Founded in Valenza, Italy, in 1924 by bench jeweler Enrico Grassi, the Damiani brand is still a family-run enterprise, although the business went public in 2007 with the third generation ensconced in the firm. Originally, the master jeweler created pieces for nobility and aristocrats, and as the jeweler’s reputation gained critical mass, Grassi slowly grew the company. Pieces were carefully designed and painstakingly hand wrought. When Grassi’s son, Damiani, entered the business, he did what many second-generation family business owners do — he expanded even more. He looked to create fresh avenues for distribution, more creative methods of construction, and new lines for the company. Part of that development was a much more visible advertising campaign that generated more word-of-mouth and acclaim.
The designs were sleek and stunning, skillfully crafted and finished. Damiani developed interesting methods for cutting stones and often set those stones in the sides of a ring’s band, visible only to the wearer — a secret treasure to admire when one peeked. Often the eponymous maker’s mark “D” appeared akimbo, so as to look like a design element, rather than a signature.
Today’s lines are quite diverse — from collections that drip cascades of diamonds to the simplest bracelets constructed from a black leather cord, with one shiny, 9K rose-gold charm hanging from it. Those charms might be a heart, clover, locket, bird, horseshoe, or key, and each is usually set with a tiny diamond. In between there are lines that could only be characterized as contemporary Italian — sleek, graceful, masterly, and chic. Craftsmanship is always paramount and flawless. These are pieces you could wear inside out, they are made so cleanly.
The lines are sold in boutiques around the world and have garnered countless honors, among them 18 De Beers Diamond International Awards.