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TIMELESS TREASURES Shen London


WHEN SHEENA GILL was 11, she watched in awe as Prince Charles got engaged to Lady Diana Spencer. Captivated by Diana’s beautiful engagement ring – a 12-carat Ceylon sapphire surrounded by 14 diamonds, created by Garrard of London – she decided that, one day, she too would design her own fine jewellery. What she could never have dreamed was that, 30 years later, she would be holding the hand of the new owner of that ring, Catherine Middleton, following another royal engagement. “I’ve been designing jewellery for 25 years,” says


Sheena. “But, until I set up Shen London, my main career was in magazine publishing and, latterly, as co-owner of GGMR, a digital technology business. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were one of our clients and we ran the Royal Wedding Gift Fund Website. After the wedding we were invited to Buckingham Palace for tea. It was then that I held Catherine’s hand with the ring on. I nearly cried!” Shen London (the name derives from a mis-


spelling of Sheena) was created to produce exquisite, bespoke, high-end pieces, featuring only the finest gemstones, and using the same cutting process as the Swiss watch industry. Creative Director Sheena works with renowned diamond expert Marie Chalmers – named this year as one of the top 100 most influential people in jewellery by Professional Jeweler Magazine – who hand-selects every ethically sourced diamond. “Unlike most jewellers,” says Sheena, “we don’t buy our diamonds in packets. We buy them direct from site-holders and choose only perfect rounds and squares, the best colours and precision cuts.” Sheena’s designs aren’t fashion-driven.


“They are timeless, but contemporary,” she says, “wearable investment pieces that will be the classics of tomorrow. They let the diamonds do their job –


266 A LEGACY OF LUXURY


to sparkle. All the designs are cohesive, so you can wear one piece, several together or a whole suite. My customers are women who know what they want – independent, discerning individuals who understand quality and are comfortable outside of brands.” As all Shen London pieces are either bespoke or


semi-bespoke, they’re not available in retail outlets and can only be purchased via appointment. Prices start at £4,000 for a pendant, rising to around £40,000. The debut collection – the Goddess Collection – features nine designs, each comprising earrings, bracelets and pendants, crafted in white 18-carat gold with diamonds and sapphires. Simple and elegant, each design is named after a Greek Goddess. “My inspiration comes from everywhere,” says Sheena, “from buildings, from nature, sometimes from the diamonds themselves.” Sheena is currently working on a new collection


for 2017 and is soon to announce an exciting celebrity collaboration. Shen London has also had work displayed at Walpole luxury exhibitions and is moving into the “experience package” area, teaming up with luxury concierge services. Client satisfaction is of the utmost importance.


In fact, Sheena says she’d rather a client didn’t buy a piece unless they were 100 per cent in love with it. “Choosing jewellery should be a wonderful experience,” she says. “That’s why we always hand- deliver pieces. We’re soon going to start letting clients choose their own diamonds. We want people to feel part of the making of their jewellery, and to wear it with pride. Last week we did a delivery and the lady was so excited she was shaking and couldn’t undo the clasp. That to me is what it’s all about. I know she will treasure it forever.” — www.shen.london


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