Vacheron Constantin: a Buyers Guide

Vacheron Constantin: a Buyers Guide

Here at Central Mega Pawn, we are sometimes asked for our professional opinion on what brand of luxury watch is the best investment or carries the best value. Our answer is, more often than not, Vacheron Constantin. Although not as popular in mainstream culture as other brands like Rolex or Tag Heuer, Vacheron Constantin is always an excellent investment in terms of design, craft, complications, and heritage. For those reasons and more, fans and collectors of luxury watches consider Vacheron Constantin to be among the world’s best. Below are just a few more reasons why timepieces by this design house are highly sought after as both investments and fashion statements.

They are some of the world’s most complicated watches

As a company, Vacheron Constantin prides itself on its long and record-breaking heritage in innovations in making complicated watches. As early as the mid-1700s, Vacheron began producing complicated timepieces, making them instant symbols of luxury and wealth, one of the first design houses to do so. Their complications have made them a prized addition to collectors all over the world for centuries.

Vacheron Constantin continues to push the envelope of complications and remind the world that it is the last word in this type of innovation. In 2005, Vacheron Constantin celebrated its 250th anniversary by producing the most complicated wristwatch the world had ever seen, the Tour d’Ile, which featured sixteen complications and required over 10,000 hours of research to develop. Only seven of these timepieces were made. More recently, in 2015, Vacheron Constantin produced the Ref. 57260, which was created for an undisclosed price for an anonymous collector. It features 57 complications and took over eight years to assemble.

A long tradition of beautiful design

Vacheron Constantin’s tradition of exquisite design extends beyond its timepieces and movements. The cases and dials of all of its fragments throughout its long history speak for themselves and are often considered innovations in their own right. In particular, the productions during the 1920s are prized for their striking and distinct Art-Deco styles.

However, around the mid-1940s, the creative focus of Vacheron Constantin began to include wristwatch case design. Today, the bold cases of this era are representative of one of the most exceptional opportunities to own a masterpiece of mid-20th century design—many styles produced during this period that continue to hold their appeal to collectors worldwide.

A Vacheron Constantin is considered an extraordinary value

An adage among experienced luxury watch collectors is that a vintage Vacheron Constantin can be purchased for less than half the price of its Patek Phillippe counterpart”. In many cases, this is actually true. Many comparable watches by Vacheron Constantin tend to go for two to three times less than Patek Phillippe, despite fewer examples in existence. One theory for the difference in price is that Patek Phillippe is a more recognizable brand despite not having the history or distinction of a Vacheron Constantin.

It is the oldest watch manufacturer in continuous production

Vacheron Constantin has an uninterrupted 262-year history of watchmaking, a claim that no other watchmaker can boast. Its patrons have ranged from kings to presidents and even include the Wright Brothers. Because Vacheron Constantin watches have been around for so long, they have been present at many critical moments in world history. For example, in addition to royals and dignitaries, Vacheron Constantin watches have adorned the wrists of the US Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1900s.

Fans and devotees of the watches form a community

Watches made by Vacheron Constantin can be collected at all price points. Whether a collector owns a timepiece from the 18th century that sells for an astronomical amount or one made in 2018 that was purchased for under $3,000, acquiring a watch made by Vacheron Constantin allows entry into a distinguished club with members across different social strata. Buying one’s way into the club is now easier than ever, with collectors sharing information and helping one another through networking clubs, internet forums, and boutiques all over the world. Vacheron Constantin facilitates this sense of community by hosting a website and collector forum dedicated to the brand. The result is a thriving community of members and collectors that are happy to answer questions and share stories about the brand. Additionally, the brand makes it easy to order and obtain certificates of authenticity and other information for watch owners who want to know more about their valuable timepiece or are considering buying or selling a Vacheron Constantin.

If you are considering the wise move of adding a Vacheron Constantin to your luxury watch collection, you should put Central Mega Pawn at the top of your list. We can help you find a genuine article at a fraction of the prices you would expect to pay at a dealer, online, or through an auction house. Below are a couple of things you can do to take full advantage of Central Mega Pawn’s expertise in luxury watches:

Do Your Research

Know your budget, as well as the types of models you are interested in. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will get precisely what you want. Once you have narrowed it down and have an idea of how much you will be able to spend, you can search for sales records to get an idea of what to expect.

Get and stay in touch with us!

