Every winter the rich and famous descend on St. Barts to take in its pristine beaches and crystalline water, and party at the island’s lively beach clubs. The list of high-profile visitors to this tiny French-speaking Caribbean Island include Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Jeff Bezos, Dua Lipa and Izabel Goulart to name a few. So, it’s no surprise that Glenn Spiro (whose clients include some of the above) opened his newest boutique here just in time for the Christmas season.
The British jeweler, who is known for making big diamonds (think 20 plus carats) appear impossibly modern and chic, says his clients and friends are spending more time in St. Barts. No longer just a winter vacation destination, more people are extending their trips during the post-Covid era because they are now able to work from anywhere—including poolside at Cheval Blanc.
Spiro already has boutiques, known as ‘G’ by Glenn Spiro, in the world’s poshest places, including by-appointment salons in London’s Mayfair neighborhood, where he occupies an historic mansion; in St. Tropez, where he summers with his family; and in Beverly Hills at the Peninsula Hotel. Frankly, he says wasn’t looking to open a shop on the hard-to-get-to Caribbean Island, but he couldn’t resist the opportunity: while visiting St. Barts last year with his wife Arabella for a friend’s birthday celebration he came upon a building available at the port of Gustavia, and he applied for it on the spot.
“You have to go with the heart,” he says. “That’s how I make jewelry; I do what feels right.”
It also helped that a trusted jewelry executive and friend was already living on St. Barts and could manage Spiro’s high-profile clients.
In keeping with his personalized style, the salon is designed more like a living room than a store, where his clients and friends can relax while they peruse the jewelry. Don’t expect to walk in and find cases of jewels, because Spiro’s style is a slow burn. He creates jewelry when he finds the right stones and dreams up inspiring designs that are crafted only when the right artisans are available to execute the piece.
Spiro’s unique designs are driven by unusual diamonds and gemstones.
Throughout his 40-year career, Spiro has obsessively pursued and collected unusual diamonds and gemstones from around the world, and he often seeks out old stones for their rarity and character. Sometimes, however, the jewels sit in his safe for years before he conjures up the right design for them. His creations are often daring and unexpected: He set a rare Golconda diamond in an organic wood ring, and arranged 245 carats of untreated, old-mine cut Colombian emeralds in a green-hued titanium chocker. Spiro often uses titanium in his large-scale pieces to keep them light and flexible.
For the new St. Barts location, Spiro created the Bon Bon collection, featuring colorful cabochon-cut turquoise, peridot, chalcedony and amethyst in playful rings and earrings.
While Spiro’s client list includes plenty of famous faces, unlike most jewelry maisons today, he prefers to keep his buyers private and doesn’t loan his pieces to celebrities for events. That discretion is welcomed on St. Barts, where many people come for the privacy of the remote location, where they can hide away on their mega yachts or swim on the shores of their private beaches. And now, they can shop by appointment at “G”.