as a designer brand, people are interested in me and my life while I am not particularly eager to put myself forward. I try to get better at it, and I’m lucky to have great people helping me with that.

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks

MP: I used to be very stressed out and spend sleepless nights when there was a problem. Now I have grown, I deal with setbacks more peacefully. It’s better to avoid panic, stay calm, and positive to find the best solution for the business.

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why

MP: I’m very inspired by women like Simone Veil who fight for women’s rights. I am so thankful for women like her who are willing to be pioneers and set an example for generations to come.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today

MP: Women have to multi-task today; we have to be wives, mothers, businesswomen all at the same time. I think it can be challenging to juggle with everything, more than it is for men. Today I feel we are more aware of that and how important it is to support each other as women.

Bague Tess - Stone Paris Jewellery
Bague Tess – Stone Paris Jewellery

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor

MP: Karen Blixen in Out of Africa. It’s one of my favorite movies, and I have so much admiration for her. Living such an adventurous life in such freedom is amazing to me.

Jupilings: What is your life motto

MP: Living in the moment, not being too nostalgic about the past, and not worrying too much about the future.

The woman behind Spallanzani Jewels – Interview with Gaia Spallanzani

GAIA

Dazzling, radiant, appreciated, loved or inspired are among the many attributes & feelings that we all experience whether through our intimate relations to another or our relationship with ourselves. Over the course of centuries,  people tried to appease Gods with gifts, a gesture of gratitude and honour or exchanged them when they met another tribe to build trust. Increasingly, many other celebrations expanded the gift-giving culture. However, at its core, the symbolic act is to honour someone or oneself for personality traits and achievements.

ONLY YOU - LOVE ring Spallanzani Jewels
ONLY YOU – LOVE ring Spallanzani Jewels

Gracefully, communicating the message of recognition based on deep affections and best wishes is not always easy.  Still, explaining oneself with a single word that says it all, is pleasantly indulging.

Only you Bracelet - Spallanzani Jewels
Only you Bracelet – Spallanzani Jewels

The House of Spallanzani Jewels, founded in 1880, is the embodiment of that stylish and elegance admiration. A Milanese jewelry house with 130 years of savoir-faire and a portfolio of iconic designs, Spallanzani has successfully moved through modern times. Only You, the signature design of the house was inspired by Guido Spallanzani’s, (son of the founder) gift to his wife Rosabianca, a coded bracelet with the message – TSTQCA (Tu sei tutto quello che amo / you are all that I love). 

Stella Bracelet Spallanzani Jewels
Stella Bracelet Spallanzani Jewels

Today, Gaia Spallanzani, at the helm of the family business, has taken the jewellery house to new heights. Inspired by the glamour deeply rooted in a desire to influence the power of belief, she captures the “Oomph” in the collections. With her vision and the craftsmanship of Italian finest artisans, the Spallanzani’s jewelry makes an exceptional gift.

Interview

Jupilings: How do you describe yourself-

GS: I am a positive person, very superstitious but also very determined. My brain never stops, and I am always looking for new ideas and inspirations. I can also define myself as a very active woman because I balance my work life and my family life… (I have three kids)

Forever Spallanzani Jewels
Forever Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What are the principles in lifestyle that you want to manifest in Spallanzani brand-

GS: At Spallanzani, we represent quality, originality of the design, the pride from being made in Italy and also the history of our brand. It’s in our DNA. We are jewellers for 5 generations; we designed our most signature pieces from scratch. We were the innovators of the style (letter bracelets) that became popular in the fine jewelry in the 80’s.

AMOUR Spallanzani Jewels
AMOUR Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What does elegant design mean to you-

GS: An elegant design to me means something that gives you an ‘allure’ but is timeless at the same time.

Stella hoop earring Spallanzani Jewels
Stella hoop earring Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What does luxury mean to you-

GS: Luxury is something that is not for everybody. It is for a niche of clients.

Jupilings: What is the favourite aspect of your business-

GS: Creativity is what I love in my business and originality. We need shoes to walk, we need clothes to go out in, but we don’t need jewelry. Jewelry is a plus that makes you look beautiful, powerful, elegant, bold; it is like a cherry on top of the sundae. It is the “touche d’eclat” that makes you different and unique. I love that part of my business.

Jupilings: What is the hardest part of your business

GS: The hardest part of my business is sometimes what our client see the products but overlook the effort that has been employed through the process of making jewelry, especially in Italy. Nowadays, people see a product and buy a bag or a pair of shoes because of the price and the look, and they don’t care anymore about the quality. The clients want to work on consignment, and this kills the market. Gold has a price and so does good quality diamonds.

