The once exclusive brand who recently opened up their collection limited edition jewellery to the world, Maria Kovadi Fine Jewellery is a breath of fresh air in the fine jewellery industry.
After graduating from Central Saint Martins in London, Maria founded her eponymous jewellery line in 2007. The now Swiss-based brand boasts a lively and vibrant collection of unique jewellery, lovingly designed by Maria and handcrafted by a team of talented Italian artisans with a wealth of jewellery expertise. Until recently, Maria kept her brand extremely exclusive, working only with private clients. Now available to a wider audience, but still retaining a level of exclusivity, Maria gives clients the chance to experience a buying service similar to that of ordering a bespoke piece, and only offers jewellery bursting with originality, meaning and provenance.
Growing up in a family who loved to travel and explore new places instilled Maria’s curiosity and passion for expressing herself through art. “As a child, I visited studios of various artists, seeking my own style and learning to play with form, shape and texture. This creative journey continued as I attended various art courses and learned about history of art. Impressionism is very close to my heart, as impressionists also tried to capture a certain moment.”
As she grew, Maria continued her creative path and decided to move to London to study. A foundation course in Art and Design led onto a BA in Jewellery Design and studying the magical world of gemstones at the Gemological Institute of America. “Jewellery design instantly became a passion of mine as it gave me the opportunity to express my ideas, however big, in the smallest forms.” But not everything can be learnt from a textbook; “Saint Martins was very much about the importance of the concept, but in Italy I learned that jewellery can be both aesthetically pleasant to the eye, comfortable to wear and still possess a deep meaning.”
Maria designs jewellery to make people think, wonder and ask questions; "All my pieces are special, as there is a certain story and
meaning behind each and every design."
For Maria, jewellery is not simply an adornment; it embodies a story, provokes an emotion and builds a connection.
“I love to create pieces which make people think, wonder, ask questions and of course, tell a story. A lot of my creations are interactive in nature and are aimed at provoking a reaction. It’s important for the wearer to connect with the creations on a personal level and this can often be achieved through storytelling, strong concepts and the design itself.”
A unique selling point of Maria Kovadi Fine Jewellery is the exclusivity of the pieces; many are one-off or limited edition designs, and this is a hugely significant part of the brand’s mantra. Whilst many companies are sacrificing design in order to keep costs down, Maria is focusing on the growing audience of customers who want to invest in original handcrafted jewellery that tells a story. “Customers want to invest in something special that will be dear to them and be a reminder of a special moment in their life. Mass produced fine jewellery is available to buy everywhere and does not offer the emotional qualities my clients are seeking. Luxury consumers want more exclusive pieces, they don’t want to have the same jewellery as others.”
Many of Maria’s designs are one-off or limited edition; “So far, most of our customers have been people seeking unique pieces
to reflect their own vision and ideas.”
"Each creation's journey is a long one but one, which endows each piece with love and care."
Quality and craftsmanship are paramount to Maria. She works with a talented group of artisans in Italy, who use their years of experience and expertise to create her intricate designs. “Workmanship of this kind is difficult to find nowadays and production took many years to set up. Each part of the production is the responsibility of a certain artisan, an expert in the field and each and every one of them leaves a part of the soul within the piece. Skilled, knowledgeable and meticulous experts such as goldsmiths, engravers, sculptors and stone setters, many of whom have more than 30 years’ experience, are located throughout Italy, in key jewellery centres such as Valenza, its surrounding regions and Milan. Each creation’s journey is a long one but one, which endows each piece with love and care.”
After learning about the fluorescence of diamonds at the GIA and seeing a gap in the market, Maria decided to make use of the qualities of fluorescent diamonds in a way that has never been done before, and created a unique, limited edition collection called YouVdiamonds. The original, limited edition collection comprises of 11 designs and features a variety of charm and pendant designs that transform under ultraviolet light to reveal that we all have wings.
The exclusivity of the YouVdiamonds creations is highlighted by a very difficult and time-consuming diamond sorting and precise pave setting process, which took a lot of time to develop and perfect.
Whilst seeking inspiration for the design, Maria’s personal life began to change when she discovered she was pregnant. “This special moment triggered my creativity and I came up with the idea of fluorescent wings hidden in the diamond pave behind the miniature sculpture. The wings represent the invisible strength, the promise and the capabilities within us. If we believe in our own strength, we can reach any heights, any goals and this is how the original design of the baby with fluorescent diamond wings came about.”
Maria’s exceptionally innovative jewellery highlights the beauty and character of the wearer, with each piece designed to emphasise individuality and distinctive thinking. Her creations remind us that we are all unique, and encourage us to express and be proud of who we are. “I would love it if every client had a personal connection with the jewellery, or wore it almost as an amulet. It would be wonderful if the jewel is connected to some story, place or event in the life of its owner, so it becomes part of the story itself. This way the jewel receives a soul.”
What does the future hold for Maria Kovadi Fine Jewellery? Currently living in Moscow with her supportive husband and three children, Maria is in the process of developing her most recent lines and introducing the brand to different international markets. But for Maria, the most important thing is that she is creating jewellery that clients can customise for their needs, make a connection with and enjoy for decades to come. “Online retail plays a significant role in the future development of Kovadi and permits to reach more clients, in most parts of the world. It is important for us to provide the same service online as we would offline, making the Kovadi shopping experience a very special and personal one.”
Quality and craftsmanship are key to Maria; “Reputation of the brand is something that I take very seriously and we are
very demanding in ensuring the quality of metals and gemstones is up to our standards.”
The YouVdiamonds collection is one of Maria’s favourite to work on, especially the ‘Sweet Dreams’ piece, which is dedicated to
her first son.