In 1970, as work experience for my civil engineering degree, I joined my father in the jungles of Liberia searching for diamonds. Upon returning from Liberia I qualified as a civil engineer and for lack of a better word became a hippy; from road tripping through both North and South America to backpacking across India. As I embarked on each journey I could hear my father.....'during your travels if you see people making interesting things buy some samples and bring them back!'
The family home soon filled with onyx chess sets, ethnic silver jewellery, sweaters, jeans, dresses, and a multitude of other ethnic treasures. Out of all of these, it seemed at the time, only sterling silver jewellery from Mexico had commercial potential. In 1974 my father and I established an importing company for Mexican sterling silver called International Jewellery and Crafts, which was run from the family home in North West London.
In 1976 we moved our complete design and manufacturing base to London and renamed the business Ari D. Norman. Taking this step allowed us to better control and develop our own look, which would be based on Victorian, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco styles; the eras with which I had fallen in love. An intensive international marketing programme was initiated by the Company participating in numerous international trade shows. For 15 years we ran Ari D. Norman from my parents' house at 17 Aylestone Avenue NW6. Then at the beginning of 1989 we moved into a two storey headquarters building, which we named Argenta House.
That same year we became the first and only British silversmith to receive the coveted Queen's Award for Export…….As a result my proud Mum achieved her dream of visiting Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen!
Soon after, for recognition of services rendered to the British silver industry, I received The Freedom to the City of London. With this Royal recognition and global endorsement, we were awarded with prestigious design and manufacturing projects for internationally recognised brands such as Wedgwood Jewellery, Harrods, Lane Crawford, John Lewis, House of Fraser, Liberty, Parker Pen and Mitsukoshi to name but a few. Furthermore, in 2000 our family was granted the right to bear an official coat of arms by the Royal College of Arms and with Royal approval.
With this success partnerships and affiliations were formed cementing our place as a luxury brand in North America, Russia and China.
In 2009 we opened a new division specialising in the design and production of low minimum order projects for private label collections, one of a kind commissions and corporate gifts.
In 2010 we added to our capabilities once again by launching a new brand of fashion jewellery and gifts called JewelAri. The guiding ethos of this brand is to maintain and apply the skills of silversmiths and goldsmiths to non-precious metals. Creating a classically inspired, bold and playful collection of vibrant enamel and crystal set pieces of sparkling elegance and larger than life chic.
We continue to be proud designers and artisans of London’s finest luxury Sterling Silver and High Fashion Costume Jewellery, Gifts and Accessories proudly serving the jewellery industry for over 100 years; Steering clear of the forgettable, we stand by our classically inspired originality……..
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