Brothers Jay & Michael Chernow founded Monocraft in 1927. Monocraft began using the name Monocraft in May of 1927... They made high quality gold plated metal initials that stores attached to handbags at the time of purchase.
Their success and reputation for high quality monograms led them to produce jewelry as early as 1935 (first patent)..
(Other information has said that Monet was another mark used by Monocraft Products beginning in 1937. Monocraft [using that name] continued in business for many more years. The name Monet was first used in Sept 1937 on various kinds of fashion/costume jewelry. So any jewelry marked Monet is no older than 1937.Contributed by Pat Seal).
During the 1940's most of the jewelry was gold plated sterling (vermeil). They were famous for their modern designs as well as some amusing enameled pins (see Cathy Gordon's post with the enameled hand pin). Average prices in the '40s were $12-$20.00 dollars for bracelets, necklaces & brooches & $4-$7.50 for earrings.
Groundbreaking inventions came with the Friction Ear Clip (1947 patent) that allowed the wearer to adjust the clip to the right tension w/o constant pressure on the ear. They later invented the Barrel Clutch for pierced earrings - which is the industry standard. From the very beginning Monet produced a full range of fashion earrings which they first referred to as "Jewelry Clips" in their patents.
In the 50's & 60's Monet continued their success with classically styled jewelry for clothes women were wearing to the office. They were also extremely successful with their charm bracelets with charms attached by spring rings (http://tinyurl.com/ckl8m) so that they could mix and match.
Monet was the first company to sign all their jewelry and still does to this day.
Some of Monet's licenses were Shirley Temple, the Dionne quintuplets and Yves St. Laurent.
In 1977 Monet produced a line called Ciani with prices as high as $500.00
During the '60s & '70s Monet ran an ad campaign with hooded models wearing only one fabulous piece of jewelry while other companies were scurrying to stuff as much jewelry into an ad as possible. This 20 year run of "Hooded Woman" ads is famous in both the Advertising business as well as in the jewelry business. See Monet Ads for examples of these gorgeous ads.
In 1981 Monet launched a 4 year program with Yves St. Lauent w/designer Sandy Miller Burrows (see Miller Confident Collector pg. 52 for entire interview). All cast parts were manufactured by Monet with stones and other parts produced and set by different companies. Avg. prices for this line were $25.00 to $250.00. A number of items were made in limited editions of 500 and marked as 80/500 to denote the 80th piece made. Interesting note: "The pieces that looked like poured glass were really built-up epoxy w/foil backings. All earrings in the YSL line used Monet's friction ear clip.
Monet was always considered ahead of their time. Their jewelry was always classic, never trendy or faddish. Many bracelets, brooches and Necklaces contained flat metal areas that were intended for engraved initials. You will see this in their patents. See the gorgeous necklace on pg. 55 of Fifty Years of Collectible Jewelry 1925-1975 by Lillian Baker for an example of an adjustable collar with the round flat slide engraved with initials.
Monet was acquired by General Mills in 1968, sold to Crystal Brands in 1989, sold again to Chase Capital Partners and finally to Liz Claiborne in 2000.
Reference info. and examples can be seen in: Price Guide to Costume Jewelry by Harrice Simons Miller Costume Jewelry by Fred Rezazadeh Fifty Years of Collectible Fashion Jewelry by Lilian Baker Collectible Costume Jewelry by Cherri Simonds Popular Jewelry of the '60s, '70s & '80s Costume Jewelry 101 by Julia C. Carroll Silver Jewelry by Fred Rezazadeh Costume Jewelry The Fun of Collecting by Nancy Schiffer Inside the Jewelry Box by Ann Mitchell Pitman Milky Way Jewels for the vintage ads
Stefanie Brawner JEWELRY PATENTS.COM and click on Companies and then Monet to view Monet Patents.
Date(s): January 10, 2006. Album by Jewelry Ring. 1 - 127 of 127 Total. 50104 Visits.