Modern vintage

Katherine James Jewellery

From sustainable vintage jewels to contemporary conflict-free gems, Katherine James Jewellery provides glittering pieces for every occasion

The Queen’s love of and keen eye for jewellery is legendary, and her collections are internationally recognised as some of the finest in the world. This passion for jewellery is shared by Katherine James, whose own jewellery fascination began as a child. In time, she explored vintage shops and markets for items that caught her eye and what began as a personal interest has blossomed into Katherine James Jewellery. The company creates, curates, sources and sells modern, vintage and antique fine jewellery to clients who respect Katherine’s knowledge of and love of rare gems and precious metals.

“Katherine has an amazing eye – that’s how the business started,” explains Megan Kirkwood, the brand’s Communications Director. “She didn’t set out to create a huge company; it happened naturally because of her passion, and that really comes through.

“But the real secret to Katherine James Jewellery is service. The team does everything to ensure the client is treated with the utmost grace and tact, because we know these are big, important purchases that often mark special moments in people’s lives, so we never take that for granted. We want people to be thrilled, not just with the jewellery they are buying, but with the whole process, because there’s no taking that moment back.”

The business began when Katherine started selling items from her own collection to make space for new pieces. Eventually, that snowballed into a jewellery business, now based in London’s historic gem centre, Hatton Garden. While the company makes, sources and sells modern and sustainable vintage and antique jewellery – rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings in a range of precious metals and jewels – Katherine is particularly drawn to colourful and rare gems; star rubies and padparadscha sapphires, for example, have graced her collection.

“The brand has a love of colour, as you can tell from the website,” says Megan. “It’s a fun and whimsical approach to jewellery, which isn’t always the mood you get from some jewellery shops, which can at times be stern and stoic. That isn’t Katherine’s style. Another gemstone she loves working with is tanzanite. It is unique and very special as it comes from one place in the world, in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. It is also extremely rare, and some experts predict it won’t be around for much longer unless a new source is found. Tanzanites are spectacular as they are pleochroic, showing multiple colours at the same time.”

As well as selling jewellery sourced from specialist international dealers and designers, Katherine James Jewellery custom-makes jewellery pieces to order. The company sources specific conflict-free gemstones for clients and finds the perfect combination of design and precious metal in which to set them.

The company also sells contemporary reproductions of Edwardian, Art Deco and mid-century designs. “The reality is that an antique piece can be very delicate, so we create reproduction pieces from original moulds, setting gemstones in metals such as platinum. That way, you don’t have to worry about day-to-day wear,” says Megan. “Customers love Art Deco and that’s not a trend that’s going away soon, while Edwardian pieces are also popular as they have such a romantic style.

“Jewellery can be difficult – even intimidating – to people, but Katherine has such authentic passion to share. When you have someone like that who makes you feel very comfortable, it can be pivotal.”