Monet was founded in 1927 as Monocraft by brothers Michael and Joseph Chernow to capitalize on the popularity of monogramming. They developed a process for metal monogramming first for autos and later for handbags. Late in the 30s they began to produce jewelry monograms such as watch fobs. The true Monet that we know today came from their hiring of Edmond Mario Granville. Coming Monocraft with a background in fine jewelry from Cartier, Granville remained the company’s sole designer until the late 1950s and was executive designer until his death in 1969. His leadership would span the company’s humble beginnings as Monocraft to its eventual acclaim as Monet.
In 1977, Monet launched Ciani, a line of fine jewelry in 14-carat gold, sterling silver, and vermeil. Some pieces included onyx, ivory, semi-precious stones, and pave diamonds. Ciani pieces were specially packaged in velvet pouches or suede jewelry rolls to differentiate them from traditional Monet lines, and each silver piece included a polishing cloth.
The company passed through several owners and was purchased by Liz Claiborne in 2000. The Monet Group, which includes Trifari and Marvella like so many other grand names in CJ was moved out of the country and produces much lesser quality jewelry under those brand names.
Today, vintage Monet is particularly prized by collectors for its quality. Thanks to triple plating, it's not unusual for Monet pieces to last for decades without showing signs of wear on the finish.