A GEM IN FLORENCE!
Updated: Oct 28
Italy and Jewelry...its a love story older than time! Italy has a rich history and reputation for producing high-quality jewelry. Italian jewelry craftsmanship dates back to ancient Roman times, and it has maintained its prominence in the industry. Italian jewelry is known for its exquisite designs, attention to detail, and the use of precious metals and gemstones. The Italian jewelry industry combines traditional craftsmanship with modern innovation, making it a hub for luxury and unique jewelry pieces appreciated worldwide. Cities like Florence, Venice, and Milan have been centers of jewelry production for centuries, and anyone that follows me on Instagram will know that I make frequent trips to Italy to visit Italian jewelry shows like VicenzaOro and OroArezzia as so many key jewelry brands and trends originate in Italy. So I was beyond thrilled when COI boutique, a gem of a boutique in Florence, invited me to Florence to attend an event celebrating their Italian jewelry heritage.
Walking into COI is like opening the lid of the worlds best jewelry box...and diving inside! Its filled with many of favorite jewelry brands, many of whom design one of a kind pieces exclusively for COI. Brands like Alessio Boschi, Marco Bicego, Serafino Consoli, Adolfo Courrier, and more are displayed side by side, alongside art, baroque furniture, and my dear friend Fadi's beautiful French bulldog, Sultan! I spent hours exploring brands both known and unknown to me, and could have spent an entire week inside COI and still not have seen everything they have to show! But the cocktail party was beckoning, and it was soon time to go and get glammed up for the event. I had my choice of jewelry to wear - literally my dream come true! - and chose a magnificent emerald pendant and earrings by Verdi.
The event was held at The Fusion Bar and Restaurant, and was as beautiful and chic as you would expect a Florentine cocktail party to be! There is something so stylish about Italians,everyone there looked like could have stepped out of the pages of a magazine. The DJ played, the champagne flowed, and of course, the jewels sparkled! I spent time with Mr Tavanti, owner of COI, and his beautiful granddaughter, Anna. Taking a break from chatting to stylish, beautiful people, or gasping over extraordinary jewels, I took the chance to sit with Fadi Ayshoh Mando, General Director of COI, learn more about COI, it's history and its vision.
TDG: When did COI first open, and tell us a little about it’s history in Florence.
FADI: Coi first opened in 1954 so next year COI will celebrate it's 70th birthday! This is a wonderful archivement, and we are proud to be part of one of the most established jewelry boutiques in Florence. Our history began as a wholesale company, and over time, we began doing both wholesale and retail, and it continued to evolve until it emerged as one of the biggest multibrand jewlery showrooms in Italy. Here you will find unique creations in 18k gold and natural stones, all celebrating the Italian legacy of expert jewelry making. All our brands are strictly Italian, as a homage to Italy's expertise and innovation in the jewelry world.
TDG: How do you select the brands that are displayed at COI?
FADI: I personally select the brands and items from each brand, and believe me that's the hardest part of my job. I study trends and research, I look at the history of our clientele choices, I consider the designer, the brand, the materials and the craftsmanship of each brand and each piece. Ultimately, at COI we aim to curate a selection of jewelry that offers something for everyone, whether you are looking for traditional Italian gold jewelry, or more contemporary, unusual pieces.
People come from all over the world to find something unique from Italy, and what could be better than Italian designers creating unique jewelry?
TDG: I agree, and it takes up very little room in your luggage! 😉 Can anyone visit the boutique?
FADI: Our COI Boutique on the Ponte Vecchio is open for the public to visit 7 days a week.
Our COI showroom in Via Por Sante Maria number 8, second floor, is by appointment only. The easiest thing to do is to visit our boutique on the jewelry bridge in Florence and our staff will find assist in setting up an appointment for you to visit the showroom.
TDG: Are there any exclusive items, that visitors will only find at COI?
FADI: All the brands we work with make limited and exclusive edition pieces that you can buy only in our showroom in Florence. These are one of a kind creations, made be designers such as Marco Bicego, and Alessio Boschi. In addition, we have one of a kind pieces, that our Florentine master artisans make only for us.
TDG: Any exciting future plans to share with us?
FADI: Of course! Lots of exciting events will be happening, together with our favorite Italian designers, coming up next year celebrating our 70th year anniversary.
The evening whizzed by, and before I knew it, we were wondering the streets of Florence, heading to a restaurant for a late dinner. Drunk on the success of the evening, we all toasted our host and friend, Fadi, who had co-ordinated the perfect night in Florence. The next day, it was time to head home, leaving a small part of me in Florence, and looking forward to returning in the near future.