Home » The Story Behind Jacob & Co. and Pharrell Williams

The Story Behind Jacob & Co. and Pharrell Williams

Jacob “The Jeweler” Arabo founder of Jacob & Co. known for designing pieces for clients such as Ye (former Kanye West)  and Jay-Z is standing next to Pharrell Williams. Photo: Getty Images

A significant portion of musical history is the tale of Pharrell Williams’ journey in the first decade of the twenty-first century. He collaborated with celebrities like Jay-Z, Gwen Stefani, Nelly, and Britney Spears to record and compose a lengthy list of major songs. With the unique items he created in tandem with “Jacob the Jeweler” Jacob Arabo of Jacob & Co., Pharrell was likewise creating a diamond jewelry heritage.

Pharrell and his collaborator Nigo, according to historian Vikki Tobak of Ice Cold: A Hip-Hop Jewelry History, “introduced in the age for bright gemstones.” The majority of the vibrant gems were diamonds with fancy colors.

Pharrell, together with Jacob, altered the pink and yellow diamonds, causing a stir in the upper ranks of classic fine jewelry into patterns for hip-hop jewelry. This was the time of the pinkish engagement ring with diamond, which Bennifer Harry Winston wore.

However, at the moment, Pharrell is auctioning off 52 items from his assortment, including shoes, apparel, and accessories, as well as a Louis Vuitton Murakami trunk, on his website Joopiter. These items include most of his Jacob & Co. diamond timepieces, jewelry, and other products.

There are items displaying Jacob Arabo’s customized works alongside his unique inventions. Jacob upgraded the golden casings for the Sony PSP and Blackberry 8700 accessories of Pharrell. He also pavé-set two of his Casio G-Shock watches with white, yellow, cognac, and black diamonds and filled another with yellow, cognac, and black diamonds. Additionally, Jacob added nearly 10 karats of diamonds on the Oakley Razor Blade frames that Pharrell wore.

The Marie Kondo episode “sort of tormented him,” Pharrell told Vogue, explaining the reason he is auctioning his prized possessions. However, the musician is still buying expensive diamond jewelry, so one can believe this claim may have been made somewhat in humor.

The auction is a reminder of how Pharrell’s close buddy, the late great Karl Lagerfeld, spent years collecting artworks and antiques from particular periods before selling them all. Whichever the situation, it is exciting to observe and understand.

As with nearly everything that Pharrell carries out, the Joopiter sale, “I. Pharrell Williams: the Son of a Pharaoh,” comprises multiple significance levels. Artists, especially Slick Rick, regarded themselves as royal right from the start of the era of hip-hop jewelry. Therefore, their ornaments were comparable to crown jewels. In the Son of a Pharoah show, Pharrell addresses this idea. The moniker Pharoah is also a tribute to Pharrell’s dad.

During a press statement, the rapper stated that the concept driving Joopiter is to appreciate the spirit unleashed whenever objects lose value. It also aims to honor the worth established around those artifacts.

The bidding preview’s hue scheme was purple; hence, another allusion to monarchy was made. The price of purple pigment used to be so high that only the aristocracy could obtain it. The expression “born to the purple” has its origins there.

Learn more about a few of Pharrell’s unique Jacob & Co. jewelry pieces that are up for auction below:


Some of Pharrell Williams owned Jacob & Co. items. Some of the most iconic items of diamond jewelry of hip-hop and pop-culture history. Photo: Jacob & Co.


  • Jacob & Co. N.E.R.D Pendant Chain

One could describe the significance of this Jacob & Co. N.E.R.D jewel to the development of hip-hop jewelry. However, any explanation wouldn’t be as vivid as the one provided by Joopiter:

Among the most iconic works of modern jewelry, it displays the matchless ingenuity of an unmatched artist at an unrivaled moment in history. When this was being discussed online in 2005, it emerged as the greatest, most intricate, and blingiest. With the chain in the business, there’s no denying this piece’s historical influence and paradigm change on Hip Hop and street life.

