Kathryn Bonanno

Kathryn Bonanno studied at the Columbia School of Gemology, which was founded and run by her father in Washington, D.C. and later in Silver Spring, Maryland. She later became an FGA (Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain – awarded with Distinction). When she was just 16 years old, she moved to Italy and stayed for many years, returning to the USA for her gemological studies before heading back to Europe and Asia to work in the gem and jewelry trade. The turning point in her career came when she went for a job interview at Sotheby’s in St. Moritz, Switzerland and met a dealer from the 47th Street jewelry district who offered her work in the Big Apple. She left for New York where she has been based since 1988.

Kathryn Bonnano ring
Kathryn Bonanno necklace

Kathryn launched her eponymous wholesale jewelry business in New York in 1991, selling to stores and other dealers. She specializes in very fine jewelry made from 1910 to 1950 with a focus on the Art Deco period. In addition to jewelry, she has carved her niche in natural colored gemstones that have not been treated or enhanced in any way .

For Kathryn, the most interesting aspect of being in the jewelry business is the search for that special piece. She sees it as a never-ending treasure hunt, where she tries to find the best of the best examples of jewelry from a particular period. She looks for pieces that are 100% original, with no parts replaced or altered. She is also very particular about the authenticity of an item and if there is any question about a piece, she will pass on it. She is passionate about her acquisitions and only purchases those items that excite her.

Kathryn Bonnano brooch