HBA: How did you start your career?
GS: I began my training at the age of 14 and quickly joined Cartier in their workshops, learning and understanding how to make jewellery before eventually becoming a master jeweller. I then opened my first workshop in London and grew that in size, always with a passion to make special pieces.
When Christie’s approached me I worked with them in Los Angeles and Hong Kong for nine years, before opening my own Geneva and London workshops in 2000. From there we rapidly developed into what we are today: a family business that specialises in buying great stones that we set into very special pieces.
Marquise-cut diamond ring by "G" set in bronze
HBA: What motivates you?
GS. Passion. This is the old school way of making jewellery; we don’t just make what people want, we make what we love. And we’re led by stones, not trends. “Trends” have been around for thousands of years and we’re not going to add to that.
I only make what I feel like. You can’t wake up on Monday and think “oh I need this ready for Wednesday”, otherwise it just won’t be very good. You need passion. We also have a very good team, and very excitingly Mr Arnaud Bamberger has just joined as a Chairman, who was previously Chairman at Cartier for 40 years.
Carnelian bangles from the "Antique" collection by "G", featuring Mesopotamian carnelian arrowhead-shaped elements dating from the 1st Millennium BC, with rose-cut diamonds and coral beads in 18-karat yellow gold
HBA: Do you work with any favourite materials?
GS. I’ve worked with titanium for 28 years and we have a particular expertise in that metal. I like it for the same reason that women like wearing it; it’s comfortable and it gives great results (once you’ve mastered how to work with it, that is). You cannot make jewellery as finely in gold as you can do with titanium.
HBA: What about gemstones?
GS: Anything that makes me smile. It can cost me $20,000 or $20million – it just needs to be beautiful. I only buy what I like and don’t go hunting for stones. I actually don’t want to buy any more stones at the moment, but you can’t let a good one go. When it happens it happens, and that’s down to passion again.
2018 limited edition "G" Reveal watch with tsavorites, emeralds and diamonds in titanium and 18-karat white gold
HBA: Why have you chosen to exhibit at TEFAF for the first time?
GS: Well we don’t actually do many shows. Today we have an atelier in Mayfair and most of the time people just come to us. I don’t have stores everywhere so I don’t need to fill their windows, but the collection has grown in size. Now that I also have my son working with me I thought we might as well do some shows and see what happens.
Not just any diamond necklace - this piece by "G" features four rare “old mine” diamonds weighing 27.24, 15.45, 12.85 and 8.70 carats, and was originally gifted to Helen Hay Whitney in New York in 1902, before being redesigned by "G" in its contemporary setting
HBA: Why is the Middle East important to you?
GS: Our Middle East clients appreciate great things, and they love wearing jewellery. We take it to them – it’s the next natural step for us. We bring our finest things to the region and do big business here with a special few.