I spent a fabulous afternoon with Pippa Small at her charming boutique in the heart of London’s Notting Hill. Tea and cakes were provided from my favourite Ottolenghi, a sweet addition to our interesting chat about geopolitics!

Pippa Small

When we finally asked Pippa to show us her opal collection, it was impossible not to fall in love with those stunning jewels, in particular a special opal ring in Pippa’s signature setting. The word opal was originally derived from the Sanksrit upala, which means ‘precious stone’. The ancient Romans called it cupid paederos, “child beautiful as love,” regarding it as a “symbol of hope and purity. In Arab lore opals are the remnants of lightning strikes to the ground, and the flashes in the stone are said to be ‘captured lightning’.

Pippa Small

My favourite pieces from the visit were a gorgeous 22k gold rough diamond ring from Pippa Small’s unique bridal collection, chic rutilated quartz earrings and a mesmerising chunky aquamarine three stone necklace.

Pippa Small

What I love about Pippa Small as a designer is her personal style and energy. It makes you wonder whether the talismans and rare coloured gemstones she covers her skin with are the real source of her positive energy. In Pippa’s presence one can feel almost naked, craving to master the art of layering jewellery. One longs to unleash the power of various precious and semi-precious stones. Questioning the meaning of jewels is a natural instinct; every culture has its own set of beliefs about specific stones. Those beliefs are often tied to that culture’s history, geography, and spiritual practices.

Pippa Small

Pippa Small started making jewellery to fund her MA in medical anthropology. She soon attracted the attention of the fashion world leading to collaborations with Gucci, Nicole Farhi, and Chloe. Her superb rough diamond collection with Christina Kim of Dosa was ba landmark collection. Pippa decided to go into jewellery-making full time after she was invited to work with Tom Ford, then the creative director at Gucci.

Pippa SmallFrom the early days, Pippa was determined to use her jewellery to help various deprived indigenous communities she had previously worked with as a human rights activist. Today Pippa gets 70% of her jewellery made in India, known as the “the world’s gold jewellery capital”.

Pippa Small

The profits from the main part of her business are invested into special collections made in workshops in countries such as Afghanistan, Kenya, Panama and Bolivia using locally sourced materials.

Pippa Small

You may read more about Pippa’s projects here.

Pippa Small

201 Westbourne Grove London W11 2SB

I would love to hear what you think by leaving me a comment below. Thank you! See my jewellery curation at Pippa Small London boutique!


I am extremely happy to announce that my new jewelry book – GEMOLOGUE: Street Jewellery Styles & Styling Tips – is now on Amazon. I’m so excited. It’s the first book of its kind solely dedicated to jewellery. 

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GEMOLOGUE by Liza Urla is a celebration of fine, fashion and vintage jewellery featuring exquisite global discoveries, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews.

GEMOLOGUE jewelry blog by Liza Urla is featuring talented jewellery designers, trendy urban street style, exclusive interviews and rare jewellery reviews. This jewellery blog’s goal is to encourage and educate about jewellery online in a fresh and original fashion to inspire women and men across the globe in a fashion and travelling context.

Jewellery blogger, writer Liza Urla, the founder of GEMOLOGUE, is a London-based and NYC-educated gemologist, who has travelled to and lived in many countries. She is now one of the most influential digital jewellery tastemakers. Her jewellery influence has been acknowledged by Financial Times, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

*Photographed by Julia Flit. Styling and Art Direction by Liza Urla. All photos belong to GEM Kreatives for GEMOLOGUE.

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