In My Jewellery Box: Valery Demure
Valery Demure was born near Lyon; her mother ran luxury boutiques and her grandmother was a seamstress. She began her career as a buyer at Whistles, when she was headhunted for a jewellery-buying role. That sparked her passion for jewellery and accessories, and in 2005 she set up her own PR and sales agency representing up-and-coming independent designers.
With a focus on craftsmanship and innovation in all of the brands she represents, Demure has helped to launch and grow the careers of jewellers including Fernando Jorge, Alice Cicolini and Noor Fares– and she’s built up an impressive collection of pieces in the process.
As well as being an advisor on the London College of Fashion’s jewellery and accessories course and a mentor to young designers, Demure has recently launched Objet d’Emotion: a “curated shopping concept” which connects fine jewellery lovers and collectors with niche high-end designers.
Demure herself collects rings; she shares five of her favourites.
Vicki Sarge black diamond engagement ring
The first time I saw this ring, I said, “Vicki, if ever Bruno wants to propose, you have to tell him this is the one I want.” Eighteen months later, I came home to candles all over our flat and he proposed with this ring! I get so many compliments on it, everybody who sees it loves it, and I still love it.
I love that it’s not a conventional engagement ring – I never wanted a standard solitaire. There’s something quite cute about it – it looks like a little pebble, a bonbon, or cake – but the black diamonds make it a little harder.
It’s completely me and I knew I would never get bored of it. The fact that Vicki designed it makes it even more special as she’s a very dear friend.
Alice Cicolini iolite and enamel ring
I have known Alice for a while and have worked with her for three years. I love the Indian references in her jewellery and the fact that she works with really interesting craftsmen. She has an original signature; very sophisticated and very unique.
Although I love her style I don’t really wear very bright, colourful jewellery so I asked her if she would make me a ring in electric blue with an iolite. We designed it together and I got this for my birthday last year.
The stories behind her jewellery are fascinating – I love to wear this knowing that the craftsman who made it had been asked to work with a lot of big houses but he said no, I want to stay small and just make jewellery on a small scale. I love that!
Alexandra Jefford Tahitian pearl and onyx ring
This is another bespoke piece. I buy a few pieces per year; my husband goes crazy! I’m always changing my jewellery according to my mood.
The Tahitian pearl I’d had in my collection for a few years; I’d kept it in a box and was waiting to decide what to do with it. I had actually bought two pearls – the other one Alexandra made into a ring a few years ago.
Then I saw her new range of rings with carved onyx which I really loved – there was one with a Paraiba tourmaline that I fell in love with, but couldn’t afford. So I decided to have one of these rings made with the other Tahitian pearl.
We decided on the shape of the onyx and I explained that I wanted the pearl to be set in that awkward way. I got the finished piece two days before Christmas last year; it was my Christmas present.
Monique Pean mammoth tusk ring
As soon as I saw this ring I knew it had to be part of my collection. This was about three years ago. It’s made out of the woolly mammoth tusk – it is being uncovered as the ice caps melt in Siberia – and I love that it’s carved. I also like the shape of it; it’s almost like a signet ring so there is something quite masculine about it.
I’m a massive fan of Monique Pean and I have quite a lot of her pieces. I love the materials she uses. I probably have six or seven rings by her, and this one I had to have. Rings are really my thing: they are little sculptures, much more than necklaces or earrings, in my opinion.
Today I’m wearing about seven rings, and I’m always playing with them, twisting and turning them, swapping them between my fingers. When I fall in love with jewellery it’s always a ring – I fall in love with them very quickly, and that doesn’t happen in the same way with other pieces.
Bibi Van Der Velden Siberian mammoth and black diamond ring
I like Bibi’s work – she creates little wearable sculptures. She does a lot of animal pieces but I’m not a big fan of animal motifs in jewellery. Then I saw this hand ring which I thought was really cool.
I’m very into hands, which is one of the reasons I have so many rings. My hands are a part of my body I really like, and I love hands in general. I think they really express who you are – you can tell a lot about somebody by their hands. My daughter is the same – we like to hold hands, look at each other’s hands, and I used to draw hands a lot when I was younger. So this ring really spoke to me!
Bibi made it for me specially because I didn’t want a coloured stone, so she designed me one with a little black diamond. It looks like it’s holding your finger when you wear it – it’s quite a statement piece.