Tiina Smith keeps her jewelry business personal, intimate and luxurious — with a dash of whimsy.
She’s been providing private clients with one-of-a-kind vintage pieces by the master jewelers of the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as high fine jewelry, meeting them at their homes or in their offices or by staging trunk shows. Now she’s added a salon-like gallery, opened in September in Boston at 121 Newbury Street, to her repertoire.
“Personal relationships with private sources, the finest jewelry houses, expert-makers and auctioneers around the world allow us to find unique pieces that clients are not likely to see elsewhere,” Smith said. “These relationships also give us access to specific jewels, beyond our collection, that clients may seek.”
In particular, Smith said she’s drawn to pieces that use color in “creative and unpredictable ways — peridot, tsavorite, angel skin coral and yellow sapphire nestled together like a mosaic of cupcakes sprinkled with candy colors.” Then there’s those whimsical jewel encrusted Michele della Valle octopus. Smith’s offerings also include jewelry from Oscar Heyman, Robert Procop, Nicholas Varney and David Webb.
“As a woman, I understand the emotional impact a piece of jewelry can have, whether given by a loved one or purchased for oneself. It represents adornment, achievement and empowerment and while it is certainly an asset, it is also the most personal form of self-expression.”
Smith, a former tennis star at Harvard College, also attended Harvard Business School and worked in mergers and acquisitions for Lazard Freres and later at Morgan Stanley in wealth management as a portfolio manager.
But for much of her life, she collected fine jewelry and decided to parlay her passion into a business, Tiina Smith Exceptional Fine Jewelry. She also has a degree from the Gemological Institute of America.
Smith said her business “fills a hole in the market. Often, friends and strangers would remark on my jewelry, asking where they could find something similar. I knew I could become a discerning resource for others.”
The gallery is an intimate, salon-like setting, approximately 2,000 square feet, with contemporary furnishings including a vintage Murano glass chandelier, an Italian inlaid exotic wood center table, gilt wood chairs in pink leather, and a cocktail table with a base in a “swirl” of gold chain.
“I wanted to create a comfortable, indulgent space where one can view the finest pieces of jewelry signed by the best makers, but also where you learn about the history of each piece — who wore it and how it fits in our modern world. Whether vintage or new, each piece has been selected for its artistry, enduring quality and its relevance in today’s world.”