She is considered one of the leading jewellery designers of the modern age: Suzanne Belperron had taste, fame, and a pedigree list of clients. Today, among those in the know—collectors and jewellery insiders—the name Suzanne Belperron is still said in a hush, as though invoking a god. She was born fortuitously, in 1900, at the start of a new and fast-moving century. At the age of 19 she went to Maison Boivin as a designer, and in 1932, she joined Bernard Herz, having already attracted clients such as the Duchess of Windsor, couturier Elsa Schiaparelli, socialite Daisy Fellowes, visionary editor Diane Vreeland. Despite her success, however, Belperron remained famously discreet. “My style,” she declared, “is my signature.”

Belperron was the ultimate modernist, which may explain the enduring appeal of her jewellery, especially today. She eschewed showy displays of precious stones and diamonds, preferring instead to create jewellery whose select beauty quietly seduced. Her strengths were many: innate design sense; a penchant for unusual materials such as agate and chalcedony paired with sapphires and emeralds; a love affair with pearls. Amid the influence of Ancient Greece and Asia, nature is always fluid, and her many scrolls, volutes, and spirals express movement.

When it comes the jewellery of Suzanne Belperron, you may be forgiven for breaking the 10th Commandment: “Thou shall not covet.”