Jean Prounis is the rare New York jeweler who avoids anything ostentatious.
The 25-year-old goldsmith’s namesake line, Prounis, was founded in 2017 and has already been scooped up by Dover Street Market and Moda Operandi for its uniquely understated approach.
Prounis is inspired by her family’s Greek heritage and she crafts her designs from an ancient alchemy of 22-karat gold that was used in the era of Aristotle and Socrates. She enlists ancient handcraft techniques like granulation and chain-making, thus imbuing each design with a sense of history and human touch.
Prounis sells her designs with a buff polish — allowing the wearer’s body heat and oils to finesse the jewelry from a dull luster to high-shine. She considers the nicks and knacks that bruise her soft gold as part of a its charm, only adding additional history to her designs.
The designer gravitates toward south sea pearls, cabochon sapphires and emeralds and ancient stones like lapis and rhodonite. Prounis has garnered attention for her range of “trade rings” — thick gold bands inspired by ancient merchant rings that were once used as an alternative form of currency.
Each design is accentuated by the small idiosyncrasies that come with a handmade, one-of-a-kind product — a value-added incentive for clients who have tired of commercial, mass-produced fine jewelry.
Prounis is looking to expand with lifestyle categories that enhance her jewelry’s narrative. She recently launched a range of stationery with New York-based illustrator Pauline de Roussy de Sales, and is in the process of developing a capsule collection of home accessories.