Liz du Toit loves how old jewellery can be remodelled into new
As part of our 25 Years Celebration - we highlight the personal stories of our customers
To celebrate 25 years of jewellery making, Scarab hosted a very special exhibition at Irma Stern Museum – The exhibition was a story line retrospective showcasing 25 years of crafting jewellery and personal relationships. These are their stories interwoven with ours.
“My first memory of Scarab Jewellery is ambling down from Groote Schuur, where I used to work and seeing the jewellery shop in Lower Main Road, Observatory.
Years ago, in Durban, my parents were very friendly with jewellers and I used to do exactly the same thing I now do with Janine. Back then I’d try on all their stuff and not buy anything. I spent hours trying on all their bling. I absolutely loved trying on their jewellery. I was a student nurse; fortunately they were friends so they didn’t mind.”
Having moved to Cape Town, and working at Groote Schuur Hospital, Liz would take walks during her lunch breaks and came across the jewellery shop in Observatory. Janine interjects, “That was 20-odd years ago; so you were the age I am now when we met.”
Liz tries to recall her first Scarab piece, “I think it was a pendant; solid gold with a big drop pearl. It was a lovely piece and I wore it quite often. I also had a string of pearls. I enjoy pearls. I had the most marvellous opal pendant for my pearls.
“I absolutely adore my ring. I used to come into Janine’s store all the time and try on the rings. She remodelled this one for me. It’s got a bit of a flaw but I love it. The original stone was a piddly little thing, so I upgraded to a larger stone, much to my delight. These were earrings, and I always wanted an eternity ring. Janine just took the earrings and turned it into an eternity ring; I loved the process of how old jewellery can be remodelled into new.“
When I was younger, it was fashionable to wear a lot of gold bracelets; one of which my parents gave to me on my 21st. The bracelet was remodelled with iolites. I like the combination of two-tone gold. I wear it all the time.”
Janine remodelled pieces which were given to Liz by her parents. The pieces were out of fashion and Liz says that Janine was tremendous in dispensing advice. The pearl came from her mother’s ring. “Janine kept asking why I didn’t do something special with it and, look, what a lovely idea. She’s got such a good eye, so creative; to have the vision and to say, ‘Stop dangling those damn things around all the time, let’s do something with them.’”
Going through the items she’s brought with to the shoot, Liz documents, “Those are my pearls, lemon quartz earrings and crucifix. These are my favourite pieces and whenever I wear these, people come up to admire my jewellery.”
“These are my favourite pieces and whenever I wear these, people come up to admire my jewellery.”