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Legacy Of Jewelry Designer Jose Hess Celebrated In New Book January 20, 2022 (0 comments)


St. Augustine, FL—A newly-published book celebrates the life and philosophies of award winning jewelry designer Jose Hess, one of the original leaders of the American designer jewelry movement.

Hess was often asked, “How do you come about creating your designs?” He often answered, in a simple way, “It’s a flower, it’s the morning rising sun, it’s a tree, the leaves. It’s all love.” 

The observations of the man who saw beauty everywhere are celebrated in a forthcoming book. Written by Hess’s wife and design partner, Magdalena, the coffee table volume captures the essence of his creative soul, which was the fact that he never lost the wonder of the world around him, and saw beauty in literally everything. He often jotted his thoughts and observations in a journal, from which the heart of the book comes. Hess passed away in February 2021 at age 87.

“He had such a beautiful outlook on things,” says Magdalena Hess. “When I read his journal, I thought I’d put his wonderful thoughts into a book, together with pictures of things we’d designed.”

As a youth, Jose learned the entire jewelry-making process, from melting gold through creating sheet or wire and setting precious gems by hand. He immigrated to the United States, finished his education, worked his way up in the jewelry industry, and landed a job with a legendary jewelry designer before he set out on his own. 

Although jewelry store owners loved his designs, they refused to sell them under his name. Hess made it his mission to forge acceptance of branded and designer jewelry, becoming one of the architects of the entire designer and branded sector of the industry, and known as one of the “fathers of American jewelry design.” He went on to become an industry leader, serving as the first American president of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation. He served as president of the Plumb Club, and as the 1993 president of the prestigious Twenty-Four Karat Club of the City of New York, but he always remained an advocate for designer jewelry. Active in the founding of the American Jewelry Design Council, Hess later continued to mentor emerging young designers and consult for jewelry companies around the world. 

The 52-page coffee table book offers Jose’s insights and observations on a variety of subjects, such as love, beauty, humor, friendship, children, marriage, even a chapter on advice to young designers, and much more, taken from the many journals he left behind with his beloved Magdalena.

“I am blessed to have had Jose as soulmate, creative partner, friend, husband, and the love of my life. This book is for all family and friends in our lives,” says Magdalena. 

To purchase a copy in any of its various editions, visit

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