The Swinging London Jeweler
Andrew Grima, born on May 31, 1921 in Rome is an italian jeweler who build his entire career in England in the mid-twentieth century. Very famous in the 60s and 70s, he revolutionized jewelry at that time and became the main creator of contemporary jewelry in London very quickly. At a time when classic stones were used, he chose lesser known stones such as tourmaline, dioptase etc., and put them to good use in very graphic works of art, often unique pieces.
After World War II, during which he served in Burma, he worked for his father-in-law's jewellery in London, the Haller Jewellery Company Limited (H.J. Co), as an accountant, but soon became its principal designer. After his father-in-law's death in 1951, he continued to develop his role as a designer and quietly established his reputation as an innovative and daring jeweler.
A recognized jeweler in the 1960s and 1970s, he won several awards, including 13 DeBeers Diamonds International Awards.
He collaborated with Omega, the watchmaker, and created a collection of watches, mostly in 18-carat yellow gold with geometric shapes.
In 1966, Grima opened his first boutique on Jermyn Street. That same year, Prince Phillip purchased a brooch made of carved rubies set in yellow gold for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, thus sealing Grima's reputation in British jewelry history. This was followed by commissions for Princess Margaret and other members of the royal family.
In the 1970s, he opened stores in New York, Sydney, Tokyo and Zurich. He married a second time in 1977 and moved to Switzerland with his new wife JoJo and their daughter Francesca. The family settled first in Lugano, then in Gstaad. Andrew Grima faced financial difficulties but continued to create custom jewelry for a demanding clientele.
In 1971 he started to stamp his pieces with an AG Ltd for Andrew Grima in addition to his signature "GRIMA" already affixed since 1965.
The Grima style is quite recognizable. Very graphic and often made in yellow gold, it mixes precious stones and fine stones with a remarkable work of gold, often textured. The jeweler had a more artistic than technical approach to his work.
Among the famous customers of the jeweler are well-known English and American families. Many stars have worn his creations, including Barbara Hepworth, Jacqueline Onassis, Ursula Andress, Peter Sellers and Estée Lauder and more recently Marc Jacobs and Miuccia Prada.
Members of the British royal family often wear pieces of the designer, including the Queen who has several brooches. Princess Margaret also wore many brooches, necklaces or earrings of Andrew Grima.
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