Heritage Village is blessed with so many gifted individuals, sometimes it boggles the mind! One of these gifts moved into Heritage Village about two years ago. His name is Richard Palermo.
Richard is an international jewelry designer second to none! During his 30+ years of inspirational designing, Richard has created jewelry for Tiffany & Co., Cartier Inc., Fortunoff, Zales, and numerous other prominent companies. His pieces have also been purchased by the Army, Navy, Casinos, various cruise lines, and very wealthy individuals. His travels have taken him all over the US and overseas working with manufacturers on both model and production issues.
He taught jewelry design at Parsons School of Design, at the Fashion Institute of Technology and is the recipient of many prestigious design awards which include Diamonds Today Award, American Gem Trade Association Spectrum Award, and Pearl Utopia International Design Prize.
Richard renders contemporary designs of rings, pins, bracelets, and necklaces that combine exquisite gemstones with unusual cuts and precious metals. The designs have a uniqueness that give his customers, who have conservative or avant-garde tastes, a one-of-a-kind, captivating gem experience that presents itself as exclusively made for each jewelry lover. Every line is a new creation and Richard’s savvy customers like it that way!
Some of his unlimited designs have a generic appeal, these are pieces sold in retail markets, to independent and large jewelry chains, to department stores, and to home shopping networks where tastes are more conservative in nature. However, high-end jewelers tend toward a more sophisticated clientele who prefer trendier, in vogue, designs. Sometimes his creations are affordable for all women with a variety of tastes and pocketbook size where his aim is to reflect the mood and complexity of women’s feelings in his creations. Pricewise, his pieces can range from a $200 ring to a one-of-a-kind composition that can run into the millions.
Richard is unique in the sense that he knows the jewelry business from top to bottom; from the initial creative design, which includes deciding the type and color of each stone, the measurement of each stone and where it will lay in the design, knowledge of the precious metals he will use, deciding the price tag, presenting the design to the manufacturer and or the client, or playing the role of salesperson on TV networks on an ‘info-tain-ment’ platform.
On a typical home shopping network presentation, Richard will show his creations and describe all elements of his design to the audience, while in the background, unbeknownst to the viewing audience, a tally takes place showing how many pieces are being sold in real time. The totals are an important fact because all pieces are purchased in advance of the show and the idea is to sell out as there is the risk of huge financial layouts on the part of the seller. Of course, ALL of Richard’s pieces do well!
The process of jewelry design begins with the design, which has to be approved by the buyer or manufacturer. Then a model is made from clay. This has to be crafted exactly according to Richard’s specifications. Then the stones are brought into the mix and a master model is made in steel or wax. Casting and polishing are accomplished by the stone setter and eventually a piece of jewelry is born for the market or an individual customer. When all is said and done, it all begins with Richard!
Richard has had many articles written about his designs and career, some of which include Harpers Bazaar, National Jeweler, New York Times Magazine, the New Yorker, Town & Country, Vogue, W, Women’s Wear Daily and many others. For more information about Richard and to see more of his designs, visit palermodesigns@RCN.com
Written by Doris Sommers