Each and every jewel from Van der Veken is carefully hand-forged according to the rules of art. The Belgian brand only use artisan techniques such as forging, sawing, and filing to create their jewellery. This ensures the outstanding finish of their striking gemstone designs. Established over 60 years ago, the family business is now run by Steven Van der Veken. We chat with him about creating unique jewellery that reflects individuality, the importance of quality and why he's yearning to go back to New York.
How did the brand start?
“My grandfather, Joseph, started the company in 1952. He was just 23 years old at the time. His craftsmanship soon stood out and he quickly gained an excellent reputation.”
"My grandfather, Joseph, started the company in 1952"
How is your jewellery crafted?
“All our jewellery is made entirely by hand. We only buy pure gold, platinum, diamonds and gemstones. With this, our team of Master-goldsmiths forge each component. Unlike other jewellers, we never cast metal, which would make it brittle.”
"Quality is of the utmost importance to us and it can only be achieved through outstanding, traditional craftsmanship."
Are there any specific crafting techniques that you use?
“We only use artisan techniques, such as forging, sawing and filing. We don't use any machines or casting. Quality is of the utmost importance to us and it can only be achieved through outstanding, traditional craftsmanship.”
What are your core brand values?
“Craftsmanship. Quality. Trust. Authenticity. These are more than our values, they're what drives us. We constantly strive to provide the best possible quality, which can only be achieved through superb craftsmanship.”
How do you source your metals and gemstones?
“We are lucky to be located in the Antwerp Diamond District, where over 50% of all polished diamonds are traded. We work with a small number of diamond cutters, manufacturers and brokers to source the best stones for our jewellery.”
Tell us about one of your most inspiring clients…
“A few years ago, a client brought in an extraordinary emerald-cut diamond. We were given carte-blanche to create a ring for it. We ended up making a really incredible piece. It took us over 18 months to complete!”
"There is something about owning a jewel that's just for you."
How would you like people to feel when they wear your jewellery?
“Most of our work is bespoke commissions and even our collections are mostly unique pieces. So someone who wears a piece from us should really feel it reflects her own individually. There is something about owning a jewel that's just for you.”
If you could travel to one place right now, where would it be?
“I love New York! The architecture, the parks, the museums and the energy that runs through it is just unique. I haven't been there for a while now, so I should really get going.”
"Jewellery is always an emotional purchase"
What drew you to JewelStreet?
“I like the fact that it's designer-based and curated. Too much jewellery on the internet is generic and based solely on price. Jewellery is always an emotional purchase, so I think it should be treated that way and JewelStreet does an excellent job.”
What are your plans for the future?
“We really want to grow the brand. At the moment we only sell in our own boutique and online, but we want to expand and sell in other shops as well.”