Featured in The New York Times
Irene was interviewed for The New York Times article, 'Jewelry Featuring Your Pet: ‘A Forever Thing’"
"Irene Neuwirth’s affection for her pets started the Los Angeles-based jeweler on the road to adding custom animal portraits to her collection more than a decade ago. “The ethos of my brand focuses on things with whimsy, but that are also really fine,” she said. “I’ve always played around with my dogs with jewelry, or just used my animals as a branding tool.”
During one of her trips to Tucson, Ariz., home of a series of gem shows, Ms. Neuwirth met a gemstone carver based in Idar-Oberstein, Germany, who she declined to identify, but who carved animal portraits in crystal quartz and then hand painted each carving in relief. She commissioned one of her dog, a Labradoodle named Teddy, placed a sliver of black mother-of-pearl behind the piece, and set it in a charm framed in turquoise and diamonds that she had designed.
Requests from her clients followed. She said she now averages about 40 custom pet pieces each year, ranging in price from $6,500 to $17,880. Among those are a charm commissioned by Jennifer Aniston that depicted her beloved dog Dolly, and a carved portrait in painted crystal showcasing Taylor Swift’s cat Meredith, which the singer received as a gift. “There’s something playful about putting animals and jewelry together,” Ms. Neuwirth said.
And the jeweler said that the personal nature of the pieces makes them valuable to the buyer, and unlikely to be resold. “They’re a forever thing,” she said."
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