Vacheron Constantin timepieces are a rare find – when you are doing your research, come in and let us know you are looking for one. Then, give us a call every so often to see if we have one on hand. The effort you put into establishing a relationship with us will pay off handsomely when you add a genuine Vacheron Constantin to your collection at a fantastic price.

If, at any point in the process, you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to help you in your search and will do everything we can to get you the Vacheron Constantin timepiece of your dreams.

Audemars Piguet: a Buyers Guide

Audemars Piguet: a Buyers Guide

At Central Mega Pawn, we are not just experts on luxury watches – we are also fans. This means we are always excited to share our knowledge with our community about every brand of luxury watch that catches our eye. This time around, we are presenting a buyers guide to one of our favorite luxury watch brands, Audemars Piguet.

Since 1875, Audemars Piguet has been unapologetically defying traditional watchmaking conventions by creating innovative, game-changing timepieces. Nestled in the Swiss Vallee de Joux, which is world-famous as the home of complicated watchmaking, the iconic brand takes full advantage of the natural beauty and resources of its surroundings. The result is some of the world’s most sought-after luxury watches, many of which we are lucky enough to have in our shop from time to time.

History

Audemars Piguet was founded by watchmakers and childhood friends, Jules Louis Audemars and Edward Auguste Piguet, in 1875. Their home valley, although rich in resources and beauty, suffers particularly dark winters. As a result, many farmers in the region devoted their time to watchmaking, transforming their barns into workmen’s studios, where they produced delicate and precise wheels, pinons, and lugs that would be incorporated to timepieces adorned by local semi-precious stones.

Audemars and Piguet were part of this tight-knit community of artisans. They were especially passionate about creating timeless luxury watches that would be handed down from generation to generation. Every Audemars Piguet timepiece has, at its foundation, deep respect to the foundations of watchmaking, which is evident in its construction.

However, Audemars Piguet is also known in equal measure for pushing the limits of detail and technical skill. The watchmakers had a passion for excellence at every stage of the design process, creating chronographs and astronomical complications since the founding of the brand.

The brand’s workshops grew slowly. Initially employing around 50 people, it wasn’t until the 1950s that they expanded their operations to employ approximately 100. Such a small workforce is part of how Audemars Piguet stays true to its roots, as they employ only dedicated craftspeople, as they have since the beginning.

To this day, Audemars Piguet remains in the valley of its founding and is independent and family-owned. The company dedicates itself to pass on its knowledge and experience to future generations of watchmakers.

Craftsmanship

The traditional and the avant-garde intermingle at Audemars Piguet, where expert craftsmanship is a part of the brand’s DNA. Every watch and timepiece reflects the era in which it was crafted, from elegant Art Deco designs of the 1920s to the envelope-pushing pieces of today.

The watchmakers at this design house understand that to break the rules, one must master them first. As a brand, Audemars Piguet has made every day of their experience count and use their knowledge to create complicated timepieces. As a result, every watch produced is a technical masterpiece.

The watchmakers at Audemars Piguet are considered artists first and foremost. Every design still begins with a sketch and goes through many iterations. However, the designers stay must be expert technicians as well and take into account limitations when it comes time to build. Additionally, the brand melds artistry and experience with technical advancements, such as being among the first to use 3D imaging in the design process.

Some iconic models

Royal Oak

The Royal Oak was considered the first stainless steel luxury sports watch when it debuted in 1972. Its influence on the design of sports watches can still be seen today.

Royal Oak Offshore

Considered a bolder and more daring brother of the Royal Oak, the Royal Oak Offshore is nicknamed “the Beast” due to its massive proportions. First introduced in 1993, there are now over 120 variations on this model, which has made its mark on industry standards and expectations.

Royal Oak RD#2 Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin

At a record 6.20mm, this watch is the world’s thinnest self-winding perpetual calendar. Master watchmakers worked tirelessly to re-engineer conventional movement into a single 2.89mm, making it ultra-thin while simultaneously boosting reliability and efficiency.

Royal Oak Frosted Gold

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak ladies’ model, Audemars Piguet introduced a frosted gold design. The watch was produced in collaboration with a renowned jewelry designer and features ancient Florentine painting technique.

How to buy an Audemars Piguet luxury watch

If you are considering the wise move of adding an Audemars Piguet to your luxury watch collection, you should put Central Mega Pawn at the top of your list. Unlike other resources, such as a jeweler, we won’t put you through a rigorous application process, and our prices do not reflect finders fees or the like.

