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In celebration of Women’s Day, IGR London wishes to share a few pioneering women in our world of diamonds, gemstones and jewellery.

A few words about international women’s day –  it began in 1908 when 15,000 women demonstrated through New York asking for better pay, shorter hours and voting rights. Women have come a long way from the first march, 2017 is all about ‘be bold for change’ which means ‘by taking ground breaking action that truly drives the greatest change for women‘ and speeding up gender parity. (  Additionally, today is a day to celebrate and value the achievements of women and men equally and to encourage, motivate women and girls to achieve their goals and dreams! This year celebrate the amazing women around you – your mother, your wife, your sister, your best friend, your colleague and even your lady boss! Together as a woman we should help, motivate and encourage each other to achieve our dreams together!

Jeweller to the stars: Lorraine Schwartz is a renowned US jeweller, famous for adorning the stars with her opulent, adventurous and colourful creations on the red carpet. Jewellery has been part of Schwartz’s anatomy; her family was in the jewellery business for three generations. In 1989 after her mother’s death, Schwartz took over the business and renamed the company Lorraine Schwartz Diamonds and Fine Jewellery and transformed the business model to exclusively sell her work at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City or by appointment at her 5th Avenue showroom in Manhattan, more recently at Harrods. Schwartz’s business took off from the mid 1990’s when Iman made an inquiry about a large, one of a kind diamond which became her engagement ring from David Bowie and in the 2000, Schwartz spotted an opportunity to develop fashion, fun and youthful jewellery. Her clientele includes Beyoncé who mentions her in her song ‘Upgrade U’, Kim Kardashian, Blake Lively, Halle Berry and Cate Blanchett, the list continue.

In honour of her late mother who passed away from cancer, Schwartz established the Shulamit Benjamini Sandberg Medical Research Grant in 2009 donating $225,000 over 3 years and she sits on the Board of Directors for Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research.

Lorraine Schwartz



Annoushka Ducas is a multi-talented British jewellery designer, creative director, entrepreneur! Amongst the list of her achievements, the top are: awarded MBE in 2013 for her services in the British jewellery and successfully sold her jewellery business for £50m!

Ducas co-founded Links of London and Annoushka both with her husband, Ayton. Links of London began from Ducas designing fish cufflinks for her mother’s clients and the remainder were sold to Harvey Nichols. The first Links store opened in 1992 in Broadgate and 14 years later – 48 years, a wholesale business and a turnover of £42m, the business was sold. Two years later, Ayton and Ducas bought the Pascal jewellery business and rebranded it, Annoushka.  The jewellery line is a playful, light and colourful jewellery creations and her clients include Rihanna, Kate Middleton and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Her philanthropic deeds include Give a Future Charity and their microfinance programme offering support to 800 Ethiopian women and annual jewellery design project at Central St Martins.

The multi-talented jeweller had an interesting background from a base in the UK and she choose not to go university instead she achieved education from her extensive travels which influenced her designs. Another interesting fact about the artistic jeweller is she always designed and created fine jewellery for herself and her family.



Annoushka Ducas


Within the jewellery industry, jewellers are often in the spotlight, however there are pioneers behind the scenes who do ground breaking service and the industry cannot do without them, one such avant-garde leader is Maria Doulton, the editor in chief at the Jewellery Editor.

I have always admired Doulton and I believe her journalist style is artistic, graceful and elegant. Doulton turned her lifelong passion of jewellery and watches into career by writing for various publications as a freelance journalist: Financial Times, Intelligent Life, Telegraph Luxury and Vanity Fair. In 2010, Doulton and Christine Pasquier founded the Jewellery Editor, the online magazine which provides a unique spotlight into the world of jewellery and luxury watches. The global team of 30 jewellery and watch enthusiasts cover the hot topics in the jewellery industry, the latest trends, jewels on the red carpet, bridal jewellery and trends, luxury watches and the most update technology, it comprehensively acts as an A to Z to the industry around the globe. Here are the numbers to prove the online publication’s successful following: it has a social media audience of 2.8 million per month, they publish more 20 articles and or product reviews a week, Doulton videos have 15,000 views per video!

Maria Doulton



Francesca Amfitheathtrof was appointed as the first female creative director in the history of the iconic 179-year-old American jewellery institution, Tiffany & Co in 2013! The part Italian, part Russian, British educated designer reinvigorated the historic establishment with her fresh, modern and graceful minimalist creations.  She designed the Tiffany T collection, simple but glamourous, effortless chic jewellery. In 2015, Amfitheathtrof collaborated with fashion forward retailer, Dover St Market to launch the ‘Out of Retirement’ jewellery line that reinterprets classic Tiffany designs, incorporating cubed cufflinks, thick rings and wooden bangles.

Amfitheathtrof is British educated and well-travelled designer who attend two great British schools for creative masters: Central St Martins and the Royal College of Art. Straight out of university she designed a collection of table top accessories for Alessi, the Italian brand and was commissioned by Chanel, Fendi, Gerrard, Marni and Wedgewood to create jewellery, accessories and housewares.

Earlier in the year, Amfitheathtrof stepped down from her position of design director after three and half years ‘to pursue other opportunities.’


Francesca Amfitheathtrof


These are a few of the shining stars in our industry! We hope we have inspired you to be bold for change!  

Who are the women that inspire you?

Who are the brilliant diamonds in your industry?

Who are the women you aspire to be?

Happy International Women’s Day!




Dipika @ IGR London