History / 1900

  • 1888

    Oscar Heyman is born in Latvia.

    1906

    Oscar and Nathan arrive in New York with a large wave of Eastern European immigrants. They are well trained in the new skill of working in platinum, a feat which is possible with the advent of the oxyhydrogen torch, which made it possible to safely heat metals to the 3,215°F required. Harry arrives in 1907.

    1912

    Oscar Heyman & Brothers is established by Oscar, Nathan, and Harry Heyman at 47 Maiden Lane. The Heyman family is reunited as six more Heyman brothers and sisters arrive in New York City. Eight of the nine siblings would work at the firm over the course of their lives.

    1917

    Oscar Heyman & Brothers designs its first American Flag brooch for retailer Black, Starr & Frost. The item remains a popular style today.


  • 1901

    Oscar (standing, age 13) and his brother Nathan (seated, age 16) Heyman become apprentices at their great-uncle’s jewelry manufacturing working in Kharkov, in present-day Ukraine. The workshop’s clients include the imperial jeweler Fabergé. This photo was taken shortly before leaving their native Latvia for Kharkov.


    1909

    Oscar is the first non-French jeweler to be employed by Pierre Cartier, as he set up his New York workshop. Nathan is a skilled tool maker.


    1916

    Oscar Heyman is issued his first of six patents related to jewelry making processes. It outlines the process for creating jewelry composed of small parts linked together through a hinged mechanism that allowed for flexibility in the piece. The patent was issued on February 29, Leap Day!