Our experts at Central Mega Pawn can help you find a genuine article at a fraction of the prices you would expect to pay at a dealer, online, or through an auction house. Below are a couple of things you can do to take full advantage of Central Mega Pawn’s expertise in luxury watches:

Your Research

Know your budget, as well as the types of models you are interested in. The more specific you can be, the more likely you will get precisely what you want. Once you have narrowed it down and have an idea of how much you will be able to spend, you can search for sales records to get an idea of what to expect.

Get and stay in touch with us!

Audemars Piguet timepieces are a rare find – when you are doing your research, come in and let us know you are looking for one. Then, give us a call every so often to see if we have one on hand. The effort you put into establishing a relationship with us will pay off handsomely when you add a genuine Audemars Piguet to your collection at a fantastic price.

If, at any point in the process, you need some guidance, don’t hesitate to contact us! We are here to help you in your search and will do everything we can to get you the Audemars Piguet timepiece of your dreams.

Top Ten Greatest Video Games of All Time

Top Ten Greatest Video Games of All Time

Here at Central Mega Pawn, we aren’t just experts in video games and video game consoles. We are also fans as well. That’s why we’ve put together this list of what we consider to be the top ten greatest video games of all time. The games on our list cover decades and genres and age levels. But they all have something in common: they all made an impact on us, are still fun to play, and are still relevant to today’s gamers.

However, some considerations:

We wanted our list to be as comprehensive as possible, so we held ourselves to some rules:

  • We didn’t want this list to be inundated with Zelda and Mario titles, so we chose only the best examples of those worlds.
  • We are platform-agnostic, so the games on our list are available on popular consoles, PC, and even mobile devices, in some cases.

So, without further ado, here is Central Mega Pawn’s comprehensive list of the top ten video games of all time:

10. Half-Life 2

Alien invasion stories aren’t unique in video games, but Half-Life 2 handles the narrative so well that it makes the concept new, fresh, and scary. Every aspect of the game, from the story down to the tiniest visual detail, makes gameplay genuinely immersive. Clever environmental puzzles, the world-famous and beloved gravity gun exploit an intricate physics engine to make this hellish world feel authentic. You truly hate the enemies, and you live every moment of the story. Undoubtedly one of the greatest narrative video games ever made.

9. The Last of Us

What seems at first glance like a standard entry into yet another video game about a zombie apocalypse quickly reveals itself to be much more than that in the first few minutes of gameplay. Playing as Joel, a grieving single father, players watch his relationship develop with a guarded teenager who may be humanity’s last hope. Combined with beautiful graphics and a haunting soundtrack that sometimes is little more than the sound of grass blowing in an abandoned front yard, the game is unforgettable. Not to mention the unsettling “clickers” and deadly encounters with fellow humans that players encounter and must fight through along the way.

8. Grand Theft Auto V

Regardless of how gamers feel about violence or the world of the GTA series, Grand Theft Auto V is a celebration of immeasurable and obsessive details. Even the most experienced players would be hard-pressed to name another title that looks and feels as authentic as the world in GTA V’s Los Santos and its surrounding countryside.

The action in GTA V’s crazy mix of cinematic high-speed chases, shootouts, and crime hijinks might feel outrageous at times, but the world that it all unfolds in feels so real that players can’t help but buy into its sense of fun.

7. Journey

Innovative, beautiful, and captivating, Journey is a short but unforgettable gaming experience. With standard gameplay of around two hours, the game uses every moment to immerse players into a poetic flow. Playing as a featureless desert wanderer, Journey guides players through a beautiful, meditative game that blends disciplined design, cutting-edge technology, and beautiful art into something remarkable and moving, culminating in one of the best end sequences that we can remember. Journey takes players through an emotional quest that is unheard of for a video game.

6. BioShock

BioShock is as beloved today as it was when it first came out in 2007. That’s because, despite being a standard first-person shooter, it defied genre and classification so thoroughly that it essentially became its genre upon release. With a gripping metaphysical plot, beautiful art deco style, and a motley cast of broken personas populating the game, BioShock was at once riveting and disturbing. The game takes the player on a journey through the fictional undersea city of Rapture, built by industrialist Andrew Ryan, which is a deliberately thinly veiled reference to Ayn Rand.

