When it comes to fine jewelry, the source is as important as the design. Below, we list down nine local jewelers who can always be counted on to deliver timeless, breathtaking pieces.
Luxury brand Jewelmer maintains its internationally acclaimed status by working with the finest cultured South Sea pearls in its collections. The star gem in its arsenal is the Golden South Sea Pearl. Ushering the pearl into the modern world, Jewelmer thoughtfully sets its precious stones in contemporary designs. With a design philosophy pegged after the ateliers at the Place Vendôme in Paris, France, and all the natural resources that come from some of the world’s top pearl farms in Palawan, Jewelmer deserves all its global success.
2/F Shangri-La at the Fort, 3rd Avenue corner 30th Street, Bonifacio Global City
After receiving a pack of pearls from her husband, Mila Dayrit immediately worked on putting together a collection revolving around her precious stones. Her designs garnered so much attention that close friends began commissioning her to create their jewelry. Fifty years and 10 boutiques later, Dayrit’s once small business continues to thrive in the hands of her five children. The heritage brand continues its founder’s vision of creating elegant jewelry created from premium materials and out of love.
House of Miladay, 150 Jupiter Street, Bel-Air Village, Makati, 890.7738
Recognized for its whimsical designs, De Capricho stands out for its imaginative settings. The family-owned jewelry house prides itself on using only quality gems and enlisting Filipino goldsmiths to handcraft every piece displayed at its store in Rockwell.
5/F Podium South, Joya Lofts & Towers, 28 Plaza Drive, Rockwell Center, Makati, 846.8607
Jul B. Dizon transformed the landscape of jewelers in the country when she launched her namesake business 40 years ago. Characterized by bold designs and vibrantly colored stones, Dizon’s pieces can be spotted a mile away. Before she passed away, the matriarch educated the next generation in the family-run business. For the brand's 40th anniversary, the Dizon children paid tribute to their mother by recreating and reinterpreting her most iconic designs.
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Edsa Shangri-La, 1 Garden Way Road, Mandaluyong, 886.4638
Nicole Whisenhunt marked a milestone when she opened her first boutique at Power Plant Mall earlier this year. Her journey into fine jewelry began in 2011, when she trained at L’Ecole Van Cleef and Arpels in Paris.
She releases a collection of 24 pieces annually, with the boutique housing three main collections: Contemporary, Wedding Annex, and Heirloom. However, she’s also well-known for her superb bespoke pieces. With an impeccable taste in Old World styles, the designer has a recognizable knack for turning her clients’ keepsakes into modern accessories.
Originally an industrial designer, Dee’s first foray into jewelry design was met with unprecedented success that pushed her to pursue this passion. Dee’s show-stopping aesthetic plays with modern cuts and certainly subscribes to the "more is more" philosophy. “I want the wearer to feel as unique as my pieces,” she says in her online bio. “Everything I do is done by hand and in limited quantities.”
Gemologist and jewelry designer Paul Syjuco works closely with his clients to ensure that the pieces he produces for them uniquely reflect their personalities. The fine jewelry designer recently rebranded with a website optimized for e-commerce and launched a 50-piece collection called Moderne last year.
Erica Concepcion Reyes, the jewelry designer behind Riqueza, has an eye for detail and has an affinity with intriguing antique materials, which she often incorporates into her collections. She’s perfectly comfortable working with 18-karat gold, diamonds, and other precious stones for her signature retro style pieces.
For over 20 years, jeweler Hoseki has been advocating the craft of jewelry as an art form. The brand was first under the jewelry designer Fai Co, who has been training young designers to carry on its legacy in the Philippines. The award-winning jeweler makes use of modern, technological methods in creating its pieces and has been a regular fixture at international exhibitions in the world’s top cities.
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The Podium, 12 ADB Avenue, Ortigas Center, Mandaluyong, 634.1736, hosekijewelryart.com
Following in her mother’s footsteps, Janina Dizon is excelling in the local jewelry scene with almost 11 years of experience under her belt. The third-generation jeweler realized her talent for designing after a streak of wins at international design contests, which her mother had prodded her to join. Today, the younger Dizon is carving out her own name in the industry by producing pieces that are uniquely her own. She once told Town&Country in an interview that her main source of inspiration was traveling, and that she enjoys working closely with her family.
In 1967, work took Swiss jewelry designer Hans Brumann to the Philippines and he fell in love with the country. A little over a decade later, Brumann set up his first store in Makati in 1978. His works were an instant hit among Manila’s elite and expatriates, for whom he designed bespoke pieces of jewelry. All his daring pieces are worthy investments ready to be passed on to the next generation as a prized heirloom.
Now on its third generation of owners, T. Florencio is headed by Mia Florencio and her younger brothers. Her mother, Corazon Florencio, inherited the business from her own parents, goldsmith Benigno and jeweler Balbina Matheu. In terms of style, T. Florencio designs have always struck a fine balance between the innovative and the sentimental using the highest grade jewels.
Golcondia, Mid-level, Shangri-La East Wing Mall; 997.9456
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
In Japanese-occupied Manila, an American woman who was known as "Madame Tsubaki" ran a night club that offered drinks, music, and companionship to homesick soldiers. It was a front for a spy ring that funneled information and supplies to guerilla groups outside the city.