HELENA VAN VUUREN
Our vintage manmade pearls were part of a consignment found on the premises of a Birmingham jewellery manufacturer that closed at the turn of the century. Discovered with the pearls were invoices dated 1940 and 1941. I have since hand-strung these into our pieces.
In the 17th century a Parisian rosary maker named Jaquin developed a sticky organic material that could be used to coat beads to resemble genuine pearls that only wealthy people could afford. Our vintage manmade pearls were made using this older technique.
I started work on the diamond mines, and went on to study and graduate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA, Los Angeles) in 1982. Love brought me to England, where I spent many happy years in the jewellery trade. I became the UK and European Manager for Sale and Distribution at one of the world’s largest jewellery findings manufacturers. I held the position of Trade Sector Representative for material suppliers at the British Jewellers Association (BJA) and was their representative for UNIBIF (European costume jewellers association). I'm now 66 years old, yip - grow my own veggies, live in a small, small English village, am an old hippie, love the blues, red wine, a good argument, Levi’s, and creating beautiful, unique jewellery.