Invest in Rare, One-of-a-Kind Jewelry with Tiina Smith in Watch Hill
The store is a combined showroom for Tiina Smith Fine Jewelry as well as bespoke fashion from Newport-based clothing designer Kate Brierley of Isoude.
As natural gemstones become more and more scarce, the time is now to invest in rare, one-of-a-kind jewelry. Tiina Smith of Tiina Smith Fine Jewelry has been collecting rare vintage gemstone jewelry for a long time, and when people kept asking her where they could get similar pieces, she decided to launch a business of her own.
“People would often ask me where I got a certain piece, and could I find a similar piece for them?” she says.
This summer, she opened a new shop in Watch Hill that is a combined showroom for her exquisite jewelry as well as bespoke fashion from Newport-based clothing designer Kate Brierley of Isoude.
Previously, Smith graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School and worked on Wall Street many years, but took a break to raise her children. “When the time came for me, after raising kids, to be able to do something, I decided to go back to my passion, which was jewelry,” she says. “That combined with my business background made perfect sense to start Tiina Smith.”
Smith graduated from the Gemological Institute of America and is close to earning her graduate degree in gemology. She also networks with private collectors, designers and auctioneers all over the world, including Hong Kong, Geneva, London, New York and L.A. At her Watch Hill shop, 80 percent of the collection is made by famous jewelers Van Cleef and Arpels, Tiffany, Cartier, David Webb and many more. “It’s really rare pieces, one-of-a-kinds, best in class, things you can’t find in other places,” she says.
She also has a less expensive collection of contemporary jewelry, which is more accessible than the vintage pieces. “One of my goals was to have jewelry that could meet all the needs of the modern woman whether it was going to a poolside luncheon wearing jeans and a t-shirt or going to formal functions,” she says. “You can find jewelry for all those different scenarios and needs.”
Smith’s favorite piece of all is a sapphire, pearl and diamond octopus brooch by Michele Della Valle. “It’s a one-of-a-kind piece by a Roman maker, and his specialty is animals and flowers. He uses colored stones which really makes these animals come alive,” Smith says. “The octopus is articulated so you can actually move the tentacles, so it’s amazing.”
Combining bespoke clothing with rare and unusual and accessible contemporary jewelry, it made sense for Smith and Brierley to team up. “We find many of our clients overlap because she makes beautiful pieces, and I have the perfect accompaniment,” Smith says. “When you walk into the shop, it’s almost like a museum in that you have this broad range of aesthetics and incredible workmanship that’s consistent throughout every piece.”
View a slide show of photos from the Tiina Smith and Isoude boutique in Watch Hill, plus one-of-a-kind and contemporary pieces from Tiina Smith’s collection.