The “Jeweler to the Stars:” The Life and Legacy of William Ruser

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GIA publishes new book about William Ruser, one of the most beloved Hollywood jewellers in the 1950’s and 60’s.

Posted on April 10, 2024

If you like the biography genre no less than fine jewelry, a newly published paperback by Judy Colbert and Peggy Tsiamis may be just for you. Get to know one of the most successful jewelers of all time by reading William Ruser: The Jeweler Who Charmed Hollywood.

Known for his original and innovative approach to jewelry-making, Ruser gradually became one of the go-to artisans when it came to truly exquisite pieces. As he provided services to the most famous people of the time, Ruser never remained in the shadows and was somewhat of a celebrity himself. Marlene Dietrich, Lana Turner, Claudette Colbert, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, and Joan Crawford are just a few stars he catered to.

It’s no wonder Ruser became so highly sought after, especially in Hollywood circles, given his excellent communication skills and a penchant for establishing a special rapport with people of status. Even though Ruser Jewels, located at 300 Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, had 28 highly trained employees, most of the clients demanded that they should be served by none other than Ruser himself.

Discussing the jeweler’s unforgettable and unique sense of style, Michael Kazanjian, GIA’s Board of Governors, states, “Ruser had a very specific look in his unique and special designs. Like all great designers, certain elements within his pieces make his work recognizable.” Some of the most famous Ruser pieces dazzle jewelry enthusiasts with their eccentric figural style. He employed floral, animal, and mythical motifs featuring baroque pearls, diamonds, and other precious stones.

Although the peak of Ruser’s popularity fell between the 1940s and 1960s, his jewelry center with luxurious showrooms operated until as late as 1969. It was in this year that Ruser decided to retire and sell the premises to Van Cleef & Arpels, a high-end jewelry company from France.

The book is generously illustrated and features over 100 images of jewelry pieces and designs. The newly published edition does justice to the designers who were the inspiration behind many of Ruser’s masterpieces, Vera and Cyril Wood. The paperback book is available at the GIA Store at a price of $24.99, which includes free shipping.


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