In 1920, Ilias Lalaounis was born into a family of jewelers from Delphi, Greece; despite studying Political Science and Law at university, Lalaounis followed his ancestors into the jewelry trade, initially working for his uncle before setting up his own business in 1968. Inspired by the present and past of the homeland, Lalaounis created gold pieces combining ancient and modern techniques. As well as drawing on Classical Greek, Hellenistic, Minoan and Mycenaean influences, the jeweler looked to civilisations across the world, from Persian to Chinese. As Ilias Lalaounis, shops opened worldwide, the founder's achievements were recognised by the Académie des Beaux-Arts, making him the only jeweler to ever be inducted. Today, over 17,000 pieces of jewelry have been produced across 50 collections, including bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings, as well as decorative objects. In 1994, the Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum was founded, dedicated to the history of jewelry and decorative arts.