A modern trend of rapper pendants was heralded by the item’s enormous size, weight, the number of rare stones, and particularly the variety of hues. The massive medallion depicts 3-dimensional portraits of the entire N.E.R.D. team made with an incredible quantity of colorful diamonds. The 14-carat three-tone golden chain is also covered in white, light pink, brilliant yellow, and blue diamonds that have had their colors enhanced. Although the use of colored diamonds in Hip Hop and pop industry jewelry has become the norm, it wasn’t in 2005.

  • Jacob & Co. Multicolored Diamond Dice

Jacob only manufactured a few diamond dice for Pharrell, based on the explanation on Joopiter. The priceless items were spotted after they were thrown around in one of the video clips.

They were referenced by A$AP Ferg when he introduced Ice Cold. The artist claimed that Pharrell owned the diamond dice from the “Drop It Like It’s Hot” music video. Clearly, that was insane.

On the other hand, the Rubik’s Cube Keychain serves as the dice’s counterpart piece. Surprisingly, Jacob’s gem-encrusted puzzle works flawlessly.

  • Jacob & Co. N.E.R.D. Belt Buckle

What comes to mind whenever you glance at the white, yellow, pink, and polished blue platinum and diamond belt clasp that Jacob fashioned for Pharrell in 2005? Well, there’s no doubt that you are reminded of the numerous wonderful bejeweled belt fasteners Cartier created during the Art Deco period. The coating on the blue diamonds used a procedure that intensified the hue of the original gemstones.

Despite what the description claims, Gucci emblem belts reportedly inspired the design. Moreover, it pays homage to Pharrell’s hip-hop and rock group N.E.R.D (No One Ever Really Dies, as the abbreviation indicates).

In addition, the jewel has more than 600 diamonds totaling slightly over 18 karats.

  • Jacob & Co. BBC Pendant Chain

Some time back, hip-hop jewelry designers began turning their music companies and other label trademarks into jewelry instead of the street’s well-known insignia. With the enormous necklace of the moon man emblem for Billionaire Boys Club (BBC), the clothing business he and Nigo founded, Pharrell took part in this occasion. It’s nevertheless important to note that Jacob first acquainted Pharrell and Nigo.

Also, about 3,000 black and white diamonds are used in the enormous gem to recreate the BBC cosmonaut created by Japanese visual artist SK8THING. It hangs from a 31.75-inch Cuban bracelet set with white diamonds and gold.

  • Jacob & Co. Skateboard Pendant Chain

Jesus-themed jewelry was among the most prevalent themes in the early days of hip-hop jewelry. With the Jacob Skateboard Pendants, Pharrell paid homage to these pioneering looks in his distinctive way. Jesus and a cross are depicted on the decks of two of the skateboard sculptures, respectively. Both have highlights of pinkish diamonds, along with white and yellow diamonds in abundance.

On the other hand, the skateboard themes reveal Pharrell’s passion for the activity. He also goes by the name Skateboard P.

  • Jacob & Co. Astronaut Pendant and Chain

In 2004, Pharrell Williams gave Jacob the task of creating a miniature artwork of the BBC cosmonaut out of yellow gold and yellow diamonds weighing 26.97 karats. Likewise, a yellow-golden chain measuring 28 inches long holds the gem.

  • Jacob & Co. N.E.R.D. Yellow Gold Brain Pendant Chain

The N.E.R.D emblem was another that Pharrell wanted Jacob to memorialize in jewelry. He even requested him twice to perform the task. White, yellow, and black diamonds, as well as rubies, are set in yellow gold in the initial design.

Their moniker and a brain pattern serve as the logo for the band Pharrell, founded in 1999 alongside Shay Haley and Chad Hugo. It’s the ideal representation of the creativity and thought that Pharrell invests into all of his concepts and artwork.



Pharrell William’s Superb Jewelry Line

With a jewelry line that is matchless among his colleagues in terms of size and value, Pharrell has long been a creative leader and trailblazer in both fashion and entertainment. Skateboard P’s impact on the jewelry industry has been evident for almost 20 years. They include the renowned $1 million NERD chain he ordered from Jacob the Jeweler and his most recent outstanding masterpieces, including diamond-covered teardrop-form glasses created in partnership with Tiffany & Co.

