Joel Arthur Rosenthal, the proprietor of JAR jewelry, took a very unconventional path to notoriety compared to his luxury jewelry counterparts. Born in a working-class family in the Bronx, New York, he studied linguistics in City College and completed his studies in philosophy and art history at Harvard University in 1966. After graduation, he worked in Paris as a screenwriter and needle-stitcher. His work as a needle-stitcher propelled his career into designing mounts for gemstones. His small shop at 7 Place Vendôme only produces around 70 highly crafted, imaginative, meticulously designed art pieces, making them sought-after by jewelry collectors internationally. JAR only produces pieces for specific clients because each piece is unique.
In 2011 Christie’s Auction House sold Elizabeth Taylor’s stunning JAR multi-colored sapphire and diamond ear clips for $602 thousand. These earrings were part of the most valuable jewelry auction in history. Rosenthal gave Elizabeth an elegant platinum heart ring for her 70th birthday. It was embellished with a hoop-mounted and scrolled single-cut diamond “E.”