The long and poignant heritage of jewellery house Garrard holds many stories behind its creations.
When Joanne Milner joined Garrard as its chief executive last February, she discovered many unique stories. “Our first commission for the Royal Family in 1735 was for an ebonyhandled tea kettle, and we also made the microphone stand for the famous King’s Speech – in which George VI broadcasted to the nation, immediately after Britain’s Declaration of War against Germany on 3 September 1939,” Milner says.
Such richness of heritage has made Milner keenly aware of Garrard’s immense importance to its clients and their families.
Milner’s first brush with Garrard occurred when she was a schoolgirl, seeing the British Crown Jewels in the Tower of London – the
very same collection that Garrard had been entrusted to upkeep for over 150 years. The most famous of Garrard’s creations resides on the ring finger of the Duchess of Cambridge. The sapphire cluster engagement ring of 14 solitaire diamonds surrounding a 12- carat oval blue Ceylon sapphire was made by Garrard at a cost of £28,000 in 1981 for Charles, Prince of Wales who used it to propose to Lady Diana Spencer.
Garrard’s sweep of regal commissions also makes it wellplaced to offer a balance of heritage and style to its modern clients. One finds meticulous designs in other creations such as its Wings collection which positions vividcoloured gemstones against a diamond lacework. “At our workshop, we combine traditional
“At our workshop, we combine traditional craft with modern technology.”
craft with modern technology with diamond mounters and artisans using computer-aided design to produce a more perfect and intricate design,” Milner says. “It is important that we keep this legacy of in-house craftsmanship alive to speak our language of beauty; one which is about creating contemporary classic jewellery, so that it is as beautiful in 50 years as it is today.”
In Malaysia, Milner reckons that the bridal segment is a key area for expansion with the breadth of Garrard’s Bridal range; the 1735, Beloved, Cherish, Evermore and Lovers Knot, the last of which is a solitaire ring represented by a delicate knot of gold. “My greatest desire is for our clients to know that wherever they are in the world, they belong to something very special and that anytime they step into any of our boutiques, they will know that they have come home.” www.garrard.com ≠
In Malaysia, Milner reckons that the bridal segment is a key area for expansion.