BioShock revolutionized the first-person shooter genre and created a new standard against which all other similar games have been judged since. Its influences can be seen in most popular games of today and sparked tons of debate about games as more than time-wasting diversions with its horrifying forms of self-augmentation and examination of extremist modes of thought.

5. Pokemon Red and Blue

The phenomenon of Pokemon GO that took the world by storm in 2016 has its roots in the game where it all started, Pokemon Red and Blue. Although by today’s standards, its role-playing set up and inventory management might feel dated and clumsy at times, this 90’s game got an entire generation hooked on the promise of adventure, the fun of working with friends to catch all 150+ Pokemon, and introduced flocks of beloved characters.

4. Street Fighter II

The Street Fighter series has inspired countless imitators and sequels. However, the one that started it all and set the standard for fighting games is still Street Fighter II. When it first came out, its graphics, characters, and options for gameplay were revolutionary. Its influences on the fighting game genre can be seen in every game from Mortal Kombat to Marvel vs. Capcom. It’s an enduring fan favorite and is still used in competitions to this day, nearly thirty years after its release.

3. Tetris

Game developers all over the world dream of creating a game with three elements that will make their game an instant classic: simple, addictive, and timeless. Tetris nails all three aspects with its block-stacking puzzle that probably everyone on earth has played at least one point in their lives.

2. Super Mario World

No list of top video games is complete without at least one Super Mario title. And while Super Mario Brothers 3 belongs on longer lists, we had to narrow it down to one title for our purposes here. What pushed Super Mario World over the top was its balance between being tough but not intimidating, puzzling but not frustratingly so, and always beautiful, funny and joyful all throughout the game, even the water levels. For pure joy and delight, gamers can’t find a better game than Super Mario World.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

For many gamers in the late ’90s, the Ocarina of Time was a turning point in video games. For the first time, a video game was a complete artistic expression, from its cutting-edge 3D combat, a storyline filled with nostalgia while refreshing a beloved story, and magnificent soundtrack. Ocarina of Time took what was great about the original stories and world and expanded it in ways that other game developers are still struggling to emulate.

You can likely find many of these games, as well as their respective consoles, at Central Mega Pawn. Visit us today to see how we can help you recapture the magic of your beloved video games or find some new ones that you may have missed out on! We have consoles, games, and accessories at a fraction of retail prices!

Do Pawn Shops Buy or Loan Money on iPhones?

Do Pawn Shops Buy or Loan Money on iPhones?

Here at Central Mega Pawn, we’ve been witness to the smartphone revolution from the very beginning. As such, we consider ourselves experts in buying or making loans against the value of all kinds of smartphones, from Androids to the ubiquitous iPhone. If you’re looking to sell your smartphone for top dollar for quick cash, or if you need a quick loan that won’t put your credit score at risk, keep reading to learn more about how Central Mega Pawn can help you.

First, the good news

The good news is that there is always a market for smartphones in good shape. Used smartphones are bought and sold every day in high numbers because recent models are dependable and longer-lasting than ever before. This means that the active market for smartphones of all brands continues a little longer than in past years. Plus, the majority of people today rely on their smartphones to stay in touch, to get around their city, and for entertainment.

Now the bad news

The bad news is that, because new smartphones are released every year, models quickly go obsolete. Some models are no longer updated, or consumers simply aren’t interested in particular models after a while. So, before you bring us your smartphone to sell or to obtain a pawn loan, consider how old the model is.

At Central Mega Pawn, it is our policy always to do our best to help our customers. However, as is the case with ever-changing technology, sometimes we just can’t take an item because it would be too difficult to resell if necessary. As an industry rule, it is entirely up to an individual pawnshop to decide if they will buy or make a loan against the value of a smartphone, and we are not different in this regard. It would be smart to give us a call ahead of your visit to see what demand in our shop is like before you go to the effort of preparing your smartphone for sale or for pawning.

Central Mega Pawn buys and makes loans against more than iPhones!

It’s true – the iPhone is not the only game in town when it comes to cool, high-quality smartphones. Central Mega Pawn deals with every brand of cell phone available today. If you have any of the following, we can help you:

  • Samsung
  • Google
  • Sony
  • LG
  • HTC
  • Blackberry

Why Central Mega Pawn is the right choice, whether you are selling or pawning

Many times, when people need quick cash, they opt to sell their smartphone online, through an app, or via sites like Craigslist. But, there is a better way that will save you time, effort, and the headache of haggling, all while getting you the highest offer for your phone: your local pawnshop.

