G & C Stewart Corp.
Romanian-born Gregory Stewart works alone designing and creating rare jewelry in
a small studio in New York City. His great-grandfather designed jewelry for the Czar
of Russia, and his grandfather was a jeweler in Bucharest to King Michael of
Romania. Gregory's father began teaching him the art of jewelry design and
creation when he was just a boy of nine years of age. He worked as a jeweler in
Romania until his late twenties before deciding to explore the world outside of his
In 1960, Gregory emigrated to New York, where he worked for such famous jewelry
houses as Tiffany, David Webb, Harry Winston, Julius Cohen, and others before
starting his own business. "Since then I have done everything myself, from the
design to the actual fabrication of the final piece," he says. "Nothing leaves my
hands before it's complete."
Stewart is an artist without affectation; he enjoys being a craftsman, and there is a
touch of alchemy in his craft. Distrustful of refiners, he refines his gold and platinum
in his own laboratory that he personally designed and engineered with
state-of-the-art equipment. Secretive about his designs, he works alone, changing
his metaphorical hat as he moves between his diamond setting bench, his polishing
bench, his jewelry bench and his model-making bench, and constantly developing
his own techniques and style along the way.
His designs grow directly out of the materials. "When I receive a parcel of loose
diamonds, I lay them out, rearrange them, think about what I can do with them, try to
envision the finished piece in my mind and visualize the procedure that I will follow
right through to the final product," he says. "Afterwards I may change a few small
details along the way, but I never change my course."
When designing earrings, he first pairs the diamonds according to their color,
shape, and size. With one of each pair, he then builds a model in wax, placing one
stone at a time, trimming the wax around it, adjusting the modulation within the
three-dimensional design, until all the stones are in exactly the positions they will
occupy in the finished piece. Next he removes one diamond at a time, builds a
handmade platinum wire setting for it, and replaces it in the model, cutting away a
little wax to accommodate the setting. As an earring must be the mirror image of its
partner, he makes a plaster cast on which to base the second of the pair. He then
completes the mount by soldering all the individual settings in place on a foundation
of platinum rings.
Stewart works almost exclusively in diamonds and finds his inspiration in new cuts
developed by diamond manufacturers. "The metal has to be there, but not
obtrusively," he says. "My passion is to create jewelry of rarity and beauty, but
always emphasizing the magic, brilliance, and fire of one of our world's most
desired treasures - diamonds."