Hello, my name is Alistir Wood Tait. I sell antique jewelry at my brick-and-mortar shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Ilan Lerman curates and runs our online shop, bringing our knowledge and passion to a global audience.
My business started out as a schoolboy hobby. Growing up, I collected Scottish gemstones and went gold panning in the hills and mountains of Scotland. After acquiring a fellowship diploma at the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and working in the gem trade in South Africa in the 1970s, I started my own jewelry business in Edinburgh in 1980. Now, thirty-five years later, we are trading on Edinburgh’s famous Rose Street, specializing in antique jewelry, Scottish gemstones, and valuations.
We acquire our antique jewelry from a variety of sources: dealers, auctions, and from our lovely customers. We carry out any restoration work necessary to breathe new life into the items. Sometimes we complete restorations ourselves, and other times we call on the very best craftsmen we’ve come to know through years of working in the jewelry trade – everybody from lapidaries and stone cutters to engravers. By enlisting their help, we are supporting many specialist skills that are in danger of slowly dying out.
Buying jewelry is one of the most enjoyable aspects of our work, and we’re always on the lookout for the most unique pieces we can find – especially striking and unusual antique jewels with distinctive, colorful gemstones and equally colorful histories. We’re privileged to be able to offer items from a variety of periods, including early 19th century Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian, Art Nouveau, Art Deco and mid-century.
We’re quite proud to be a traditional and old-fashioned jewelry shop, but we take an informal, friendly approach. We’re experts in our field, and we’re passionate about what we do. We originally approached Etsy as a way to reach a wider global audience, and we were excited to find a community of jewelry lovers as passionate as we are. Many people come to us for antique engagement rings, and we love being part of such a special purchase. We’ve already formed a number of lasting personal and business relationships with wonderful people we met on here, and we look forward to meeting even more.
All photographs by Alistir Wood Tait.