And if your local pawnshop happens to be Central Mega Pawn, you’re in luck – we are renowned for our customer service and are proud to serve our community.

As a bonus, selling or pawning your smartphone is also good for the environment, as it keeps toxic batteries and other components of most smartphones out of landfills and gives them new life.

Lastly, if you decide to pawn, you will get your smartphone back after you repay your loan.

How to sell us your iPhone or other smartphones

So you’ve double-checked that your model of smartphone or iPhone is relatively current. Here are your next steps. And even if you are familiar with how pawnshops work, smartphones are a slightly different matter, and not as straightforward as one might expect.

1. Become an expert on your phone

The more knowledgeable you are about your phone, the better your position will be when it comes time to research what you can expect.

  • Find out the precise model of your phone. Especially in recent years, new models are only slightly different than their predecessors in name. For example, do you have an iPhone X or the X Max?
  • Know your phone’s carrier is. Depending on which carrier is dominant in your region, phones on particular carriers might demand a higher price. (more on that in a minute)
  • Know the limit of your phone’s memory. The more memory your phone has, the higher your offer will be. On many smartphones, this is etched into the case, or easily found in your “settings” menu.

2. Back up & wipe your data

Surprisingly, many people forget this vital step. Or, they think that simply deleting files or sending them to the Cloud will keep their information safe. To ensure that you get your data off your phone before selling or pawning, be sure to back up your data to your computer or external hard drive. The best way to back up your data may vary depending on the brand and model of your phone, so be sure to conduct a google search for proper instructions.

After you’ve secured your information, disable location features such as “find my iPhone” or “find my device,” then wipe your data from your phone’s memory by performing a factory reset.

3. Unlock Your Cell Phone

An unlocked phone means that it can be used with any carrier, which means that you might be able to expect a higher offer. Contact your carrier to request that your phone be unlocked before you bring your phone in to us.

4. Gather any original components and do your homework

The more complete a package you can bring us, the higher offer we may be able to make. That means, boxes, manuals, chargers, or any cables that originally came with your phone. Next, look at what your exact model of phone is going for on auction sites or person-to-person sales apps. That will give you a frame of reference for how much people are paying for your type of phone and will help set reasonable expectations.

5. Visit us!

Bring us your clean, researched phone with as many peripherals as you were able to find, and we will do our best to offer you top dollar in sale or pawn value. Don’t be afraid to negotiate, and be sure to shop around before making your final decision.

If you have any questions about selling or pawning your iPhone or other smartphones, please reach out to us today. We are here to help you.

Did You Know that Central Mega Pawn Offers Custom Jewelry?

Did You Know that Central Mega Pawn Offers Custom Jewelry?

It’s true! At Central Mega Pawn, we are always looking for unique ways to serve our community, and to go above and beyond our customer’s expectations. To that end, we are proud to offer custom jewelry services. Jewelry is the perfect medium to do everything from expressing yourself to proposing marriage. In this day and age, where mass-production has resulted in everything looking alike, having a custom piece of jewelry made is a way for you to stand out subtly and tastefully.

Although all pawn shops buy, sell and pawn jewelry, very few offer custom jewelry service or even ring sizing. We are proud to provide this service to our community and to make custom jewelry affordable and convenient for everyone. Our talented and experienced in-house jeweler can do everything from custom fitting an engagement ring to working with you to create your dream piece.

What are some benefits of custom jewelry?

A high-quality piece of jewelry is great to have, but a custom piece can carry significant meaning. Here are some benefits of having a hand in designing and creating custom jewelry with Central Mega Pawn’s in-house jeweler:

  • Sentiment – Custom jewelry has immense emotional value, primarily when the item is meant as an engagement ring or another special gift. If you are giving a custom piece, you can incorporate design elements that are specific to you and your relationship. Giving someone a piece of jewelry that they know was created just for them will instantly make the item something to treasure for a lifetime.
  • Control – If you’ve looked everywhere but can’t seem to find the perfect piece, custom jewelry is the answer. Our jeweler will work with you to design the exact piece you want. No more scouring the web or dealing with ridiculous retail store mark up.
  • Creativity – Working with our jeweler to create a custom piece is truly an exciting experience. You can design something that is not only meaningful to you, but that is one-of-a-kind. Or, if you’d prefer to incorporate design elements from multiple styles of jewelry, we can do that as well. Your limit is your imagination.

