Suzy and Caroline are proprietoresses of Bijoux Vintage London specialising in beautiful one off vintage jewellery pieces (perfect for that unusual Valentine’s gift). As a lifelong jewellery addict, Maryanne Singleton spoke to them about the whys and wherefores of buying a vintage piece…
When and why did you begin Bijoux Vintage? Having both worked in jewellery before but for other companies we wanted to use our knowledge and experience of vintage and antique jewellery to encourage people to collect and wear these sustainable pieces.
Who do you find you sell most of your pieces to? Our clients vary between people who have collected for years to those who are just starting their jewellery journey. During the pandemic we have noticed women are self-gifting a lot more than previously – often starting to collect for their children as well.
If you were buying a piece for yourself what would it be? Suzy: I would love a poesy ring. Poesy or posy rings (poetry rings) are gold bands sometimes with enamelling dating from the medieval period onwards which communicate a secret message on the inside from the giver to the receiver. My favourites include ‘Harts united lives contented’ another great one is ‘I like my choyse’. Caroline: I’m coveting a diamond fox head pin. As a lifelong Londoner foxes have always been a little bit of wild in the city.
Who is your favourite jeweller and why? Suzy – Karl Faberge. Caroline: – Cartier. I covet their Panthère and double C rings (my initials). Think Wallace Simpson, Margorie Merriweather or Elizabeth Taylor vintage glamour.
What is the piece of jewellery that you covet most – cost irrelevant? Suzy: – A necklace full of Faberge Easter egg charms please! Caroline: I think it would have to be an antique emerald and rose cut diamond cluster ring. Something about the colour of emeralds has always held a fascination for me and old cut diamonds are just heavenly.
Are diamonds really a girl’s best friend? Not always…. beautifully made Antique jewellery, Georgian, Victorian, Edwardian set with all manor of gems can equally get a girl’s heart pumping especially some of the sentimental pieces but there’s always room for a diamond or two in a girl’s life….
If you could give your younger selves some advice what would it be? Suzy: Always keep an open mind. Caroline: Don’t worry about the future. Things happen whether you worry or not.
Advice for budding jewellery sellers: Persevere – it is tough at the start but the jewellery crowd are a very open, welcoming and supportive community. Many of the newcomers are women with families just like us and as we know the best supporters of women are other women!
And a few randoms…
What I’m reading at the moment: Suzy: Colour: Travel Through a Paintbox by Victorian Finlay. Caroline: Memories of a Catholic Girlhood by Mary McCarthy
The book I should have read but didn’t: Suzy: I have been bad on the classics like Charles Dickens….. Caroline: I read Dickens every year at Christmas and this year should have been Pickwick Papers but I just couldn’t get into it. To my shame!
The last film I watched: Suzy: Misbehaviour. Caroline: Calamity Jane (my favourite musical so had to introduce it to my daughter)
Guilty pleasures: Suzy: jewellery and sparkly drinks – champagne and sparkling water. Caroline: jewellery, cheese balls, musicals
Music that makes me feel happy: Suzy: Caro Emerald (Dutch jazz singer), Hamilton, Buena Vista Social Club. Caroline: Jools Holland
Fantasy dinner party guests:
Suzy: Elizabeth Taylor, Barack Obama, Maria Callas, Amanda Gorman, James Dean, The Queen, Salvador Dali, Chris Hemsworth, Winston Churchill, Tsar Nicholas, Margot Fontayne, Frida Kahlo, Judy Garland
Caroline: Elvis, Kamala Harris, Steve McQueen, Neil Armstrong, Adele, Hilary Mantel, Nina Simone, Catherine the Great, Brandon Flowers, Martin Luther King, Wes Anderson, Jools Holland, Daphne Guinness, Bette Davis
Four things to take to a desert island: Suzy: crisps, champagne, kindle, phone. Caroline: Same as suzy but can we squeeze in a solar charger??
Three wishes for 2021: Suzy & Caroline: Family, Friends, Freedom
Browse and buy from Bijoux Vintage London – HERE