What Is A Parure?

If you shop for vintage jewelry, you will most likely come across the word parure. It seems to be used primarily with vintage jewelry makers rather than contemporary ones. But what does the word actually mean?

Put simply, a parure is a matching set. But the words parure, demi parure, semi parure, full parure, and married parures are all used to indicate some sort of matching set. So how does one know what the manufacturer intended with this description?

A Demi Parure, or demi for short, is a matching set of jewelry consisting of several pieces - often a necklace, and pair of earrings or bracelet, all of the same design and made to be worn together. Normally, a demi is used to indicate two pieces but it can, of course, be more than two. Depending on the number of pieces in the original set, it is sometimes referred to as a semi parure. (semi for short) There are many combinations possible - i.e. - a necklace/bracelet, necklace/earrings, brooch/earrings, bracelet/earrings, etc.

Of particular interest to vintage jewelry afficionados who collect for investment is the description Full Parure. When all pieces of the original set are present, the set is called a Full Parure. This gives extra value to the collection, since most other parures are only part of the whole set originally offered by the designer.

One type of set often offered which is a set but not one designed by the original manufacturer is the wording "married parure." In this case, the pieces match well, but are made by two different designers and just worn together because the colors or designs match well enough to look like a set.

Here are some examples of Demi Parures: The first picture is a married set. The others are actual demis.

Carol Speake
Visit: The Finishing Touch Vintage Jewelry


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