Swoboda Jewelry (1956-1979)
Swoboda was founded in Los Angeles, California, in 1956 by Edward Swoboda, a mineral dealer with extensive knowledge of gemstones. In 1957, Nathan Waxman joined the company as a trainee who quickly learned the art of casting, plating and moulding allowing him to create many of the designs and eventually become a partner.
Oriental and Victorian themes influenced Swoboda designs, characterised by magnificent thick gold-plated metalwork set with colourful polished semi-precious stones such as amethyst, turquoise, coral, garnets, rubies, jade, and cultured pearls.
The early jewelry was not marked instead a paper tag was used until 1966 when SWOBODA or SWO.INC. appeared in the metal cast. Swoboda jewelry is extremely rare, especially the more elaborate pieces that are highly priced by collectors.
In the early 1960s, Swoboda maintained showrooms in Los Angeles, New York and Dallas and its jewelry was sold in leading department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus and Harrods of London.