Whatever you are coming to Istanbul for, you can always look up to some fine jewellery on your trip. This city contains one of the biggest jewellery markets in the world. The city itself was popular on designing valuable stones even ages ago. Jewellers and craftsmen filled in the city of Constantinople, and they kept their livings after the conquest of the Ottoman Empire. They even flourished on the Ottoman age, thanks to the construction of the Grand Bazaar. Jewel craft designs made in this city always were mixed with too many cultures. Being a bridge between two continents made almost every culture brought up here. The architecture of the city and history lies beneath it inspired by many craftsmen, including jewellery designers. From royal families to kings and queens, presidents to Hollywood actors you can see accessories worn, made by designers in Istanbul. Whatever these designers get inspired of, they make a brilliant job. All the attention from all over the world proves their success.
1. Sevan Bıçakçı
The ‘Star-Jeweller’ of Turkey. Or ‘King of Rings’ some may say. Sevan Bıçakçı is the world-famous jeweller located in the Grand Bazaar. You may find the prices too high when you arrive in his shop, but it’s easy to say his collections and designs are world-class and deserves it. Started his journey around 1980, Sevan Bıçakçı one of the most humble, kind and popular jeweller in Istanbul. The most known ring design ‘Sultanahmet’te Yağmur’ brought him an international award from Las Vegas. One in a kind rings with mostly gold and silver materials, Sevan Bıçakçı is the perfect place to buy jewellery gifts.
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2. Berç Melikyan
As his own term, a miniature sculpture, Berç Melikyan may be the last ‘Kalemkar’ on the Earth. With his rings designed with thousands of steel pen cuts, he is one of the most interesting jewellers today. His style of craft dates back to a millennia, and he keeps that design tradition alive. Over the years many companies used his designs for showrooms on conventions. But for a long time, he never took credit for his own work. But for a while, he made his name appeared throughout the jewel society and received immense attention right away. He is named for the must-see jeweller list by the World Gold Council in Istanbul. Also he and his works named for Living Cultural Treasure to UNESCO.
Related Post: A Guide for Istanbul Grand Bazaar’s Best Stores
3. Surmak Susmak
With his interesting personality, along with his prize-winning designs, Surmak Susmak is a jeweller anyone should visit. Keeping the old traditions alive with adapting the modern styled designs he is an admirable jeweller. Every jewel came out of his shop are handmade and delicately crafted. And for that, he has many customers all around the world. But his magnificent work aside, he has become an idol for people around him. The old traditions of Grand Bazaar he kept alive have made an excellent boss out of him. ‘I see all of them as my child.’ as he says for each of his employees. ‘Setting is a matter of honour’ he says for another tradition of the Grand Bazaar. Prioritizing trust above all else is his main goal for his works. He always makes a sincere connection with his customers, more than cold professional buyer-seller interactions. In almost every important event he participated, every time he gets to talk, he always points towards to youth. With his old traditions, his modern and humble personality and his designs mainly inspired by nature, he is a world-known jeweller in Istanbul. His prize-winning ring design ‘Saray Meltemi’ is world-famous. As a trusted, world-known jeweller you definitely visit his shop if you want to buy a jewel mixed with nature.
4. Biriz Jewellery
Avedis Kendir was born in Istanbul in 1959. He began learning how to make jewellery from his master in his childhood. In 1980, Kendir founded “Biriz Jewellery” and has been making jewellery, specializing in Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Ottoman jewellery for over 40 years. He combines Turkish and foreign motifs in his jewellery work. He sells much of his designs at the Kempinski Hotel in Çırağan Palace. Avedis Kendir has notable clientele such as Queen Elizabeth or Elizabeth Taylor. He dropped out of school at age ten, but even today he says he is a student. With his perfectly designed handmade jewels and his appetite for learning even considered as a master crafter, Avedis Kendir’s shop is one of the best jewellers in Istanbul.
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5. Manuk’s Workshop
Manuk Durmazgüler considered as a young master crafter in Istanbul. Since 2012 he presents his own designs by the name of Manuk’s Workshop. His early age among his peers may surprise you for his experiences on designing. Many who knows him says he works even in his home. While appreciating the old traditional jewel designs, he says he always wanted to make something new. His simple and delicate designs draw too much attention, even more than his own expectations. Having an ancient crafting tradition as his work of life doesn’t change his personality. Many customers say one of the best things in his store is the music they play. As a cheerful and sincere owner, he often talks about almost anything with his customers. If you find yourself at his store, which you should absolutely go, you can find yourselves talking with him about the Rock & Roll. Manuk’s Worksop especially liked by young customers.
6. Rüveyde Okumuş Handmade Jewelry
An eccentric jeweller Rüveyde Okumuş made her name in the must-see jeweller in Istanbul list with her beautiful natural designs. She carries one of the first Organic Jewel Designer titles in Turkey. Her value for the environment can be seen in her jewel designs that include seashells and such of objects. As a successful businesswoman in Istanbul, you should definitely visit her shops.
7. Kısmet by Milka
World popular jewels made by Kısmet by Milka. Owner Milka Karaağaçlı, a world-known jeweller, is an inspiration for many in Turkey. She has a clientele such as Madonna, and her jewels can be seen in many TV shows in Turkey. Her small, simple and delicate designs are high priced, but absolutely worthy for her beautiful designs. Her feminist side also draws attention, and her work conditions told to be very tough. But whatever her way of work environment she created, it works.
8. Arman Suciyan
With his edgy designs, Arman Suciyan became a world popular jeweller. His sharp, clean and stunning design draws too much attention from all over the world. Most of his clients come to Turkey and take an appointment directly with him. And most of his off country clients are from the UK. With all his experiences, his insights, his skills and craft, he developed his very own unique style. Arman prides himself on receiving various awards. Like the one from the Goldsmiths Craft Council or the utterly prestigious DeBeers Jewellery Design Award.
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I am eager to leave my comfort zone and push myself to try new things. The best way to do it is by traveling. So I keep exploring the world and myself.