Paul Fisher, a New York based jeweler and pearl merchant who is a piece of jewelry history ♦
A chapter in the history of jewelry must be dedicated to the legendary New York retailer Paul Fisher. There aren’t only the new designers: those who love jewelry should also know who the great jewelers who have written entire chapters of the jewelry are. As Mr. Fisher, exactly. It’s worth telling his story, now that he’s 91 years old.
Fisher leads the fifth generation of jewelery traders. He mainly deals with antique jewels, collectible gems and in particular also with natural pearls, a specialty that dates back to the origins of the company, in 1850 in Vienna. In those adventurous times the founder, Julius Fisher, traded in natural pearls of the Arabian Gulf. And as Paul Fisher explains today, these pearls were in great demand, not only as jewels, but also for buttons and as an ornament for the most fashionable dresses.
In 1921 the grandchildren of Julius Fisher, Ferdinand and Robert, opened the Bruder Fisher, in Vienna. But when the introduction of the cultivated pearls of Mikimoto revolutionized the market, in the 1920s, by lowering the price of natural pearls, Fisher expanded their business to jewelry. With the racial laws, in 1938, on the eve of the war, Robert Fisher brought the family company to London, to open immediately after a branch in New York, in 1941. Paul Fisher Inc. of New York was started by his son by Robert, Paul, in 1956, adding an office in London in 1980 and other offices in Paris and Hong Kong.
Paul Fisher is widely recognized as the peerless world expert in natural pearls. Ronny Totah, for whom natural pearls are a passion, says: “Paul Fisher is the master, the dean of pearls. He taught everyone in the industry today and generously shared his passion and knowledge “.
Today, Paul Fisher talks about the ups and downs in the natural pearl market, adding, “the market re-emerged around 2002. Natural pearls are back, suddenly in vogue, largely due to their scarcity”. According to Fisher, the thriving Indian market, with the rise of a new class of rich people, has contributed to the growth of interest in the most beautiful natural pearls in recent years. “Pearls are part of Indian culture,” he says.
No natural pearl is found today, explains Fisher, due to the cost of fishing but also due to pollution in the oceans, so that the natural pearls on the market today are almost exclusively the ancient ones. Despite his age, Fisher remains active and decided to participate in GemGèneve in the spring of 2019. Federico Graglia