VERONICA ANDERSON JEWELLERY
In another vein altogether, Veronica Anderson found herself being led down a much more undefined path into the jewellery industry. Anderson’s career began in advertising, which she soon left for the world of fine arts as a curator for the Little and Maude Street galleries in Sandown, dealing mostly with contemporary South African art. It was only when she joined Read’s Gallery, which specialises in antique jewellery and silver, that she discovered her passion for jewellery and antiques.
“A love of the history of art stood me in perfect stead to extend my interest into the fascinating world of antique jewellery,” she explains. “It’s like unravelling a mystery — every trend and style has a logical economic starting point and reflects what’s happening at the time. I find it fascinating to pick up a piece of antique jewellery and be able to read its story through its design and in the materials used.” Veronica Anderson Jewellery opened in 2005, first as a gallery offering one-off pieces by jewellery artists. Its first offering, the Clasps Collection, offered 80 one-of-a-kind, handmade clasps that were suitable for pearls and gemstones made by 20 different jewellers. Today, Veronica Anderson Jewellery still caters for those people intrigued by antique pieces yet looking for something unique they can call their own.
Unlike Anderson, Arthur Norman Kaplan was exposed to the jewellery industry from an early age. His great-uncle was the personal jeweller of Paul Kruger, and his grandfather Henry Balzham also had an eye for precious metals. He established a jewellery store in Pretoria in 1889, which Kaplan worked in when he turned 18. After 15 years in the family business, Kaplan opened his own jewellery store, known today as Arthur Kaplan.
Over time, the brand expanded into multiple stores across South Africa and gained a reputation as the It Destination for engagement rings. After 50 years in the business that he loved, and with a successful Johannesburg Stock Exchange listing behind him, Kaplan retired and sold the company that bears his name. The business was purchased by the management team in 2001 and continued to build the brand’s reputation for luxury merchandise, only to be acquired by Taste Holdings in 2014. News recently surfaced that Arthur Kaplan will again be sold, no doubt to the next buyer sharing the brand’s vision of personalised service and integrity.
Perhaps this proves that, by its very nature, in the jewellery industry, heritage continues to build, creating more interesting sparkles along the walls of each boutique.