Anyone familiar with a map of Italy may recognise the name ‘Miseno’. It’s an area in the province of Naples with a long history, dating back to the Romans who called it ‘Misenum’. However, for Antonio Cardamuro, the founder, chief executive, and creative director of the fine jewellery brand, Miseno is the place that features in many of his precious childhood memories. Although Miseno jewellery is produced in Italy, the brand operates from the other side of the world, in the United States, and has found the perfect balance between American and Italian sensibilities… think opulent golden designs, hardstones, bold proportions, and elegant, feminine jewels that draw inspiration from the Mediterranean.
I’ve long been a fan of the brand; in 2016, I wrote about its Vesuvio collection, and in 2021 I shared insights into the Faro, Procida and Marea collections. At the core of its storytelling is the eponymous port town and its Roman archway, known as ‘Arco Felice’, which was fabled to bring love and happiness to anyone who walked through it. The brand wants everyone who wears its jewellery to have the same things – hope, love and joy – so that’s why its logo archway is a symbolic finishing touch. When Cardamuro created his brand, he channelled his experience at big Italian houses like Bulgari and Buccellati into a contemporary collection of his own design. Today, he specialises in 18k gold jewellery, set with lapis lazuli, malachite, onyx, and diamonds, among other gems, in wearable designs that can easily transition from day to night. I’ve always had a soft spot for the sunlight-inspired Raggi collection with radiating lines of white diamonds and the utmost elegance of the Sabbia d’Oro range, especially its long wrap-able sautoir.
I could go on about Miseno’s creations, but that’s not what I am here to talk about! Instead, I want to share with you that the brand is exhibiting at VicenzaOro from 8-12 September 2023 for the very first time and if you are visiting the fair, make sure to stop by. This ‘homecoming’ of sorts is combined with the fact that the brand has opened an office in Italy, again for the first time. It’s always had roots in the country, but now it is well and truly back on Mediterranean soil. I am told the reasons are simple: the brand is growing in the United States and wants to “make our way back home” to discover more opportunities across Europe and other global markets.
To whet your appetites, Miseno will highlight two specific collections in Vicenza: Baia and Ischia. These two renditions are very different from each other – the first one being inspired by nature and floral motifs while the second is focused on geometric elements and bold colours. Both styles seem to have eternal appeal to jewellery aficionados as figurative flowers and architectural elements alike have been at the forefront of jewellery design throughout centuries. Flowers and geometry will be showcased alongside Miseno’s core ranges and a selection of one-of-a-kind masterpieces, typically set with large coloured gemstones in sunny coastal colours. Just look at the cocktail ring embellished with a gorgeous sapphire that I shared on my Instagram, more of the unique designs are to be showcased on my account soon. But for now, I welcome you to have a closer look at the two key lines that are about to dazzle at VicenzaOro.
Baia is named after a city near Miseno that’s the location of an archaeological wonder – an underwater landscape of Roman mosaics, baths, statues and marble floors that sank due to volcanic activity in centuries gone by. Scuba divers can go and visit these treasures, but I much prefer the idea of wearing pieces inspired by them! Antonio has built Baia bracelets, earrings, rings and necklaces around a hexagonal motif of golden tiles interspersed with diamonds and hardstones. The bangles are perfect for stacking in buttery yellow gold layers inlayed with malachite, lapis lazuli, mother of pearl, turquoise, onyx, coral and white and black diamonds. Pieces get especially interesting when colours are combined together, such as a bracelet in 18k yellow gold with white diamonds, yellow sapphires and lapis lazuli or a combination of white diamonds, blue sapphires and natural turquoise.
The second collection focus is Ischia, an ode to the oceanic landmass near Miseno, nicknamed the ‘green island’. It can be found in the Tyrrhenian Sea and is known for its abundant floral beauty and thermal waters that have been enjoyed since ancient times. Miseno draws on these natural themes for its collection, which blooms with diamond, sapphire and emerald flowers in 18k white gold. I particularly love a large cuff bracelet with emeralds in the most elegant shade of pastel green and a suite of petal-style jewels that are asymmetrically shaped for a touch of modernity.