Istanbul’s top five jewellery brands

The opulence of the Ottoman royal treasury attests to Turkey’s 500-year history of fine jewellery craftsmanship. These five Istanbul-based brands continue the Turkish tradition of creating stunning jewellery

City Guide

Monday, 30 July, 2012 by Julia Chrusciel

  • Urart earrings

  • Altinbaş necklace

  • Boybeyi earrings

  • Boybeyi bracelets

  • Boybeyi rings

Boybeyi
Established in 1881 in the Grand Bazaar, Boybeyi has become one of the most sought-after Turkish jewellery brands. The Boybeyi range, which is entirely handmade, includes dazzling pieces that incorporate colourful precious stones, an Italian coral collection and a wedding line of diamond necklaces, engagement rings, bracelets and earrings. The men’s collection offers elegant gold cufflinks and even gold spectacles. Boybeyi’s sleek interiors and attentive service provide an inviting setting for browsing the gorgeous jewellery selection.

Boybeyi, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi 10, Nişantaşı, +90 (0)212 232 8000

Gilan
One of Turkey’s most successful jewellery brands internationally, Gilan uses Ottoman-era techniques to create innovative, contemporary designs. Glamorous collections evoke the splendour of imperial Ottoman history; the restoration of the famous Treasury Rooms in Istanbul’s Topkapı Palace was sponsored by Gilan. Many designs are unique and the brand has trademarked its unusual tulip motif, which is cut into both amethyst earrings and a ruby ring. All of Gilan’s creations, such as the beautifully inlaid, rose-cut diamond earrings in the Passionate Heritage collection, are stunning in their intricacy.

Gilan, İstinye Park AVM, İstinye, +90 (0)212 345 5008

Urart
Founded in 1972, Turkish brand Urart specialises in creating jewellery and artworks using traditional metallurgic techniques. Urart works alongside institutions such as the Istanbul Archaeological Museum to ensure the authenticity of its designs, which are inspired by the Hittites, Seljuks and other civilisations that previously inhabited Anatolia. Urart’s Troya (Troy) line, with a necklace, earring and ring set featuring cascading gold scales, particularly stands out. Another unique offering is the Aşk Tableti (Love Tablet) series, which incorporates reproductions in precious metals of ancient Hittite cuneiform tablets.

Urart, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi 18, Nişantaşı, +90 (0)212 246 7194

Altınbaş
Altınbaş, launched in 1975, now has a number of locations across Istanbul and offers a wide variety of styles to suit any taste. Look for sophisticated choices for summer, including delicately wrought gold, silver and copper chain necklaces, along with playful rings with a medley of sapphire, amethyst and diamond stones. The brand also boasts a wide range of affordable, creatively designed engagement rings in its Love collection and an Ottoman-inspired line with a Gothic edge that incorporates traditional motifs such as the tulip.

Altınbaş, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi 4, Nişantaşı, +90 (0)212 232 0551

Buhajar
Buhajar’s bright, airy interior provides a welcoming introduction to the diverse collections offered by this upscale brand, which first opened in 1958 in the gold souks of the Libyan capital Tripoli and launched its first international flagship store in Istanbul last year. The jewellery lines offered at Buhajar are all designed and produced in Italy and range from sleek and modern to Eastern-inspired, with nods to historical forms. Choose among the classic diamond tennis bracelets and pearl necklaces, abstract multicoloured rhinestone-encrusted rings, quirky wish tree charms and pendants sporting sapphires and diamonds.

Buhajar, Abdi İpekçi Caddesi 6-8A, Nişantaşı, +90 (0)212 240 4273

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