Only You - Sigillo ring B Spallanzani Jewels
Only You – Sigillo ring B Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: What kind of creative patterns, routines or rituals do you have-

GS: I don’t have any routines. I can wake up in the middle of the night and send info of an idea I had while sleeping to my team and when I go into work the next morning (if I don’t do it I will forget it), we brainstorm to create one of a kind pieces. I also decide on a theme, we research for all the info, symbols, icons linked to that idea. Alternatively, I also look at our old designs, and from one single piece, I imagine a full collection.

Stella Bracelet with pearls Spallanzani Jewels
Stella Bracelet with pearls Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: Best piece of advice you’ve been given-

GS: The best piece of advice I have been given is for sure: “you are a good seller only when you will be able to sell your pieces”. It is difficult to sell your pieces, your designs as there is always this limit when you don’t know if people will like it or not and worst if the will tell you or not, so I consider it very difficult, but this is something I am working on it.

Jupilings: What’s one branding lesson you’ve learned in your career and ventures-

GS: For our branding, we pride ourselves on our individuality that brings our clients one of a kind, luxurious pieces. As I’ve been handed down this company through my family, I want to represent Spallanzani as not just another jewelry company. To me, Spallanzani is like no other Jewellery House, and we show this pride through our products by using only the best stones, gold and designs.

stella starlight bracelet pink sapphires Spallanzani Jewels
Stella starlight bracelet pink sapphires Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: How do you deal with setbacks-

GS: A moto that inspires me is ”When there is a problem there is a solution,” so I do all my superstitious routines and then I try to figure out a solution.

Stella chain earring full diamonds Spallanzani Jewels
Stella chain earring full diamonds Spallanzani Jewels

Jupilings: Who inspires you and why-

GS: Who inspires me? I keep thinking of my mother and grandmother. Beautiful, elegant, classy, active and such a determined women, but also very funny.

Jupilings: What does it mean to be a woman today-

GS: A woman in today world does everything. She works, she manages the family, the kids, the house, she organizes the holidays and also the day to day. For me, women are SUPERWOMAN today. I am impressed every day by all a woman can truly handle.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor-

GS: I would have loved to be the leading actor of so many movies….above all the movies from the 50’s and 60’s. Sabrina, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Vacanze Romane...I love Audrey Hepburn she was so classy, natural elegance… so I think I would have loved to be her in one of her movies, but another movie I keep remembering is Sliding Doors with ‘Gwyneth Paltrow.’ This movie explains very well what I firmly think as another motto of mine: “That what has to happen at the end will happen.”

Jupilings: What is your life motto-

GS:  I do have many mottos, one of my favorites would be: “where there is a problem there is a solution and make it happen.”

Only you "I woke up like this" necklace - Spallanzani Jewels Only you "I woke up like this" necklace - Spallanzani Jewels
Only you “I woke up like this” necklace – Spallanzani Jewels

The impact of Blockchain Technology on Diamond and Jewellery Industries

Imagine the beauty & the emotional connection to your fine jewelry is supported by conflict-free, fair labor, and authenticity. Imagine that, one day, with a click on your cell-phone, you can trace from it’s inception to production, the history or the past ownerships. One of the biggest challenges of fine jewelry, specifically the diamond industry, is the convincing fakes, the swags, and the misleading claims.

Resolving these issues requires the integration of innovative solutions into the trade such as Blockchain Technology. The transparency and the verification systems provided by this technology corroborate trust and significantly reduce fraud in the insurance realm or counterfeits. By creating immutable records to track and protect the valuable goods through Blockchain Technology, manufacturers and brands set the seal on the authenticity & ethical trade. Ultimately creating a progressive world where everyone is a winner.

The disruptive technology promotes socially fair transactionsprevents compromising reputation, and establishes personal connections between the customer and the brand. The industry is warming up, leveraging Blockchain Technology to generate value for its customers and reduce costs. One of the technology companies offering solutions underpinned with Blockchain Technology for the diamond industry is Everledger. A global start-up creating thumbprints across the supply chain pipeline to protect the ownership, authenticity, reputations, and challenges that bear a high cost for the owners, insurers, and all parties involved.

Industry leaders such as Debeers are also investing in new platforms supported by Blockchain Technology to create a highly secure database to record the activities throughout the supply chain while ensuring that the sensitive data will remain between parties involved in the transaction. Thanks to Blockchain Technology, the ownership joy of DeBeers refined collections is vastly expanded.

 

DeBeers - ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers – ADONIS ROSE CLUSTER RING
DeBeers - SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers – SWAN PAVÉ BAND
DeBeers - INFINITY BAND 5MM
INFINITY BAND 5MM

 

DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT
DE BEERS AURA HEART CUT PENDANT

 

TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET
TALISMAN YELLOW GOLD LUCKY COIN BRACELET

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reign Sapphire Corp., is another custom and branded jewelry company, that is incorporating Blockchain Technology to authenticate sapphires as a conflict-free and accepts Bitcoin as payment via Bitpay on reignsapphires.com.  They offer Australian sapphires, designed in Beverly Hills with chic and modern aesthetics appealing to millennials.

