Most American retailers are familiar with Stephen Webster, Pippa Small, and Shaun Leane, but the world of British jewelry design—centered primarily on London, and its historic jewelry district, Hatton Garden—brims with talented and idiosyncratic designers who deserve to achieve the same recognition in the United States.
The three designers spotlighted below are a great place to begin.
“I took a five-day ring-making course in Hatton Garden at a time in my life when I felt a little lost,” Cece Fein Hughes tells JCK. “I craved creating something with my hands and jewelry had always been a world that intrigued me. Little did I know this short course would lead me down a very different path than what I had imagined!”
That was 2019. Hughes, a former art historian based in London, has never looked back. Known for her miniature enamel paintings and star-set diamonds, the designer behind Cece Jewellery, which officially debuted in 2021, makes dreamy 18k gold rings, earrings, and pendants that retail from $2,300 to $3,500. Her American stockists include Twist, Goop, and Net-a-Porter.
“I like to imagine my rings and pendants are the world’s smallest canvases, and instead of paper, the material is 18 karat gold, and instead of paint, the medium is enamel,” Hughes says. “I never complete a miniature painting without a scattering of star-set diamonds. It adds to my romantic and whimsical vibe.”
Lucy Crowther was 22 years old when she fell in love with the art of jewelry-making while on a family holiday in Argentina. “There was a wonderful artisan jeweler in Buenos Aires whose work was really creative and I ended up moving there for six months to study Spanish and learn silversmithing from him,” the London-based designer tells JCK. “After that I moved to India and worked for a big jewelry company in Jaipur where I really got a taste for fine jewelry.”
That big jewelry company in Jaipur? None other than Gem Palace, the multigenerational jewelry firm famed for adorning maharajahs. Crowther learned the craft from its visionary designer, the late Munnu Kasliwal.
In 2016, she founded Minka Jewels after working for a stone trader in Hatton Garden. Crowther’s love of gems is evident in her bold, minimalist designs, which place vibrant colored stones front and center.
Her latest collection, New Berlin, a follow-up to her 2021 collection of Berlin rings, features “bold, structural gold designs featuring beautiful sapphires or tourmalines surrounded by diamonds to really make the stones pop,” she says.
Matturi Fine Jewellery
Growing up with a father who worked for De Beers, Satta Matturi was steeped in the world of diamonds from an early age. Before founding her eponymous brand, Matturi Fine Jewellery, in 2015, the designer, who was born in Sierra Leone and splits her time between London and Botswana, worked for De Beers herself, traveling between Europe, Southern Africa, and India.
This spring, Matturi’s designs—inspired by various elements of African culture and history, including masks, desert sands, and Meroë, an ancient city on the east bank of the Nile—are available on Moda Operandi, Saks.com, and in store at Saks in New York later this month.
“My designs do not follow the traditional norm,” Matturi told JCK’s Jewelry District podcast in 2020. “We strive to create a contemporary interpretation of a story with an African ethos.”
Top: Anchor Lucky Star ring in 18k yellow gold with blue sapphires, £3,795 ($4,659); Cece JewelleryFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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