Our History

Van Craeynest designs and tools reach back to the late 19th century, both in origin and inspiration. Many of the machines and special tooling we use are over 100 years old, however, they are not the reasons for our exquisite work. Brilliance in all artistic endeavors springs from the knowledge of line, form and composition as well as a solid command of the tools and techniques used in working the medium.

Since the beginning of the company, our studio workrooms have been organized around a European style apprenticenship system. We train all of the aspiring artisians in traditional techniques of the jewelry craft, including skills for which we have no current use. It is a condition of employment here that all knowledge is passed forward to the younger or less experienced members of our staff. In this way we have kept alive for three generations many techniques which otherwise would have been lost, but which are still practiced by jewelers we have trained.

Van Craeynest began in 1920 when Roger J. Van Craeynest went to work for The Shreve and Co. He apprenticed under some of the finest European master craftsmen in America, including John Wrightburg, and became a master die cutter, designer, and engraver.

In 1926 he opened his own business in San Francisco with two other jewelers.

Larry Van Craeynest joined the company in 1960 after studying art in college. He is dedicated to training young artisans and passing on the traditions and jewelry making techniques that were used in the Victorian Era.

The factory still incorporates a European apprenticeship system, directed by Larry Van Craeynest.

Van Craeynest is celebrating 85 years of old world jewelry craftsmanship.