Jewellery design is known to be one of humankind’s oldest art forms. It’s an ancient practice that takes a lot of meticulous attention to detail, creative spirit and technical know-how to make sure each piece is a unique creation, and a representation of the wearer’s personality. In Cape Town, there are several jewellery designers – each with their own style – putting a lot of effort into creating bespoke, hand-made jewellery. And luckily they all have online shops and galleries. Here’s our selection of top local designers to watch.
SMITH is a small design and manufacturing studio in the heart of Cape Town. Owned by well-respected, international designer, Anna Raimondo, SMITH creates unique, hand-made jewellery.
Whether you’re looking for something to commemorate your trip to Africa, a gift, a redesign of an heirloom jewel or help designing the perfect engagement ring, SMITH offers a personalised experience in their little studio. With a large selection of stones on hand, they can source any precious or semi-precious stones you may need for your bespoke design.
Beyond their tailored design service, they also offer a wide selection of pret-a-porter collections sold through local design stores as well as their online shop.
For more information or to view previous commissions, please visit our website.
Address: Dover House, 44 Orange St, Cape Town | Opening Times: Studio visits by appointment only
Kinkel Jewellery is run by Marleen Van Wyk – “a creative, ambitious and bubbly lady from Simon’s Town”. After finishing her jewellery design degree at Stellenbosch University, completing a design course in Germany and travelling Europe, she returned to South Africa with the desire to continue her jewellery career, and – following a two-year Goldsmith Internship – Kinkel Jewellery was born.
Inspired by nature and patterns found in our surroundings, such as South Africa’s rich fauna and flora, each piece is handmade with precision. Marleen creates whimsical, creative and elegant jewellery – pieces of art for everybody to wear.
Address: Unit 13, Woodland House, 17 Woodlands Road, Woodstock | Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 4.30pm
Each Meraki Jewellery Design piece is hand-crafted by designer and owner, Megan Keyser, and her small team in their sunny Cape Town studio. “Meraki” is a word that modern Greeks use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — putting “something of yourself” into your work. With this as inspiration, Megan and her team create delicate, timeless pieces that are influenced by geometric forms and an appreciation for well-made objects and heirlooms.
Meraki Jewellery pieces feature special attention to detail, and embrace natural imperfections of the materials and hand at work. But most importantly, each piece is designed to age with grace and to be an affirmation of each wearer’s personal style. “Come and explore the details of our designs with us and find a uniquely beautiful piece that resonates with you,” says Megan.
Meraki Jewellery also offers a bespoke service specialising in custom-designed and hand-crafted engagement and wedding rings.
Address: 44 Orange Street, Gardens, Cape Town | Opening Times: By appointment only.
Scarab Jewellery Design was founded by Janine Davidson and, beyond a signature jewellery collection, Scarab Jewellery Design offers specially-crafted, bespoke jewellery design as well as the recycling of existing jewellery.
SCARAB works closely with their clients to create a piece that is uniquely their own, providing a hand-finished alternative to the catalogue jewellery that is commercially available. “We believe that fine jewellery should be accessible to everyone, and our collections aim to cater to a variety of budgets.”
For those who wish to revive an old piece of jewellery – perhaps it’s become old-fashioned or no longer fits – Janine specialises in remodelling, revamping or recycling existing pieces while being highly sensitive to the value, both sentimental and monetary.
Address: 10 Cavendish Street, Claremont | Opening Times: By appointment only, and in adherence to strict Covid 19 practices, but Scarab Jewellery recommends that clients order online.
Dear Rae’s jewellery is inspired by founder Karin Rae Matthee’s diverse background. While she hails from Germanic heritage, she grew up in South Africa and this is reflected in her designs. Although each ring is meticulously crafted and constructed with care, Karin notes that her designs still embody a sense of rawness, and she loves the balance the two. “I think that’s important in life. I think if everything is perfect, it’s boring.” Being a surfer and lover of the outdoors, Karin’s designs are made to be worn every day and to last lifetimes.
Karin’s love for jewellery started at a young age. After school she decided to studied a BA in Fine Art in Jewellery Design at Stellenbosch University. After this, she completed a semester studying jewellery design in Germany and returned to South Africa, ready to launch Dear Rae. Designing each piece herself but working with 12 hand-picked manufacturers at her Cape Town-based studio, she is passionate about empowering South Africans.
Address: 164 Bree St, Cape Town | Opening Times: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm, Saturday, 9am to 1pm