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Designer Profile: Roberto Coin

Premier Jewelry Designer Roberto Coin Shares His Vision

Photograph by Chris Andrade/Cashman Professional Services

Jewelry designer Roberto Coin shares his vision.

Roberto Coin is sitting in a suite in the Octavius Tower at Caesars Palace, telling stories between puffs of a cigarette. The Italian designer is proud of his work, yet humble about the talent that enables him to create his stunning jewelry pieces.

He’s also a bit of a jokester. Coin barely pauses when asked to name the one item every woman needs in her jewelry collection. “A rich husband,” he quips, and the room explodes in laughter.

“A man who buys jewelry for a woman is a special person,” he continues. “Buying jewelry probably avoids a lot of divorces, so it’s a very good investment.” Coin then settles back deep in his seat and answers more seriously. “A beautiful, colorful cocktail ring. One as big as possible, because by showing the ring, you are making a huge statement. More than earrings or bracelets or anything else, I like a woman with a powerful ring.”

Coin began his career as a hotelier. He managed a five-star hotel in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands off the coast of France, until age 32, when he left the business to pursue jewelry design in Vicenza, Italy. Coin built the company into a luxe jewelry empire, and operates it with his business partner, Peter Webster. Coin says he strives to “be different than anyone else.” He gets his unique design inspirations from his love of art, history and travel. This year alone, he says, the company produced more than a thousand one-of-a-kind items.

“I like to do pieces that have class,” Coin says. “We want to create something so the woman feels perfectly dressed when she puts it on.” Coin hides a small ruby in each piece of jewelry, taking inspiration from the Egyptian folk belief that a ruby touching the skin promotes long life, health and happiness. The custom, which began in 1996, has become his signature.

Coin will return to Caesars Palace on November 2 and 3 for an exclusive VIP showing of limited-edition jewels. He says he’ll bring his entire Animalier Collection, along with some never-before-seen pieces and others unique to Vegas, including roulette rings that spin and a necklace meant to mimic a slot machine with gems shaped likes cherries and bananas.