Andrew Grima, the royal jeweler, commissioned in the 1970s to produce a few of the most treasured royal jewels, is commemorated in a new biographical account of his life. The book titled ‘Andrew Grima: the Father of Modern Jewelry’ appropriately accolades the accomplishments of the British Jeweler, who rose as a self-taught craftsman and changed the landscape of modern jewelry.
Grima’s designs have been owned and adored by notable names like Queen Elizabeth, Princess Margaret, and Jackie Onassis. In fact, one of Queen Elizabeth’s favorite brooch gifted to her by Prince Philip in 1966 was a product of Grima’s ingenuity.
The ‘Ruby Venus,’ named after the delicate setting of ruby and diamonds on yellow gold, has been worn often by Queen Elizabeth, especially to mark several Christmas day celebrations. She even wore it on her 70th wedding anniversary celebration with Prince Phillips.
Princess Margaret, Too, a Fan of Grima
The Italian-born designer had also been sought often by Princess Margaret, the Queen’s younger sister. She has been seen sporting his many designs on various occasions. In 1967, she commissioned a dedicated brooch from Grima, incorporating a piece of lichen she found at Balmoral. She wore that custom-made jewelry at the family portrait that year.
The Book Commemorating Andrew Grima.
The book was published by ACC Art Books on October 30th. The book included novel images captured from the private and professional life of Grima archives. He started from his father-in-law’s small-scale obscure jewelry business in 1946, working his way up from the accounts manager. He self-taught himself the art of jewelry making and made his own mark by creating pieces using original textured, organic metal raw from the mines and uncut gemstones.
The Blackout Of Grima
Grima moved to Gstaad, Switzerland, in his last few years. He suffered from dementia and after a major crash in health, he was hospitalized. He died on Boxing Day, at the age of 86.
Grima Gets Calls On His Funeral Day
The day Grima died of major health failure, he got plenty of calls from his admirers from England, and all over the world. However, it was not to offer condolences to the family, because the news of his death was still not out.
As a matter of fact, the calls were to congratulate Andrew Grima’s family because the Queen had worn his handcrafted brooch at the Christmas Day Speech.
The Business Still Flourishes
Despite the death of the great jewel maker, the legacy of Andrew Grima continues. His wife, Jojo, and daughter, Francesca, continue the traditional business, distributing the bespoke designs of Andrew Grima and keeping his art form alive.