Founded by Andrew Grima in the sixties, wife Jojo and daughter Francesca continue the tradition of creating bespoke jewellery, forming a blend of personal exclusivity and universal desirability.
Born in Rome in 1921, Grima came to jewellery design in 1946, after nearly five years as an engineer with the 7th Indian Division in Burma. He joined his future father-in-law’s jewellery business in London, where he assumed design responsibilities. A prolific painter, Grima approached each piece as a painting, which was the beginning, and has remained, the start of his design process.
Grima was interested in the organic possibilities of jewellery design and he made an early decision to move away from the forms and materials of classical jewellery prevalent at the time. Grima preferred gold to silver, textured and unconventional stones over classic shapes and cuts. Grima’s work focused on exotic stones, pearls or grained quartzes, whose visual impact outweighed their monetary value. Precious
stones, when used, were designed to embed as integral parts of the design, not set as the focus of the piece itself, as they were in classically designed jewellery.
He also experimented with casting objects found in nature, a piece of lichen sent to him by HRH Princess Margaret, was cast in yellow gold, offset with brilliant-cut diamonds and transformed into a brooch. He also cast leaves and other natural
objects, which formed the basis of many of his early designs. These materials and methods became his hallmark.
In the 1960’s Grima went on to win twelve De Beers Diamond International Awards.
He opened his Jermyn Street shop in 1966 and received the Queen’s Royal Warrant in the same year. Grima held the Royal Warrant for twenty years until he moved to Switzerland in 1986. Throughout this period, the Queen Mother, Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, The Duke of Edinburgh, Barbara Hepworth and Jacqueline Onassis commissioned Grima.
In 1969, Grima was commissioned by Omega to create a collection of watches, which developed the idea of seeing time through gemstones. This collection became known as About Time. In the 1970’s Grima opened galleries in New York, Sydney and Tokyo.
Andrew Grima passed away in December 2007.
As of the 1st of May 2012, his wife Jojo and daughter Francesca will be designing and selling bespoke pieces as well as vintage from their London showroom at 16 Albemarle, London W1 by appointement.
Most work furthers the techniques pioneered in the 1960’s such as textured wire and organic forms.