A Round up of 2016 and Happy New Year!

2016 was, according to almost anyone you ask, a turbulent year. Political storms aside, we carried on regardless and are pleased to say we survived!

We kicked off our first show in Miami, at the Original Miami Beach Antique Show, as per usual. It never hurts to get a bit of sunshine in late January, not to mention sell some lovely pieces in the Sunshine State, and bring some goodies back home!

A snippet of the vast Miami Beach show.
A snippet of the vast Miami Beach show.

We welcomed renowned jewellery blogger Liza Urla and guests into our gallery for a Valentine’s champagne reception, with Sandra talking on sentimental jewellery, and the theme of love in jewellery. Such a fabulous and fitting subject, with many jewels to talk about, from the romantic language of flowers, to more obviously sentimental heart themed jewels. The event was great fun and we met some lovely new clients.

Liza Urla with Irina Minervino and Sandra
Liza Urla with Irina Minervino and Sandra. Credit: GemKreative/Liza Urla

March brought the BADA Fair, and with Sandra being head of the jewellery vetting committee (did you know she was the first female member of BADA?) it was a successful and busy show. We have done it for many many years now but the new director Marco Forgione and his team have really freshened up the fair in Duke of York Square and we enjoyed a new feel to the fair.

All set up for the opening of the BADA fair.
All set up for the opening of the BADA fair.

Before we knew it we were gearing up for Masterpiece London in June which opened just as the Brexit result was announced! There was an unsettled mood in the build-up but it proved to be a very successful fair for us, especially with our clients from over the pond. There is no fair like Masterpiece, it is undeniably a high end glamorous affair and we welcomed visitors to the stand from all over the world. We look forward to this year’s fair in Chelsea.

The champagne flowed as usual at the Masterpiece private preview.
The champagne flowed as usual at the Masterpiece private preview.

A welcome break over the summer gave us all some much needed time off and we all went our separate ways to enjoy some down time, to prepare us for the busy times ahead. It never fails to surprise me how the phone magically starts ringing again at the start of September! We have taken on some important commissions this year, these projects always take time, from the conception of the design, with all the tweaking involved to get it ‘just right’ and then often again once the piece has been made. We have restored French amethyst Royal suites, upgraded diamond engagement rings, re-modelled necklaces including lengthening a very important diamond necklace from the 1950s and made an incredible 1940s style cocktail ring for a client using her large emerald that her husband purchased for her several years ago, in anticipation of us partnering with his wife to make her dream ring. It’s always a challenge, but an enjoyable one, made so worthwhile by the client who we always ensure is over the moon by the end of it.

A work in progress...
A work in progress…

A trip to New York in November for the Fall Show proved a source of some wonderful goodies, and gave us a chance to catch up with our lovely clients based over in the States, email and phone is all very well, but it’s great to see people in person!

We were joined once again by Liza Urla and her guests for another event in the gallery in December, this time focusing on a vast collection on ‘Bugs & Butterflies’ that we have acquired, and we were able to give her guests a sneak preview of what was an unprecedented and important collection of jewels. These bejewelled creatures were the sum of a collection built up over 30 years by a client and friend of Sandra, which is now for sale. Liza had great fun modelling these spectacular creations, all antique and of the most wonderful quality.

Three of our beautiful bugs from the collection.
Three of our beautiful bugs from the collection. Photo credit: GemKreatives/Liza Urla

Not being a shop on the ground floor, we don’t normally experience a huge Christmas ‘rush’, rather, our clients usually buy throughout the year for special occasions and make purchases as and when the ‘right’ piece comes in. Those who love antique jewellery know only too well that these unique jewels need to be snapped up, it’s heart-breaking when a client comes in to ask about a piece they saw a month ago, only to find it has already sold! Saying this, we did enjoy a busy Christmas period, helping some clients out with their gifts and partnering jewels with the owners they were destined for. We can always search for and find anything, given enough time, nothing is impossible!

In-house Christmas decorations!
In-house Christmas decorations!

So Happy New Year, and let’s hope that 2017 is perhaps a little less turbulent, however likely or unlikely that it, but most of all, filled with wonderful jewellery!