What you should know about custom jewelry

While the idea of designing a perfect piece of jewelry is undeniably exciting, there are essential factors to consider, regardless of if you decide to use our talented in-house jeweler. Here are some things you should know about the process before you get started dreaming of your custom piece.

Always work with a professional

Anytime you are considering having a piece of custom jewelry designed and created, be sure that you are dealing with an expert. Some jewelers have minimal capabilities but still, promise to deliver unique pieces. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or to keep searching for the right jeweler. Regardless of the type of jewelry you are having made, you want it to be the best it can be. Our in-house jeweler will be happy to answer any questions that you might have about their experience, qualifications, and past work.

Keep the benefits in mind

Designing your custom piece and translating it to your jeweler can sometimes be a frustrating experience. It can be challenging to describe exactly what you want, and the process may take longer than you anticipated. In addition to the benefits described above, keep the following in mind if the quest to design and create your custom jewelry becomes daunting:

  • You are investing in something for you or someone you love that reflects your personality and individuality.
  • Your design may need to go through a few drafts before you arrive at the perfect version.
  • Your custom piece will be the only one of its kind in existence.
  • The time you put into creating something like an engagement ring can be an excellent opportunity to reflect on your relationship and remember why your loved one is so special.

Realize that there are some trade-offs when it comes to custom jewelry

Although there are numerous undeniable advantages and benefits of designing and creating custom jewelry at Central Mega Pawn, there are some trade-offs that you would do well to keep in mind:

  • Cost – Because our jeweler puts their time, talent, and experience into creating your custom piece, your item might be a little more expensive than an item that you’ll find ready to go in our display case. However, the cost will vary depending on the intricacy of the design and its elements.
  • Time – A custom piece takes time to design, plan, and create. Some pieces can even take months. So, if the item you are creating is intended for a time-sensitive special occasion, such as a marriage proposal, graduation, or anniversary, you may need to start far in advance.
  • Repeat visits – You may need to meet with our jeweler a handful of times to create, edit, and finalize the design throughout the process.
  • You will not get to see or inspect the custom piece until it is finished.

How the process works

The design stage of the process varies from one jeweler to another. However, generally, a piece of custom jewelry starts with you sketching out the idea. Or, you might collect images of the design elements that you want. Then, you bring your ideas to our in-house jeweler, and they will begin working with you to perfect the design. We will go over every detail of the process with you before getting started on your custom-made article of jewelry.

Why you should visit Central Mega Pawn for your custom jewelry

Our jeweler has over twenty years of experience in repairing, sizing, designing, and creating custom made jewelry pieces. They can guide you in creating that perfect piece that will be part of you or your loved one’s collection for the rest of their lives. Not to mention, you will find your diamonds, gems, and precious metals at a fraction of retail and dealer’s prices when you source Central Mega Pawn for all your jewelry needs.

Top 10 Jewelry Designers of All Time

Top 10 Jewelry Designers of All Time

At Central Mega Pawn, we like to recognize the craftsmanship that goes into some of the fantastic jewelry that finds its way into our store. Below, we’ve tried to list who we believe to be the top ten jewelry designers of all time. Each of them possesses the elegant and timeless style and is the unmistakable trademark of the world’s most highly regarded designers. Some of them had humble beginnings, while others were born into high society. However, all of them made their mark by creating and building brands that have delighted lovers of exceptional jewelry.

1. Bulgari

Bulgari is an Italian luxury brand founded by Sotirios Bulgaris, a Greek jeweler who moved to Rome in 1881. Bulgaris’ love of his adopted country is evident today in the brand’s iconic Serpenti design, which is a collection of gem-encrusted watches and jewelry made to resemble a coiling snake.

The brand is famous for luxurious items, from jewelry and watches to hotels and fragrances. In the 20th century, Bulgari became known for the exquisite architectural metalwork in their pieces, usually featuring gold links and heavy steel.

Elizabeth Taylor’s love of Bulgari jewelry was well-known. She had an extensive collection of custom-made pieces, including a gold Serpenti bracelet that was displayed at Bulgari’s 125th-anniversary exhibition.

