Tuesday, January 26, 2010


The Hanbury Botanic Gardens in Italy sits amidst the backdrop of a protective shield of mountains.

Built 143 years ago, it is home to an international array of plants all of which flourish in the lush surroundings. Italy is also the home of featured jewelry designer Mario Buzzanca.

Beauty, as it relates to jewelry, comes in many forms: clean lines, intricate and elaborate, opulent and minimalist.

Italy has a long distinguished history of lavish, expertly crafted jewelry. The Etruscan people are credited with bringing superlative jewelry-making techniques, like granulation, to gold jewelry.

Dramatic signet rings and hairpins accented with gold coins were commonplace items worn by women and men of social stature.

Today's Italian designers, such as Ippolita Rostagno and Carlo Palmiero, carry on their country's indelible tradition of superlative artisanship and innovative designs. Buzzanca adds his exquisite, whimsical, and beautiful pearl jewelry to Italy's rich history of jewelry making.

The son of a celebrated Italian actor, Gerlando, Buzzanca's exposure to the glitz and glamour of celebrities was inevitable; it also whet his appetite for exceptional gemstones.

In 1977, his acute interest in gemstones led him to Japan where he began a six-year inspection of them. South Sea Pearls would become Buzzanca's primary fixation, and he would later establish his company, PERLAMODA.

"Each pearl is a unique piece by itself," he says. "I like my pieces to be versatile. Pearls hanging off your jeans, handbag, or phone are casual, extravagant, and elegant and maybe one would say "cool.""

Buzzanca highlights pearls in every design from a single drop perched inside a golden cup-like ring band to animal replications the bodies of which are ingeniously made from pearls. Strategically placed accents of pavé gemstones and gold reveal a costume or facial contours.

The jewelry is fun, creative, and distinctive. I think it also reflects that wonderful Italian vitality and zest for life.

"Each piece can never be reproduced exactly," says Buzzanca, "Where's the fun in doing the same thing twice, it's always got to be a little different."
Photo 1 (top right): 18-Karat Gold and Pearl Ring with Pave Diamonds
Photo 2 (bottom left): 18-Karat Gold and Pearl Rooster
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