Peter DiCristofaro - Providence Jewelry Museum, USA
Peter DiCristofaro is the director and curator of the Providence Jewelry Museum in Providence, Rhode Island. A pharmacist by trade, he earned his degree from the University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy while apprenticing at his uncle’s jewelry factory each summer. Encouraged by his uncle over 40 years ago, Peter started a museum to preserve jewelry-making tools used by jewelry makers past and present. Peter’s awards include MJSA Hall of Fame and an award from the Italian Cultural Ministry for his work in jewelry history. This is his first presentation at the Santa Fe Symposium®.
History of American Ring Making
This paper teaches trade secrets and methods of ring making by taking jewelers on a journey through American ring making—from handmade to 19th century samples showing our ring evolution and into the 20th century period decade styles of the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s, ending in the 21st century. Unique ring developments are covered: signets, hollow, machined and diamond cut, the era of stamped to wax carved, and clad-gold ring making, which kept the jewelry industry in Providence, Rhode Island (now in its third century). Lastly, the history of the Tiffany engagement ring, born in 19th-century Providence and reborn in the 21st century, is shared.