With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award
Linde Collection Jewellery and Engagement Rings
The exclusive Cape Town boutique that specialises in exquisite custom-made diamond jewellery
There’s something intensely personal about luxury diamond jewellery. Whether it’s bought as a token of eternal love, as a way to commemorate an important anniversary or event, or as a tangible reminder of a time spent in a magical city abroad, it tends to be wrapped up in sentimental memories and held as a cherished symbol of a special moment or major milestone.
And so, when it comes to buying that precious piece, it only makes sense that it should be imbued with individual character and designed to embody the essence of the person it adorns.
This is the forte of Linde Collection, an exclusive Cape Town-based boutique that perches regally on Shortmarket Street and balances boldly at the forefront of the custom-made jewellery movement in South Africa.
“A good design is an expression of oneself,” explains seasoned gem specialist Philip van der Linde, who established the upmarket showroom and studio with his goldsmith wife, Annemarie, in 2005, “so it is up to us as creators to convey not only our own artistic expertise but the client’s personality too.”
With this in mind, the couple specialises in conceptualising and handcrafting sophisticated once-off diamond pieces to match customers’ specific requests and preferences. They set aside time to hear out the hopes of every visitor, and ultimately, the founders ensure that the final item of jewellery works to optimise the beauty and brilliance of each fine stone and to showcase every one of its sparkling facets. They also only use hand-selected diamonds that are locally (and ethically) sourced and certified by international grading bodies.
What’s more, part of the personal service offered by the pair involves educating purchasers on the factors that determine the value of the stones. More specifically, Philip and Annemarie make the effort to communicate information about the fundamental ‘Four Cs’ (cut, colour, clarity and carat weight), so that clients can select the best diamond that suits both their persona and their budget specifications.
Aside from the quality of the gems that Linde Collection uses, what makes this high-end boutique really shine as a maker of exquisite meaningful jewellery is the owners’ ability to imbue every piece with an individual, out-of-the-ordinary aesthetic.
“It is important that we capture that special edge in each design to create exclusive pieces that are unique for every customer,” says Philip.
Annemarie ensures her elegant jewellery is distinct by pairing incredibly rare gems with platinum or gold of contrasting colours to make for unexpected but eye-catching marriages. The diamonds come in a variety of unusual cuts, including the hard-to-find rose cut, and a medley of different colours, namely the classic white, yellow, green, orange, light blue, grey, cognac and black. So, tourists intent on taking a little glittering cube of Mzansi soil back home (South Africa is renowned for its magnificent mines, after all) are treated to a wider choice than they could have ever imagined.
Should buyers want jewellery made up with something other than a diamond though, there’s an exquisite range of options. The duo use their intricate knowledge about gems and their extensive network in the industry to source a rainbow of other scarce stones (tanzanite included) in a kaleidoscope of unconventional hues.
Not to mention, although there’s little more precious than a tailor-made treasure, at Linde Collection, it’s not essential to build a ring or pendant from scratch to benefit from the pleasure of owning arrestingly unique jewellery. The intimate boutique also brings out four refined readymade collections a year, one for every season. Clients can buy items from these ranges on-site, make alterations to existing pieces to give them a personal edge or simply use the made-up designs as inspiration for a once-off bespoke creation.
A visit to the classy Shortmarket Street venue is also a fine way to experience the relaxed yet upscale atmosphere of the store and to see Annemarie creating some of her sophisticated pieces in her studio at the back of the boutique – a rare joy and yet another point that sets this handsome destination apart from large commercial ventures. So, in the end, clients go away with quite a bit more than just an item of diamond jewellery: they leave with the pleasure that comes with an unrivalled shopping experience and the deep personal meaning that’s wrapped up in every Linde Collection purchase.
Tip: If you’re visiting Linde Collection for a custom-made diamond engagement or wedding ring, ask Philip to open a bottle of Methode Cap Classique. The couple offers complimentary glasses of sparkling wine (and cups of coffee) to customers.
The Bill: All jewellery pieces are priced individually (items start at around R5000), and while costs reflect the exclusivity of the boutique, it does promise good value for money. Philip and Annemarie are willing to work within a range of budgets and do their best to guarantee that every purchase is personalised. Regardless of what a customer is spending, the duo goes above and beyond to make sure everyone receives the same high level of service.
In the mood to do some shopping in the Mother City? Read about other design-focused boutiques and initiatives in Cape Town.
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