March 04


Ann Ziff has had a life-long love affair with jewelry and has a connoisseur’s eye for the world’s most exceptional gems.  As a child, Ziff was fascinated by the elaborate jewelry worn by her mother, famed American opera singer Harriet Henders.  Encouraged by her late husband, William B. Ziff, Jr., she began buying stones and creating her own original jewelry.  From rare Australian black opals to prized Paraiba tourmalines and extraordinary Colombian emeralds, Ziff’s collection has evolved into one of the world’s preeminent collections of privately owned gemstones.  Tamsen Z captures the exquisite beauty of these stones in handcrafted pieces that are truly one of a kind.

Ziff designs each unique piece herself, choosing and arranging the stones, sketching the designs by hand, and she personally strings every gold, pearl and gem bead necklace herself.  Her artistry lies in the mixing of color, texture and material: sparkling black diamonds strung with sapphires and handmade gold beads, rainbow-hued black opals surrounded by electric green demantoid garnets and vivid blue haüynites, and shimmering South Sea pearls set off by diamonds and aquamarines.

A native New Yorker, Ziff is as passionate about giving back as she is about jewelry design. Her philanthropic work includes serving as Chairman of the Metropolitan Opera, for whom she has designed one-of-a-kind jewelry featuring crystals from the opera house’s famed starburst chandeliers.  She also serves as vice chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and of Artist Tribe Foundation. She is the founder and producer of the Caribbean Community Theater in St. Croix. Ziff currently serves on the boards of the American Museum of Natural History, Fairchild Tropical Garden,the New York Restoration Project, Sing for Hope, the World Science Festival, and is on the advisory board of WonderWork. She was a founding board member of Smile Train. She is also a member of the Visiting Committee of the Arts of Africa, Oceania, and the Americas of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ziff was a psychiatric social worker for many years and she continues to work to help children in need and bring culture and arts into the lives of young people.

TEXT: Courtesy of