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RESEARCHING COSTUME JEWELRY
originally created and published by Dotty Stringfield on IllusionJewels.com
PENNINO JEWELRY: THREE NEAPOLITAN PRINCES AND THE LEGACY OF PENNINO
PART III – THE LEGACY
Written by Dotty Stringfield
©2006 to present
The Pennino name in jewelry ended with Frank’s death. However, the family jewelry tradition has been carried into new generations by Dr. Christopher Hartnett, a certified GIA gemologist, and his children. Chris and his wife Dr. Linda Hartnett own and run a number of jewelry companies that deal in precious gemstones: International Gemstone Corporation, Inc., International Gemstone Partners, L.P., Midwest Diamond Exchange, Inc., Elegant Imitations, Inc., USA Gems, Inc., The Pink Emerald Company, LLC and Global Gemstone Management Services, Ltd.
In 2003 their daughter Kristen (named after Christine Pennino) graduated from GIA specializing in CAD- Computer Design, started Saint-Hart Designs, Ltd. and launched a full line of precious, colored gemstone jewelry.
Quote from Dr. Chris Hartnett: “The brothers took the whole process of creating jewelry very, very seriously, like many really devoted artists and craft persons throughout history have done and the business side of things, although important to them for sustenance, was clearly secondary to their craft. Their name, reputation and workmanship was always paramount, above all else. They were what they made, and each piece they created reflected their inner values and traditions. This is what they were taught as young men and this is what they practiced in their trade throughout their lives. This is their real legacy to our family and the world. This is what we want to preserve and cast into hearts of our future generations.
The finished jewelry pieces the Pennino Brothers left us are really just symbolic of the purity and perfection of their art at that time in history when amongst a few, pride of workmanship and attention to detail was most important and their guiding inspiration throughout their careers and their lives.
This is evidenced by the fact that they easily could have sold off the molds and sold off their name and brand but the fact that they didn’t do this, now tells volumes of the type of men they were and the order of their priorities. This type of deep rooted classic integrity is inspiring as well as precious and rare, and we feel extremely privileged to have the great fortune to in any way be associated with such gems of jewelry royalty. Thank you, Pasquale, Otto , Frank and Jack. Your true lessons are eternal.
My thanks go to Christopher Hartnett and his parents William and Lorranye Hartnett. They spent many hours going through family papers to find much of the information used in this article. Their willingness to share the Pennino legacy is greatly appreciated.
This article was originally published in Vol. 16, No.1, 2006, of the Vintage Fashion & Costume Jewelry Magazine.
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by Dotty Stringfield with the assistance of research contributor Pat Seal
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