ROCKS OF AGES
The result of a lifelong obsession, Katherine James Jewellery specializes in huge, striking stones, beautifully mounted
When Katherine James was a child, she would spend her weekends seeking out jewellery at car boot sales and second-hand stores. It was an obsession with jewellery – the look, the touch, the way it made her feel – that continued as she got older. Increasingly incapable of walking past a jeweller’s window without making an instinctive purchase, she decided to turn her passion into a business. For more than a decade, Katherine James Jewellery has specialized in selling what Katherine describes as “big” jewellery in the form of unapologetically striking gemstones, impeccably mounted.
“I am obsessed by jewellery,” she says. “I would buy so much that I realized I needed to sell some of what I had if I wanted to buy more. I began to sell online and people started to find me on Facebook and Instagram. We are very competitively priced and I am very fussy about what I get, so customers quickly started to appreciate that I only sold quality pieces. A piece of jewellery really needs to speak to me for me to obtain it and sell it. I sometimes feel as if there is internal barometer that goes off when I look and hold something great which has come from the earth.”
Katherine is now launching a nail varnish range to complement the jewellery. She has commissioned a range of colours that are made from actual gemstones – nail polish varieties that glitter with crushed particles of sapphires, emeralds and rubies – and soon hopes to expand to feature varieties made from every gemstone known to man. Her ambition is to open a physical space in London’s West End, where customers will be able to choose a ring and then go upstairs to get their nails done in a matching gemstone while it is being resized. “I love colour, so this is very exciting,” she says. “You will be able to wear a ruby on every finger.”
Over the years, Katherine has established a range of dealers who help her to source the varieties of jewellery that suits her tastes. She also works with contemporary makers to refashion old stones, giving them new life in new settings. As a result, she can offer modern, vintage and antique fine jewellery, all of which feature eye-catching gemstones in fine and dramatic settings. “We really care about the customer,” she says. “We want them to be happy because we are so genuinely passionate about what we do.”