Reign Sapphires
Baguette Double Ring in Yellow Gold

 

Flexible Stiletto Earrings
Flexible Stiletto Earrings

 

 

 

Amor Ring
Armor Ring

Best Concept Boutique in Toronto Accessories, the Art of Self-Expression: Talk with Jaleh Farhadpour

Are you looking for a present for someone you want never to forget you? Do you like to be radiant? Do you like to exaggerate your ensemble? Do you like to treat your beauty to pure luxury? Do you want to possess that effortless “look at me” aura? Then you must stop by Archives Toronto. The one stop destination to explore the whimsical, avant-garde  & unique creations in fine jewellery and accessories. Artfully showcasing the fine collections with all white interiors and mouthwatering one of a kind accessories, you are in the glamour land.

We met with talented and capable Jaleh Farhadpour, the owner of Archives Toronto. She studied architecture & fashion from which she has discovered her signature style and nurtured her creativity.

She offers diverse collection from brands like Germany’s Meissen, JAR, to designers such as Delfina Delettrez, Elie Top, or Fernando Jorge.

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Tell me about your beginnings in art and design: I am an architect by training and worked in the fashion design industry in Dubai & across Europe. In 2005, my fascination with gemstone, their healing power, my inner experiences and emotions propelled me to create my own line of fine jewellery.

What experience or situation compelled you to design jewellery:  My childhood memories. Being the eldest, my grandmother gave me permission to ferret around her treasure trove, dress up and adorn myself with her diamond studded and precious stones fine jewellery. That was my fantasy land and those recollections fanned my inspiration.

The first designer piece you owned was from which jewellery designer: Van Cleef & a Rolex watch.

What is your advice to a man buying his partner an anniversary gift: Choosing a piece with authentic design that can be passed down for generations will carve a special place in her/his heart. Fine jewellery made with passion, considering originality and craftsmanship should have greater importance to the monetary value of the stone or the weight of the gold.

And if you were to give one tip to a woman buying their partner a birthday gift: A watch is always a cool piece of jewellery, is stylish, has a functional use and tells the time.

Is jewellery an investment: Definitely fine jewellery is an investment. Designer pieces such as JAR have their own cult and unquestionably increase in value.

How does your showroom make life easier for busy fashionistas : We go through myriad of designers and pick the ones who are basically avant-garde, fashion forward with an edge. From boundless simplicity to divine complex designs, our selections are not only for early adopters who embrace the cutting edge aesthetics but also the romantics, the bohemians or the adventurers. The uncompromising novelty of our collections whether fine jewellery or accessories such as sunglasses, hats & bags have the “wow” factor.  We offer what the trendsetters around the world are wearing. We have clients  from New York, who used to travel to Europe to learn about the latest trend and add to their jewellery collection or accessories, now they are coming to us .

What is your favourite accessory: Definitely, a pair of earrings, I cannot go out without them.

Graduation season is coming up, any suggestions to parents and grand parents who are looking to buy a gift: A pair earrings by Delfina Delettrez, fourth generation Fendi and celebrated jewellery designer.

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What genre of music inspire you:  Rock, Stairway to Heaven is one of my favourite songs.

What is your idea for social responsibility: Environment is important to me, I strongly believe that we should buy quality rather than quantity. If we all use less, buy less we are helping mother earth. I love this quote: “I am not rich enough to buy cheap stuff”. Personally I am committed to recycling, cooking local, eating local. It is our responsibility to preserve our planet for future generations, and try to eliminate consumerism as much as we can. How? Well, try a  minimalist wardrobe, which helps with “decision fatigue”, and invest in your accessories like sunglasses, hats, handbags & belts and jewellery. You can wear the same outfit over and over, it is about how you pull out looks. High quality accessories is one time investment that add personality & zip to your ensemble.

Are you involved in a charity? and why? Giving back goes hand in hand with my beliefs. It makes me feel good & my life meaningful. Many years ago, I’ve started a shelter for battered women and children in Iran and to this date gratefully is enabling many individuals to re-gain their integrity, self confidence and the ability for re-integration into society. Philanthropy is a connection with your community without it your spiritual self would be broken.

Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor? Roman Holiday.

What is power? Love is power.

Your favourite place to travel? Well, it changes, up to year ago it was the magical Sri Lanka & recently I had a vacation in Nevis and loved it.

Who is your muse or style icon? Audrey Hepburn.

What is your favourite book? Through the narrow gate”, by Karen Armstrong. I’ve read few of her books and they all had a great impact on my spiritual awakening. Her views gave me a clarity that we are all part of one human family.

Among the politicians who would you like to play card with? Emmanuel Macron.

What is your “life Motto”? Do it with love and passion or don’t do it at all”.