Prior to becoming well-known on the A-list, Pharrell demonstrated a strong passion for pieces of jewelry. He even visited a trade fair in Basel, Switzerland, to learn about the fine artistry that goes into expensive items.

The artist, producer, and fashion designer initially got to know Jacob “the Jeweler” Arabo, the pioneer of Jacob & Co., at the age of just 18 years. Over time, he also got to know Lorraine Schwarz and Gabby Elan, two famous jewelers.

He was frequently sighted wearing works such as the NERD chain or a customized necklace portraying KAWS’ (another lifelong pal) Blitz figure in the 2000s. These pieces were huge, bold, and dazzling, artistically toeing yet never quite exceeding the boundaries into garishness. In most recent times, Pharrell has scaled back the size, not to mention the vibrancy, of his jewelry selections, wearing all from heart-like rings of priceless gems made by Schwartz. He also dons a series of grills made by Elan, which have been compared to Marvel’s Infinity Stones, lengthy gold and pearl pendants, and many more.

Furthermore, Pharrell is not only a supporter, friend and a customer, but he also actively collaborates. In 2008, he collaborated with Louis Vuitton on the Blason series, which was initially shown at Couture Week. He did this alongside Camille Miceli and the brand’s then-creative manager Marc Jacobs. Pharrell also partnered with Chanel on pearl and diamond bracelets, necklaces, and brooches in 2019.

Generally, if there’s anything we understand regarding Pharrell, one needs to anticipate the unforeseen.

Jacob Arabo: The Jewelry Master

Jacob Arabo is, without a doubt, an anomaly. Arabo has remained at the forefront of the expanding premium jewelry and watchmaking firm Jacob & Co. as its creator and chairman for more than thirty years. He has also built breakthrough watches that have changed the course of the market. Moreover, he has made a name for himself as a legend in the jewelry and watch industries by daring to take chances. Besides, no is not an option for Arabo.

Mr. Arabo was born destined for success; at 17, he became passionate about producing original works. He started by joining a six-month jewelry-making training course, and as soon as he finished, he got an internship at a nearby jewelry maker.




Jacob developed a love for making more enduring pieces of art while he was an intern and finally turned his side gig into a full-time job. After working, he started creating his art in a makeshift workshop he had set up in his bedroom. His designs quickly gained popularity, so he began to build a clientele. Within a short period, he started to earn more money from his side company than he did from his employment.

Arabo resigned from his full-time position at that jewelry production company in 1986 and started Diamond Quasar. It was a retailing jewelry firm operating as the Jacob & Co. label and producing his creations for private clientele. Arabo then developed his jewelry-making vocation while honing and improving his abilities. According to him, creating jewelry has long been an artistic endeavor, and making each design required a great deal of psychological and emotional speculation. All the ideas he came up with resulted from incredibly long hours spent trying to extract every last drop of creativity. The same attention to detail and thirst for knowledge would propel him into the manufacturing industry.

Laster, Arabo became among the first designers to produce striking diamond jewelry for men during the 1990s as he started working with musicians on customized designs. When the late rap artist Notorious B.I.G. noticed Arabo’s creative pieces, he gave him the moniker “Jacob the Jeweler,” which quickly spread like wildfire. In the music sector’s internal networks, Arabo’s title was frequently talked about. It was also at this point that he met Pharrell Williams, who eventually became his customer and friend.

Overall, Jacob Arabo is a skilled jeweler and craftsman who has never wavered in his commitment to his goals. He intends to produce something other than mass-market items that could be obtained among various companies. Instead, he always strives to remain ahead of the game. As a result, he has always been forced to think creatively to come up with new components, color schemes, and jewelry and timepiece-wearing techniques. Moreover, Arabo is a designer who draws inspiration from almost everything surrounding him, including the solar system, the galaxy, vehicles, buildings, and films.

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