2. Cartier

This famous brand started as a design house founded by French jewelry designer Louis-François Cartier in 1847. By the mid-1900s, the house grew to become one of the world’s most sought-after jewelry designers, with locations fanning out all around the globe from its Parisian headquarters.

Cartier is famous for classic designs that prominently feature gemstones and precious metals. In 1914, Cartier produced the first of what would become their icon, the Panthère brooch. The brooch is the shape of a prowling panther and covered in diamonds and gems. It quickly became the symbol of the Cartier design house, and new Panthère pieces are debuted every year.

3. Chanel

Legendary designer Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel founded this luxury fashion house in the early 1900s. Her jewelry designs are the foundation for Chanel’s famous blend of masculine and feminine styles, with each piece meant to accompany the brand’s luxury and off-the-rack fashion collection.

Some of Chanel’s most iconic designs are simple but elegant, such as long strand necklaces, gemstone brooches, and architectural diamond jewelry. Chanel jewelry is also a popular red-carpet choice for actress across eras, from Marilyn Monroe to Kiera Knightly.

4. Dior

Christian Dior began as a luxury goods company before turning to jewelry design in the 1950s. Like Chanel, Dior jewelry is meant to complement their other luxury items, especially their fashion lines for women. The style of both the jewelry and the clothing usually bold and glamourous and intended to make a statement. Today, Dior is known for its collection of rose-themed jewelry, and for putting a feminine spin on masculine designs.

5. Hèrmes

Like Dior, Hermès of Paris began as a luxury goods firm before turning to jewelry design in the 1950s. However, their models are more diverse than Dior, as they produce luxury pieces in everything from leather to diamonds. Hèrmes has been the designer of choice for icons such as Grace Kelly. Today, they eschew mass production and continue to design and produce their jewelry in small workshops in France.

6. Mikimoto

Mikimoto is the only pearl jewelry company on our list. It was established in the late 1800s by Mikimoto Kokichi, who is known for creating the world’s first cultured pearl. From its first store, which opened in Tokyo in 1899, Mikimoto has made its mark in most of the world’s major cities, including London, Paris, and Bombay. It is also the first Japan-based design house to earn international fame and recognition, even providing the official jewelry for the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in the early 2000s. Although Mikimoto makes elaborate pieces that feature pearls, they are most renowned for their elegant and straightforward designs.

7. Piaget

Piaget is a Swiss brand founded in 1874 by Georges Piaget. The brand first made its name through luxury watch designs that featured exquisite enamelwork and gemstones. This tradition continued into their lines of jewelry as well, as they are now known for Old Hollywood style and classic rose-inspired designs. Piaget’s jewelry is often worn on the red carpet by celebrities such as Scarlett Johansson, who wore an elegant Piaget emerald choker to a recent Oscars presentation.

8. Tiffany

The iconic Tiffany brand was founded in New York City in 1897 by Charles Lewis Tiffany. In the early 20th century, Tiffany established itself as an icon of Art Deco and Art Nouveau design with its famous solitaire engagement rings. The motif of these rings is still popular today, as is the brand’s signature lock and key design, which is featured in bracelets, pendants, earrings, and brooches. An American classic, celebrities and fashion icons such as Greta Garbo and Jacqueline Kennedy have proudly sported Tiffany designs.

9. Harry Winston

Known as the “king of diamonds,” Harry Winston owned the Hope Diamond for over a decade before donating it to the Smithsonian. His legend as a diamond expert began when, at just twelve years old, he recognized a two-carat diamond in a pawn shop. He bought it for twenty-five cents, then resold it two days later for $800. He created his diamond empire by purchasing and refashioning the jewelry collection of a deceased railroad magnate into modern and fashionable designs. His work lives on today in numerous high-end shops all over the world.

10. David Yurman

Founded in 1980 by David and Sybil Yurman in New York City, David Yurman is the youngest design house on our list. Their designs are known for their sculptural and architectural features. Their pieces are meant for everyday wear as well as for formal occasions. Their trademark design is the Cable motif, which is incorporated in some way into every David Yurman collection and features wrapped silver, platinum, or gold wire. David Yurman designs are popular with modern celebrities such as Tina Fey.

You can likely find examples of many of these designers at Central Mega Pawn! Visit us today to see how we can help you add a piece of history to your jewelry collection.