What have you learnt from your kids?  I have learnt that my capabilities are limitless because of my kids.  I learnt when you love deeply, you are unstoppable. From the very first day they were born, I learnt about my strengths, my resilience and how to deal with my fears.

Photos courtesy of Archives Toronto, 1275 Bay Street Toronto On, Canada, M5R 0B3.  Tel: +1 416 922-2229
Store Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 11am- 7pm,  Sunday: 12-5pm

Elie Top – Talented Jewelry Designer

What would you do, when you are nostalgic or affectionate, and as a strong woman you want to reveal your emotions in a subtle & intelligent way? How would you project your inner strength, compassion, and beauty to draw the good in your professional and social galaxy similar to the cosmos movement? Your uniqueness is your gravity. Developing a personal style accentuates your self-confidence and allows you to shine.

As a spirited campaigner for individuality, how would you integrate your beautiful mind, your identity and your taste in jewellery? Yes, body ornaments are part of your brand and developing a signature style for a woman with a purpose in life is imperative. Indicating your allegiance to your dearest, a society or ideology through jewellery is not only delightful but convincing.

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Elie Top – Yellow gold, silver, diamonds, cornaline intaglio

Last week, I was invited to meet with Elie Top a brilliant and genial fine jewellery designer at Archives, Toronto and had the pleasure to conduct an interview. His collections, mécaniques célestes, cosmogonie secrète or étoile mysteries,, reassure the strong woman that design, craftsmanship and modern rendition of the symbols and celestial mechanics, undoubtedly play upon her strength and evoke harmony.

 

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Elie Top – Bracelet
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Elie Top – Bracelet

The pieces are about discovery as they unfold through interlocking cages and artistically engraved compartments. The precision is achieved by ambitious design, the technology of three-dimensional printing and high artisanship. Luckily, with the cosmogonie secrète collection, you are in “control,” you have a “choice” in selecting signs and symbols that represent an idea, a message, a renewal, an advent or a new life.

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Elie Top – Diamond necklace

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The Interview:

Elie Top, French-born jeweller started his career in design at YSL and continued to be the celebrated accessories Director at Lanvin for 15 years. He has launched his own brand in 2015 with Elie Top, Mécanique Célestes Collection. 

Jupilings: Tell me the story of Elie Top, the first project that had set you on this path of designing fine jewelry: 

 

Elie Top: I have been designing costume jewelry for years especially for Lanvin alongside Albert Elbaz. So Fine Jewelry was the natural next step to express myself in the most personal way.  I went back to my roots, a mix of baroque and industrial aesthetic, ornamental and mechanic.”

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Elie Top

Jupilings: What was the source of inspiration behind the current collection: 

Elie Top: After “mécaniques célestes” and “étoile mystérieuse” , “cosmogonie secrète” is the third series. A trilogy about the space, but in more narrative, ornamental and esoteric way: based on the four elements: fire, water, air, earth, every single thing is connected from the colours, the animals to the seasons. Nothing is unbound, perpetually significant. I was dreaming of the portrait of Agnes Sorel by Fouquet, the priestess of Dune (the Lynch movie), or Excalibur and the heraldic language and shapes. Bestowing on the object of protection and power.

Jupilings: What is the voice of your brand:

Elie Top: I would say medieval, futuristic and casual, based on the idea of a secret for independent and strong women. It talks about design, structure, and systems.

 

 

Jupilings: If you were to describe your team of craftsmen in two words:

Elie Top: Enthusiastic and inventive!

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Jupilings: What is your advice to a man buying his partner an anniversary gift:

Elie Top: not to do it on his own but always with his partner! Women know remarkably well and much better what suits them!

Jupilings: What makes a piece of jewelry an heirloom:

Elie Top: Not necessary its value, certainly more the person, maybe the first owner, who has been wearing it, the way and the circumstances it was worn creates an aura and symbols that the descendants will enjoy to carry on.

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Jupilings: Who is your muse or fashion icon: 

Elie Top: I admire and love many women, but certainly the most important and influential in my life is Loulou de la Falaise. I met her very young at YSL, and worked with her for many years; her taste of huge, bold, barbaric jewels worn in a total free spirit made a deep and definitive impression on me. I miss her every day.

Jupilings: What do you do to conquer fear or self-doubt:

Elie Top: I work! Fear and doubt are essentials to move on.

Jupilings: Which side of Elie Top drives the wheel of your life?

Elie Top: The creative part is the most important, since ever. I always gave the creativity the priority: looking for beauty.

Jupilings: Which movie you would have liked to be the leading actor:

Elie Top: Eh…, Eric von Strohiem in all his movies.

Jupilings: What is your life Motto:

Elie Top: Remain faithful to yourself.

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A selection of Elie Top jewelry can be found at Archives Toronto, 1275 Bay Street Toronto On, Canada. 

Images are courtesy of  Elie Top.