The story behind Greek jewelry house Zolotas spans over a century. Efthimios Zolotas, the son and brother of traders and tailors, struck out on his own in order to fulfill his own desires of becoming the greatest Greek jeweler. He went to France to study under master craftsman and upon his return to Greece, Zolotas was armed with all the skills to fashion his exquisite designs. He opened the doors of his first store in Athens in 1985 and by 1901 had established the House of Zolotas on Aeolou Street — the turn-of-the-century Grecian equivalent to New York City’s famed 5th Avenue.
In the following decade, Zolotas gained a distinguished clientele composed of the Grecian elite. Hardly an important piece of jewelry commissioned during the period was crafted by anyone other than the ambitious Efthimios and his garrison of ateliers. From the Greek royal family to the wealthy businessmen, the high-end styles of Zolotas graced all the most important citizens of the country.
Yet, Zolotas had higher dreams for his jewelry house. He gathered the greatest craftsmen that the country had to offer and founded a school wherein each atelier trained an apprentice in the art of jewelry making. Each member of the house became an artist in his own right, creating pieces of impeccable quality and style.
From the Beladora Archives: Zolotas Bull Ring in 22K
In the 1950’s, the decision was made to create the Zolotas trademark and branch out into international markets. It was also during this era that the House of Zolotas began crafting what would become their signature style. In a magnificent melding of modern and ancient styles, high karat gold jewelry was fashioned using traditional techniques and motifs with contemporary flair. The symbols which had been sacred to the Greek pantheon some thousands of years prior were now manifested in exquisite ram, lion, snake and bull jewelry. The house’s clientele continued to expand gaining such important personages as Aristotle Onassis and his wife, the former first lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy Onassis.
By the 1970’s, Zolotas had established its presence in Paris. The brand continued to create incredible pieces which bridged the gap between the contemporary and Classical worlds. Artist Claude Lalanne, and world-renowned jewelry designer Paloma Picasso (of Tiffany & Company fame), as well as a number of other artists and designers, created limited collections for the brand. The company continued its tradition of innovation, elegance and respect for a glorious past throughout the latter half of the 20th Century.
The brand is still going strong. Modernization of styles and designs which retain the ancient motifs has kept Zolotas in the vanguard of jewelry design. Diamond jewelry, incredible necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings from the designer continue to be sought after and appreciated by true connoisseurs of fine, high-end jewelry.