End of the 60′

Adventurous soul takes over the sea..

“….traveling through the most beautiful mining regions of the world, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Burma, gradually discovering the value and the beauty of gems, learning to read a stone, to evaluate it….”

Francois Garaude
Francois Garaude


End of the 60s: the Western world goes out of its hinges. François Garaude, from the quiet Germanopratin bourgeoisie, received this thunderclap like a whip. May 68 irresistibly called him to the open sea, to India first of all. At 16, leaving behind his scandalisez family, he hitchhiked the vast continent through Central Asia, as

Each day announces a new challenge, each encounter a danger, a perdition… or a fantastic discovery. Regardless, the unexpected becomes an adrenaline rush, François Garaude discovers a country where rites and beliefs organise thought and change lives. He understands that in India, spirituality takes over everything, explains everything, justifies everything. Memories of the Romanesque churches of his childhood mingle with the discovery of Hindu temples.In these sacred buildings where man looks at the sky, the invisible dwells the visible, the place of each element is important, nothing is due. randomly. The trip turned into a spiritual quest but it was suddenly interrupted by the illness which brought François Garaude back to France. From this experience he keeps within him an intense richness: the desire to give meaning to everything. The journey will continue … Is this a sign? He brings back in his pockets a topaz and a moonstone, his first talismans.

Francois Garaude


Back in France, François Garaude studied architecture, philosophy and cinema. Through philosophy and cinema, he reflects on a new vision of the world, as if his trip to India had suddenly put everything back together and put everything back into play, as if he suddenly wanted to look at Western culture in through another prism.

With architecture, he wants to understand everything about the organization of space and the main principles that govern it. He understands that light is the first material of architecture, which will not fail to inspire the jeweler that he is not yet, because on the jewel, it is the size and the arrangement of the stones that shape space and light. But again, the call of the sea torments him. At the same time as his studies, the young man built a 14-meter boat and embarked on a fantastic crossing of the Atlantic between France and Brazil. There, he meets the one who will be his wife. But the young Brazilian wants to continue her studies, so she will have to wait a few years there. To keep busy while waiting to be able to return to Europe with her, François Garaude sets out to discover the emeralds of Bahia. And there everything changes. Fascinated by this exceptional stone, he quickly became a specialist in it. After having sold a first stone, then several, then a lot, the future jeweler gets caught up in the game of trading. He decides to make it his profession, traveling through the most beautiful mining regions of the world, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Burma, gradually discovering the value and the beauty of gems, learning to read a stone, to evaluate it. Moreover, is he not one of the first to have reintroduced jade, rich in a thousand virtues, in French fine jewelry?

Garaude emeralds


François Garaude continues to chart his course, he becomes a stone trader. His jewelry clients appreciate the man of heart and passion, the hunter of the exceptional …and for him, it is sometimes a regret to let go of a superb emerald, a soft pink spinel or a flamboyant Padparadscha sapphire that he would have well imagined at the heart of one of the creations that he himself began to draw.

Passionate about what stones express, he sees through them the millions of years that slowly built them. They are carriers of inclusions, these tiny elements of the earth that they collected while growing up, giving valuable information on their origin. Inside the emeralds, jades, rubies, throbs an astonishing life made up of crystals, frost, gardens and needles which give the stone its specificity. The multiple colors are a delight. So Kashmir sapphires, unique by their deep velvety blue, cannot be confused with any other. Burmese rubies, the most precious have an intense red color, while others from Africa have a slight hint of orange. But François Garaude has a particular affection for spinel, whose rich palette of shades varies from bright red to raspberry red, tender pink, fuchsia pink, green, mauve, gray …

Garaude rough ruby

“…Gems are chosen for their natural beauty – none are processed or heated. Its collections include the essential jade, green, lavender, gray, white… sapphires, emeralds and a multitude of spinels, its beloved stone, whose diamond is only there to sublimate the beauty..”

The cool colours like the blue of the sapphire symbolise precision and analysis for him, the bright red of the ruby ​​evokes passion, the green activity, the diamond omniscience… In each piece of jewellery, the stone takes on an intimate meaning. Cabochons mix with old-fashioned rose cuts and barely polished stones, left in their original shape. From his travels, François Garaude brought back a vision of the universe that resembles a discovery of the planet. He never ceases to structure the metal and the masses, to orient, explode, deconstruct in order to rebuild, invent new volumes, interpreting in a thousand ways the sphere on which we live. Domes, circles, balls oriented according to the four cardinal points, flexible and simple jewels.