Though much of her business is to the trade, Martine also handles repairs and will serve individual customers by appointment.
|Black opal pair|
When visiting her showroom I can barely talk with her, because my eyes wander (despite trying to focus) to trays strewn with nature's most alluring gifts, from emeralds to paraïba tourmalines to flashing black opals.
Besides a love of gems (Martine is a gemmologist), we share an interest in jewelry restyling projects. Martine has an extensive network, and enjoys introducing clients to jewelers who can create stunning new designs from unworn or dated pieces. She glowed as she described the goldsmith who was able to make an exact duplicate of an ornate antique family ring, using refined skills possessed by a dwindling number of artisans.
When she showed me one particular example, I asked her permission to share it here.
The original ring: A 1970s gold and diamond design with a large centre stone and smaller diamonds scattered among busy petals.
|Original '70s design|
The new ring: Black diamonds join the original stones; the fussy flower was transformed into a sleek modern style, tailored yet sensuous. The client preferred the discretion of white gold, which focuses attention on the stones.
|Black and white diamonds|
On the client's hand, with just the edge of her red manicure showing. She wears her ring every day.
|Current and chic|
Jewelry renos are much like home renos: you need to trust the professionals with whom you're working, set a budget, spend where it shows, and communicate every step of the way. Just like a home project, collect your favourite ideas on a Pinterest or idea board, but also be open to the designer, who will bring a fresh vision.
If you have a dream stone in mind, contact Martine; she travels the world, and can accommodate requests from modest to major. Thanks to email and Skype, no matter where you live, she can help to transform an unworn piece into your new signature.
My Toronto jeweler, Pam Chandler of Artworks Gallery, introduced us. "She is wonderful", Pam said... and so she is.