Friday, May 7

Trifari Company History

The Trifari Company was founded by Gustavo Trifari, an Italian immigrant who arrived at Ellis Island from Napoli in 1904 at the age of 20. In 1910 he founded "Trifari and Trifari" with his uncle. Gustavo's uncle left the company a few years later, and Gustavo continued the company under the name of "Trifari." It's no wonder that Italian collectors love to buy Trifari Vintage Jewelry, as Gustavo is one of their own.

Leo Krussman joined Trifari in 1917, and Carl Fishel joined as head of sales in 1925. The company name was then changed to "Trifari, Krussman and Fishel" and the logo "KTF" (with an enlarged "T" at the center). Trifari Vintage Jewelry pieces from this era are extremely rare.

In 1930 Trifari hired Alfred Philippe as head designer, and that is when the company began to really take off. Philippe's background designing very high end fine jewelry for firms like Cartier and Van Cleef and Arples brought a wonderful sense of luxury and style to the company. The Trifari Vintage Jewelry Designs he created have the style and glamour of fine jewelry and were very popular.

Charming Vintage Trifari Elephant Pins designed and patented by Alfred Philippe for Trifari in 1952:

Philippe continued to work at Trifari until his retirement in 1968. I'll discuss Alfred Philippe and other Trifari Vintage Jewelry Designers in future posts, along with some photos of their jewelry.

In the 1940's the company name was changed back to "Trifari" and the famous Trifari Crown logo was stamped on the pieces. For detailed information and photos of Trifari Vintage Jewelry Marks, see the guide on my web site: Trifari Jewelry Marks.

Trifari continued to be run by its founder and sons until 1975, when the company was sold to Hallmark Jewelry Company. In 1988 the company was sold to Crystal Brands, and in 1994 sold to Chase Capital Partners and Lattice Holding Company, a division of the Monet Group. During that time, high end, collectible Trifari jewelry was produced for sale on QVC. Many of these were Limited Editions, and collectors highly prize them as the last of the signed Trifari Jewelry.

In 2000 the Monet Group was purchased by Liz Claiborne and production was moved overseas, which brought an end to the high quality signed Trifari jewelry. Liz Claiborne Inc. continues to produce Trifari jewelry overseas, but these are lesser quality unsigned pieces that are on Trifari cards.

I'll be creating a page on my web site with photos of Trifari designs from the various eras. Until then, please enjoy browsing my stores for collectible Trifari Vintage Jewelry, as well as Beautiful Vintage Jewelry from other designers, at the following links:
My Classic Jewelry Etsy Shop
My Classic Jewelry eBay Store

View Trifari Vintage Jewelry on eBay