Protecting Saint Tropez’s Authenticity

Artisan jeweller and stone setter in Saint Tropez, Steve Schaming works with the greatest names in luxury jewellery while maintaining the regional heritage in his creations.

By Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Internationally known as a prestigious destination, Saint Tropez is nonetheless a preserved village with a strong artistic tradition. In spite of the numerous luxury jewellery shops on the Côte d'Azur, only a few craftsmen are still working as stone setters in the region. 

The craft, often passed on from master to apprentice, requires a precious know-how. Among them, Steve Schaming strives to maintain the cultural heritage of his hometown.

Steve Schaming 3
00:00

A precious heritage 

Son of a watchmaker father and a jeweller mother, Steve Schaming was born in Saint Tropez. In the 1980s, his father Jacques Schaming set up his watchmaking business on Place des Lices. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 2
00:00

Steve's father was trained by Mr Frantz Proketch, a watchmaker-jeweller. When Frantz retired, he offered him the mould of the medal he had created in 1945.

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 3
00:00

A regional heritage 

This medal is now part of the family heritage, but it is above all linked to the history of the region: it’s the religious emblem of the Patron Saint of the village that Tropezians wear on a necklace or mounted in a bracelet.

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 4
00:00

Attracted by the jewellery trade since he was a child, Steve left his village to study by the Swiss border and later in Lyon, where he developed his skillset.  

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 5
00:00

Back in Saint Tropez, Steve started his own business as a jeweller- stone setter. "I wanted to return to my village. I'm attached to it and, and that's where I wanted to create my own business. "In his studio, he creates and sells the Saint Tropez medal, and receives customers by appointment where they can choose a stone and discuss a jewellery design. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 6
00:00

Skills to preserve 

The jeweller makes the structure of the jewel, that the stone-setter then assembles with the stones. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 7
00:00

Working with gemstones has a price. They are expensive, and for now Steve doesn't have the resources to get an apprentice. But he hopes to be able to train students in a school closer to retirement and help preserve the heritage. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 8
00:00

Styles always vary over the years, "it’s just like fashion”. But the constant is the medal: Tropezians are still too attached to it to change it. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 9
00:00

Local collaborations...

Apart from jewellery stores, Saint Tropez has only two artisan jewellers. Together, they collaborate on jewellery projects, but also share ideas for atypical creations such as board games inlaid with stones. 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Steve Schaming 10
00:00

These local collaborations can lead to unusual projects with artisans from all horizons: Steve is working on a piece mixing jewellery and carpentry. 

Jewellery has become an industry, and only a few craftsmen create their pieces from scratch. For Steve, the goal is to maintain the authenticity of his region... "Something that rarely come to mind when we talk about Saint Tropez!". A few years ago, he put himself on an electoral list to promote craft stores. "I like the image of Saint Tropez of the 1950s and 1960s. I’d like my village to be authentic again, rather than superficial". 

Artisan Joaillier Steve SchamingFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps