Eugene Joseff was born in Chicago in 1905. He moved to California with his brother at the start of the Depression, and began making jewelry in 1930. Eugene met Walter Plunkett, a well known costume designer, and he had his foot in the door of the film industry.
Joseff was extremely good at creating historically accurate pieces of jewelry for films, and he worked on important films such as: Gone With The Wind, Ben Hur, Samson and Delilah, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, My Fair Lady, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, The Wizard of Oz and many more.
His jewelry was so lovely that the big film stars he worked with started requesting pieces for their personal collections; stars such as Bettie Davis and Carole Lombard were among his fans. Joseff then decided to produce his jewelry for the masses, and the rest is history.
Joseff died in 1948, and his wife ran the company from then up until 2010 when she passed away.
Joseff of Hollywood still makes jewelry that they rent out to studios, but they do not sell directly.
The Joseff of Gollywood collection is warehoused, and contains “three million necklaces, brooches, tiaras, earrings, and breastplates…in individually labeled rectangular boxes that keep the trinkets dust free”
Joseff of Hollywood jewelry has become extremely valuable over the years, so it’s best to be thorough when considering investing in a piece.
From an article Joseff wrote for the magazine Movie Show
“If you want to acquire a collection, start with a brooch because you will find most use for it. It can be pinned on a suit lapel, collar or pocket…on a hat, a belt, or an evening gown. Remember, gold can be worn with more things than silver and topaz is a good stone that looks smart with almost every type of costume…” “Earrings should be the next jewelry investment. They also have many uses. You can wear them on your hat, cuffs, shoes, as well as your ears.” “A ring comes next in your collection and I’d suggest finding a bold ring with a large stone…something massive and distinctive. A bracelet and a necklace come last in importance because they can so seldom be worn with all your costumes or for all occasions.”