Regular readers will know that The Jewellery Editor is a big fan of the Egyptian jewellery house Azza Fahmy Jewellery. Founded 45 years ago by Ms Fahmy, Azza is a powerhouse of energy and creativity, now joined by her two daughters, Amina who is the design director and Fatma, the managing director.
A shining light in the Middle East, this trio of female entrepreneurs are not only inspiring women to go into business but also keeping alive ancient techniques of jewellery-making while sharing their rich cultural heritage with an international audience. And as for the jewels, they are a rich fusion of Arab and European influences with a look that no other jewellery house can offer, each one marked by a very manual production process using techniques passed down from the ancient jewellers of Egypt.
Blue topazes and amethysts shine out from these Azza Fahmy Jewellery earrings that wear their Egyptian heritage with a modern touch, enriched with the age-old skills of Fahmy’s jewellers (£6,240).
Azza Fahmy Jewellery brings traditional handmade jewellery to an international audience thanks to a sensitive balance of heritage and contemporary style. Here, a model wears snake-inspired jewels from the Wonders of Nature collection launched in 2017.
Azza Fahmy Jewellery’s Wonders of Nature collection includes this Indian-inspired tribal ring with grey pearls and diamonds set in gold and silver, inscribed with the words, “Wishing you joyful times my beloved” (£2,300).
Azza Fahmy Jewellery tassel chandelier-style earrings with 33.30 carats of black diamond beads in gold and silver adorned with filigree, all handmade using traditional crafts in the house’s Cairo workshops (£5,930).
A romantic line of poetry in flowing Arabic script is captured forever in this gold, silver and sapphire cuff from Azza Fahmy Jewellery’s Wonders of Nature collection, which took 130 hours of work (£5,930).
Showing a softer side of nature, the Hoopoe cuff in silver and gold, set with rubies and champagne diamonds, offers a whole menagerie for the wrist (£4,915).
This curious snake from Azza Fahmy Jewellery’s Wonders of Nature collection, launched in 2017, forms a double finger ring made of silver and gold, set with a green amethyst (£1,640).
Snakes have been a symbol of life and eternity for centuries and Azza Fahmy Jewellery gives these golden serpents a modern makeover, complete with ruby eyes and diamond scales (£4,290).
Echoing the rich culture of Cairo’s Khan El Khalili souk, this serpent bangle in gold with rubies, sapphires and diamonds transports us to the exotic land of Azza Fahmy Jewellery (£7,880).
The natural world gets a slinky new look with echoes of the past in Azza Fahmy Jewellery’s Wonders of Nature collection in gold, silver, diamonds and sapphires.
Most recently launched is the Wonders of Nature collection of 17 jewels, which looks to the world around us for inspiration. As design director Amina Ghali explains: “We’ve continued to interpret the perfections within the imperfections of nature as we evolved the 2017 collection. A symbol of love, fertility, wisdom and protective properties, we have sensitively redefined the serpent motif, emulating elements of its body to create a sleek, non-intimidating appeal.”
An ancient symbol of Egypt, snakes, as favoured by Cleopatra, feature prominently. Perpetually fascinating as a symbol of good and evil, eternity and rebirth, Azza Fahmy’s snakes are stylised and chic as they elegantly loop through lobes, peer out through ruby eyes or wrap a two-headed body around the wrist in softly glowing gold. In the double finger ring, below, a silver and gold-headed serpent slithers across the finger before slipping into the cool pool of a green amethyst.
There is poetry in the Wonders of Nature collection. Arabic calligraphy flows around the cuff, below, in cut-out silver to spell out “I see love for me in his face, and my feelings for him are clear in mine”. The words are so carefully wrought they look like lace. But I am saving my favourite to the end. A chunky pearl, gold and silver Indian-inspired ring fuses architecture with culture and a big dose of history. Look closely and amongst the ornate goldwork is written in Arabic, “Wishing you joyful times my beloved”.
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After many years as a freelance journalist and editor specialising in watches and jewellery, together with Christine Pasquier, Maria founded The Jewellery Editor. Maria’s work appears in a wide variety of notable publications, including the Financial Times, Intelligent Life, Telegraph ...
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