Joel Arthur Rosenthal, was born in 1943 in Bronx, NY and is the only child of a local postal worker and a biology teacher.
He studied art history and philosophy at Harvard and moved to Paris soon after his graduation in 1966 where he met his boyfriend and business associate, Pierre Jeannet, a Swiss psychiatris and began to experiment with jewelry making.
JAR opened in 1978 on the Place Vendôme—the same space he occupies today. Very early in his career, Rosenthal revealed his superb sense of color, whether in the hue of an exotic violet sapphire, the shimmer of topaz and ruby, or the simple clarity of a perfect diamond. The company does not advertise and does not maintain a shop open to the public. It caters to an exclusive clientele of the super rich. The 2009 sales were €9.52m and net income was €1.32m.
Joel’s works quickly became known for their unique design, the quality of their stones, and their remarkable craftsmanship, but above all for their fearless beauty. He is known for his pavé technique—the setting of small stones so close together that they appear as a continuous surface of jewels—and uses subtle gradations of color to create a painterly effect.
On November 20, 2013, the Metropolitan Museum of Art showcased hundreds of pieces from jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal. His line, JAR, only produces 80-90 dazzling pieces a year, which makes them even more precious.