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BUYERS GUIDE


diamonds and sapphires. Sometimes fluid, other times asymmetric and abstract, his shapes were as striking as his materials and designs; this was jewellery that demanded attention and needed a certain confidence to carry it off.


When Grima read an article in which Princess Margaret’s husband, Lord Snowdon, was quoted bemoaning that there was nothing exciting happening in jewellery, he decided to invite him to tour his workshop and view his designs. Instantly captivated by Grima’s genius, Lord Snowdon not only chose some pieces for his wife, but he and Grima went on to develop a lasting friendship.


In 1966 Grima opened his eponymous shop on Jermyn Street in central London. The building itself, designed by his two brothers, was as breathtaking as the jewellery displayed within, featuring a façade covered in panels of slate with small apertures,which beautifully held and displayed his creations and drawing in people to see the shimmering stones offset against the dark grey backdrop.


That same year, Prince Phillip bought a brooch of carved rubies set in yellow gold for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth thereby sealing Grima’s place in British jewellery history. He went on to be awarded both the Duke of Edinburgh’s Prize for Elegant Design (the first jewellery designer to do so) and, most significantly, the Queen’s Royal Warrant. Over the years he designed more than a hundred pieces for the Royal Family, including diplomatic gifts such as the ‘Pompidou’ brooch, as well as personal jewels including the earrings and brooch he made for Princess Margaret, cast in gold from a piece of lichen she had picked up on a walk in Scotland.


Over the years he won twelve prestigious De Beers Diamond International Awards, providing continued recognition for his innovative and visionary jewellery. He was commissioned by Omega in 1969 to create a collection of watches called ‘About Time’ and during the 1970s opened shops in New York, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. He married for a second time in 1977 before business difficulties resulted in a move to Switzerland with his wife JoJo and their daughter Francesca in 1986. The family settled first in Lugano and then Gstaad where they lived and received clients in an elegant shop, focusing on the kind of personal and bespoke service that Grima regarded as of the utmost importance.


Andrew Grima passed away in 2007, leaving a legacy of bold and brilliant jewels which remain as highly regarded and collectable today as they were during the swinging ‘60s and ‘70s that they helped to define. Today collectors are happy to part with four, even five figure sums to own a piece of jewellery design history.


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