|The firm of
Cohn and Rosenberger was established in 1901 by Emanuel Cohn and Carl Rosenberger,
Later incorporated in 1943, they shortened the name to Coro, Inc., combining
the first two letters of the two rounders last names. Founded as an accessories
boutique in New York City, Cohn and Rosenberger were businessmen who focused
on business operations and growth, but they nevertheless had a good eye
for the arts, hiring very talented professional jewelry designers who were
allowed to develop their own creative visions at Coro. Even manufacturing
was outsourced until they finally purchased their own facility in Providence,
Rhode Island in 1929. This facility grew to be the largest costume jewelry
manufacuting operation in the world, using advanced production line technology
and employing up to 3500 workers at the peak of operations.
The company concentrated on sales and growth,
led by the ambitious Director of Sales Royal Marcher. Many talented jewelry
designers worked at Coro over the years, and it was the job of Adolph Katz
to select from among the competing designs the ones that Coro would manufacture
and introduce to the market. He also reviewed some of the many independent
designs that were submitted to the company, and he often selected designs
from this pool as well for Coro to manufacture. Katz also filed most of
the Coro patents including some interesting filings for mechanisms that
were used in some of the Coro jewelry designs. One example of a patented
mechanism was the Coro Duette, a double clip patented in 1931 that you
could combine into a single pin through an innovative interlocking catch.
Among the well known jewelry designers
who worked at Coro at some point in their careers were Gene Verecchio,
Robert Geissman, Massa Raimond, Oscar Placco, and Francois, who specialized
in floral pins and went on to found his own jewlery company. Despite this
roster of talent, most Coro jewelry is not individually marked with the
designer's name and is only marked as the work of the company. As a result,
Coro came to be known for a certain design aesthetic that was largely correlated
with the designs that Adolph Katz chose to commission for the company.
The company made a wide variety of pieces from figural to floral, and they
developed different lines marketed at different price ranges but always
with recognizable quality. Coro created these different lines to market
to consumers in different income brackets, and they created distribution
networks for the jewelry that would maintain this segmentation of jewelry
lines and the type of stores that could carry it. Vendome was the company's
high end line, a shrewd marketing move since by the mid-20th century the
Coro mark had become associated with more of a mass market line of costume
The company also expanded overseas, establishing
the Corocraft brand in England in 1933 and moving into Canada soon thereafter,
and they soon had design stores in most major American cities. Coro made
a great deal of patriotic jewelry during the years of World War II including
the Emblem of Americas brooch that is quite rare and avidly sought by collectors.
They also made jelly belly jewelry with lucite and multi-colored glass
cabochons for which they become quite well known, but a style which was
by Trifari. Coro was not above exploiting the design innovations of others,
and especially Trifari and Monet, but they also created some unique styles
of their own such as the Coro Duette from their own roster of designers.
Like their designs, Coro also contracted out some of their manufacturing
to others including Hedison Company in Providence, RI and to foreign manufacturers
who labeled their Coro work with a hanging tag reading Coro on one side
and the country of the manufacturer on the other.
Corporation of New York purchased Coro in 1957 and continued
production at the Providence factory into the 1970s. They were
not well positioned in their manufacturing capabilities to produce
the bead styles worn in the 1960s or the simpler goldtone jewelry
produced in the 1970s by companies such as Monet and Asian manufacturers.
Coro ceased ongoing operations in the U. S. in 1979 and continued
producing jewelry in Canada until the mid 1990s.
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