I am hesitant to recommend the “back office” of the jewelry world to
a gentleman coming from Italy. 47th is really filled with production
pieces and the increasing number of empty booths attest to the hard
fought battle going on between import production and here. With very
few exceptions, all the pieces look alike.
However, I echo the fact that Dikra and Metaliferous are highly
recommended and add a gentleman named Gershon at Citra (on 5th
Avenue) for precious stones to the list. (Let me know if you want the
specific addresses for these three places and I will email them to
For a glimpse of the higher end side of jewelry: midtown puts you
right in the heart of it. I would recommend Cartier’s new store and
H. Stern. (Harry Winston if you feel inclined to see just how insane
it can get.) Three stores that carry interesting pieces are Barneys,
Bergdorf Goodman and Bonwit Teller. Bergdorf (and Bulgari, by the
way) is on the corner of 57th and 5th; head east to Bonwit Teller on
57th between 5th and Madison. Leaving Bonwit Teller as the last one
gets you heading towards Madison which is always wonderfully elegant
and brings you to Barneys on Madison between 60th & 61st Streets. If
you feel inclined, head north up to 81st Street and over one block
(back to 5th Avenue) to the Metropolitan Museum. Note: I wouldn’t
recommend Tiffany because their pieces are not that interesting and
they have traded quality for quantity - - street row of 47th gets you
the same quality at 1/3 of the price. However, you will pass right by
it on the corner of 57th and 5th - caddy corner from Bergdorf; next
to Bonwit Teller.
Upscale department stores (if interested): Saks Fifth Avenue and
Bloomingdales - - a NYC institution.
The Museum of Natural History has a wonderful ambiance - - not
unlike stumbling into a great-uncle’s collection of oddities; the
building is interesting and the gold exhibit is well worth viewing.
Many a child raised in NYC spent numerous field trips going to this
museum, so there is a soft spot in every native NYer’s heart for this
museum. I always find this museum an interesting commentary on the
"expedition" mind-set in the 1800’s.
If you want to see the “funky” side, head down to West Broadway (via
taxi) and you will find some upscale boutiques. Heading downtown will
also give you a sense of what NYC used to be like - - filled with
small mom and pop stores. For the most part, uptown has become one
large outdoor mall.
Meanwhile, the city is filled with interesting architecture and
while St Patrick’s on 5th is nice, Saint John The Divine is much more
interesting. It is the largest gothic cathedral in the world; still
being worked on and, in my humble opinion, represents a very
interesting approach to religion in this day and age of separatism.
you choose to go to St. John, go there first and then take a taxi
south to the Museum of Natural History. If you ride along Central
Park West, you will see some of the most expensive real estate in NYC
- the mirror image of the residential pre-war properties on 5th
Avenue. (Not jewelry related, but all unique to NYC.) You will pass
right by St. Patricks on 5th between 50th & 51st Streets when you are
I don’t know how much time you want to spend at each site, nor how
long you will be in the city for - - but getting from the West to the
East side of Manhattan (i.e., from Met to AMNH or vice versa) can be
accomplished by strolling through Central Park.
NYC is laid out in a grid (until you get to Wall Street - - another
interesting trip, but not jewelry oriented - - unless you count the
salaries that support some of the prices you will see on 5th Avenue)
so, it is a very easy city to navigate. Pick up a map and you will
see the most logical sequences for your trip based on the
recommendations emailed to you.
I hope you have a wonderful visit,