The Joy of Gems

Want to know what more than $1 million worth of high-end décor looks like in 800 square feet? Spend some time at the Beaudry Flagship Salon, located in the plush surroundings of the Montage Beverly Hills, and you might begin to appreciate the level of sophistication that is the result of such figures.

But it is not merely the numbers that are meant to impress, for they only serve as a guide—perhaps a crude measurement—by which to gauge the attention to detail devoted to this very special space.

The name Michael Beaudry is not new in certain circles, particularly when those circles consist of elite members of high society who are accustomed to only the very finest treasures that life has to offer. For those who consider Neiman’s their second home, or were first introduced to the Beaudry collections long ago via exclusive independent retailers, then the exquisiteness of the flagship boutique is of little surprise. It only serves as a confirmation of the dedication to excellence that has been the cornerstone of the Beaudry name.

When Michael Beaudry started his company in 1986, he began solely as a second-generation master diamond cutter, a skill for which he trained for three years before advancing to the Gemological Institute of America to learn the techniques of grading the quality of diamonds. Originally, he only imported gems and then used his skills to carve out some of the most beautiful shapes known to stone. But then, something horrible began to happen. Less-qualified jewelry designers and setters got their hands on Beaudry’s beautifully cut creations. “Over time, I started to see some of these really exceptional stones go into really poor workmanship because my clients would buy them and take them to other sources to have them set,” he says. “I got frustrated seeing them put into mountings that were not very aesthetically pleasing and in many cases took away from the brilliance of the stone, not to mention not being very safe.”

So what does a proactive perfectionist with an innate eye for beauty do when he sees the fruits of his labor spoiled by others? Take matters into his own hands is what Michael Beaudry did. “I changed my strategy and took a diamond cutter’s approach to jewelry making,” he says. No longer was the Beaudry name about the stones alone. He put together a team of craftsmen that could design and build jewelry that would be timeless and classic, and took a hands-on approach to learning the craft of jewelry manufacturing himself. “I applied what I learned about diamond cutting and fused that into the jewelry manufacturing process. With that, we established new benchmarks for how jewelry was made. It proved to be an invaluable combination because we started something so totally different from what people had seen before, down to the finest detail.”

Indeed. The most common description for Beaudry’s uncommon designs is “new vintage.” That is, pieces that are designed with an ode to old glamour in mind, most notably found in Beaudry Couture, the line of hand-fabricated, one-of-a-kind pieces that start at $20,000. Michael’s wife Laura is also an integral part of the Beaudry legacy, and not just in name alone; she works as the brand ambassador, models in the ad campaigns, and is also currently collaborating with the design team to create her own collection under the Beaudry moniker. Currently she is showcasing an oval amethyst ring that weighs in at 23.39 carats, accented with .80 TW of round brilliant diamonds, all set in 18-karat gold. But it’s not just about diamonds and gems at Beaudry. Timepieces, made in Switzerland, make appearances as well.

“I have had the opportunity to understand diamonds from the inside out. The designs that we create are distinctive because we know how to best utilize their brilliancy and understand them as a sculptural medium,” he says. “We’re able to come up with some really unique combinations that people just haven’t seen before but we’re doing it in a classic way, so the result is pieces that appear to be 100 years old but actually have new contemporary elements that get people excited.”

The excitement over Beaudry has been exploding for more than 20 years, and this past December they marked a milestone: the one-year anniversary of their flagship boutique at the Montage Beverly Hills. The husband-and-wife dream team chose Thorning Little out of Sarasota, Florida, to work with on the interior décor of the boutique due to his specialization in Mediterranean architecture. “The Montage Beverly Hills has a Moorish theme to it, so we wanted to incorporate this design aesthetic into the new boutique so that it would not only feel like an extension of the hotel, but also its private jewel box.” In addition to stepping inside a jewel box, the flagship salon is also a showroom for the Beaudry home collection. “It was important that our collectors could enter into a luxurious space that was also comfortable and inviting,” he explains. So inviting, in fact, that everything in the store is available for purchase. “If you fall in love with anything in the store you can purchase it. The French silk chandelier, it’s a Beaudry. If you fall in love with the flooring or any of the textiles, you can have it. We’ve had collectors ordering mirrors, candles, placing orders on hardwood flooring that they have fallen in love with, or some of the fixtures. It’s all basically the same process as making a custom piece of jewelry, and the whole experience is extraordinary.”

For serious collectors and A-list celebrities, the Beaudry name has been a staple since his start in the industry. Michael Beaudry is one of those individuals blessed with a passion at an early age, so if a trek down south to Beverly Hills is not on the agenda any time soon, a trip to Neiman Marcus or one of his 50 independent authorized retailers is a must to view the beautiful baubles in the Beaudry collection.