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    A protégé of Coco Chanel, with a list of admirers that ranged from leading actresses, like Greta Garbo and Katherine Hepburn, to aristocrats and royalty, including the Duchess of Windsor and Countess Mona Von Bismarck, Fulco di Verdura was as much a style icon as were his clients. Large, unsubtle, gemstones, a preference for gold, bright colors and a taste for natural objects - Verdura's designs often feature animals, flowers and seashells - found their way first into watercolors, and later into his jewelry. All went directly against the style of the time, which leant towards a delicate white-on-white vogue for platinum and diamonds.In 1934 Verdura created one of his most iconic works for Chanel: A cuff bracelet, crafted around a Maltese Cross given to her by Grand Duke Dmitri of Russia. The Maltese Cross went on to become one Verdura's most celebrated motifs. His fame and influence impacted both the jewelry industry and fashion worlds. He also implemented the rope motif in modern jewelry, a first. Verdura sold his business and retired to London, where he died in 1978. The company continues to produce fabulous jewels based upon Verdura’s original artwork.