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Lapponia Jewelry

Ambassador V.P.Gatti presenting Björn Weckström the Rio de Janeiro design competition prizes in 1965. Pekka Anttila in the middle.

The story of Lapponia Jewelry begins with two courageous men – entrepreneur and visionary Pekka Anttila and gifted jewelry designer / artist Björn Weckström. Together these men pushed the boundaries of jewelry design in the 1960s gaining global attention.

Lapponia Jewelry was founded by silversmith Pekka Anttila (1931 – 1985) in 1960. During the early days the company manufactured very traditional jewelry, mainly bracelets and various chains. The Quality of the jewelry was excellent and the company steadily gained new customers . However, the competition in the jewelry business was fierce.

Mr. Anttila soon realised the future was not in the traditional style gold jewelry and getting any exposure in the international markets would require more personal approach. He wanted to step away from the traditional designs and to create something new and authentic. He had been following the work of Björn Weckström since the days of the Finnish Glodsmith School and was inspired by his unique touch in design. The two started to work together in 1963.

Björn Weckström - Flowering wall

In 1965 Lapponia Jewelry took part in their first international fair when Anttila convinced Weckström to participate in the International Jewelry Contest in Rio de Janeiro. Weckström’s golden necklace “Flowering wall” won the Grand Prix. With the distinguished design the company received international recognition and started exports in 1966. Gradually also the domestic market opened up for these bold and unique designs.

Zoltan Popovits - Chess set

Lapponia Jewelry´s operations grew, and in 1971 Danish blacksmith and jewelry designer Poul Havgaard joined the company. Painter Juhani Linnovaara created his first white gold jewelry collection for Lapponia in 1972 and three years later sculptor Zoltan Popovits designed his first piece for Lapponia Jewelry - a silver chess set.

Petrified lake ring

Björn Weckström was the first to combine silver and acrylic in jewelry designs. At first this combination was considered strange, but that soon changed when in 1975 John Lennon appeared in the Dick Cavett show with Yoko Ono who was wearing Weckström’s Petrified lake acrylic ring. TV camera was taking several close-up shots of the ring in Yoko Ono’s finger and soon everyone was interested in acrylic jewelry.

Planetoid valleys necklace worn by Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars (1977)

The Lapponia Jewelry story is full of surprises and lucky incidents. In 1977, one of the Lapponia Jewelry silver necklaces was worn by Princess Leia in the movie Star Wars. Planetoid valleys fast became the all-time most well-known piece in the Lapponia collection.

Mari Isopahkala

In 1989 French artist Christophe Burger joined Lapponia Jewelry. His first collection was made of patinated white gold. Designer Pekka Hirvonen began his work with Lapponia in 2002 with yellow gold collection. Master goldsmith Chao-Hsien Kuo began her work with Lapponia in 2006 combining feminine elements to the recognizable Lapponia forms. Mari Isopahkala started as a Lapponia designer in 2013 after winning the Next Episode jewelry design contest.

Lapponia Jewelry was acquired by Kalevala Jewelry from the Anttila family in 2005. In april 2013 the company was merged as a part of Kalevala Jewelry where Lapponia Jewelry remains as its own brand.

Inspired by the northern nature, the revolutionary Lapponia Jewelry products have brought joy to the world already for over 50 years.